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City Administrator Jori Burnett addresses the City Council (November 4, 2019).

Last regular Ferndale City Council meeting of 2020 sees 2021 budget and pay raises approved

FERNDALE, Wash. — Ferndale City Council met one last time in 2020 Monday and took care of remaining business so that they were able to cancel the remaining regular and council committee meetings scheduled through the end of the month.

The remotely held online meeting began with councilmember Paul Shuey requesting a Ferndale Municipal Code amendment be removed from the consent agenda and moved to the main agenda where it could be discussed by the full council. This agenda modification was approved and the remaining consent agenda items were approved by unanimous vote.

Shuey then led a discussion regarding a proposed code amendment regarding regulations governing solid waste collection and disposal. Shuey voiced concerns about 2 elements that were being carried forward from the current 1979 version of the code. He did not feel it was appropriate that all residents be required to pay for garbage collection service even if they hauled their own garbage and he was not comfortable granting the garbage collection service the ability to place a lien on a property in the event collections efforts on past-due balances failed.

After further discussion and a failed vote to approve the amendment, it was sent back to Public Works & Utilities Council Committee for further consideration.

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No members of the public spoke during the last public hearing regarding the 2021 City of Ferndale budget and the council members voted to approve it by unanimous vote.

The council unanimously approved several other items including 2 rezones of individual properties and rate adjustments related to building permits and inspections and the monthly budget amendment.

The regular council meeting was then suspended as the council members went into executive session to discuss employee performance. Upon returning, Mayor Greg Hansen asked the council to approve 2-year contracts for key staff within city hall who are not represented by a union. He had provided a similar proposal at the last meeting which was not approved and it was suggested raises this year be limited to cost-of-living increases and proposed bigger raises be put off until 2022.

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The council approved by a 5-1 vote, with Councilmember Erin Gunter opposed, the revised 2-year contracts with the following salaries for 2021 and 2022.

PositionCurrent2021% increase2022% increase
City Administrator133,200137,8623%144,0004%
Chief of Police133,000137,6203%142,6003%
Public Works Director119,400124,0004%133,0007%
Finance Director118,656123,0004%131,0006%
Community Development Director100,368104,0004%109,5005%
Public Works Project Manager94,89698,2503%103,5005%
City Clerk / Human Resources Director78,00083,5007%89,0006%
Communications Officer / Recreation Director65,70070,5007%75,5007%

Hansen thanked the council for approving the contracts and then proposed cancelling the next scheduled regular meeting of the council on December 21st and also council committee meetings scheduled for December 30th. The council unanimously agreed to this by consent.

Appointing a replacement for retired council member Ramon Llanos’ seat was brought up and City Clerk Susan Duncan said she had received applications from 6 people but had yet to discuss the process with them so she was hesitant to mention names.

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