The Edwards Agency



Woodinville Fire Commissioners owe community an explanation

explanation owed to community The recent actions on the part of two Woodinville Fire and Life Safety District Commissioners need explanation.
   In one evening, on June 24, the Board Chair was replaced without her knowledge; a new commissioner was, without opportunity for public comment, elected and sworn in on the heels of another's resignation; and the Citizens Advisory Committee, a group involved in fire district affairs for many years, was summarily declared a non-player.
   This was only one meeting, one example of the commissioners' apparent disregard of public process and of the will of the people who elected them. There have been other questions about their actions--in particular, their proposal not to follow the intent of the $3.9 million bond issue approved by voters to build two new fire stations.
   At a second meeting, before a packed audience, citizens asked these questions, and asked also why such haste in decision-making was needed, and why the community was ignored in the process. The fire commissioners (except for ex-Chair Susan Dickson) would not answer.
   Elected officials have a responsibility to explain their actions to their constituents. If there are good reasons for these actions, the voters deserve to know them, rather than being met by a stone wall of silence.
   With no clear answer, there is considerable conjecture. The commissioners need to set the record straight now with the public. The Woodinville Fire Commissioners are acting like Big Brother: "Voters can express their opinions, but we know what's best."
   The board only last week adopted a series of principles to guide their governance. They would do well to read them again.