JANUARY 13, 1997

 The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Fire District needs 'Taxpayer's Watchcat'

Taxpayer's Watchcat What's going on with our Fire Department? It seems that for the last year, on an almost weekly basis, articles can be found in the Woodinville Weekly describing things that at first glance would appear difficult to believe.
   However, since the information comes not only from the "Letters to the Editor" portion of the paper but also from news articles and editorials, I believe there must be some truth in what is being stated.
   Recently, Commissioner Dave Callon gave an interview [Dec. 9, 1996] to the paper in which he acknowledged breaking into a locked equipment storeroom by removing the hinges so he could "issue" himself a knife sheath. Commissioner Callon justified his actions by saying that the hinges on the door were installed backwards and his curiosity just got the best of him.
   I would guess that most people understand that a door that is locked is probably that way for a reason, and that regardless of how the hinges may be installed, those without a key should stay out. It is interesting that the word theft was conveniently missing from the article, when that is exactly what occurred.
   Commissioner Callon also claims to be "The Taxpayer's Watchdog." Since his taking office, the legal bills for the district have skyrocketed [Oct. 21, 1996], the former Chief was bought out of his contract for $140,000 [Sep. 9, 1996] with no public explanation, and most recently, the district had to pay $2,500 in legal fees incurred by Mary Baum to force the release of Commissioner Callon's personnel file [Dec. 23, 1996] through King County Superior Court.
   If this is what it means to have a watchdog looking out for the citizens of Woodinville, perhaps it's time to get a cat.

John Griffith, Woodinville