For over two and a half years, the Northshore Fire Department and Woodinville Fire & Rescue have been working toward asking the public to consider a merger of our fire districts. Many fire agencies in King and Snohomish counties have done the same to be more cost-effective and efficient for taxpayers. The merger will be on the April 27 Special Election ballot for voter consideration.
Northshore merging with Woodinville has the potential to reduce property taxes without reducing operations or staffing. Merging would provide an opportunity to reorganize personnel to add an extra response unit at times to handle emergency calls. Additionally, if approved, Northshore residents would fall under Woodinville’s policy of no-cost patient transport.
We hold our firefighters in the highest regard for their commitment to the communities we serve. Both Boards and fire department administration remain dedicated to addressing the labor unions’ concerns and reaching an agreement without pay or benefit loss.
Labor and management both have roles to play in a balanced delivery of service to residents. If you live in Kenmore or Lake Forest Park, please review the information at www.northshorefire.com/merger-updates before making your decision.
Rick Webster, Northshore Fire Department, and Roger Collins, Woodinville Fire & Rescue