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What I said about my firing as fire chief

5:27 pm July 8th, 2013

I feel I should address a misstatement in the May 22 front-page article in The Dispatch on local candidates (“Mayor will run for Town Council, not re-election”). Regarding my firing as Eatonville’s volunteer fire chief by Mayor Harper, the article states I “criticized it publicly,” which is incorrect. The only comment I made to The Dispatch for publication was it is the mayor’s right to hire and fire “at-will” employees. When asked to comment further, I declined.
In parting comment to the Town Council, i presented an asssessment of the Fire Department that anticipated a reduction in service because one ambulance would no longer be available for transport during school and business hours when most volunteers are at work. As volunteer chief, I responded 24/7 with a volunteer EMT, providing additional revenue and services to citizens when our vehicles were on other calls or transporting patients. Fortunately, service was not seriously impacted, as then-chief Habeck allowed me to stay on as a volunteer.
I did, at a council meeting and as a private citizen, publicly criticize the firing of chief Habeck. He did the work of three people at the salary of one, and I stand by those comments. I am accountable for my words, as long as I actually said them.
Bud Lucas
Eatonville
(Editor: Mr. Lucas is a candidate for mayor of Eatonville in the primary election this August).

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