North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: Fire chief farewell, crime update, and more

Notes from last night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting:

At left, that’s North Highline Fire Chief Scott LaVielle, who briefed the group on his impending retirement in late February. He talked about the several steps taken to close the budget gaps that the fire district was faced with. He introduced North Highline Fire Commissioner Rob Spreier (with him in the photo), saying he will take over most of the high-level management work after he leaves. Other items:

CRIME: King County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Hancock told the NHUAC it’s been a rougher month than the area’s seen in a while: 1 rape; 1 aggravated assault on a 19 month old girl; 2 stabbings; 6 robberies, all mini-marts or gas stations in the area, and one person robbed at gunpoint after being pulled into a car outside a grocery store;13 vehicle thefts, 14 drug arrests, 29 warrant arrests.

CODE ENFORCEMENT: A complicated discussion that took a lot of time without many conclusions – commercial activities on an industrial-zoned property along Myers Way that has nearby residents wondering if King County codes were being followed; the agency represented at the meeting said that it didn’t have jurisdiction and offered the residents some suggestions on where else they might take their concerns.

NORTH HIGHLINE ANNEXATION DELAY: Burien City Manager Mike Martin and two Burien City Council members attended the meeting; Martin said the official annexation date has been delayed until April 1st because of the Puget Sound Park wrangling (see our report from earlier this week); he says several other things still need to happen for the annexation to be finalized. Regarding the park’s future, Martin told NHUAC, whatever happens to the park has to happen because the people of the city of Burien want it. If they want a library there, then that could happen, but he said a decision would not be forced on them. He also said he wanted to dispel the notion that Burien just wants the park in order to sell it.

REMEMBERING CHERISSE LUXA: In the public-comment period Liz Giba mentioned the community activist who lost her cancer fight last month would be remembered during a memorial gathering at Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub on January 27th, 7 pm, with a “semi-formal presentation” around 7:45.

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets the first Thursday of each month, 7 pm, North Highline Fire District HQ.

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8 Responses to “North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: Fire chief farewell, crime update, and more”

  1. Fire Chief Scott LaVielle isn’t retiring!!! His contract is being bought out! And for a pretty penny at that!

    I heard all about his smoke and mirrors presentation at the last NHUAC meeting. It was an attempt by him to divert the attention away from his dismal performance as fire chief, and how he totally fleeced the good taxpayers of North Highline.

    Folks, commissioner Alishokis and former commissioner Ron Malaspino totally screwed the taxpayers by agreeing to such an insanely high salary schedule for Scott LaVielle. Scott was all too glad to accept it, however it was clear (after financially running the department into the ground), that LaVielle simply doesn’t have the skills or knowledge to run a fire department–and a small one at that!

    Futher, how the heck is this new commissioner going to responsible for running the department, and as LaVielle said, “he will take over most of the high-level management work.” Really?!?!

    That’s interesting. I thought that North Highline is contracting with Fire District 2 for administrative services, and that their Chief (Chief Mike Marrs) was going to manage North Highline Fire???

    People, know this: The North Highilne Fire Department is a sinking ship, and are in a very bad way financially speaking. HOW ON EARTH CAN THEY AGREE TO BUY-OUT SCOTT LAVIELLE TO THE TUNE OF $250,000+, IF THEY HAVE ESSENTIALLY NO CASH RESERVES TO SPEAK OF, AND WHO WILL BARELY BE ABLE TO MAKE PAYROLL AFTER 2010???

    The citizens of North Hihgline need to stand up to the board of commissioenrs–two of which are brand new to the board–and speak out against this absolute horrific use of tax payers money.

    Just know that LaVielle will most likely get a job someplace else soon, and will have no need for a severence.

    First, contact these commissioners and demand that they move the meeting times to the evening! Morning meetings are ridiculous and prevent people from attending.

    Second, we need to demand that these commissioners NOT pay LaVielle a darn thing. In fact, he should’ve been fired for dereliction of duty and failure to manage the department.

    This has gone on long enought! Hold them accountable!

  2. YES … We definitely need the meetings changed to evening meetings. Send emails to NHFD at: and just hit contact.

  3. When the fire commissioner was asked at the NHUAC meeting why the meetings were not being held in the evening when more people could attend, he came up with some lame excuse that we don’t really know when the most people can attend the meetings. Does he really believe anybody would buy that reasoning? If he believes that then he is out of touch with the public and should not be a fire commissioner.

  4. Of course the newly appointed fire commissioner would state that. This way they can go on as business as usual so everyone is in the dark and they can spend away giving x employees severence packages only most could even dream of! Of course, being buddy buddy with the recipient contributed to this vote of approval. Must be nice to do what ever and think you are not accountable to the tax payers.

  5. Dick Thurnau Says:

    Guess i am not the only one complaining about the misuse of taxpayers money

  6. dang, there sure is a bunch of people that like to whine a lot, sounds like grade school worrying about who gets what. why don’t you worry about your own self and do something for the community and also get a life sounds like some of you are really jealous. its really getting old move on thanks LAVIELLE for doing such a great job and caring for the people in the community you are loved by so many you will be missed, best to you when you go on to a new journey.

  7. Sounds to me like small government hasn’t been to kind to us.

  8. If you have a problem with anyones pay, you should take it up with the fire district commissioners, they are ultimately responsible.

    Grade schoolers don’t pay taxes, we do.