Snohomish County firefighters rebuke remarks made by commissioners

Two fire commissioners are under fire for comments caught on camera.

Snohomish County firefighters are rebuking comments made by two Snohomish County Fire District 1 Commissioners during a March 7 meeting.

The remarks included references to race when hiring for a position.

Video from that meeting captures Commissioner Bob Meador saying, "I'm talking about training people. You got to have the skills. You got to have to want the job. We are willing to pay a lot of money."

Commissioner David Chan replied, "Can we hire a Mexican paramedic?"

"I dunno," said Meador.

"It's cheaper," said Chan.

Both could be heard laughing in the recording.

"I don't want those immigrants," Meador said. "They can't do the job."

"It's cheaper," said Chan. 

Thad Hovis, president of Snohomish County Professional Firefighters Local 1828, issued a statement that reads in part:

"The Professional firefighters of Snohomish County are a diverse group of men and women that work to provide service to the culturally diverse citizenry of South Snohomish County and by no means do their comments reflect our values."

At a Friday night meeting, a Union representative asked the commissioners to resign.

Commissioner David Chan said, "if I resign then I am accepting every single accusation that you guys had. If three sentences cause me to resign, I don't know what this country is coming to. We have candidates saying things much worse than that and we elect them to be President."

Commissioner Bob Meador pointed out that the conversation took place during a break at the March 7 meeting.

"For somebody to be listening in on an off the record response, and only hearing part of the exchange, I just don't know what to tell you," said Meador. "I feel very comfortable that I did nothing wrong."

Both commissioners apologized if they offended anyone, but they voted against a motion to receive written reprimands.

Commissioners plan to discuss the issue at the next regular meeting on Tuesday evening.

Copyright 2017 KING


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