Washington council OKs new fire board appointee

Jul 14, 2014

The City of Washington wants to double its representation on the area fire board.  Peoria Public Radio's Alex Rusciano reports the move comes following public criticism of board operations:

 Residents say the board lacks transparency and oversight.  A controversy surrounding fire chief Mike Vaughn's contract renewal last week sparked the resignation of one board member,  while two others left after staying on months after their terms expired.  Now the Washington City Council will hold off approving a $600,000 fire services contract until language is added giving the city another board member. Mayor Gary Manier says the move is in response to residents saying the city needs more control of the board:

 “And we’re not going to micromanage that board. With only two seats we’re still not going to have control of it, it’s still going to be five independent thinkers, two that hopefully will protect our interest from a financial standpoint,” Manier says.  

 Manier recommended the city to approve William Gallaway to the fire board. He replaces Bob Linsley, who's term expired last fall.  Gallaway is a former Washington firefighter and president of the fire board.  The board says it's working with chief Mike Vaughn to resolve any issues surrounding his contract.  It's set to renew August 1st automatically if no other action is taken.