By Pat Grubb
Fire district commissioner Jeff Wilmot has resigned his position as of Wednesday, March 9. In a letter to fellow commissioners, Wilmot wrote, “Declining health no longer permits my contribution at the level necessary to perform my duties.” Wilmot suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.
In his letter, Wilmot continued on, saying, “I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Point Roberts for the opportunity. During my tenure I was privileged to participate in a renaissance of the fire department. Strong leadership, an exceptional level of professionalism and the dedication of the members, staff and commissioners to the safety and well-being of this community will insure district 5 will continue to distinguish itself.”
Remaining commissioners Bill Meursing and Stan Riffle were generous in their praise of Wilmot. Meursing told the audience he “would like to take this opportunity to thank Jeff Wilmot for his services and even though I have had my differences with him, I learned to respect the man. He was a good man.”
Riffle echoed Meursing’s comments, adding, “He always showed up for meetings despite his illness.” Fire chief Christopher Carleton told commissioners that the news “saddens me greatly. He was a great leader who helped this organization become what it is today.”
The two remaining commissioners now have 90 days to appoint a successor to Wilmot’s position. Should they fail to do so, Whatcom County Council would step in and make the appointment. Meursing said anyone could apply to the position by delivering a cover letter and resume to the fire chief and the board of commissioners. “What the new person should bring to the organization is a positive attitude, be respectable, know how to read a budget, understand that the chief runs the district’s business and be a steward of other people’s money,” said Meursing.
Whoever is appointed will need to run for election in the November 2017 general election. Meursing’s position is also up for a vote at that time.