City of Lacey/Fire District talk annexation

November 10th, 2009 by Ken

Bowing to the results of the recent election, the City of Lacey and Fire District 3 have met to talk about the annexation of the city into the fire district.

Lacey City Manager Greg Cuoio confirmed that representatives of the fire district met with representatives of the city on Tuesday to talk about the process.

Under state law, the city can annex itself to the fire district through a vote of the people.  Cuoio said it made sense to give the voters a say in the future of the fire district.

“Our key interest in the whole process was to give city residents an equal voice in the operation of the fire department,” Cuoio said  As proposed by the city, the fire district commission would be increased.  Cuoio said he favored a five member commission.

Since the new district would encompass 86,000 people and 71-square miles, a five member commission would be allowed by law.   Yet to be worked out is how the commission members would be distributed.  How many would come from within the city limits and how many would be outside the city.  An increase in the number of fire commissioners would have to be approved by the voters in a separate election.

Cuoio said the results of the general election were a “game changer”, and that efforts to create a city fire department has been placed on the back burner.  “We’ll have to see what the voters say,” Cuoio said.  “If they turn down annexation, we will renew efforts to  create our own department.

He said there were still things to work out before the measure could be placed before the voters but Cuoio thought the issues could be worked out and thinks the measure will be on the April 2010 ballot.

Posted in Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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