Fire commissioner Butch Hinchey resigns

Published on Tue, Nov 24, 2009
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North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (NWFRS) commissioner Butch Hinchey resigned last month and the search is on for a replacement. Sort of.

Hinchey indicated earlier that he did not plan to run again for his position when it came up this fall. Hinchey’s departure made it easier for the NWFRS board to continue to reduce its positions from six to three as required by law.

The NWFRS was formed in December of 2006 when Whatcom County fire districts 3 and 13 merged. Merging fire districts are allowed to continue with a merged board but as two positions come up before the voters, one is eliminated until only three commissioners remain.

But this fall voters approved expanding the number of NWFRS fire commissioners to five, effectively replacing Hinchey’s position with a new one. The board of commissioners itself is allowed 90 days to name a new commissioner, following which Whatcom County Executive Pete Kremen can name a person to fill the position. Hinchey resigned effective October 15, so the deadline is next January 15.

“We plan to fill the position early that month,” said NWFRS chief Tom Fields.

The appointment will be for two years, Fields said, at the end of which the person will be eligible to run for election to the position and continue. “People who are interested should submit a letter of interest and include some personal background information, business experience and reasons why they’re interested. We need to get their application by December 15,” Fields said.

Interested parties should submit their application to North Whatcom Fire and Rescue, attention: Board of Fire Commissioners, 4581 Birch Bay-Lynden Road, Blaine, WA 98230. For more information, call Jennie Sand, administrative assistant at 360/318-9933.