Washington residents voice support for fire chief

Jul 7, 2014

The Washington City Council heard from dozens of residents in support of keeping Fire Chief Mike Vaughn at his post. An independent board voted NOT to renew Vaughn's contract and let it expire this month. Residents say the independent fire board lacks oversight. Some urged the city to dissolve the board and instead take over fire department operations.  But Washington Mayor Gary Manier says that isn't currently an option:

 “We’re only about 17 square miles of the fire district. Part of our city is in northern Tazewell, a lot of it is outside of our city limits in the township and county so it would be real cumbersome to try and get an agreement with all parties involved,” Manier says.  

 The fire board hasn’t given a specific public reason why it decided to not renew Vaughn’s contract.  Chief Vaughn himself also got a standing ovation after sayings he wants to continue serving in the post. The fire board meets Tuesday at six at the Washington fire station.