Citizens deserve answers
Last night's Fire Commissioners' meeting rendered me speechless. Actually, there were many in the crowded firehouse who showed up in support of Chief Jim Davis who were rendered speechless, as "public input" was limited to 15 minutes.
("Comments only!" the commissioners warned us, as they were not going to respond to any questions.)
Friends and colleagues spoke of Chief Davis's exemplary record, of his achievements and awards for both himself and the fire district, and of his integrity and of his dedication to his family and to the community of Woodinville for the past 14 years.
But in the end, it didn't matter if we were given 15 minutes or 15 days. After the short time allotted for "input," Commissioner May read a previously-written acceptance of Chief Davis' resignation.
Why would the commissioners want to force such a highly acclaimed Fire Chief to resign? Why would this be in the best interest of us, the citizens of Woodinville, whom the commissioners are supposedly representing?
Jim and Michelle Davis have given so much of themselves to the community, why would it behoove us to run them out of town? The only answer we were given was that "They (the commissioners) felt it was time for a change."
You may be aware that the commissioners have already disbanded the Fire District Citizens Advisory Council. I was unaware until last night that they also had passed a resolution amongst themselves that they needn't respond to public input. They, for some reason, no longer feel accountable to the public for their actions and decisions.
Excuse me, but aren't they all public officials, voted in by the electorate, and supported by the taxpayers? (And that includes the attorney the commissioners had sitting at the end of their table last night. I'm sure we're paying him BIG bucks!)
The only tool we seem to be left with to make our opinion heard is the vote. Unfortunately, the commissioners serve 6-year terms, which is more than enough time to push through whatever private agenda they may have. After watching them ignore the public outcry last night, it's obviously not the community's agenda they're concerned with.
Chief Jim Davis and his family will be sorely missed by this community. Having lived in Woodinville myself the past 14 years, I can attest to the fact that it's people like Jim and Michelle that have made this community the place I'm proud to call home.
Chief Davis in no way deserved this type of treatment. We, the citizens who elected this board of commissioners, deserve answers ... and we demand to be heard.
Deborah L. Crawford, Woodinville