By Meg Olson
Whatcom County Fire District 5 has scheduled a special meeting to review proposed changes to Chief Christopher Carleton’s contract. Carleton’s current three-year contract expires this year and while it can be extended another three years, Carleton is asking for a longer-term agreement.
“I want to give this community an extended commitment as their fire chief,” he said at the April 8 fire district meeting. “I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked if I’m going to stay.”
He is proposing a 15-year contract in three five-year terms. No pay increase is being considered but Carleton is suggesting increasing his hours from 80 to 100 a month. In addition to his longer-term commitment to the community, Carleton said he is hoping commissioners will make a more long-term commitment to his leadership.
“It is hard to plan my life,” he said, adding that with a longer-term contract he would relocate to Point Roberts and commute to his other job in the county, rather than the other way around. “To do that I need the commitment of the district that you believe in me,” he said. The new contract will also offer protection to Carleton if he is terminated without cause.
The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15 at 4 p.m. at the Benson Road fire station.