MARCH 17, 1997

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Opinion

A voice from within the fire district

voice from inside In recent months, there has been considerable press devoted to the perceived turmoil of Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District. As is typical of firefighters, we went about our business, said little, and let the politicos and activists fight it out. Unfortunately, the rhetoric has gotten to such an unbelievable level that there must be a voice from within.
   There are two major points.
   First, politics is a dangerous business. There will always be someone out there who is not happy and believe that they have a cause. These adventures, such as a recall, happen. That is the price of doing business. You do it right or you fight the fight. We can accept the fact that this happens, and understand that we must endure the black eye of scrutiny from time to time. We believe that we (the uniformed, administrative and support members) will rise above the muck and our professional integrity will carry us through.
   Second is the assumed knowledge of the inner workings of our department. It is understood that if you are the neighbor or friend of an individual, you will have a certain perspective of that individual. This perspective is not all-inclusive. People do not always act or lead in the same manner while at work as they do at play. It is not only inappropriate, but also very dangerous to draw conclusions regarding a business culture by having only one perspective. Just as with your own family, an outsider cannot possibly know what goes on behind closed doors.
   The intimate knowledge of the inner workings of Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District, as with any company, is only understood by members of that organization. It is unfair, inappropriate, and usually inaccurate to assume knowledge when the participation is not enjoyed.
   We at Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District are working with our leadership to provide quality service. Chief Smith has improved the morale and general attitude of our district and is a quality leader. Though everyone on the outside may not agree, our commissioners do have the best interests of the district, its members, and the community at heart. They, just as the rest of us, are learning and becoming comfortable with the organization and each other.
   We are an organization that is growing, evolving, and trying diligently to improve constantly. Throughout any evolutionary process, there are growing and changing pains. Finding fault in that time is very easy; finding good, before the process is complete, is difficult.

Dominic V. Marzano, member, Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District