Still from a recorded video message from Ferndale Mayor Greg Hansen regarding COVID-19. Source: City of Ferndale
FERNDALE, Wash. — City of Ferndale Mayor Greg Hansen was recently featured in a video produced by city staff about the City’s response to the COVID-19 disease pandemic. It appeared on the City’s website and on Facebook but, according to the mayor, was intended to be viewed by the community as a whole.
The video was published to the city’s account on the Vimeo video hosting website on March 24th, the day after
Governor Jay Inslee issued the “stay at home” order. City Council Member Herb Porter was featured in a Spanish language version.
Hello neighbors. My name is Greg Hansen. I’m the Mayor of Ferndale. T oday, I’m going to share with you some of the things we’re working on as a city to keep all of us safe during this pandemic and what you can do to help. Like many communities around the world, we have closed public spaces to help slow the spread of disease. This includes closing City Hall, the Police Station, our Municipal Court and our playgrounds. For the safety of our staff and others, we’ve empowered city employees to work remotely wherever possible. Despite the crisis, the work of our city continues. We are reachable by phone, by email and through our website. As you know, the state and county have enacted measures to close schools, bars, restaurants, libraries and other public places. And yesterday the governor issued an order for the public to shelter in place. We know this is hard but these necessary steps can literally save thousands of lives. For those of you worried about your utility bills, rest assured we’re not doing shutoffs or charging late fees for the February 28th bill. The next utility bill does not go out until April 30th and we are working to see what solutions are available to us so that … We understand that people are struggling and this is what we’re able to do now to help. For families and businesses needing economic support, there is an ever growing list of resources available we’ve linked it to the description in this video. There were those of you worried about your building permit deadlines, please contact our community development department who are ready to provide you with the flexibility you need during this time. The city is working closely with our neighboring communities. The county has established a unified command at our county emergency operation center so that all first responders medical professionals and public information officers in our area can work together seamlessly. We are proud to be a part of this dedicated team working around the clock to protect our community. Ferndale has always met challenges head on. When there’s a big crisis, we always rise to meet it because that’s what we do. We are Ferndale and we lookout for each other. That’s why we need your help. Here are three things we need everyone in Ferndale to do. First, stop the spread. That means staying home if you’re sick, avoiding gatherings and groups, limiting trips to the grocery store and wash your hands with soap and hot water. This will help stop the spread of disease but we also need to stop the spread of misinformation. In a crisis bad information can make a challenging situation even worse. Please be prudent about what you share. Whatcom County has established a single website for all COVID-related information. It is WhatcomCOVID.COM. For Ferndale-specific details, please go to http://www.CityofFerndale.org /COVID19. Second, support Ferndale businesses. Wherever possible shop Ferndale. We’ve assembled a list of restaurants providing takeout in our city at http://www.CityofFerndale.org/takeout. Pick up some food and tip well. It really does help. A number of other local businesses are modifying their operations to facilitate convenient pickup and deserve our support as well. Finally, look after each other. Call your elderly neighbors. Call your elderly relatives. Keep active as best you can and make sure that your neighbors have the help that they need. I know that when we work together and take care of each other, we are stronger than any virus. As always, we are here to help. If you have any questions or need help don’t hesitate to call or email. Thank you
When asked about whether the message was intended for the community, Mayor Hansen said in a phone interview that it was and the lack of promoting it via media and other channels was likely the result of the Communications Director’s vacation and subsequent assignment to lead the
Whatcom Unified Command public information section.