Fire District 3 commission candidates talk merger, service needs

Monroe Fire District 3 voters will be electing two fire commissioners in November's election. The Monroe Board of Fire Commissioners is a five-member elected body tasked with approving all fire district expenditures involving tax dollars. Commissioners serve six-year terms.

Bill Snyder, who is running unopposed, fills position No. 2.

Randy Woolery is challenging position No. 5 Commissioner Rick Edwards.


First elected in 2011, Edwards is seeking his second term as a commissioner. He and his wife, Julie, have lived in Monroe for 25 years, with their kids and grandchildren attending school in the Monroe Public School system. He served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for 17 years.

Edwards' priorities as commissioner include ensuring tax dollars are spent wisely and first responders are comprehensively trained and equipped to provide the fastest possible response times. He said that he has enjoyed his time as a commissioner and is looking forward to continuing his service.

Currently, District 3 commissioners are examining a possible merger with District 7 in Clearview. Edwards recently told the Monitor he is still undecided on the issue and reserving judgement until all the facts have been presented and all questions answered.

District 3 commissioners and staff have been working with District 7 commissioners and staff to identify the pros and cons of coming together in a formal merger.


A Monroe native, Woolery has been a District 3 volunteer firefighter for 26 years.He is a Seattle Police lieutenant, and has been an officer since 1988. He served on the Monroe City Council and the Monroe Civil Service Commission, which is tasked with ensuring that Monroe Police Department employees are treated fairly and lawfully.

He served three years in the Army before returning to Monroe and becoming a police officer.

"As your elected representative on the fire commission, a well-trained and equipped emergency response is my top priority,GÇ¥ said Woolery in a statement. "So you won't have to worry about the quality of service you'll receive if your house is on fire or a family member is having a medical emergency.GÇ¥

Woolery said he is receptive to the idea of a merger, and is interested in learning more about the logistics of a merger and how consolidation would affect the identity of Monroe Fire District 3. Woolery sees the potential cost-savings through shared staff as a key benefit, and said he wants to make sure district residents continue to receive the best possible service.

"I want what is best for the current residents of the fire district and I am excited that we are exploring this opportunity to combine with a professional organization like Fire District 7,GÇ¥ Woolery said.



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