February 28, 2000
DUVALL--City Director Jim Bourasa assures everyone that, although his last official day at work was Tuesday, he will be making at least one more appearance as his alter-ego "Frog Man" during the Duvall Days Frog Jumping contest in May.
Chamber of Commerce members wouldn't have it any other way. Just because he was retiring as the city's head man didn't mean he could abdicate from his frog jumping responsibilities. "One more year," they said.
And one more year they will get. Bourasa will be seen again this spring in that full-length frog suit he wore last year during the parade and contest. He has been in charge of the event for several years, his never-ending good humor making him the recipient of many froggy toys and jokes.
City director for five years, he never did limit his town activities to simply business. He was on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was the city's representative to the Chamber. He was honored recently as the Chamber of Commerce 1999 Citizen of the Year.
In his frog-festooned office last week, he said he and his wife both discussed retirement at length and decided to go ahead since their health was still good. His wife, Fran, a paralegal, retired February 1. Residents of Issaquah, they have purchased property in Port Ludlow, where they plan to build a home.
Although he says he is a bit apprehensive about retiring, and will probably miss the work, he is looking forward to golfing, fishing, and traveling. He and Fran just returned from two weeks in Maui.
Bourasa, 62, had retired as a captain in the Renton Police Department in 1987 when he was hired by Duvall to be the police chief. At that time, the police department was located in a former church building just up from the fire station. The department moved later to better accommodations in City Hall.
Bourasa became city director in 1995, and since then has presided over unprecedented growth in town. The city is approaching 5,000 population, he said, and when that is reached, the town will have to go to a seven-member council.
"It's been real busy," he said. "But it is too bad the economic development hasn't grown as quickly as the residential. It is coming now, but it will be a couple of years before we will see the light at the end of the tunnel economically."
Duvall will not be hiring a replacement director yet, he said. "The work will temporarily be shared by (Public Works Director) Elizabeth Goode and Doreen Wise, the new planner," he said.
Bourasa said he has enjoyed being a part of the small town. "I have made many friends--some special friends ... all in all, it has been a nice experience," he said. "Duvall is different. On the surface, it would seem like everyone is busy with their own day-to-day business, but if something happens, the town bands together real quick, like a family."