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Woodinville Firefighters Union Votes “No Confidence” in Chief

IAFF Local 2950 cast an overwhelming vote of no confidence in Woodinville Fire & Rescue Chief I. David Daniels.

Woodinville firefighters union announced a vote of no confidence in Woodinville Fire & Rescue Chief I. David Daniels at Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

The union’s 59-0 vote was nearly unanimous with four members abstaining, according to Greg Ahearn, president of IAFF Local 2950 which represents Woodinville firefighters.

Ahearn emphasized that the vote was not about wages and benefits, or contract negotiations but about the way the chief is mismanaging the department, according to the union.

Reading from a prepared statement during public comments, Ahearn blamed the chief for loss of the district’s international accreditation through the Center for Public Safety (formally CFAI), for failure to adequately protect the area of Hollywood Hill once serviced by closed as a result of Kirkland’s annexation of Kingsgate, elimination of a public education position while over expanding the fire district’s administrative staff, and spending down the district’s reserves.

“Never before in the history of this fire district had there been a vote of no confidence in a fire chief,” Ahearn said. “This is an unprecedented action and a somber occasion.”

Woodinville firefighter and union board member Tony Woods spoke next, reading the official no vote resolution. Chief Daniels sat impassively while the list of grievances was formally read.

Representatives from six other firefighting unions in the Puget Sound spoke in support of Local 2950’s vote, including Shoreline Firefighters Local 1760, Snohomish Local 2781, Eastside Local 2878, Mercer Island Local 1762, Bellevue Local 1604 and Kirkland Local 2545.

After public comments closed, the commissioners continued the meeting’s agenda with no comment on the union’s vote.

“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion,” said Chief Daniels after the meeting.

While the Chief appeared unfazed by the vote, two board members expressed surprise at the union’s position.

“I’m surprised and disappointed,” said Commissioner Clint Olson. “I thought we were coming together. I have to think about what’s next.”

Board Chair Tim Osgood said he too needed time to think about the union’s vote before he would be ready to comment but said things would be worked out. Commissioner Kevin Coughlin was not at the meeting and the board had not yet filled the seat left vacant when last month citing health issues.

“This happens all the time,” said Commissioner Bob Miller after the meeting. “It’s just one of the ways of doing business. There are a lot of other things we need to focus on besides this.”

What the union will be focusing on now is waiting to see what the board does with the no confidence vote.

“We are requesting the board search for a new fire chief,” Ahearn said after the meeting. “We’re hoping this vote creates that dialogue.”

Fire Captain July 21, 2011 at 04:50 AM
It is difficult not to be alarmed by the Vote. It represents the very core of the emergency service to the Woodinville community. Chief Daniels does not deliver that service to the people on the streets or in their homes. He stands atop a pile of wreckage that is the values of the community he was sworn to protect and serve. It is not a surprise that he had fallen into the same patterns that he displayed in the past, both in Fulton County and Renton. The support of the ajoining Unions represents the very real threat his type of leadership is to the region. His failure to maintain a fiscal balance and recognize the loss of direction under his leadership is critical. Some would seek to blame the economy and other factors but, he was being paid to do a job, one he is failing at. I also have concern that the Comissioners are powering this ship right into the bottom while the Chief is feeding them a line that will end their reign. This is not a steady hand but the actions of an ego that is hell bent on self adulation and may be found rolling some balls that he will drop. The community and the businesses of Woodinvile, take some time to read the record, assemble the facts and be informed. If you fail to do so, it may cost the life of you or your loved one. The Firefighters can only risk so much with understaffed and ill informed leadership. Daniels has worn out another welcome mat and his lack of fiscal knowledge and prudence has let another community fall victim to his smoke.
K Coughlin July 21, 2011 at 05:14 AM
Mr.Stockman, you are right, this is a big deal. Mr. Johns, I trust you will make application for the vacant board position. Kirklandway, you appear to be correct. The next few weeks will be very telling. Fire Captain, your post raises several issues that will be addressed and resolved soon.
Tom Beachler July 21, 2011 at 05:12 PM
As a former employee who felt it was best to leave the district before I really wanted to. I sincerely hope the elected commissioners really do take the information that has been exposed to everyones eyes and make an intelligent decision for a change. To sit back and allow what has happened to our district and still believe in the direction it has been pointed in, is a true tragedy. The addition of the two Renton former employees, was the beginning of the collapse of a wonderful & effective group of dedicated employees. To close down the depts and sections that were such a help to our communities, to destroy the efforts of a wonderful group of people who were so focussed on careers to help our community to be a safe & friendly environment, The friendliness and compassion was taken away by the new administration . The present commissioners have to be blind to have not noticed or do any type of inquiring from the people who were being effected by the new tactics being deployed. All I can say is : WAKE UP !!!!
Wayne Hines July 24, 2011 at 03:39 AM
As the President of Fulton County GA Local 3920, I fully support my brothers and sisters in Local 2950. I witnessed David Daniels behavior and his mismangement of Fulton County Fire Department for almost 5 years. His behavior and mismanagement or our department nearly destroyed a great department and it will take decades to repair the damage done by him. David Daniels was demeaning and degrading to the firefighters here. With his statement that he could "teach a monkey to pull a Hose" he has always belittled the firefighters that ride the trucks, do the job and serve the public. His purchase of Vector Command to train fire officers, which less than a dozen officers ever used, was a waste of over $100,000 with the system currently sitting broken in a closet in headquarters. His poorly planned and pitfully executed attempt at taking over EMS for Fulton County was shot down by several of the Grady hospital doctors along with the BOC was a pure debacle. I wish my brothers and sister in Local 2950 the best of luck in their fight to return sanity to their department. To the citizens, please support the firefightes that come to your house and protect you and your family by asking for David Daniels to be removed from his position in Woodinville Fire Rescue. Wayne Hines President Local 3920
John Holt August 01, 2011 at 12:49 AM
Chief I. David Daniels has a knack for spending a lot of money while dismantling the resources essential to providing emergency services. These services are provided by individuals who go out into the community in rapid response to calls for service. Chief Daniels has a contempt for these individuals, and doesn't understand why each and every one of them don't aspire to get behind a desk - from where he mistakenly believes that emergency services can be provided. The Woodinville Fire Department should sue Chief Daniels for breach of contract for his dismantling of public safety programs already in place BEFORE he took office. They should be excused from the parachute clause that he has (probably) negotiated, and begin the difficult process of rebuilding the wreckage Chief Daniels has caused. Despite Chief Daniels's obvious intelligence and energy, his prejudice towards the individuals who are motivated to serve their communities in the streets will prevent him from being an effective manager of the delivery of emergency services. Hopefully he can find a more suitable vocation. No other community should be subjected to the disastrous leadership of Chief I. David Daniels.

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