By Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville
It is a great honor to serve you as the Mayor of Bellingham. My first six
months in office have been an incredible time of learning, connecting with
people inside and outside city government, focusing on priorities and taking
action on top community needs and interests.
I have a passion for fostering effective, accountable government and
forming strong partnerships to deliver quality public services. As mayor, I
have engaged Bellingham City Council members, community members, city
employees and elected officials and peers at other agencies in promoting a
culture of respect and responsibility.
I am happy to report that, together, we are making significant progress
in key areas. When I took office I promised to deliver on the following top
Progress on priorities
- Ensuring cost-effective and unified emergency medical services. I
worked closely with County Executive Jack Louws, Bellingham Fire Chief
Bill Boyd and others to develop an EMS plan that was unanimously
approved by both the City and County Councils in early June. It was a
pleasure to work with this team to develop a unified approach.
- Moving our waterfront redevelopment project forward to provide clean
up, public access and jobs. This spring, the city and the Port of
Bellingham held their first joint meeting in years, and we have
committed to delivering key documents to the Planning Commission in Fall
- Protecting Lake Whatcom and our ability to deliver safe drinking
water in an efficient, affordable manner. We are developing a joint
strategic plan with the county and the Lake Whatcom Sewer and Water
- Suspending the traffic-safety cameras program to honor the public's
wishes. I recommended and the city council approved a plan to suspend
the "red-light camera" program.
- Collaborating with the Bellingham City Council to develop our
city goals, balance our budget and live within our means while
delivering essential city services to the residents of Bellingham.
- Strengthening all our relationships so we can address these and many
other community priorities.
Pride in city services
Working together takes time, focus and staff commitment, and I’m proud of
the great progress we have made while also serving more than 80,000
The City of Bellingham has an excellent staff, and I have been pleased to
see the great enthusiasm they have for making Bellingham the best it can be.
Due to budget shortfalls in recent years, we have fewer people to accomplish
an increasing demand for services. City employees' commitment to serving
their community despite this challenge makes me prouder than ever to lead
this hard-working, dedicated team.
We have more work ahead to make sure we have enough resources in the
future to provide basic essential services, even though our economy appears
to be stabilizing. We continue to refine priorities and streamline costs as
we prepare budgets for 2013 and beyond. I hope you will follow the budget
process this fall and provide feedback to me and the City Council about
which city services are most important to you.
Coming up next
I also will be focused in the coming months on:
- Presenting a proposed 2013 city budget to City Council and the
community that reduces our city deficit, adequately funds our core
services and is sustainable into the future.
- Proposing strategies to support and retain existing businesses
and attract new companies to Bellingham.
- Communicating to the public on the regulatory process of the
Gateway Pacific Terminal project to ensure the public knows when and
where they can be involved.
I love being your Mayor and appreciate hearing your thoughts about how we
are doing. If you have questions or comments, please contact me at 778-8100
Kelli Linville was elected in November 2011 to serve a four-year term
as Mayor of Bellingham. She took office January 1, 2012.