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County will fill Fire District 9 seat

Spokane County commissioners are going to decide who will fill a vacancy on the board of Fire District 9 after the two remaining fire commissioners failed to agree on an appointment.

The county commissioners on Tuesday opened the position for applications through 5 p.m. on Aug. 3.

The appointment process follows the retirement earlier this year of longtime Fire Commissioner Donald Foster. He had served more than 20 years on the District 9 board.

Fire Commissioners Michael Atwood and Tom McGarry deadlocked on a replacement after considering a dozen applicants, said Fire Chief Bob Anderson.

Atwood supported naming former Commissioner Robert E. Strasburg, who McGarry defeated in a 2011 election.

McGarry backed Judith Personett, who lost as a Democrat in a race for county assessor in 2006. The fire position is nonpartisan.

“Because they could not reach an agreement, it goes to the county commissioners by statute,” Anderson said.

The appointee will fill the rest of Foster’s term, which runs through 2013. Voters will select a commissioner to take the seat starting in 2014.

Applications should be submitted to the clerk of the Board of County Commissioners at 1116 W. Broadway Ave., Room 100, Spokane, WA 99260, by Aug. 3.

An application form is posted on the commissioner’s page on the county’s website at

For more information, contact Ginna Vasquez at (509) 477-2265 or