CHELAN — Chelan voters installed a new majority on the Chelan County Fire District 7 Commission, electing two new members to the three-member board Tuesday.
“I think the people out there were looking for change,” said Rick Nedrow, who captured almost 68 percent of the vote to beat incumbent Commissioner Dan Wright.
Nedrow campaigned with Bob Gervais, who got 61 percent to beat sitting Commissioner Bob Torgerson.
Nedrow and Gervais will join the board with current commission chairman Jim Malvey, who was not up for re-election, in January.
Both candidates said they felt lack of trust in the current board was a major issue. “We talked to a lot of people door-belling. They all said just about the same thing: They wanted more transparency,” Nedrow said in a telephone interview shortly after results were posted.
He said many older residents have told him they couldn’t remember a time when there was so much interest in the fire commission races.
Troubles began last winter for the current commission when volunteer firefighters threatened a walkout over the location of a proposed new satellite station up Union Valley, and other issues.
Commissioners said those issues have been resolved, but some voters apparently weren’t satisfied.
In his campaigning, Gervais continued to question the location of the Union Valley Station, and particularly a clause that gives the land, donated by Commissioner Wright, back to Wright if the district abandons it within 20 years.
But Nedrow said their first job will be to restore trust in the fire district, among firefighters and the public. He said the people who live in Chelan need to know the commissioners are representing the public, and not themselves.
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512