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Ferndale Mayor appeals to community via video to “be neighborly”

Mayor Hansen appeals to community via video to "be neighborly" (February 18, 2020). Video: City of Ferndale

FERNDALE, Wash. — Citing “racial threats, burning of yard signs and the conversations around the school levy,” Ferndale Mayor Greg Hanson and city staff produced a video yesterday from the steps of Ferndale City Hall expressing his upset and sadness about what he described as “the way our community has responded to some of these conflicts.”



I am Ferndale Mayor Greg Hansen. These are important, consequential and divisive times for our nation and our local community. Today, I’m upset and I’m saddened by the way our community has reacted to some of these conflicts with racial threats, burning of yard signs and the conversations around the school levy have been toxic and offensive at times. And as this election year heats up it will only get more intense and I believe that our democracy truly rests on our ability to communicate, negotiate and compromise, to listen, question consider and challenge each other.

Here in Ferndale, we have historically had a healthy balance between Liberals and Conservatives and, no matter where you fall politically, we can do better than this. We can be better neighbors. We play in the same parks. We walk along the same streets. Our kids go to the same schools. We are community and no matter what the debate, no matter how fierce the debate, we must always remember that we are a community of neighbors and that the ties that bind us together are stronger than our disagreements. So please, please be kind to each other. Be thoughtful. Be neighborly. This is what Ferndale does best.

Thank you.

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  1. Aron Thompson February 19, 2020

    Including the “conversations” on the school levy with “racial threats” and the burning of yard signs” is bizarre. Those conversations are an appropriate debate; the other two are crimes. Strange statement by the mayor. Matters up for a vote aren’t “conflicts”.

    • Richard Wahl February 19, 2020

      Well, in a way, I must beg to differ. It appears these days, that there are far too many ‘conflicts’ in our lives. People are almost ready to go to war over matters that just do not meet the ‘requirements’ for out and out anger! Conflicts?, yep, I have to admit, that almost anything these days, can be considered a ‘conflict’. and this answer only reinforces that belief in me. Politics is a prime example of that. Just look at our own Federal Government! They stop just short of actually wanting to do bodily harm to each other. People today, have very short tempers and it doesn’t take much anymore, to set far too many people off. This school levy is also a good example of the hostility people have within them. Is it wrong to get upset over SOME things in our lives? Heck yes, and I fully understand that, but by the same token, I’m not ready to take someone by the throat for believing something different than me. I may not adhere to what they believe, but I have to admit, that there will always be those who differ in opinions of what I believe, but, it is really necessary to publicly whip someone for not always agreeing with you? Me?, personally, I really don’t care if someone else doesn’t see something the same way I do, it’s just human nature that people have different view points on almost every subject, but it’s really no reason to almost threaten someone just for not believing the way you do. For in reality, in the end, there is nothing you can do by degrading or obnoxiously belittling someone, for all that does is just create MORE contention and…..yes, can very well lead to…….. ‘conflict’. There are those that take politics to heart and very seriously, and never has that been more apparent than in these days. Okay, racial threats?, burning of yard signs? Now, just how far apart are these two subjects, away from the levy that everyone is talking about? They are still ‘conflicts’, and the anger in those subjects is very real, I can almost hear it in some answers, not only here, but out in the general public. Upset about taxes and what they mean to us and how it affects us, I do fully understand, and I certainly can empathize with some, but there will always be those who will disagree with me and those who may think as I, but again, you can NEVER win over someone by attacking them, and that is a fact, for then, all you’re doing is creating what? Yep……..’conflict’!!
      So, in the end, just how far away from ‘conflict’, are some matters up for a vote? I imagine it could depend on just what the ‘matter’ is, that’s up for a vote! And, I suppose the Mayor is only expressing something that he believes he is seeing. Is he wrong? Who knows, for again, you’re not going to please everyone, no matter what he does.

      • Aron Thompson February 19, 2020

        It is almost assured that if elected leaders describe ballot measures as “conflicts” and lump them in with outright crimes they will thus be treated as such. I suspect the motives and the timing of its inclusion…

  2. Yvonne Goldsmith February 19, 2020

    Thank you Mayor Hansen for your diplomacy and positive statement.

  3. Harcharan Singh February 19, 2020

    Awesome. This is the positive message which we need to implement in our lives so that our children can have a beautiful and positive future. Thanks Mayor.

  4. Tom Hansen February 19, 2020

    I wonder if the big rate hike in water bills had an impact on the school levy?

  5. Alice Paul February 19, 2020

    No rates don’t depend on levy. It goes off of Seattle rates. Summer discount and adjustments was the Finance and Public Works Directors decision. Two, after watching Harriet with our Nation completely divided…I agree with the positive message in we need to come together rather than fall apart in hate. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we will never agree on them. Learned at GWU PolSci just saying. You want to actually make a difference is lobbying and campaigning volunteering rather than making rants. Voice is a vote nobody hears you.

  6. Alice Paul February 19, 2020

    Or if you’re still mad at the utility rates and want answers you could call the clerk that will give you the gist but go to Staff Directory for direct phone numbers and emails on the website for the Director’s directly. I would also ask them why they had a reason to lie to the public about the RCW Code about summer usage.

  7. Ton Hansen February 20, 2020

    Are people in Ferndale maxed out on their finances between high property taxes and high water bills? Did that influence their vote on the school district levy because they couldn’t afford it, especially if they are on a fixed income?

  8. Nancy Foulke February 21, 2020

    Thank you Mayor Hansen! Give friendliness a chance!

  9. jeff d stover February 21, 2020

    “Mayor Greg Hansen said during the committee meeting how he recalled a former city administrator saying, “If your business relies on a sandwich board down the street, then your business has bigger problems.”” Callous and ignorant remark – then and now.

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