City Boards and Commissions Seek Volunteers

The City has a number of Boards and Commissions that work to advise the council on a broad array of subjects. These are volunteer positions but absolutely essential to providing quality input to the city decision making process.

To apply for one of these positions, please fill out this application and email it to City Clerk Susan Duncan at susanduncan@cityofferndale.org. Click the links below to learn more about each board or commission.

Here are the positions currently seeking volunteers:

Washington Supreme Court Justices Tour Ferndale Court Facilities

Washington Supreme Court Justices Tour Ferndale Court Facilities

A delegation from the Washington Supreme Court visited the Ferndale Municipal Court today to highlight the challenging conditions at the courthouse. Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst, Justice Mary Yu and Justice Steven Gonzalez were joined by Bellingham Municipal Court Judge Debra Lev and Commissioner Pete Smiley during their visit.

Currently Ferndale Municipal Court is held in the City Annex on Second Avenue in downtown Ferndale. The facility, once a garage for the local firestation, also hosts proceedings by the city council, planning commission and hearing examiner. In recent years, the space has struggled to accommodate its growing uses.

“I am concerned and troubled that the limitations of our facilities may have an impact on the functions of our justice system,” said Ferndale Municipal Court Judge Mark Kaiman. “We must ensure due process for all involved, this cannot wait.”

Earlier the year, the City worked with the school district to assess whether a new joint courtroom and city hall could be established at the Old Main building of Ferndale High School but decided to pass on that option due to the cost.

The City and Council continue to work towards a new facility for the courthouse and city hall and are exploring options as part of the 2020 budget process.

City Weighs Options for More Equitable Utility Rate Structure

City Weighs Options for More Equitable Utility Rate Structure

Click the picture above to access more information on the rate study

On Monday, Oct. 7th at 6pm in the City Annex (5694 Second Avenue), the City Council will be reviewing options for adjusting the utility rates.

Earlier this year, the City hired FCS Group to study our rate structure and provide recommendations on how to fund future capital projects while maintaining a fair structure for all ratepayers. This meeting, they will be presenting their findings and the options available to the council going forward.

The public is encouraged to attend and share their input on the best way to provide for the future of our utility system. More information about the rate study, including their presentation on revenue requirements in August and the materials for their presentation on Monday, is available on the city website here: www.cityofferndale.org/ratestudy

The Wild Pioneer Life of William “Blanket Bill” Jarman

One of Ferndale’s more colorful settlers, Blanket Bill Jarman is credited as the first permanent white settler in the area when he first put down roots in Whatcom County in 1852. Jarman caused quite a stir earlier when he was kidnapped by tribal members from Vancouver Island and had to be ransomed with a pile of blankets as tall as he stood, earning him his nickname.

In the 1850s, he officially delivered mail by canoe for Fort Bellingham by canoe, and unofficially served as a smuggler. In the 1860s, he staked out a homestead in the county and worked as a bartender for a saloon in Bellingham. In 1871, a saloon patron insulted Jarman’s sister. A fight broke out and Jarman shot and killed the surly patron. Jarman was jailed for a short time before returning to England for a decade.

He returned to Whatcom and moved to Ferndale to stay with his niece and her husband, William Manning on their farm.  In 1904, the Old Settlers Association recognized Jarman as the oldest living settler and described him as, “Sailor, deserter, trader, hunter and fisherman, fur dealer, Indian slave, tribesman, squawman, homesteader, ship master, telegraph linesman, army courier and mail carrier, interpreter, bar tender, accused murderer, gold digger; there was little he did not find interesting and zestful”. You can find out more about Blanket Bill from the Ferndale Heritage Society at Pioneer Park.

Councilmember Greg Hansen Receives Certificate of Municipal Leadership

Councilmember Greg Hansen

This month, the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) awarded Councilmember Greg Hansen a Certificate of Municipal Leadership in recognition of his service, leadership and educational achievements. The program recognizes,  “Mayors and councilmembers who continue to strive for excellence by attending conferences and trainings, serving their community, and further developing leadership skills.”

Hansen, who has been on the City Council since 2016, serves as the council liaison to the Chamber of Commerce, Ferndale Community Coalition, represents the council on the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. For his day job, he teaches Hospitality and Tourism Management and Business Administration at Whatcom Community College.

“This program provides a fantastic grounding in the best practices for any city, large or small. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from some of the best people in the state.” said Hansen. “That said, interacting with my peers across the state reinforced my belief that we are well ahead of the curve here in Ferndale on so many issues.”

City officials receive the Certificate of Municipal Leadership after earning 30 credits  AWC trainings and demonstrating community service.

Seeking Grant Applications for 2020 Tourism Activities

Seeking Grant Applications for 2020 Tourism Activities

Do you have a good idea for some tourism-related activities? We are now accepting applications for our Hotel-Motel Grant Program!

This program uses funds collected when people stay at local hotels, motels or RV parks to help encourage additional tourism in Ferndale.

Funding from the program may be used, directly by local jurisdictions, or indirectly through a convention and visitors bureau or destination marketing organization, for the marketing and operations of special events and festivals and to support the operations and capital expenditures of tourism-related facilities owned by nonprofit organizations described under section 501(c)(3) and section 501(c)(6) of the internal revenue code of 1986, as amended.

The Hotel-Motel Grant Program is managed by the Communications Officer, and recommendations on funding are made by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee to the City Council, which has final say over allocation of funding.

DEADLINE IS JULY 29th, 2019. No exceptions. You can find the application here.

If you have questions, please contact Communications Officer Riley Sweeney at (360) 685-2353 or by e-mail.

Note – the application has been updated from previous years to reduce the paperwork burden, please read through the new requirements if you are a returning applicant.

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