Interlocal Medic One Commissioners Dale Nielson and Grant Kistler discuss options during the three-hour session.
During a workshop last Tuesday night sparks flew as members of the fire districts that make up the Medic One Interlocal faced off with commissioner Grant Kistler from Winlock's Fire District 15. Winlock had informed the Interlocal group sometime last February that they would be submitting a 365 day notice to quit as per their contract.
During the meeting commissioners and members from each of the remaining districts struggled and strategized with ideas on how to make the service financially feasible without the revenues from Winlock. Some members tried to reason with Commissioner Grant Kistler while others were a bit more aggressive. "The commissioners of Fire District 15 and I were unanimous in our decision to move forward. It's not out of animosity, it's a business decision," Kistler said responding to a plea to stay with the group. The air in the room was thick with angst and frustration as the group discussed in an open forum their options and ideas about how to carry on without the Winlock district. Kistler was able to maintain his composure while coming under fire and at one point told an attendee who had just made a curt comment that she was "better than that". Though non-specific, there were fleeting comments made about discussions with lawyers and legal actions.
Nearing the end of the three hour workshop one of the members said," "The only other thing I could think of is if the remaining districts agreed to pay their full year, their annual fee, that's about all the money you can get out of everybody right now. If we paid in advance, if we paid the whole annual fee that we've already agreed to pay, that gets us down the road two or three more months." That idea took legs and the commissioners that were in attendance agreed to take it back to their boards and come back to the next meeting with feedback.
The June 23 meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at District 2 headquarters, and the public is invited to attend.