The Edwards Agency

Local News

Fire chief's future uncertain

Board appoints new commissioner, adopts new citizen group

Don Eddy

Frank Peep

Don Eddy.

Frank Peep.

fire department Following the executive session at the Woodinville Fire and Life Safety District's board meeting last Monday, the board moved and adopted an addendum to Chief Jim Davis's contract, which was not made available by press time. It is uncertain, but purported that Davis will leave the district as of September 15.
   The board of fire commissioners appointed a new fire commissioner, as well as adopting new guidelines for the renamed Citizen Advisory Council, and formed an ethics committee.
   Newly-appointed Fire Commissioner Frank Peep, 61, has lived in Woodinville for 29 years and has five sons and eight grandchildren. He was approached by Commissioner Callon, who had met him at a Republican party precinct committee meeting, and while Peep didn't express an interest as others have in serving on the board, he says he's glad to have the opportunity to give back to the community in this way.
   "I'm glad that I can be part of the mix," he said, "this is not a small operation here."
   Peep has served on the Chamber of Commerce board, is a past member of the Lions Club, and recently retired from five years at Boeing. The majority of his career, 20 years, was spent selling real estate in Woodinville.
   "We went through every resume and talked to as many people as we could," said Commissioner Ben May. "It was very tough to make this decision."
   Peep was individually interviewed by each of the commissioners on a separate occasion and was sworn in on Aug. 26.

Revised citizen council adopted
   The board adopted 5-0 the revised and renamed Woodinville Fire and Life Safety Citizen Advisory Council, with an amendment by Callon to not recognize any other citizen committee.
   "This is a working document," explained Commissioner Don Eddy, liaison to the CAC. "It's not meant to be written in blood."
   Commissioner Ben May said he feels the board will probably get better input from the revised group.
   "I think this is very, very good," he said. "It represents a departure from the way the citizen committee has been structured and directed in the past and simply is a different way of doing it."

'This is politics at its absolute worst'
   Mary Baum, spokesperson for the now-former CAC, said their counter-proposal to Commissioner Eddy's proposal was never looked at, and they were never called.
   "The whole committee doesn't make sense," Baum said, questioning the need for involvement by public utilities in passing a benefit service charge. "They've made no bones about what they want: a little dynasty. For the past 12 years, the whole committee was made up of people who cared about their neighbors and firefighters. We've fought against the commissioners, and we've fought against the firefighters when we thought it was important. This is politics at its absolute worst."
   Baum said the committee met last Tuesday and everybody was very discouraged, but they're not going to go away. "We care too much about this community," Baum added.

Other board business
   The board also created an ethics committee chaired by Commissioner May and consisting of J.B. Smith from Shoreline's Fire District; Dolly Costers; and Deputy Fire Chief Steve Smith.
   The board held two executive sessions to discuss personnel issues: the first lasting approximately 10 minutes, the second scheduled to take 45 minutes. The second session was at first between the commissioners and Fire District Attorney Clark Snure, joined shortly thereafter by Chief Jim Davis and his attorney.