NOTE-6-LONG TERM DEBTThe accompanying Schedule of Long-Term Debt (09) provides a listing of the outstanding debt of the City of Ferndale and summarizes the City of Ferndale’s debt transactions for 2010. Debt service requirements including interest are as follows: | |||||||

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Year(s) | General Obligation Bonds | Revenue Bonds | Other Debt | Total Debt | |||

2010 | $391,078 | $1,063,048 | $372,702 | $1,826,828 | |||

2011 | 788,110 | 1,065,506 | 350,518 | 2,204,134 | |||

2012 | 779,747 | 1,076,540 | 346,022 | 2,202,309 | |||

2013 | 779,633 | 1,095,675 | 341,527 | 2,216,835 | |||

2014 | 707,581 | 1,115,747 | 149,531 | 1,972,859 | |||

2015-2019 | 3,089,007 | 3,060,841 | 700,856 | 6,850,704 | |||

2020-2024 | 2,867,463 | 0 | 622,455 | 3,489,918 | |||

2025-2029 | 2,489,605 | 0 | 210,792 | 2,700,397 | |||

2030-2034 | 361,362 | 0 | 0 | 361,362 | |||

Total Debt Service | $12,253,586 | $8,477,357 | $3,094,403 | $23,825,346 | |||

Some of you may remember I posted a letter to the editor of the Ferndale Record Journal describing my dissatisfaction with the debt position that the current Mayor has gotten the City in, and laying out exactly how bad a position he has put us in as a community.

You may also remember the City Finance Director responding to the letter I submitted, in the Ferndale Record Journal the next week. He claimed that I did not have my numbers or my facts correct, despite explaining that the number that I used was in fact correct.

I would like to start by directing your attention to the data I used. This chart is from the City’s website, from the finance department, and represents what the total debt is in the community in 2010. These totals include principle and interest payments. The reason I choose to use these is that they represent the true cost to the residents of Ferndale, for the projects Mayor Jensen has done. The number in red is the number I quoted to show exactly how large a liability the current Mayor has put the City of Ferndale in.

If you would like to look at the City’s documents further the link is here http://www.cityofferndale.org/finance/annualReports/2010AnnualReport/2010AFRstatementF3.pdf on page 7.

I would also like to frame this number so that you all have a chance to see how it affects you directly. This next part is going to involve some mathematics, but if you stick with me I promise it is worth it and you will understand how this debt affects your pocket book.

According to Ferndale Finance Director Mark Peterson the Long term Debt service is at $23,825,346 for the end of 2010. According to the 2010 US Census the population of Ferndale is 11,415. So simply put every man, women, and child in the City of Ferndale is on the hook for $2087.20 ($23 million/population) for the cities Debt. But wait!!! Not every man women and child pay taxes and fees. It’s time to adjust the number to reflect how much those who are paying for the debt owe.

To get the population we are looking for we need to subtract out children who do not pay taxes. We start with the total population (11,415) and subtract children 0-19 years old (3664). We get 7751 people, but the City assumes a repayment window on the debt of 25 years. That means that people who are 70+ may not be around to pay the bill over the 25 years we need to pay the debt off. If we start with 7751 taxpayers and subtract the people who will no longer be with us for the next 25 years who are currently 70+ years old (849) we get 6902 taxpayers over the 25 year window. Our new adjusted number is $3,451.95, and since the repayment window is 25 years, this means that

**every year each taxpayer, in Ferndale, is on the hook for $138.07 for the next 25 years**(assuming no new projects) just to service the long term debt.Did anyone ask you if you are willing to pay $138.07 extra per year to the City for the next 25 years to service community debt? The answer is an overwhelming no. You were probably not even told how much it would cost. You were not asked your opinion, the Mayor simply asked the council to approve his debt request and you are left paying the bill for the next 25 years, long after the Mayor is gone.

If anyone wants to crunch the numbers on their own they are more than welcome to. Here is the link to the population info http://data.spokesman.com/census/2010/washington/cities/ferndale-wa/ . If you want to analyze the numbers yourself differently than I choose to I invite you to. This can be an immensely complicated calculation, so I hope my data gives you a good starting point. Enjoy the new info.

I am extremely satisfied to see that my comments promoted discussion about the state of the City’s finances. But talk will only get us nowhere without action. The big issues in this campaign will not be how the future Mayor will spend borrowed money and how he will put residents of Ferndale into more debt, but how the future Mayor will pay for the debt the current Mayor has accumulated. One of the defining issues concerning this campaign is who the community trusts to solve these problems.

Put your faith in Norbert Rojsza and you won’t be disappointed.