Category Archives: Events

2018 Good Neighbor Awards

Citizens for a Fair Ferndale is proud to announce the 2018 winners of its Good Neighbor = Strong Community awards. The annual awards celebrate the ongoing efforts of those who live, work and attend school in Ferndale, who value the fair and equal treatment of others and are engaged in making this happen on a daily basis.  The Good Neighbors = Strong Community Awards program identifies and honors individuals, organizations and businesses in our community who are outstanding examples of “good neighbors.”


This year’s honorees include:

  • Grace Bacon
  • Doug Gillespie
  • Lindsay Gonska
  • Carol Jackson
  • Stacey Bellott Jamison
  • Beth O’Connor
  • MaKisha Reed
  • Laura Mikulski, Suzanne Janik & Eric Geiner of the Ferndale Rat Patrol
  • Cheryl Salinas-Tucker & Jeny Bulatovic of Rouge Make Up and Nails

“As always, the selection committee had a diverse pool of nominations, proving once again that Ferndale if full of Good Neighbors,” said Bridget Deegan-Krause, an organizer of the event. “This year we are honoring everyone from a school teacher who helps get food on kids’ tables to a local business that helps clients feel good inside and out.”

Citizens for a Fair Ferndale will hold a special event on November 13 at 7 p.m. at Ferndale’s Go Comedy to present the 2018 awards. Contact us at CFF48220@gmail.com or 248-439-0747 if you are interested in attending.

Citizen’s for a Fair Ferndale Hold Candidate Forum

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On Saturday, November 3, 2018, Citizens for a Fair Ferndale (CFF) held a Candidate Forum at the Ferndale Area District Library (222 E. 9 Mile Rd.) from 2:00-4:00 p.mCFF has invited all declared candidates for the Ferndale Public Schools Board of Education, the Ferndale Library Board, and Judge of the 43rd District Court. The public and the media are encouraged to attend.

Below are candidate questionnaires that were circulated and returned to CFF by 5 of the candidates on the upcoming November 6th ballot.

Click this link  for a facebook live recording of the forum. It is only 35 minutes long!

Anna Ibrahim – School Board

Jim O’Donnell School Board

Daniel Hooper – Library Board

Beau Perry – Library Board

Kevin Yezbick – Library Board

Keith Hunt – Judge

Jim Osak – Judge

 

Bowling Fundraiser, August 26

Join Citizens for a Fair Ferndale at Luxury Lanes (600 E. 9 Mile) on Friday, August 26 at 6:30 pm for bowling, food, and FUN!

Register in advance for $25 or pay $30 at the door. Registration fee includes your lane reservation, shoe rental, and food (pizza, salad, snacks and soft drinks). Proceeds go toward CFF’s budget, which funds annual the Good Neighbors = Strong Community Awards, election forums, and other various projects.

Click here to register online, email or call CFF48220@gmail.com, 248-515-7803 for more info.

CFF Race in Community project to host special event

FERNDALE PAST & PRESENT: How did we Become the Ferndale of Today?

Join us for a fascinating look at Ferndale’s racial roots.  Renowned demographer and Mayor of Pleasant Ridge, Kurt Metzger, leads us through the years of demographic changes.

Wednesday, December 9 | 7pm-9pm,  Doors open at 6:45pm

Ferndale City Hall – Council Chambers (downstairs)

RSVP: email: klatosch@gmail.com | phone: 248-812-9202

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1716307361921374/

Event is free and open to the public – RSVPs are appreciated, but not required.  This event is produced by the Race in Community Project, a new initiative of Citizens for a Fair Ferndale and co-sponsored by the City of Ferndale.

2015 Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire

Click the link below to open a pdf version of the questionnaire, or scroll down to read it here.

Dave Coulter 2015 Questionnaire

Dave Coulter, Ferndale Mayor since January, 2011.

What do you consider to be the accomplishments during your tenure as Mayor?
Ferndale is a special community, and it’s an honor to serve as Mayor. Working together with City Council, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, including:

  • Lowering taxes more than 2 mils (about $166 for the average homeowner) this year, and lowering water rates 10% in 2014;
  • Renovating our dilapidated courthouse and police station – without using tax dollars;
  • Creating a new health clinic for city employees in collaboration with Royal Oak and Madison Heights, as we continue to look for ways to reduce costs while still offering outstanding city services;
  • Upgrading Livernois and West Nine Mile to transform them into more vibrant, successful streets, and completeing upgrades to Hilton and East Nine Mile. We’re already seeing significant private investment following our work in these areas;
  • My Mayor’s Business Council, which continues to help attract new investments, jobs and tax revenue to our formerly neglected industrial sector;
  • The work of my Blue Ribbon Committee on Parks, resulting in improvements such as the new Wilson Park Dog Park, a new play scape at Garbutt Park and new walking trails, among others.

What challenges or disappointments did you face as Mayor?

With revenues flat, financial issues have been a challenge every year since I’ve been mayor.   Just like our residents have to balance their household budgets, we’ve worked hard to offer great city services that get more expensive every year with the same amount of funds. Beyond financial issues, however, I’ve learned that being mayor means being prepared for the unexpected.  From heat waves and power outages to flooding and lawsuits and more, you’re really tested most by the things that weren’t planned.

I’ve faced each of these challenges the same way; engage the other council members and the unique talents they bring to create a strong team, encourage city staff to think creatively about how to use their experience to tackle problems, and be honest and transparent with residents about the nature of the challenge and our options as a community.

I’ve never pretended to have all the answers, but I know that within this city are people – council, staff and residents – that possess the knowledge that will lead to the best possible solutions for Ferndale. As a result, I’m grateful for all the support and friendship I have received since becoming mayor. I know our best days are yet to come, and by working together we will keep moving Ferndale forward.

What do you see as the priorities for the Mayor in the next two years?

Ferndale is once again helping lead the region with rising home values, higher occupancy rates in our downtown and industrial sector, lower crime and an overall improved quality of life. But there’s more I’m eager to do, including continuing the transformation of our parks, expanding retail, foot traffic and parking in our downtown, and ensuring that this progress preserves affordable housing and independent retailers and entrepreneurs in our city.

Thanks to the voter-approved infrastructure bond passed in May, I’m excited to bring even more attention to our parks and develop amenities residents will use and enjoy.  Together with the work of repairing our local streets, these bond projects will soon be a reality and will help transform our parks and our neighborhoods into even more vibrant places of recreation and community.

I’m also looking forward to partnering with the new leadership at the DDA to address issues like increased retail activity, housing and office development, transportation and parking (including planning already underway for a possible replacement of the 3-60 project) to ensure our downtown remains a popular regional destination in the face of increased regional competition.

2015 City Council Candidate Questionnaires

Click the links below to open a pdf version of each candidate questionnaire, or scroll down to read them here.

(CFF has not made any revisions to the questionnaire responses; formatting here follows the formatting of the questionnaires as closely as possible to how they were submitted)

_________________________________________________________

Name William S. White

Address 1568 W. Hazlehurst, Ferndale, Michigan, 48220

www.wswhite.com – bill@wswhite.com

How long have you lived in Ferndale? 27 years

Describe your community involvement.  I am a member of the Ferndale elks, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 130 – Endorsement of the executive board. Through my membership in local organizations we help the person in need, handicap, veterans, youth, and anyone who needs our help. 

How the demographics of Ferndale changed in the last 20 years have and what implications does this have for the City Council in the next 5 years?  Ferndale has become a very diverse city and the council will need to keep up with all factors, such as; age, race, sex, economic status, level of education, income level, and employment.

What role do Boards and Commissions play in Ferndale’s Government?  How should members be recruited/screened? I think the www.OnBoardMI.org is very good for people to get involved in the city programs. The boards and commissions help the council to better know more things that are happing in the city and are well needed.

Why did you decide to run for City Council?  What has prepared you to hold a City Council seat? I’ve decided to run for city council because I am retired and I have time to invest to the city of Ferndale. I have owned a business for over 30 years and lived in Ferndale for 27 years.

What is the most productive relationship between Council and the City Manager? To see that we are both working for the best things for the residents.

When there is disagreement on any issue among members of the City Council what is the responsibility of each individual Council member? To look at what is the best for the resident’s interest.

Explain the type of development that you see as most beneficial to the Downtown area.
Restaurants, you can come to Ferndale and get almost any cuisine.

What specific ideas do you have for reducing expenditures while maintaining city services?
The Police, Fire and DPW are very important to me and the city.  I fell there should not be any reductions in services they should be in other areas first.

Please give your opinion of the MiLife Health & Wellness Center. Great Idea!!!

_________________________________________________________

Name: Raylon Leaks-May

Address: 1655 W. Saratoga, Ferndale, MI 48220

Phone and/or email where citizens can reach you:
248-953-3525; Raylon4Ferndale@gmail.com

How long have you lived in Ferndale?
25 years

Describe your community involvement.
I am completing my third year of a four-year term on the Ferndale School Board. I have also been involved with Citizens for a Fair Ferndale, especially the Ferndale Good Neighbors Civility Pledge, as well as the Ferndale Education Foundation, Grant PTO Treasurer and Headstart Family and Policy Committees.

How have the demographics of Ferndale changed in the last 20 years and what implication does this have for the City Council in the next 5 years?
Between 2000 and 2010, Ferndale’s population decreased, and the number of family households with children has shrunk, while adult households appear to be on the rise. That may mean a shift in the needs or desires of residents, to which the City must pay attention. To the extent that children and young people are critical to maintaining a healthy, balanced population, the City may consider developing plans to attract and retain new families with children to our community.

What role do Boards and Commissions play in Ferndale’s Government?  How should members be recruited/screened?
Boards and Commissions provide an opportunity for direct community participation in the functioning of our city government. Through these bodies, residents can advise Council regarding important policy decisions, more efficiently and transparently than if Council and City staff alone did all the work. On City Council, I will seek to broaden the way in which openings are announced to the public, including discussion at Council meetings, the City’s quarterly newsletter, and online resources. Screening should include balancing professional qualifications with knowledge and within community. 

Why did you decide to run for City Council?  What has prepared you to hold a City Council seat?
I realized that I could bring a different experience and perspective to Council that is not currently represented. I am a mother and an African-American woman. And while I admire and respect our current council, I bring a voice that is not currently at the Council table. In addition, I am qualified by my leadership and governance experience, especially my recent role in the Ferndale School Strategic Planning.

What is the most productive relationship between Council and the City Manager?
Council and the City Manager must have a strong, collaborative relationship. Communication and mutual respect are essential.

When there is disagreement on any issue among members of the City Council what is the responsibility of each individual Council member?
Each Council member must be open to listening to one another and discuss difficult issues in a constructive fashion. Listening to another perspective may make a Council member think of an issue in a way they have never thought of it before. Opposing opinions are worthy of respect, and Council members should agree to disagree when consensus cannot be reached.

Explain the type of development that you see as most beneficial to the Downtown area.
Mixed use development that for provides for a variety of retail, residential space, family style dining, and parking. I am especially interested in attracting retail that residents currently must leave the City to shop for. When our businesses thrive, our community thrives.

What specific ideas do you have for reducing expenditures while maintaining city services?
One simple measure would be, as City equipment is replaced over time in the normal course of business (for example, City vehicles and electronics and appliances in City buildings), they would be replaced with affordable energy efficient equipment. Energy reduction would result in lower operating costs.

Please give your opinion of the MiLife Health & Wellness Center.
I appreciate that the Center exists to provide preventative care at a lower cost to the City – no cost to the employees. I am interested to learn more about whether this impacts City employees’ medical coverage for more serious illnesses not addressed by the Center.

_________________________________________________________

Name Dan Martin

Address 1447 W. Hazelhurst St.  Ferndale MI 48220

Phone and/or email where citizens can reach you 248-672-4067; dan.martin72@yahoo.com

How long have you lived in Ferndale? 11 Years

Describe your community involvement: I have been engaged in the community in a number of ways, including:

  • Mayor Pro-Tem; City of Ferndale; Present
  • Ferndale City Council; 2011- Present
  • President, Ferndale Community Foundation
  • Board Member, Ferndale Youth Assistance
  • Democratic Precinct Delegate, Ferndale MI
  • Member, Ferndale Elks
  • Alt. Board Member, DDA Board of Directors
  • Past President, Ferndale Housing Commission
  • Past President, Ferndale Area Democratic Club
  • Past Vice-President Ferndale Arts and Culture Commission
  • Past President, Michigan AIDS Coalition Board of Directors
  • Other Volunteer Activities: Ferndale DDA, Ferndale Good Neighbors Awards, FernCare Free Clinic, Clean the Ferndale Up, Ferndale Pride, Pub Crawl, Blues Festival and Goodfellows.

How have the demographics of Ferndale changed in the last 20 years and what implications does this have for the City Council in the next 5 years?

The demographic trends over the past 20 years has seen a reduction in the number of children living in Ferndale, contributing to lower enrollment in our school system.   Our population has continued to diversify, both in terms of age, race, familial status all of when requires different housing needs.  In the next 5 years, Ferndale should focus on a housing strategy that reflects this.  It is important to increase the diversity in our housing stock, having more housing options will be important to attract people.  We also should look at our policies to support people who want to  “age in place”, which requires modifications to homes they are already living in.  This applies to both our planning and how we do business with residents and developers.

What role do Boards and Commissions play in Ferndale’s Government?  How should members be recruited/screened?  In my view the role of Boards and Commissions is to add a diverse voice to the work of the community.  People from varying backgrounds and talents can use these groups to connect with work they are passionate about and are also excellent opportunities for residents to get familiar with City Government and possibly deepening their involvement through one of the elected bodies.

Why did you decide to run for City Council?  What has prepared you to hold a City Council seat?

The last four years serving on City Council has really been an amazing experience and I have enjoyed it.  It certainly hasn’t always been easy or flawless but I am proud of what we have accomplished, that I have been able to help develop and work with a team who I respect and appreciate, even when we are at odds on an issue. I do not feel my work is done on Council and that is why I am running for re-election.  I am prepared to hold this seat because I have done so for the past term.

Previous to serving on Council my experience in the private industry and education, as well as a deep involvement in community work was a very valuable place to grow into being an effective Councilperson.

What is the most productive relationship between Council and the City Manager?

City Council is the policy making body for the City.  In our local form of government the City Manager is responsible for the execution of those policies.  The advantage of our current form of government the City Manager is professionally educated and experienced, so that she can bring options and proposals for the City Council to respond to.  The City Manager is also responsible for the hiring and development of city employees, so having a City Manager who has that professional background is essential.  The Council should give the City Manager consistent feedback on her and staff’s performance, and hold the City Manager accountable for delivery of those priorities.

When there is disagreement on any issue among members of the City Council what is the responsibility of each individual Council member?

There are a number of responsibilities.  First and foremost is to act in accordance with your values and representing your constituents.  Second is to be honest about your convictions and why you have arrived at the decision you have.  Third, is to work in an open manner to see the views of your fellow Councilpeople and respectfully dialogue an appropriate course of action.  Perhaps there isn’t one and the issue dies, but never is it appropriate to shut down, be belligerent or disrespectful.   Our local government works as well as it does because relationships are based on mutual respect and openness to other points of view.  There are disagreements but we have always been able to work together and be honest with each other.

Explain the type of development that you see as most beneficial to the Downtown area.

Mixed use, increasing our residential and retail development.  The strength of a city is in the diversity of its housing and the downtown area could benefit from more options.  I also believe future development should be within the character of the city and respectful of our historical value.  Many people sometimes refer to us as the next “Royal Oak”.  There is nothing wrong with Royal Oak being Royal Oak, but that is not us. I am looking forward to some really creative solutions that includes deeply embedded resident engagement.

What specific ideas do you have for reducing expenditures while maintaining city services?

Investing in technology that makes transactions cheaper and easier for the residents has been a key focus of mine and will ultimately reduce expenditures. I also believe cultivating the talent have in house will allow us to do more without hiring consultants or outsourcing services, creating more innovative solutions will reduce overall expenditures while improving services.  The recent dog park construction is a great example of this.  The recent bond proposal that passed improving infrastructure will keep ongoing maintenance costs in check.

I also am a great advocate of multi-year budgeting practices that allow the City to plan for investment that creates a long term trend of expenditure reduction.

Lastly, it is the role of City Council to use its judgement on expenditures, do their homework and exercise responsible stewardship for the resources we’ve been entrusted.

Please give your opinion of the MiLife Health & Wellness Center.

I have two arguments that shape my opinion of the MILife Health and Wellness Center.  First and foremost I want to point out that as this issue came to Council I asked a lot of questions, but ultimately abstained from voting so as to not give the appearance of a conflict of interest with my “day job”, at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

First, the argument for the Center; it will save the City money in the short term.  Unquestionably for both our employees and our health care expenditures.  As a self-funded customer of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ferndale pays the actual cost of the service delivered by participating providers, plus service fees for processing the claim.  Employing a physician directly or contractually will be cheaper on a per service basis.  Also, I like this concept because it took multiple municipalities working together to make it happen, and that’s great collaboration.  Lastly, the at work health initiatives are great and support lifestyle change if used in conjunction with a comprehensive care plan.

My concerns around it is that there should a removal of the mindset that chronic conditions can be treated in a vacuum. A medical home is a team of health care providers addressing diseases in a multi-faceted way.  A diabetic, for example, gets better care from multiple disciplined sources including doctors specializing in treating the physical aspects of the disease, behavioral health services, nutritional coaching, etc.  The quality of care and outcomes is just better.

This proposal was presented before Council as a medical home.  It is not.  I have no objection to getting quick service at a low price for treatments such as a sinus infection or a sprained ankle, but I worry that the reduction in patent out of pocket costs will motivate employees away from a coordinated team approach for chronic conditions or prohibiting them from establishing a relationship with a primary care / family physician that truly belongs to a system that offers a spectrum of coordination.  It will also be cheaper from an expense perspective in the long term if degenerative conditions have a continual multi-disciplinary approach.

I want to re-iterate that I will continue to abstain from any vote that appears to be a conflict of interest.  I also want to be respectful of the question asked here and be as transparent as possible.  So to summarize a really long explanation of my personal opinion, if used properly and in context the Center is a great idea.  It does not replace the quality of care received for chronic conditions that require long term, coordinated care.

2016 Good Neighbor Awards – NOMINATIONS DUE MARCH 1

Citizens for a Fair Ferndale announces the call for nominations for the 2015 Good Neighbor = Strong Community awards.  Celebrating the ongoing efforts of those who live, work and attend school in Ferndale who value the fair and equal treatment of others and are engaged in making this happen on a daily basis, the Good Neighbor = Strong Community Awards program identifies and honors individuals, organizations and businesses in our community who are outstanding examples of “good neighbors”.  

Examples of previous honorees include diverse individuals, organizations and businesses which have coordinated and planned picnics, festivals, and events in the community; promoted volunteerism; created inclusive, welcoming environments in their businesses; collaborated on art projects that celebrate diversity; tutored foreign-born Americans; sheltered the homeless; creatively overcame personal challenges while striving to help others; established book club networks; spoken out against injustice in our community.

Citizens for a Fair Ferndale will hold a special event in early May to present the awards for 2015. Nominations are now open, and CFF invites the community to celebrate a “good neighbor” – someone who is committed to building, preserving, maintaining and improving the quality of life in their neighborhoods and our community.

Nomination Forms must be received by Friday, March 4, 2016 through online submission, or post mail to Citizens for a Fair Ferndale, 263 Vester, Ferndale, MI 48220.  For questions or media inquiries contact Kat Bruner James at (248) 515-7803.