Lake Forest Park City Council unanimously rejects Fires District merger

Monday, April 12, 2021

LFP City Council opposes Ballot Proposition 1
Photo courtesy City of Lake Forest Park

At its regular business meeting on Thursday April 8th, the Lake Forest Park City Council voted unanimously to take a position opposing Ballot Proposition 1, which proposes a merger of Northshore Fire Department into Woodinville Fire and Rescue.

Prior to the Business Meeting, the Council held a Public Hearing featuring presentations from Acting Fire Chief Greg Ahern speaking in favor of the ballot proposition, and Northshore Fire Department Lt. Jeremy Jamerson speaking against the proposition. 

Following the presentations, several members of the public gave comments, including residents of Kenmore, Woodinville and LFP as well as Northshore firefighters who serve the community of Lake Forest Park.

Council members then posed several questions to both Chief Ahern and Lt. Jamerson to understand more about the Ballot Proposition and the explore topics raised by the public comments.

During later discussion prior to their unanimous vote to reject Ballot Proposition 1, council members expressed common concerns including:
  • the wisdom of moving ahead with the ballot measure when the firefighters are opposed,
  • the lack of clear and convincing financial data supporting the merger,
  • the uncertainty of future LFP representation on a combined district Board of Commissioners,
  • the potential of future growth in Woodinville leaving LFP behind, and
  • that the merger proposal as presented is not in line with the values nor in the best interests of the citizens of Lake Forest Park.
Mayor Jeff Johnson concluded the meeting by expressing the city’s appreciation of the service provided by all the firefighters and the Acting Chief and encouraging them to recommit to working together to serve the citizens of Lake Forest Park.

The Public Hearing and Council Meeting are available on video here: AV Capture ALL

Phillippa Kassover, Deputy Mayor
Lake Forest Park


John Powers,  April 12, 2021 at 9:11 AM  

Vote no! The primary site of a fire suppression and rescue operation ought to be in the service area. Kenmore seems close enough but there is no guarantee the headquarters would not move to Woodinville in time. Enhancing efficiency through consolidation and merger sounds great but I like the idea of being able to easily talk to the boss if my computer hook-up is too confusing and the wait time on the phone line exceeds 15 min.

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