Commissioner Mike Pearson, Board Chair
Board Member Since: December 10, 2012
Current term expires: December 31, 2021
Commissioner Mike Pearson was appointed to the Spokane Valley Fire Department Board of Fire Commissioners in 2012 and has served continuously since that time. He retired from the Central Valley School District in 2008 where he spent 31 years as a teacher, administrator and superintendent.
“I’ve found my second passion, serving the greater Spokane Valley community through the fire service. Spokane Valley Fire Department is a strong organization. Financially, our budgets are monitored carefully and there is no bond indebtedness. We’re a progressive organization where training is a priority, and most importantly, our crews provide professional, compassionate service to our community every day.”
Commissioner Joe Dawson, Board Vice-Chair
Board Member since: January 1, 1998
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2021
Commissioner Dawson is a long-time Valley resident and a retiree from the West Valley School District after 38 years, including 10 years as a central office administrator.
“I became a fire commissioner as a way to continue to serve our community. Even though I had a passion for the field of education, I have an equal passion for the fire service and the highest regard for those who serve us.”
Commissioner Bill Anderson
Board Member since: January 1, 2000
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2017
Commissioner Anderson served our community as a Spokane Valley Fire Department firefighter for 29 years. Throughout his career, he worked as a firefighter, dispatcher and engineer before he was promoted and became an officer. He was Station Captain of Millwood Station 2 when he retired in 1999. During his years as firefighter, he was an active leader of Spokane Valley Firefighters Local 876 and served as a trustee on the Washington State Council of Firefighters for 25 years.
“It’s important to me that we continue the good serve we’ve always given the people. We’ve accomplished a lot and are pulling in the same direction to get better. I’m very proud of the Spokane Valley Fire Department.”
Commissioner Patrick Burch
Board Member Since: July 18, 2016
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2019
Commissioner Burch was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in July 2016 to fill the unexpired term of Commissioner Kolby Hanson. Commissioner Burch is co-owner and Business Manager of Neurotherapy Northwest. He became a volunteer member of the Department’s CERT Team in 2008 and later served as a team leader/member of Fire Corps.
“I admire the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s focus on continuous improvement. Our dedication to the community, fiscal responsibility and the fact that we are one of the few accredited fire departments in the State of Washington all make SVFD great!”
Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Burch must run for elected office in November 2017 to fill the unexpired term which end in December 2019.
Commissioner Ron Schmidt
Board Member Since: January 1, 1990
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2019
Commissioner Schmidt is the most senior member of the Board of Fire Commissioners. He retired from Spokane Community College where he was the Dean of Trade Industrial Apprenticeships and Continuing Education. He was responsible for the Fire Science program and worked to set up a statewide program to strengthen fire service career paths for Washingtonians.
“The nice part about my role as a Fire Commissioner is that I am a go-between. I get to help serve the people of our community and help Spokane Valley Fire Department be a better organization. We’re doing a fantastic job taking care of our community. I’m really proud of that.”
Board of Fire Commissioner Rules
The five-member Board of Fire Commissioners is governed by Chapter 52.14 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) which sets for the number, qualifications and compensation for the Board of Fire Commissioners.
The rule states: “The affairs of the district shall be managed by a board of fire commissioners composed of three registered voters residing in the district except as provided in RCW 52.14.015 and 52.14.020.”
The rule also details the rate of compensation for the board. Earnings cannot exceed a set amount each year. As of 2012, the yearly allowance for earnings is nine thousand nine hundred eighty-four dollars per year. Board compensation is for time spent in actual attendance at official meetings of the board or in performance of other services or duties on behalf of the fire district.
The Chair of the board for Spokane Valley Fire Department assigns meeting attendance for the commissioners each year.
As the Spokane Valley Fire Department consists of a fire department of full-time, fully paid firefighters, RCW 52.14.020 determines the number of fire commissioners and states “there shall be five fire commissioners.”
Commissioner’s terms are set forth in RCW 52.14.060 for a period of six years. Elections are held with the county auditor opening up a special filing period. The person who receives the greatest number of votes is elected to that position and takes the official oath of office at the first board meeting in January. The fire commissioners elect a chair from their members each year as provided in RCW 52.14.080.
The board holds regular meetings twice per month. The meeting schedule for the board for Spokane Valley Fire Department is the second and fourth Monday of every month. All of the meetings follow the open public meeting requirements.