Former Central Valley School District superintendent Mike Pearson was selected to fill a vacant seat on the Spokane Valley Fire Department board of commissioners Friday.
Pearson and six others were interviewed for the position.
Pearson retired from Central Valley in 2008 after working for the district for 30 years, starting as a teacher. He is currently on the Spokane Valley General Advisory Council for Career and Technical Education.
During his interview Pearson said he is passionate about education and wants to do something else he feels passionate about. “I loved the Central Valley School District and I loved going to work,” he said.
Pearson said he saw a notice about the vacant position, created by the resignation of former commissioner Monte Nesbitt, in The Spokesman-Review’s Valley Voice.
“When I read it, it felt good,” he said. “I don’t have a preset agenda. It’s something I could have a passion for.”
He praised the department for publishing incident reports on its website and providing information about calls every week to the Valley Voice. “It demonstrates to me that you’re reaching out to the public,” he said. “I think you’re transparent.”
He also praised the firefighters who have responded several times to help his 99-year-old mother. “They are very kind, courteous and respectful.”
Each candidate was asked about hobbies, and Pearson explained how he got interested in motorcycle riding after a beloved horse died. “I had a friend tell me to get a motorcycle,” he said. “You don’t have to feed it or shovel it.”
The vote to appoint Pearson to the position was unanimous. “We did not have one bad candidate,” said commission chairman Kolby Hanson.
Pearson is expected to take his seat on the dais during Monday’s commissioner meeting. He will have to run in the 2013 general election in order to keep his seat.
Other applicants for the position were former Spokane Valley Mayor Mike DeVleming, business owner and Spokane Airport firefighter Chris Wetherell, former firefighter and civil service examiner Cynthia Walters, Spokane Valley Planning Commissioner John Carroll, former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite and retired Spokane Valley firefighter Mark Normington.
Commissioner Bill Anderson said all the candidates were of high quality. “It was a hard decision, guys,” he said. “It was tough.”