Washington Appoints Former President to Fire Board

Published 07/14 2014 11:00PM

Updated 07/14 2014 11:04PM

WASHINGTON - City leaders take another step to solve controversy surrounding the Washington Fire board of directors. Three board members recently resigned, including the city representative. The city needed someone to represent it on the privately operated Washington Fire Board of Directors, and it wasted no time in choosing a replacement.
Less than a week after the city's fire board rep steps down, Mayor Gary Manier is acting quickly.
 "The board was actually operating in the red. Before he left, they were in the black. So he's got a great background,” said Mayor Gary Manier.
He's talking about William Gallaway, former president of the Washington Fire Board. Gallaway was not present to hear his name called at special Monday meeting.
 “And I'm sure there's gonna’ be people who will say he's the wrong guy, regardless of who i would've selected," said Manier.  
Of course, this all follows controversy surrounding the board decision not to renew the contract of popular fire chief, Mike Vaughn. But Manier's focus is elsewhere.
"It doesn't matter if they want the chief or do not want the chief. That's not what we are after. We are after the financial interests of the city," said Manier.  
For this reason, the city requests the board makes room for two city representative, instead of one as stated in the by-laws.
"I think we listened to the public. I think the public outcry during this time with the controversy surrounding the chief, asked us to take more control. And we're not going to micromanage that board. With only two seats we're still not going to have control of it," said Manier.
But he hopes with two, it will better protect the interests of the city, which is by far the board's largest financial contributor at $627,000.
Gallaway will start immediately. The city also agreed to take more time to look over its contract with the fire board, in hopes to possibly renegotiate some of its terms.
The contract expires on August 1, including that of Vaughn. But without a decision, the contract would automatically renew. Last week, the fire board said it will sit down with Vaughn to figure out a solution.
To which the mayor says he is anxious for them to get passed their differences.

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