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Shakeup on Woodinville Fire Board

O'Dell resigns, Eddy sworn in, Chair Dickson voted out

fire board shakeup by Al Hooper
WOODINVILLE--Unexpected actions at the Woodinville Fire and Life District board meeting last week resulted in the resignation of one commissioner, immediate appointment of a new commissioner in his place, and the surprise replacement of the commission chair.
   The newly-constituted board then struck the Citizen Advisory Committee portion permanently from the agenda.
   Moments after Commission Chair Sue Dickson finished reading a resignation letter from Commissioner Jim O'Dell, Commissioner Dave Callon nominated Don Eddy to fill the vacancy, and Commissioner Don Leggett seconded the motion.
   Dickson objected to the "hasty action."
   "I think we should give the public a chance to submit their views, and solicit resumés from those who might want to serve," Dickson protested. "I really don't think that the public interest is best served by appointing a new commissioner after considering only one candidate for the position for just a few minutes," she said.
   But Callon and Leggett called for the question, and Eddy was voted in by a margin of 2-1. Commissioner Ben May was not present.
   Eddy was immediately sworn in by Clark Snure, the district's attorney, who is also a Notary Public and legally allowed to swear in a public servant.
   As newly-appointed Commissioner Eddy was seating himself at the main table, Dickson, who had previously noted for the record that she needed to take care of a family emergency, left the meeting.
   Following Dickson's exit, Callon made a motion that Dickson be removed as Commission Chair and that Leggett replace her. Eddy seconded the motion; there was no discussion, and the motion passed 3-0.

Reasons for the changes
   Callon and Leggett talked about their reasons for selecting Eddy to fill the position without interviewing other candidates.
   "I've known Mr. Eddy for several months, and have come to believe that he is both a conscientious member of the community and an astute businessman," Leggett said. "He is a manager with leadership skills that will benefit the commission, and he has the time available to accept duties over and above the regular commissioner's meetings. That level of involvement is critical to the success of both the board and the district. I'm happy to have him with us."
   Callon, who says he has known Eddy for about a year-and-a-half, added that he feels Eddy has shown a great deal of commitment to the community.
   "I think that he's intelligent, independent, and a caring individual," Callon said. "These qualities are what we need on the board, so we are fortunate to be able to have Don with us."
   Callon said an obligation to the business of the fire district drove the decision to appoint Eddy without waiting for a later date.
   "We needed to move quickly to ensure that we could conduct the district's business in a timely manner, and I don't think that we'll regret getting him on board so quickly," Callon said.
   Eddy will serve until the next available commissioner election, which is fall of 1997.
   Commissioner Ben May could not be reached for comment about the board's actions.

CAC struck from agenda
   Commissioner Callon also moved to permanently remove the Citizen Advisory Committee from the agenda for all future board meetings, with Eddy seconding.
   During discussion of the motion, Callon, Eddy, and Leggett all said they felt the CAC could just as easily speak during the public comments section of the agenda.
   Eddy noted that "the CAC wasn't meeting that often, anyway."
   Mary Baum, chair of the CAC, said she is confused and slightly uncertain of the meaning of the board's action.
   "We're not sure why the commissioners would want to remove us from the agenda, but we will continue to represent the interests of the public as best as we can," she said.
   Baum was not at the meeting, having been told there would not be a quorum, she said.
   The Board of Fire Commissioners meets the first and third Mondays of each month in the training room at the District headquarters, 19900 144th Ave. NE, Woodinville. The district telephone number is 483-2131.

Jeff Switzer contributed to this report.