Ferndale is a community where individuals can be who they are. I appreciate what people value about where they live, and how they want to live is changing. Ferndale has stayed ahead of its changing culture, acknowledging the values that our long-term residents hold dear, while paying attention to the needs of the next generation that move our community forward.

These are my accomplishments serving as your city council representative!

Sound Fiscal Management

Ferndale citizens have a clearer and more transparent plan how their tax dollars are funding essential programs and services.

How Life is Better:

  • Your tax rates are lower. City council decreased taxes by 2 mils for general government operations.

  • Your city services have been stable.  As a result of the big drop in housing prices after 2008, the city had much less money to work with but we reorganized and made our efforts more efficient and kept cuts to a minimum.

  • Your property values are higher. Because we were better at maintaining our services and quality of life during the crisis, Ferndale is an even more desirable place to live.

  • You can actually read the city budget. We made it easier-to-understand (2017-2018 Adopted Budget).

  • You can figure out what we need to do next. We developed a new city strategic plan and capital improvement plan that states the city’s priority investment areas for the next five years.

Accessible, Transparent and Easy to Use Services

In 2013, Melanie stated she would promote an open government and provide citizens and businesses the information they need, accessible and easily found online. Melanie knows information is critical for a fair and equitable government that works for everyone.

How Life is Better:

  • Property Tax Bill Guide. Tax bills are easier to read and you know what taxes are paying for what services. The city mails out the guide in the summer tax bills.

  • New City Website. In 2013, the city launched a more modern website and mobile phone responsive, making it easier to find important information and pay bills on any device. The site is always being updated with new information.

  • Pay Water Bills Online. Residents can now pay water bills from the City’s website, which is easier and more efficient.

  • Access City Council Meetings Wherever You Are. Follow along by viewing current or past meetings on your computer or mobile device. Or follow along with the council packet while watching the meeting.

A Business & Entrepreneurial Friendly Environment

Partnering to create opportunity for small business investment
to jobs and education and businesses to customers and talent

How Life is Better:

  • It is easier to open or expand a business. The city became a certified Redevelopment Ready Community, a program that signifies the city has clear and predictable processes to open or expand a business or development.

  • There are fewer empty businesses.  Because of the city’s economic development initiatives, we were able to lower industrial district building vacancy from 67% to 5% in five years.

  • A stronger network small business resources.  Melanie launched the Small Business Collaborative to better connect city, county and regional resources to help our commercial retailers.

Safer Streets & Making It Easier to Get Around Ferndale

I listened to residents who wanted more choices and options to get around the city. I heard from our seniors, parents and kids, people walking their dogs and people biking around town who want to feel safer using our streets. 

How Life is Better:

  • Complete Streets Ordinance (2010) – Melanie championed the city’s first Complete Streets ordinance that stated Ferndale’s streets are for all users. The ordinance was important to direct all city departments to plan and budget for upgrading streets, sidewalks and crossing to accommodate all users including bicycling and driving. It also stated the city must develop a non-motorized plan.

  • www.FerndaleMoves.com – The city engaged residents, the school district, and seniors how the streets canbe improved through a non-motorized plan.

  • Ferndale Streets Upgraded – Over 8 miles of streets upgraded with bike lanes, pedestrian crossing improvements, signage, signals. 

Connecting People and Businesses To Opportunities

Supporting regional transit investment to help businesses attract customers and workers can reach jobs in their communities, and both can reach the other services they need to thrive.
Melanie has been a strong supporter of regional transit investment.

How Life is Better:

  • Woodward Transit Task Force – Helped secure $2.5 million Investment for Woodward Avenue Transit Alternatives Analysis working with the 13 communities along Woodward

  • Car Sharing with ZipCar – Don’t want to own a car? Get around town using ZipCar! Melanie supported the launch of ZipCar in downtown Ferndale.

  • Regional Transit Millage – Although the regional transit millage failed by 1% of voters at the November ballot, the region took one step closer to solving its shared challenge of disconnected transit, Melanie believes the region moved closer than ever to its goal.