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2021 City of Ferndale draft budget awaits council input

Ferndale City Hall (2019). File photo - Whatcom News

FERNDALE, Wash. — The draft 2021 City of Ferndale budget was submitted by Mayor Greg Hansen at the end of October and Finance Directory Sirke Salminen has since hosted 4 workshops regarding the budget for Ferndale City Council members.

The workshops were held an hour prior to regular council meetings on October 5th and 19th and November 2nd and 16th. These hour-long sessions were spent explaining the different revenue and expense line items that make up the City’s budget and how they relate to city activities and projects.

The City Council is expected to approve some version of the budget by the end of the year. There remains 2 regular council meetings when this could be accomplished, on December 7th and 21st. Historically, it has been rare for the council to hold the second regular meeting in December (last year was the first time since 2014).

A second public hearing is scheduled for the public to provide comments about the budget during the December 7th regular council meeting. A similar public hearing was offered during the last regular council meeting on November 19th which no one spoke at. After which the mayor closed the public hearing and told the council members that was all they “needed to do regarding the budget at that time.”

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In past years, regular council meetings in November have been used by council to discuss and sometimes debate the merits of specific items. That has not occurred this year.

It is likely the December 7th council meeting will also be when councilmembers will be asked to provide their input on the budget, specifically what’s missing, what should be removed and what amounts should be adjusted. If council determines there is a need to make changes or continue discussions, the December 21st meeting will be required.

While the council has yet to provide their input about the budget, City staff solicited questions regarding the budget on November 19th from those residents who use Facebook. Staff today, November 23rd, published the following video in response.

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