Fire District has new chief, name

Chief Wayne Senter is no longer in charge of Kitsap County Fire District 7. No, the District’s Board of Commissioners didn’t vote out the new chief during his first month on the job. Instead, they approved changing the district’s official name to South Kitsap Fire and Rescue.

“The commissioners were willing to consider the change if it involved no additional cost to the district,” said Senter, explaining that the board’s unanimous approval Thursday night means he can move forward with legally changing the district’s name.

The change will give the district a name that immediately identifies its location and the communities it serves, Senter said, and will bring it in line with the other fire districts in the county.

“When you hear Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue or North Kitsap Fire and Rescue, there’s no doubt where those districts are,” he said.

Senter said the idea of a name change for the district has been discussed for “many years,” but the commissioners resisted due to concerns about unnecessary costs.

“I talked to my personnel, and they felt pretty confident we could do it with no additional costs,” Senter said, explaining that although soon the district’s legal name will be changed, most of the equipment his department uses will bear the old name — possibly for years to come.

“We’re not just going to throw things away that are perfectly good,” Senter said, explaining that currently he still has dozens of shirt and jacket patches that will be used before ones with the new name will be purchased, and even the trucks that the district recently bought will be outfitted with Fire District 7 decals.

“We’re not in a big hurry to change, and it makes sense to do it over a long period of time,” he said.

The first items to reveal the name change may perhaps be the district’s letterhead, which should be running out soon, Senter said.

In all, Senter said the change should cost little more than the county filing fee, which he estimated would be less than $70.

In other fire district business Thursday night, the commissioners unanimously approved the 2005 budget prepared by the recently retired Chief Mike Brown. The approved budget outlined operating expenses of $9,564,566, with estimated revenues at $9,672,027, leaving an estimated unexpended fund balance of $107,461.

The district’s expenditures are broken into five categories as follows: general government services, $124,712; public safety, $6,811,524; ambulance, rescue and emergency aid, $1,452,865; communications, alarms and dispatch, $470,681, and total capital expenditures of $704,784.

Brown noted that the budget he recommended was thoroughly reviewed and recommended by Senter, who was provided with adequate flexibility, in cooperation with the Board of Commissioners, to modify it as he begins his administration.

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