Northwest NEWS

February 14, 2000

Editorial

Just a little top-heavy

   In answer to statements attacking me in the most recent issue of the Woodinville Weekly, I have to clarify a few points:

   1. I missed one budget meeting this year--only one.

   2. I was not in charge of or even on the committee that oversaw the station repairs that are being redone.

   3. I was right on the number about the phone lines being 14. Each month, I sign a bill for 14 phone lines in station 31.

   4. I was wrong about the number of administration staff. I had stated there were six, and they claim there are 10 people in administration plus the 4-6 firefighters. Well, that makes my point. Ten in administration and 4-6 firefighters seems a little top-heavy to me.

   5. Our district has had two deputy chiefs. I correctly noted that we would save $100,000 by reorganizing duties and not replacing the one vacant Deputy Chief position.Those savings would come from: $88,140 salary; 100% coverage of medical/dental for both employee and family; disability insurance; life insurance; 200 hours annual vacation pay; 12 paid holidays; sick leave up to 1,000 hours; 4% matching deferred compensation.

   Our little Woodinville Fire District now has a budget of $7.1 million, up 20% from 1999. Compare that to the entire City of Woodinville budget of $8.8 million. Had even two of my fellow commissioners been willing to look for savings, we could have done a better job for district taxpayers. We did not need to increase our budget by 20%.

Dave Callon, WFLSD commissioner