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Orcas Island Fire Commission down to 3 members, is seeking 2 to fill vacancies

The Board of Fire Commissioners of San Juan County Fire Protection District No. 2 (Orcas) is immediately seeking candidates to fill the unexpired terms for Seats #4 and #5.  The openings are the result of actions at the June 17, 2024 board meeting. The board voted 3 to 2 to execute a Separation Agreement between San Juan County Fire Protection District No. 2 D/B/A Orcas Island Fire & Rescue and Holly vanSchaick, Fire Chief.  Commissioners Fuller and Biddick resigned after the Chief was let go.

OIFR Fire Chief Holly vanSchaick starting an IV upside-down, while lying on the ground with the patient on June 18, 2024.

The three commissioners who voted for the separation agreement - Brian Ehrmantraut, Randy Gaylord, Kathryn Hansen - were all elected in 2023. A letter from the District's lieutenants expressing no confidence in the three board members was sent in January 2024.

The vacant seats must be filled within 90 days, however, the Board desires to fill these positions soon, as a full Board is essential to the district’s needs. 

The Board will conduct a public process that includes advertising, interviewing, and selecting candidates to fill the vacancies.  As there are two vacancies, the positions must be filled one at a time. The first appointment will be completed before a second appointment is made by the new 4-person Board.

As per RCW 42.12.070 (6): “As provided in chapter 29A.24 RCW, each person who is appointed shall serve until a qualified person is elected at the next election at which a member of the governing body normally would be elected. The person elected shall take office immediately and serve the remainder of the unexpired term.”

SEAT 4

The selected candidate for Seat #4 will serve as an appointed commissioner on the Board, with a public election taking place on the seat in the 2025 Election. At that time the publicly elected commissioner will complete the remainder of the term ending December 31, 2029.

SEAT 5

The selected candidate for Seat #5 will serve as an appointed commissioner on the Board, with a public election taking place on the seat in the 2025 Election. At that time the publicly elected commissioner will have been elected to a new 6-year term.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested candidates are invited to send a resume, letter of interest, contact information, and references to bofc@orcasfire.org. Please include:

  • Commissioner Seat Number sought (if preferred);
  • Elected Experience;
  • Education;
  • Community/Public Service Experience;
  • Statement of Interest, including any skills and experience you hope to add to the Board; and
  • Contact information, including mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address.

WHO MAY APPLY

Applicants must reside and be registered to vote within San Juan County Fire District #2.

MORE INFORMATION

Additional information about the role of a fire commissioner can be found in the Washington State Fire Commissioners ‘Commissioner Handbook’ and OIFR’s Board Organizational Structure (Policy 1200)

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