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Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety (King County Fire Protection District No. 43)

Proposition No. 1

Shall the Board of Commissioners of Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety (King County Fire Protection District No. 43) be increased from three members to five members?



Washington State Law allows increasing the board of commissioners of a fire protection district from three to five, with voter approval.  The Board of Fire Commissioners for Maple Valley Fire and Life Safety (King County Fire District No. 43) has passed a resolution determining that it would be in the best interest of the district and its citizens to increase the number of fire commissioners from three to five.


The purpose of expanding the Board from three to five members is to provide broader representation from the community.  A five person Board will also improve efficiency and communication.  Under state law, two commissioners constitute a quorum with a three person Board, therefore, two commissioners cannot discuss district business outside of an open public meeting. Three Board members constitute a quorum with a five person Board which allows dialog between two board members without violating state law.  The Fire Chief and the Board of Commissioners agree that this will better serve the public and improve the efficiency of fire district business.


The cost associated with this change is minimal. State law establishes the compensation rate for Fire Commissioners at $104 per day when they conduct Fire District business.  Maple Valley Fire and Life Safety generally conduct two business meetings per month.  Two additional commissioners will cost an estimated $5000 annually.

The newly created positions on the Board will be filled pursuant to State Law with any person appointed being required to seek voter approval by election to retain the position.

The value of a five member board:


With a population of 43,000 in fire district 43, the power of the governing body should not be vested in a majority vote of two commissioners.  The Tahoma school district board is comprised of 5 members; the city of Maple Valley is governed by a 7 member council.  Likewise, a broader base of representation is needed for the taxpaying residents of the fire district and to provide a broader community perspective.


Problem situations arise with a three commission board in the absence of one of the members.  Two comprise a quorum to conduct business, however a stalemate or deadlock can hamper decision making.


With three commissioners any discussion of district business by two of them, when not in an open public meeting, can be a violation of the Open Public Meetings Act.  When board members travel together, or just talk, it is difficult to avoid such violations.  Committee work on district issues by two commissioners is also prohibited making it harder to complete district business efficiently.  Five commissioners offer many opportunities to gather in subcommittees to complete the work at hand.


Vote YES for broader representation and efficiency on February 9.

Statement submitted by: Dwight Van Zanen and Bill Van Ruff

No statement submitted.


Statements in favor of and in opposition to a ballot measure are submitted by committees appointed by the jurisdiction. No persons came forward to serve on the committee and to write a statement in opposition. If you would like to be involved with a committee in the future please contact the jurisdiction.

Simple Majority (RCW 52.14.015)

1233 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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