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Whatcom County City of Ferndale Council Position 3

The City Council is the legislative body for the City. The Council adopts local laws (ordinances) to secure the safety and assist the well-being of the city residents, the city's physical environment and amenities, and the city economy. The Council is responsible for approving financial expenditures and adopting the city budget as well as establishing policies and regulations in order to guide the city's future. The elected mayor serves as chief administrative officer for the city.

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  • Candidate picture

    Erin Gunter

  • Candidate picture

    Anya Milton

Biographical Information

What experiences have you had that qualify you for this position?

How would you describe your vision for your city?

What are the obstacles in the path of achieving your vision?

What do you think is your city/town’s role in dealing with issues surrounding the environment?

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastructure?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

How would you propose the council communicate with the citizens of your city or town?

Phone (360) 384-4892
Town where you live Ferndale
Experience (300 characters max) Throughout my 20+ years in Ferndale I have been in management at Denny's and Fred Meyer. Also during this time I have volunteered all over- Preschool Board Member, PTO President, and Relay for Life Team Captain are just a few of my experiences. In all these I have had to work with others & listen.
My jobs have been very instrumental in dealing with life. I was a restaurant manager for 4 years at Denny's, the last 2 years I was the General Manager. When I went to Fred Meyer I was the Assistant Manager in Photo Electronics and then the Operations Manager. In those roles I had to work staff and the public. I listened and dealt with daily issues as professionally as I could. Once I had my children I stepped down so that I could be there for them. Over the past 20+ years I have been an avid volunteer. I started with the Whatcom Crisis Center, as a phone consultant, coached basketball to boys and girls through Boys and Girls Club, Preschool Board Member, PTO President for Eagleridge Elementary and Horizon Middle School, Junior Achievement Volunteer, Relay for Life Team Member and Captain, Makayla Jam 3on3 Board Member are some of the areas I volunteered at for years. In each of these endeavors I worked together with others to benefit all. It also kept me involved in my city.
My vision for the city is simple, I want to see Ferndale continue to be a safe and friendly community to raise families and retire. I love the fact we have concerts in the park and activities for all to participate in. Old Settlers Weekend is one of my favorite things to participate in. Great event to see how others are doing and explore our community and see how far we have come. Traditions are great, and I love that my family has looked forward to this event every year.
I just hope that our infrastructure is ready to handle the increase in growth. I am excited for the Thorton Overpass to begin. I know that will help with our traffic issues downtown.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Ferndale has doubled in size since I moved here. We have a wonderful school system and great homes. I think once we complete the Thorton Overpass Project the traffic issues downtown will improve. We are also waiting to use a new well we have, once the Department of Ecology approves it we can start using it, which will help with the water issues.
Recently the Mayor started a Poverty Task Force to look into this. We currently don't have a huge homelessness problem here.
Candidate has not yet responded.
I think we need to continue to employ Riley Sweeney. He does a great job in his role as the Communications Officer of Ferndale. I also love to inform people what is happening and will continue to pass on information through Facebook and personal interactions.
Phone (360) 441-3797
Town where you live Ferndale
Experience (300 characters max) Program Director for the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce; Community Engagement and Branch Director for Boys & Girls Clubs; Youth Engagement Manager at Northwest Youth Services; Executive Director of Access Freedom
My experience is centered around leadership. Presently I serve as the Program Director for the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, where I develop, organize, coordinate and execute all programs and events. I concurrently serve as the co-chair of the Ferndale School District Community Bond Oversight Committee. I have had the opportunity to service on executive leadership on two boards and have founded a nonprofit; and have been appointed to the Statewide Coordinating Committee on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minors by Bob Ferguson, the Washington State Attorney General. Through all of my experiences, I have been challenged to learn complex topics and be able to accurately communicate and inform other groups of people, to acquaint them to make informed ideas. This is a natural skill set that I possess and seek to implement at the Council level to support a more informed Council and City.
I see a future where Ferndale is set up for success; meaning that there are equitable and attainable plans for affordable housing, economic development, environmental sustainability and appropriate social services for marginalized populations. However, all of these aspects come with the careful and dedicated planning of a city that has pride in itself which is cultivated carefully when residents have trust restored in it’s leadership.
The first barrier to success in achieving this goal, is the need to establish an accurate, concise and consistent means of communication to the community. I believe that with continued effort in promoting transparency we will develop a more proactively engaged community. We struggle to define our identity as a city, because the cultural makeup of our community changes daily. We need to find a way to hold on to our collective histories, embrace our multicultural neighbors and collaboratively plan for the future.
I believe that the City needs to set the example and expectation for environmental issues. This should begin first and foremost with fact based, educational experiences for the community. If you need/want a community to shift their way of thinking, you need to offer multiple opportunities for learning, create buy-in, provide opportunities for investment and then make real change.
From my professional experience in business advocacy and economic development, I have learned that the city’s infrastructure is in somewhat in a fragile state. There are portions of city water lines that are so delicate, that a disruption could damage the existing water lines. This example provides challenges to new business coming in wanting to build or renovate to meet modern needs at a higher prices. Access to water is an urgent topic that I believe measures are being put in place to address the issue, however a long-term plan needs to be developed and revisited continually. Traffic is also a topic of growing concern as development continues to increase. The community looks forward to the Thornton Road overpass, four years away, and we’ll need to look at how we can address few cars though downtown Ferndale could adversely effect small business.
The reality is that there are very little services in Ferndale or the northern part of the county for those experiencing homelessness. I believe that the community, first responders and local government can foster self-reliance by being educated on existing services and learning how to help identify some of the unique needs of individuals in order to refer them to appropriate services. I believe the NOrth County Poverty Task Force is a step in the right direction and though it is in its infancy, I’m excited to see where it leads Ferndale in addressing this issue of critical importance.
While we may not all agree on how to resolve the immigration issues facing our country, what I sincerely hope we can agree on is that no matter how someone arrives here, they arrive as a human being. We are all human beings and with that, there is an inherent need to address basic human needs and treat people with dignity, respect and compassion.

Having lived in Ferndale for the past 14 years, I have seen first hand this community open its arms, its heart and its homes to people - so whether someone finds themselves in our neighborhood for a season or permanently let us share with them our stories and listen to theirs; let us connect them to resources and opportunities to improve their lives and
Engaging the community and stewarding relationships is a skill I have enjoyed cultivating and has led to much of my professional success in resource development. I feel that this qualification will lend itself well to communicating with the citizens of Ferndale. Specifically speaking, council needs to be accessible via email, social media and in person. In addition to these three options, I would offer consistent opportunities to connect with citizens in public places, where they can rely on me to hear their ideas and concerns; and collaborate on plans and solutions for a stronger Ferndale.