Public was fire commissioner’s ‘highest concern’

Kenneth Seng, who colleagues said made the public’s safety his “highest concern” while displaying leadership and “compassion” as a commissioner for Mountain View Fire and Rescue/Fire District 44, has died.

  • Saturday, May 17, 2008 12:00am
  • News

Kenneth Seng, who colleagues said made the public’s safety his “highest concern” while displaying leadership and “compassion” as a commissioner for Mountain View Fire and Rescue/Fire District 44, has died.

His death May 7 was announced this week by district officials.

He’d been a commissioner since taking office on Jan. 1, 2004, following his election the previous November.

Seng, who was born in 1934, was retired from the Auburn School District.

Relatives and colleagues said he served his community in numerous ways, including his tenure in public office with the fire district.

Commissioner Jim Farrell said Seng was a member of the fire district’s personnel committee and created the district’s emergency operating fund, which sets aside money for future emergencies.

“His focus was always on the service provided to the citizens we serve,” said fire chief Greg Smith. “We will miss his leadership, compassion and wit.”

Farrell said Seng “always held the safety of the people in our district as his highest concern.”

District personnel joined Seng’s relatives and friends at a service for him yesterday at Messiah Lutheran Church in Auburn, according to a district spokesman.

The Seng family has asked that donations or memorials be made to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, P.O. Box 19023, Seattle, WA 98109-1023. Information on the organization is available at

Seng’s position as a commissioner will be open temporarily. A district spokesman said it will be formally declared vacant at a May 27 meeting of the commissioners, at which time information will be posted for prospective applicants. The district will have 90 days to fill the position.

Appointing Seng’s successor will be the second such process in recent months for the district. Daniel Bjurstrom, a former Mountain View volunteer firefighter, was appointed to replace former commissioner Michael Hamilton after the area where Hamilton lives was annexed by the city of Auburn, making him ineligible to remain in office.

At full strength, the district has five elected commissioners. They have two public meetings per month.

The district’s service area of 70 square miles includes the city of Black Diamond and some unincorporated areas of King County to the west and southwest of the city.

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