The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Guest Editorial

Answering questions about the Fire Board

Fire Commissioner responds by David Callon, Woodinville Fire Commissioner
I appreciate the interest of all concerned citizens. Let me respond to some recent questions. As a Fire Commissioner, I am willing to discuss, with any taxpayer, issues about the Fire Department or decisions made by the board.
   We have made several changes in 1996, and in my opinion, saved thousands of dollars while maintaining the highest standards. Sometimes change can be difficult and we are dealing with some difficult issues, but there is no question that we are and will be a better Fire Department.
  1. Commissioner Don Eddy was appointed to fill a vacant seat by a majority vote of the board. This is the same way the most recent commissioner was appointed. This is a requirement by state law. Don Eddy is well qualified and has already contributed to the board.
  2. A new chairperson was appointed because our current chairperson had not appointed a vice-chair as required by our rules. When she left the meeting after 10 minutes due to a personal emergency, no one was left to chair the meeting. I do not believe our Fire Department can be paralyzed by the actions of any one commissioner. She will be leaving soon and we would have needed to appoint a new chair.
  3. The Citizens Advisory Committee is still in existence. It is being restructured due to several problems: Only a small core group knew of meeting times, dates, etc.; on our internal and external surveys, employees and taxpayers complained. I believe we should allow all citizens to give input, not just a selected few.
  4. We asked our attorney to explain the requirements of the Bond Issue. He told us that the explanation should come from the attorney that wrote the Bond Issue because it was too complicated. We asked the bond attorney to explain what the requirements are of the bond issues so the new board members could also understand and make wise legal decisions.
   There are still areas in need of improvement in regards to fiscal responsibility, and I am committed to keeping this a priority. My committment is still to be the taxpayers' watchdog.