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.
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.
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.
Last night, Finance Director Sirke Salminen hosted the first in a series of financial workshops at the City Annex to explore different topics relating to the city’s finances.
Using the latest digital tools available, the Ferndale Police Department and the City have launched an interactive online crime map of Ferndale. For the public, this provides even greater transparency, allowing residents to explore 911 calls in their area. For the Ferndale Police Department, this provides them with a critical tool to identify hot spots for Patrol activities, and for detectives to explore a sudden crime trend and work to prevent future criminal activity.
“This gives our officers a bird’s-eye-view of recent incidents to compliment our boots on the ground experience,” said Police Chief Kevin Turner. “If we see a sudden rash of break-ins in one specific area, we can put extra officers in that neighborhood.”
The City of Ferndale continues to set the standard for transparency and access to public information. Currently, the public can access everything from employee contracts to city credit card reports online through their public documents page. The crime map provides a fresh way for residents to access information about their community.
According to FBI statistics, in 2018 Ferndale became the 21st safest city in Washington. In the last twelve years, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Ferndale Police Department, crime has been cut by 65%.
The crime map can be accessed online by clicking here.
Curious about the city finances? City Finance Director Sirke Salminen will be hosting a series of finance workshops before city council meetings starting May 20th, at 5:30pm at the City Annex (5694 Second Avenue). These meetings will be open to the public and intended to help everyone better understand how your city manages public funds.
The workshop May 20th will focus on debt – how it is used to facilitate public projects.
The next workshop will be June 17th at 5:30pm at the City Annex and will be focused on the city budget calendar.
In lieu of their usual meeting, City Council, staff, and the Mayor met for a facilitated retreat to set goals and improve communication between each other and the public.
With big decisions approaching this year concerning the new Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion and selecting a downtown catalyst project, the participants worked with facilitator Laura Todd to improve coordination between staff and council. They concluded with goal setting for the rest of the year.
“At the end of 2019, when you look back on this year, what will you have done?” asked Todd. Council and staff agreed on the above list, including laying the groundwork for a new downtown, involving the public in the decision-making process and establishing a fair and equitable rate structure system.