Following a six-month appointment, the Resident-led Facilities Task Force presented their final report at a special meeting of the Ferndale City Council on October 17, 2022.
The Task Force's primary mission was to make consensus recommendations for prioritizing government facility capital investments based on the objective data listed in the 2021 Facilities Condition Assessment (FCA), empirical data from site tours, and feedback from staff and subject matter experts—all balanced against budget constraints and abilities.
City Council unanimously approved a Resolution to create the Task Force in January 2022. They issued an open application process to assemble an impartial group of nine citizens selected to represent a diversity of perspectives based on personal and professional experiences. City Council unanimously confirmed the Task Force on February 14, 2022. Members included residents with skills and experience ranging from construction, architecture, and engineering to real estate, finance, and prior government volunteerism.
After concluding their process—which included eight meetings, more than 13 hours of facility tours, and extensive factfinding and discussion—the group prepared a long-term plan that prioritizes facility improvements for essential government services. They considered and evaluated facility issues that impact employee health and welfare, disparities between male/female facilities, FCA-forecasted budget needs for each facility, accessibility standards, and climate and sustainability impacts.
Facilities Task Force Chair Donnie Johnson and Mayor Melanie Piana both referred to the report as "opening the door," explaining that next steps would include comprehensive community engagement and further discovery by City Council and staff. The report is regarded as a roadmap that can be followed by current and future City Councils to ensure investment and prioritization for City facilities going forward.