Fire commissioner appointed

Newly appointed fire commissioner Raye Newmen swearing the oath of office.

By Pat Grubb

The Point Roberts fire commission is back at full strength following the appointment of Raye Newmen at the district’s regular meeting on February 13. Newmen will fill the unexpired term of former chair and commissioner Bill Meursing who resigned at the end of last year.

There were three applicants for the seat of which only two, Newmen and David McCarthy, appeared before the commission to make their case for the position. McCarthy, who is a board member of the Point Roberts Registered Voters Association, told commissioners Virginia Lester and Pat Harper that he had a long history of being engaged in the communities in which he had lived. McCarthy was a firefighter for 10 years and chief for three years of the Garibaldi Volunteer Fire Department south of Whistler, B.C.

Newmen and his wife Sandra moved to the Point about two years ago and has described himself as a relative “newbie.” Professionally, Newmen did cognitive research in the field of human performance and improvement. He was a division head and advisor to the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C. for training and reserve affairs.

“This fire department is incredibly important to the community,” Newmen told commissioners. “I take that very, very seriously and I applaud how this department has improved the services that we receive here since chief Carleton became chief. I have a great deal of experience in fiscal management, planning and oversight. I also understand that there are some capital expenditures coming up that will be extremely important to the department and I think I can make a contribution in terms of how those expenditures can be planned and realized.”

Following a 15-minute executive session, the commission re-convened. Harper nominated Newmen for the position and he was approved on a 2-0 vote.

In other district news, the board voted to increase the rent for the Point Roberts health clinic by 2.6 percent which represents a net annual increase of $426 for an annual rent of $16,400.

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