North Highline Fire District board meeting, report #2: Dave Duff returns as commissioner

(Dave Duff, right, takes the oath of office, read by Ray Austin)
By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The North Highline Board of Fire Commissioners has a new chair – who’s also one of its former chairs.

Last night, Dave Duff was appointed to fill the vacancy created when Wayne Alishokis resigned in May.

Wayne Alishokis had been on the board since 2006, when he succeeded … Dave Duff.

This probably explains why the public interview for Duff, the only person to seek the job, lasted less than 10 minutes.

The executive session in which commissioners Ray Austin and Liz Giba discussed Duff’s merits lasted a little longer. And then, when back in public session, they voted unanimously to appoint him, and then to make him chair, with Austin as vice chair.

Chief Mike Marrs had explained that a second potential candidate had expressed interest, but “pulled out,” leaving Duff as the lone applicant.

During the aforementioned brief interview, Duff recapped some of his history with the district, including leading a bond campaign to replace engines and upgrade stations, and ultimately so much involvement that he, his late wife Judy, and their daughter Deanna were, he noted, “voted as honorary members” of NHFD.

Deanna, a journalist, was in attendance last night as her father was appointed and sworn in.

But obviously this is a far different time for the NHFD than when Duff served a decade ago. Most of the remaining unincorporated area is less than three months away from deciding in the November election whether to approve annexation by Burien.

During the interview, when Giba asked Duff what he would like to see happen with the district, he acknowledged this is a “transition” time, and that if the annexation proposal should be rejected, it would mean “hard changes,” but whatever happened, he wanted to be part of it, “to ensure that services are provided here, no matter which way it goes.”

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