Bainbridge fire board race hit by switcheroo

The field has been shaken up for fire commissioner positions for the board of the Bainbridge Island Fire Department.

Meghan McKnight withdrew as a candidate for the Position 5 seat on the board and refiled as a candidate for Position 2.

The race for Position 2 will now head to the August Primary Election.

David H. Lynch and YongSuk Cho have also filed as candidates.

The two candidates who get the most votes in the primary will advance to November's General Election.

McKnight's move from the Position 5 to Position 2 race now leaves just two candidates for Position 5; Theresa "Teri" Dettmer and Holly vanSchaick.

McKnight said she switched positions May 17 in an attempt to even out the ballot.

That plan didn't last long, however, as Cho also filed for the Position 2 on Friday afternoon.

McKnight has contemplated serving as a fire commissioner before.

She sought an appointed position last year after Susan Cohen's resignation left a vacancy on the five-member board. The board selected Dan Morrow for the post.

Morrow is also running to retain his seat, and faces no challengers in this year's election.

McKnight said she was running to help the fire department reach its goals.

"I have worked extensively with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department and I understand the governance of using public funds in a manner that promotes safety and department expectations while being efficient and open to scrutiny," she said.

"Bainbridge Island is a wonderful community that has historically actively supported its independent fire department through volunteerism and funding," she added. "I am interesting in furthering the goals of the Bainbridge Island Fire Department and working to provide policy on how to implement that agenda through expectations and operations."

Fire department officials have created a strong foundation on which to build, she said.

"The current fire commissioners have made progress, with their excellent staff and volunteers, in updating the strategic plan, especially in the areas of staff/volunteer performance standards and training needs and the use of capital facilities," she said.

"This provides a firm foundation for any new commissioners to build upon, where the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis has already been performed. During the recent years of economic recession, the fire department was able to identify and address areas of needed improvement, while maintaining financial viability," McKnight said. "Now is the time to build on that foundation to take advantage of those opportunities."


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