Letter | Fall City Fire Department – Moving Forward

Dear Editor,

Last month citizens in Fall City turned out in record numbers to vote on whether to merge our Fall City Fire Department into Fire District 10. The merger failed with almost 54% voting No.

Despite the opposing viewpoints on the proposed merger, both sides agreed that we support our firefighters, our fire department, and are willing to vote for an increased maintenance and operations replacement levy in 2020 to fund needed improvements.  Examples identified during the campaign are staffing levels comparable to neighboring fire departments, and training and equipment our firefighters need, to be efficient and safe.

Others and I are committed to working with our Chief and Commissioners to make sure they respond to the voice of the community. We have developed a list of action items in conjunction with a corresponding five-year budget showing exactly how the improvements can be funded today, and in the future. We will ask that these items be acted on immediately. 

Lastly, we must address “misinformation and fear mongering” statements consistently asserted by the Pro campaign about the Con campaign. Our campaign included people very knowledgeable about our fire department, government finance, and operational management of a fire department. We were asking legitimate questions and requesting documents that legitimately should have been provided but were not. These continued assertions are frustrating, tiresome, and non-productive. 

Together, we can increase our level of service, provide a greater value to the community, and make the Fall City Fire Department a shining star in our community and the Valley. It’s time to move forward, roll-up our sleeves, and get to work. 

Robert Angrisano, Fall City Resident

[Letters do not represent the views of Living Snoqualmie or staff. Letters regarding community issues, ballot initiatives and candidates can be emailed to info@livingsnoqualmie.com]

Comments

  1. Josh Yancey says

    This letter writer is affiliated with another fire department in King County, one that was closely considered as a potential option for partnership with District 27 but was ultimately decided was not in District 27’s best interests. He has an obvious conflict of interest when it comes to this matter. I’d like to hear his explanation on that and how he can claim to continue to pursue this matter solely with District 27’s best interests in mind and not because he and his coworkers at the other fire department might benefit from a partnership that would have been lost with the D10 merger.
    As for the “missing documents” that the letter writer made such a dramatic show of during the March 27 town hall meeting at CKMS: You should have those documents in hand by now. What scandalous information did they contain? Have all your suspicions been proven true? Or, more realistically, were they completely unremarkable and contained none of your wild and irresponsible claims?
    Despite this being one of the most visible ballot measures in Fall City’s history, barely 50 percent of voters bothered to turn in a ballot. The measure failed by a small margin. This was in no way a clear and loud voice of what the voters in Fall City want when it comes to their fire department. Most voters demonstrated clearly that they don’t care what happens with the fire department, or that they trust the firefighters to pursue the course of action they feel is best. Voter apathy lost this measure for the Pro side, and that’s disappointing for those who felt the merger was the best course for Fall City.
    There was plenty of misinformation and fear mongering going on by the opposition side, from people being told that the fire station would close, to wild and baseless speculation about totally unrealistic scenarios, to completely false information about the District’s financial situation. A better word would have been “lies,” and plenty were told. Or, excuse me, “alternate facts.”
    With all due respect to some on the opposition side, none of them knows a shred of what the District 27 firefighters and Chief knows about the department’s operations.
    You had your voice with your vote. You are welcome to come to commissioner meetings and speak for you allotted time. But District 27 has 3 commissioners and a Chief who will decide the course of action for this department. Not citizens with conflicts of interest, who are pursing personal political ambitions.

  2. Robet Angrisano says

    Josh, it is true that I’m a volunteer with Snoqualmie Fire Department (SFD). However, as you know, the only benefit to SFD, from a contracted training officer relationship with Fall City FD, is that the personnel from both departments can work better together when responding to mutual aid calls in each other’s areas. This is a benefit to the communities we serve. Other than that, there is nothing anyone from SFD would gain from a closer working relationship. As a Firefighter for Fall City, I would think you would be in favor of joint training.
    To address your statement about the documents EF&R refused to release providing the backup data used to create their merger proposal, until 2 days after the vote, they did release information two days after the vote. The information provided was completely nonresponsive to the request and contained slide presentation and links to other high-level presentations available on their website, none of which addressed the questions asked. As we always believed, and is now confirmed, the data does not exist. I would be happy to forward you or anyone a copy of their response, for review.

    The citizens who opposed to the merger, continue to work on behalf of the Firefighters and citizens of Fall City. Based on the vote, the desire of the voters to improve our Fire Department, and the needed changes the Firefighters highlighted, we developed a comprehensive list of initiatives we will ask the Commissioners to implement.

    We also developed a financial budget showing how these items can be paid for today as well as over the next 5 years. We hope the Firefighters and the community will support this effort and move forward with us.

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