Posted by: sweeneyblog | May 1, 2015

Friday Odds and Ends: Session Ends, Taylor Departs and the Speed Changes

Hello Loyal Readers,

Another week down as we lurch into May. I have some great articles in the queue (a profile of Jon Mutchler, an in-depth analysis of the oil safety bill that was passed) but I’m still assembling the last couple of pieces for them, so you will see them next week.

Sen. Andy Hill's budget (R-Bellevue) would require the state to sell 80 million joints to fund education.

Sen. Andy Hill’s budget (R-Bellevue) would require the state to sell 80 million joints to fund education.

The big news is that once again, the Legislature is going into special session. Just like years past, the main issues of contention are the transportation package, which would provide funding for hundreds of infrastructure jobs throughout the state, and education funding.

The Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, wants to pay for education by swiping all the marijuana funds, cutting social services and violating union contracts by freezing wage increases for state employees.

To highlight this point, progressive political action group FUSE se-up a mock “Baked Sale” at the capitol campus. The Democrats are proposing a capital gains tax on our state’s wealthiest to fund education.

Locally, the City of Ferndale is losing their city clerk. Former Bellingham Herald reporter, Sam Taylor, has accepted a job in California and will be dearly missed. He has done a great job getting information to the public about the City of Ferndale. I had hoped, when the County redid their website, they would take a few ideas from Ferndale.

Alabama St.

Alabama St.

In Bellingham, the city is crawling forward with the so-called Alabama Traffic ImprovementsThey sent a pamphlet with glossy pictures to all property owners along the affected stretch of Alabama in an attempt to sell the changes to the street. They followed up with a press release titled, “Alabama St. about to get a lot safer.”

Tucked in among the changes that the Roosevelt Neighborhood argued against (c-curbs blocking their left turns), is something people did ask for, namely a change in the speed limit. They will be reducing the speed limit from 35mph to 30mph which was one of the top requests during the public hearings on this issue. Bravo!

Finally, happy Beltane to all my Pagan readers out there. Hope everyone has fun and stays dry this weekend.



  1. Riley, I believe the Senate budget is much worse than you describe but beating a dead horse does not increase readership. Unfortunately this is not about state budgets. It is about who will get to live in the governor’s mansion beginning in January 2017. Who was that state senator from Bellevue again?

  2. Work on Alabama Street should start soon. At the City Council meeting on March 9, they granted a noise variance (Agenda Bill 20748) to allow work from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. to alleviate traffic problems. At the City Council meeting on April 20, they approved (Agenda Bill 20800) the low bid of $3,377,989 to Award Construction of Ferndale for the Alabama Street project.

  3. I was mentioned in Walter’s comments and can not argue with his facts nor opinion. These and other improprieties are good examples of a systemic abuse of power and why I endorse returning to a City Manager-Council ,format for Ferndale City Govt. versus the “Strong Mayor ” system..

    • Which comments are those and where can I read them?

  4. Walter,

    I think that you should show what a great guy you are and kiss and make up with Sam before he leaves town.

    • That is a nice idea. Otherwise we need a new blog, The Real Citizens of Ferntucky.

  5. I was really hoping to see some indication that someone is going to face off the conservatives planning to run for Kremen’s spot. And what has closed Boulevard Park again? Oh well, wrong place, I guess.

  6. Sam Taylor must get the prize for the most accessible and responsive public servant in Whatcom county history.
    Any time a citizen labored under a false assumption about Ferndale government,
    Sam would clearly and civilly set the record straight.
    Never seen anything like it and most likely will never see it again.
    Imagine how nice it could be if a High Muckety-Muck like Louws or Linville practiced that same attitude towards their constituents.

    • Dave, I second your motion. “Sam would clearly and civilly set the record straight.” And I would add, “promptly.”

    • The concept of having a city employee continue to inform the public on social media will continue. We believe this direction has been successful and a large part of our Ferndale citizens have agreed. Some bloggers do not agree when Sam debated with them but he got better and better about trying to be as polite as possible. That will also continue. Stay tuned. Sam will be very hard to replace but we will try.

      • Anyone in mind, Mayor Jensen?

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