JANUARY 13, 1997
Fire Board chooses Callon to negotiate new medical plan
by Jeff Switzer
By a vote of 2-1 with two commissioners absent, Woodinville Fire Commissioner David Callon will be negotiating a proposed new medical plan with Woodinville Fire Fighters Local 2950.
Commissioners Callon and Ben May voted for the motion, Commissioner Don Leggett voted against it, and Commissioners Don Eddy and Frank Peep were not present.
Callon's appointment is intended to be for a two- to three-month interim period, to "represent the district as the district's negotiator" under the support and advice of a third party. He said his goal was to improve communication between the Board and the Union.
Leggett felt the motion was premature and disagreed. "I think it is unwise for you to be a negotiator," he said, speaking against the motion. "You have a lot of ground to make up," adding later that he was referring to Callon's credibility.
Leggett asked Callon about his experience as a negotiator.
"I have zero experience," Callon said, adding that he had negotiated real estate agreements such as leases and business agreements. He said he'd be working "with the professional negotiator to help steer" discussions.
The bargaining unit has requested that the savings from switching to the preferred provider plan, approximately $80 each month per employee choosing to switch plans, be put into a deferred compensation plan for retirement.
In other Fire District news, Commissioner Don Leggett took advantage of the new year to resign as chair of the Woodinville Fire Board, leaving Commissioner May in charge of the meeting. Leggett said that the beginning of the year typically marks the changing of the chair.
"I have so many other commitments that put such a demand on my time," Leggett said. "This represented a good opportunity and timing to change the chair positions."