Chelan Fire Commissioner Tom Peters Resigns Over ‘Broken’ Fire District System

Chelan County Fire District 7’s Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Tom Peters sent a letter to his fellow commissions Monday announcing his resignation from the board, effective immediately. Peters said at the outset of his term he said he would serve as long as he continued to help improve Chelan Fire & Rescue, and after lengthy consideration he concluded he’s no longer able to do so.

Among other issues, Peters said his greatest concern is the lack of public input in the decision to move forward with a Levy Lid Lift on the April ballot. Chelan Fire & Rescue Commissioners are asking voters to approve an increase of 40 cents per $1,000 of assessed value – raising the current rate of 92 cents per $1,000 to $1.32 – representing a 43 % increase in tax collections- and, commissioners have said they will need to come back to voters in 2-5 years for additional revenue.

Peters said for him that’s not a sustainable way to manage the increasing need for service in Chelan.

Peters said District 7 Commissioners’ actions did not meet the public’s rightful expectation of a fair and open discussion of the merits of a levy lid lift. He said a select Citizens Task Force is no substitute for the public’s right to participate in the process.

The two remaining commissioners – Russ Jones and Phil Moller – will now likely appoint someone to fill the remainder of Peter’s term, through the end of 2019.

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