Tuesday, January 5, 2010

1st Council Meeting of 2010

At last night's council meeting I was sworn in as Ferndale Council Member Position No. 7. Council committees and liaison positions were also decided. I will be on the Public Works & Utilities Committee and the Planning & Land Use Committee. I will also be the Council Liaison to the Economic Development Commission and the Community Coordinating Association. I am looking forward to serving the community in these positions.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Thought

So much of this week has been spent running around. Off to Haggen's and to fight the crowds. Where did all those people come from? Commercials and news reports on so many aspects of "Black Friday". Will sales be up, down or just the same as last year? Which stores open first? Who has the best prices? Online shopping or brave the mall?

Then today at lunch I heard Rush talk about the first Thanksgiving. It was so refreshing to hear God being mentioned. He went on to talk about President Washington's proclamation that set the first official day of Thanksgiving. This has led to other presidents to issue similar proclamations.

President Washington proclaimed November 26, 1789 the first official Thanksgiving, noting, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore his protection and favor.”

I think Ronald Reagan summed it up the best when he called on every citizen, “To gather together in homes and places of worship and offer prayers of praise and gratitude for the many blessings Almighty God has bestowed upon our beloved nation.”

I would encourage everyone to stop, and thank God, our Father, Creator and Provider for all that he has given to each and every one of us. As you offer prayers of Thanksgiving, please remember those who are serving in all branches of the military, who are away from families and friends, and protecting our freedom to offer those prayers.

May each and everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thank you

Now that the elections are over and finalized, I would just like to thank all those that voted for me and helped me in my first election. I could not have done it without you all.

I look forward to serving the residents of Ferndale, but I can't do it alone. During my term in office I look forward to your comments and questions. You can email me at brentlistenstoyou@yahoo.com.

As the new year approaches I look forward to the following items that will be coming before the council:
1. The police station and library projects (An Emergency Operations Center has to be part of the police station project)
2. The new Commercial Zones being developed to better prepare Ferndale for future growth.
3. Working with the Economic Development Commission as they develop some ideas in how to bring economic growth and jobs to Ferndale.

Thank you all again for your help and support.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

City Council Makes Decision On Police Station

At last night's council meeting the council made a decision on the police station. It did not come easy and at times they seemed frustrated with the discussion. From the audience point of view, it seemed like council members Zimmerman and Malpezzi were trying to delay the project. This was even noticed by one of the council members that said something along the line of "are you two trying to delay the project so you can get a swimming pool?"

The final motion came after a one hour study session before the meeting and another during the meeting. Here is what I gathered was the final decision passed by council last night, please correct me if I am wrong.

1. They authorized the architect to move forward on the 18,000 sq. ft. version of the police station with options for a reduction to 15,000 sq. ft. They expect this to come back in about 6 months.
2. During this time, they plan on getting the bids back to repair and remodel the old Boys and Girls Club in Pioneer Park and proceed with that work.
3. At the completion of the remodeled Boys and Girls club, the library would be given 30 days, give or take, to move into that facility as a temporary facility while they continue fund raising or construction of their new building next to city hall.
4. Site preparation for the police station and new library building could start before the library moves out of the existing building.
5. Once the library has moved out of their current building the rest of the remodel would be done so that the police could move in.
6. They also voted to give the library $1 million plus the land nest to city hall to build on.
7. It is the hope of the council that the projects could get done for around $5 million with the benefit of the lower construction costs in today's market.

There are still some variables up in the air at this time as the council has not received the bids or time line to repair/remodel the old Boys and Girls club.

Stay tuned for further developments. We have been in this position before where council agreed on a plan only to have it get derailed at a later date. I hope this one goes through. Our police need there new home and the community needs an Emergency Operations Center as part of that new home.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What A Difference

Wow, was I impressed with tonight's council meeting. It was so different from the last few meetings. Council members were raising their hands and waiting to be called on before speaking. They were civil and had a good discussion on the budget.

Great job council members. Keep it up.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Loss of Coast Guard C-130 and Marine Corps Helicopter

My thoughts and prayer go out to these Coast Guard families. Please join me in this. They were performing their duty, trying to find an over due boat.

Brent (My daughter is a Coastie)

From: Allen, Thad Admiral
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 1:50 PM
Subject: ALL HANDS - Loss of Coast Guard C-130 and Marine Corps Helicopter

To the Men and Women of the United States Coast Guard:

I am deeply saddened to report that one of our C-130 aircraft, CG-1705 out of AIRSTA Sacramento, crashed last night about 15 miles east of San Clemente
Island off the coast of San Diego. CG-1705, with seven Guardians onboard,
was searching for an overdue 12-foot pleasure craft when there was a collision with a Marine Corps AH-1 Cobra helicopter at 1915 Pacific local time. There were two personnel on the Marine Corps helicopter which was conducting a separate training exercise.

The Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy have been working collaboratively overnight and throughout today in response to this tragedy. I want to ensure our workforce is kept fully apprised as well.

We have been and continue to actively search for survivors. Two Navy surface vessels were on scene almost immediately after the accident. Several Navy and Coast Guard aircraft, along with a Customs and Border Patrol helicopter, are flying sorties in the area while multiple cutters including the BLACKFIN, BLACKTIP, EDISTO, PETREL, GEORGE COBB, and JARVIS are conducting surface searches. One of the Navy ships is remaining on-scene as well. No personnel have been found at this time but we will continue to work with our Marine Corps and Navy partners in this massive effort.

While we continue the search, we will fully support the men and women of AIRSTA Sacramento and their families. We are actively assisting the local field units to respond to this tragic event so they can focus on the ongoing search. This includes flowing resources and critical incident stress management teams where they are needed, supporting our fellow families and Service members, coordinating a joint military investigation, and working with our Department, the interagency, the Congress, and the media to keep people informed.

I know many of you want to know the names of the people who are missing. We are following the appropriate notification procedures and working closely with our sister Services and the impacted families to ensure the proper steps are followed. We will release that information as soon as possible.

I will provide further updates as they become available. I encourage all Coast Guard members to keep these missing Guardians and Marines in your thoughts during this difficult time and to continue looking after your shipmates.

Admiral Thad Allen
Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sam Taylor's Questions Answered

Earlier today I received an email from Sam Taylor with questions about my previous entry. Instead of getting into an email back and forth, I decided to respond here for all to be able to read. So here goes.

You say the council doesn't read their packets ahead of time. Do you have specifics on this? How do you know this? You're saying every single one, perhaps besides Mel, don't read their packets? Why do you think this?

For anyone attending council meetings on a regular basis already knows the answer to this. For those that do not there are three council members that this really applies to. They are: Olson, Zimmerman and Malpezzi. Zimmerman voted no on an ordinance and when asked why stated that he had not read it so he would not vote in favor of it. Malpezzi just recently stated that he only read the cover sheet provided by staff, not the supporting documentation. Olson has asked questions on ordinances only to have it shown to him that the items in question were in the ordinance. He has also made statements that have show he has not read the complete ordinance.

On the other end of the spectrum are Connie and Mel. They do their homework and should be the role models for the rest of the council.

Also you say the council is getting out of control, in what way?

For this I asked Sam to listen to the tape of the last council meeting. If you were there you again would know the answer to this. (The following does not apply to Connie or Mel.) There does not seem to be any respect any more on the council. They don't seem to respect the Mayor or each other. Council member Ingram speaks when ever he wants to, without acknowledgment from the Mayor. Council members Malpezzi and Olson don't respect our city staff and this is evident by their condescending questions and comments that they make.

Do you really think every council member treats people poorly?

Again, I asked Sam to listen to the tapes. If the Herald had a reporter at the meetings on a regular basis, then Sam would not be asking me these questions. The fact that they do not and that Sam has not listened to the tapes of the meetings, shows me that the Herald really does not care to much about Ferndale.

All I ask of anyone really interested in this is to do the following. Attend the Planning Commission meeting this evening at 7:00 PM City Hall Annex. Watch how the Commissioners inter relate with each other. Watch and listen to how the Commissioners talk and work with the city staff. Then compare that to recent council meetings. If after that you think I am off base, let me know.