February 05 2024

Reflections and Resolutions: 2023-2024

This holiday season, we'd like to recognize our incredible City departments and community members and highlight major accomplishments of 2023, along with resolutions for 2024—and how the public can help achieve these goals!

Special Events Department: This year, over 225 dedicated volunteers were responsible for the most widely-attended events of the City: Ferndale Pride, the Woodward Dream Cruise, the DIY Street Fair and Funky Ferndale Art Fair, Juneteenth, and about twenty others. Thank you to all of our volunteers! It's in the title: our special events make us special, and we're so grateful to our Special Events Director and community members for their passion and dedication. If you haven't attended an event in Ferndale yet, make that a goal for 2024! We'd love to have you.

Downtown Development Authority: Not only do they play host and offer support to the events mentioned above, but they are the backbone of our business community, and the driving force behind making Ferndale an amazing place to shop, dine, and enjoy. Of course, Downtown Ferndale wouldn't exist without our business community, which we are immensely grateful for. Your talent and uniqueness are one-of-a-kind and we love having you a part of our City. Shop and dine locally this holiday season! And be sure to make a list and check it twice for all the businesses you'll be visiting in 2024.

Parks and Recreation: The Parks and Recreation Department always seems to always bring the sunshine no matter the time of year. That's one of the great things about them: they bring us the most amount of fun they can in every season. They make it look easy, but we know there's a lot going into the many events they host every year, like the Fall Festival, Daddy Daughter Dance, Gravity Art Fair and Skate Contest, Eggstravaganza, and a brand new event held last weekend, Santa at Schiffer. This year, the Parks and Rec team also welcomed 654 sports registrations, 443 summer camp enrollments, and 77 senior group memberships. All of these activities can be found on their Amilia portal, so be sure to check out an event next year or volunteer your time if you can. Of course, that's just the "rec" side. There's also so much that goes into maintaining and developing parks, like grant writing, which is a super tedious process. This year, Parks and Rec raised $2,409,832 in grant funding, along with $8,550 in sponsorships, and $253 in community donations! We're super proud of them and all of their accomplishments, and we're looking forward to continued improvements toward Martin Road Park and Wilson Park in 2024. We're grateful for their time and effort in making Ferndale a fun place to enjoy.

City Clerk's Office: The City Clerk's Office is always on the job, whether it be processing ballots and applications for the upcoming election, attending hours of rigorous training, submitting licensing and other important paperwork, facilitating boards and commissions operations, and so much more. They processed over 4,000 total votes in the November General Election—3,450 of which were absentee ballots. They also oversaw the training and implementation of 46 election workers, who the City is so grateful for. They also welcomed a newly promoted City Clerk and Deputy City Clerk to the team, so this was the first time they all worked together for an election. Their vast knowledge of the inner workings of Ferndale makes them a crucial part of the scope of the City. If you'd like to get more involved with the City's election process, consider becoming an election worker. Learn more at bit.ly/41nnX8D. There are also spots open on our various boards and commissions, which can be found at bit.ly/482zaxv. All other voting information can be found at mi.gov/vote.

Community and Economic Development: This year, the Community and Economic Development Department (CED) helped collaborate and facilitate many incredible sustainability achievements, like diverting 172,537 pounds of waste and recycling 420 pounds of batteries. Additionally, the City welcomed 698 new participants to the residential compost program and 705 to the No Mow May program. A lot of planning goes into these programs, and CED is happy to report that 89 of 152 action items in PlanFerndale, the City's Master Plan, have been completed and/or are in process. Additionally, three miles of bike lanes have also been added to the City. And lastly, the Building team issued 2,226 permits and completed 9,415 inspections. We're grateful for their incredible efforts in shaping, maintaining, and developing Ferndale. If you're interested in any of the programs mentioned above or other community developments, consider lending your voice and getting involved. Learn more at bit.ly/3txYltq.

Human Resources: We're very excited to report that in 2023, the City hired 18 new full-time employees, with 4 more beginning in 2024. We also promoted 8 employees, with 4 so far this year. If you or someone you know is looking for job opportunities, come work for the City! Check out ferndalemi.gov/jobs for up-to-date employment positions. One effort we're proud to highlight is the City's participation in Project Positivity—an initiative that highlights staff as they celebrate their annual employment anniversary. Staff writes positive things on the chalkboard about the designated staff member who will then take a picture in front of the board. However, they are not allowed to read the chalkboard until the photo is framed and presented to them on their anniversary. We're grateful for these thoughtful initiatives that bring Team Ferndale closer together.