WF&R still looking to fill fifth board position

  • Written by Don Mann
If any citizens have a burning desire to become a Woodinville fire commissioner, they’re certainly not showing it.

According to WF&R Board Secretary Margene Michael, nary an application has been filed to replace Gerry Vucci, who resigned from his post about a month ago due to a professional relocation.

The deadline is September 19, but Michaels is not worried.

“Last time I got all the applications on deadline day,” she said, referring to the process that led to the selection of Jim Dorney, over three other candidates, to replace Bob Miller about six months ago.

At its September 4 meeting only three commissioners were seated with Kevin Coughlin on vacation, as Interim Fire Chief Mark Chubb reported on recent fire district activity, reading from a prepared statement.

“Last Tuesday Commissioner Dorney, CAO (Joan) Montegary, Borad Secretary Michael and I met with Steve Anderson, Bothell assistant city manager, Bill Wiselogle, community development director and Fire Chief Bob Van Horn  to continue discussion regarding the city’s (Bothell’s) proposed interlocal agreement for portions of the (Woodinville) district.”

He said the Bothell group made it clear that their fiscal outlook precludes them from providing long term guarantees regarding the continued employment of displaced district personnel.

“The city indicated it was prepared to staff Station 34 following the annexation but could not guarantee it could retain displaced staff to provide the service,” he said.

He shared that Bothell officials confirmed a discussion with King County officials which suggested reluctance on the county’s part to proceed with annexation without a formal agreement between Bothell and the Woodinville district.

Chubb added that, according to Bothell, if an interlocal agreement is not considered by the county before it enters its pending budget deliberations, it is unlikely to be concluded prior to Dec.31, 2012, as originally proposed.

He said the parties adjourned their meeting agreeing to continue reviewing options to maintain service to the affected areas in the short term, while seeking long term solutions that will secure protection and avoid or minimize (district) employment impacts.

Another meeting will be scheduled in the near future to continue exploring options, he said, before asking Commissioner Dorney to “chime in.”

Said Dorney: “I guess my comment … with no false hopes … is that I felt better after that meeting than most meetings I’ve attended thus far in my short tenure. But we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Felt better how, WF&R board chair Tim Osgood asked.

“Better in that ideas were thrown on the table and we’re not immediately dismissed,” Dorney said.

Chubb went on with some statistical performance data for the month of August: The district responded to 271 calls, with EMS responding to 71 percent of them, 22 percent of which were directed to the Creekside and Brittany Park retirement communities.

There were nine separate fire incidents, two of which resulted in a combined loss of $56,000 in property including the boardwalk fire in Rotary Park and a dumpster fire at a commercial property which extended to an exterior wall and roof.

The average turnout time for EMS incidents was 1:29, while the average turn out time for fire incidents was 2:09, Chubb said.

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