Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood formally launched his campaign for reelection in an announcement on May 16.
“I am ready and enthusiastic to continue this work,” Fleetwood said in a news release. “It has been my honor and privilege to serve you during these recent challenging years.”
Fleetwood’s first term started under unprecedented circumstances. He declared an emergency in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Decaying social conditions in the city’s downtown, brought on by the pandemic and a surge in fentanyl use, prompted Fleetwood to request a $1 million investment in downtown safety, with an ambassador program and a 24-hour security team.
Work to improve a sense of safety downtown continues. The mayor is convening a downtown solutions workgroup, with members representing a range of interests.
The workgroup’s goal, Fleetwood said, was to “help people in need and bring more people back to downtown.”
Fleetwood didn’t meet all of his goals in his first term. He decided in June 2022 to withdraw his proposal to place a property tax on the ballot for a climate action fund.
“I continue to believe that a climate action fund, funded by some means, is an important component that allows us to make greater progress on climate action,” Fleetwood said May 16 in an interview. “By what means we fund in the future climate action fund is an open question and very much under review.”
Fleetwood is a Bellingham native who served two terms each on the Whatcom County Council and the Bellingham City Council, from 2002 to 2013.
As of 3:30 p.m. on May 16, two candidates had filed to appear on the ballot for the Bellingham mayor’s race: Fleetwood and Kim Lund, a nonprofit leader who announced her candidacy in March.
Three other names appear in state Public Disclosure Commission filings as candidates for Bellingham mayor: Chris McCoy, Mike McAuley and Joel Johnson. They will need to file with the county auditor by Friday, May 19 to appear on the August primary ballot.