The facts in support of Jeff Granlund for fire commissioner

We appreciate your opinions and giving us even more of an opportunity to set the records straight. This way, the citizens will have NO questions when it comes time to vote. But this time, allow me.

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the letter written by Dave Pargas and posted to The Reporter Web site Tuesday, Oct. 27.

We appreciate your opinions and giving us even more of an opportunity to set the records straight. This way, the citizens will have NO questions when it comes time to vote. But this time, allow me.

In reading your letter, you make it sound like the union and Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety are in some kind of war. They are partners and work together to create a complete service organization for the citizens and a working environment for their staff. In my company there is a simple organizational technique we refer to called: C.A.P.S. It stands for customer, associate, partner and shareholder. This is the order of importance in which decisions are made and something MVFLS has adopted.

Ms. (Camille) Walls never came out and said who solicited her to run. Other than saying she’s, “nearing retirement” and her remarks at the meeting after Tim Lemon’s dismissal, there’s been no real word from her camp. Implying that she’s going to give the organization the “female perspective” is (personally) insulting to me. However, the union did in fact vote as a body and agreed to endorse and support her candidacy. And since your schedule wouldn’t have allowed it, perhaps allowing Ms. Walls and Jeff Granlund to address the issues directly to the citizens is what’s best for all involved.

Her education and back-ground is certainly commendable. However, being a commissioner requires a balance in people and budgets. Fire organizations are businesses at their core. Fire investigation is an “operations” position and we don’t feel that her back ground would be in the best interests of the citizens and staff. Being a commissioner (which Jeff was and shall be again), he’s aware of that balance.

He did support the administration wage increase. This covers the chief, deputy chiefs, fire marshall, office manager and secretaries. Based on their research some of these positions were all below several top comparables. Chief Lemon’s recommendation was a 4 percent raise; the same as the union received. The Board agreed to this wage increase not just Jeff. These are employees who work hard for this organization and are dedicated. It was a business decision. In this instance, should we pay now or pay more later?

Yes, the lid lift ran on the primary (ballot) in August, and failed. Unfortunately, knowing this one failed it was too late for them to pull out of the general (election). Knowing it was too late they did what they thought was right trying to inform and educate. Informing and educating the citizens is one of the many issues that this organization faces and is working on right now. In fact, I am assisting in that process.

He did support Chief Lemon not having a performance evaluation. This was initiated by Jeff’s counter parts. (Commissioner) Mike Scott continued pushing this issue. He felt that Tim already received his evaluation based on his performance and interaction with the community, business owners and at Board meetings. At the time they were also facing funding issues. His priority was, and still is, to try and find funding methods to help MVFLS avoid potential layoffs. If you read the Letter to the Editor then you are aware of that. For the record, he did support Tim’s contract. However, he was opposed to his termination. (Commissioners) Mike (Scott) and Brian (McGee) made the decision to pay Tim severance. Perhaps you can contact them for comment as Jeff cannot speak for them.

To address the last two paragraphs of your letter, we have nothing to say except bring us the facts. He is an employee of the citizens and if there are any questions in our minds, he is not only happy to answer them, but required to do so.

Furthermore, I think it would be wise on Ms. Wall’s part to not have you stand up and publicly berate Jeff.

We look forward to any and all feedback and questions that you or anyone else would like to bring to us.

Communication is the key to success.

Amanda MacDonald

Maple Valley