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1st City Council meeting of 2020 sees 7 sworn in, presentations and a few city business items

6 new Ferndale City Council members along with newly elected Mayor Greg Hansen share the dais for the first time (January 6, 2020) (l-r City staff Riley Sweeney and Jori Burnett, Mayor Greg Hansen and councilmembers Ali Hawkinson, Erin Gunter, Paul Shuey, Ryan O'Larey, Kate Bishop, Ramon Llanos). Photo: My Ferndale News

FERNDALE, Wash. — 6 councilmembers and Ferndale’s new mayor were sworn in at last night’s Ferndale City Council meeting.

Sworn in by City Clerk Susan Duncan were,

  • Herb Porter, council position 1
  • Ali Hawkinson, council position 2
  • Erin Gunter, council position 3
  • Paul Shuey, council position 4
  • Ryan O’Larey, council position 5
  • Ramon Llanos, council position 7
  • Greg Hansen, mayor
6 new Ferndale City Council members along with newly elected Mayor Greg Hansen during their first regular council meeting together (January 6, 2020) (l-r Greg Hansen, Herb Porter, Ali Hawkinson, Erin Gunter, Paul Shuey, Ryan O’Larey, Kate Bishop, Ramon Llanos). Photo mosaic: My Ferndale News

For some, the swearing in was more ceremonial than official. O’Larey and Llanos were sworn in back in November when they replaced appointees Gary Jensen and Carol Bersch who had been appointed by the council until more permanent replacements could be elected. Mayor Hansen had already been sworn in at City Hall by Duncan a few days prior to the meeting in order to carry out his duties.

During the public comment period, Ferndale citizen Melinda Cool requested the city provide additional gun violence education related to Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) that were made legal through Initiative 1491. ERPOs allow for firearms to be removed from an individual following a judges ruling.

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The City Council was then provided informative presentations from the Assistant Planner Jesse Ashbaugh, and Community Development Director Haylie Miller regarding private developments and zoning-related portions of the Ferndale Municipal Code.

Assistant Planner Jesse Ashbaugh presented an update on private developments and how he structures his presentations about them for council meetings. He used the Fourth Avenue Village as his example. The Fourth Avenue Village is a 29 townhouse village currently under construction on 4th Avenue between Ace Hardware and the Post Office. This is just one of 25 current projects and 21 upcoming projects.

Community Development Director Haylie Miller provided the new council members with an introduction to city zoning and the relevant sections of the Ferndale Municipal Code. 

The City Council voted unanimously to approve a contract with Wilson Engineering to provide construction engineering and management services for the new Wastewater Treatment Plant. This contract is for $2,420,766 with a 10% contingency for a total of $2,662,842.60. The City has been working with Wilson Engineering since 2016, as they are the initial designers. 

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The City Council also voted 6 to 1, with Shuey opposed, to approve the Unified Fee Schedule. This followed the utility rate increases approved at the last council meeting in December. The Unified Fee Schedule is central summary of the Municipal Codes. This allows for better communication between user and staff. City staff will be posting the new Unified Fee Schedule in the coming weeks. 

Council was asked to approve the new contracts with the Police Lieutenants and the council approved unanimously. This concluded all collective bargaining agreements for the next three years. 

Lastly, Maralise Fegan was presented by Mayor Hansen to the council as his appointee to the Planning Commission. Council unanimously approved the appointment.

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