Wiley retires from SK fire district

South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Commissioner Roger “Pudge” Wiley stepped down from his longtime post last month, ending nearly three decades of service on the fire district board.

“After 28 years of faithful service ... I have decided to retire effective Jan. 31, 2006,” Wiley wrote in a letter to SKF&R Chief Wayne Senter. “I want to express my sincere appreciation for the opportunities that I have had to serve our community.”

Wiley first joined the board in 1978, and described the district at that time as a “substantially rural service serving a small population over a few square miles” that responded to only a few calls a year.

During his tenure, however, Wiley saw the district steadily grow in size, now serving “over 83,000 people ... and (responding) to nearly 9,000 calls each year.”

Wiley said the district staff has also increased during this time, but expressed concern that, according to response times, it has been unable to adequately keep up with the size of the community it serves. To help the district do that, he wrote that he hopes a temporary levy on the ballot this May will be successful.

“It is absolutely critical to our citizens who expect fast service in emergencies that we add these firefighter/EMTs,” he said. “The fact that we have a $900,000 federal grant to assist us ... is a one-time, ‘red light special fire sale.’”

Wiley followed in his father, George Wiley’s, footsteps, who served as both a firefighter and commissioner for the district. Roger’s brother, Dusty, is a current commissioner, having joined the board in 1993.

Wiley’s retirement was announced at last week’s board of commissioners meeting, and is the second retirement in little more than a year. Former Commissioner Rick Metzger stepped down mid-term in January 2005.

Last year, the commissioners accepted applications for his replacement, eventually appointing Commissioner Paul Golnik to his seat last March. Golnik was then elected to the post last November.

At their meeting Thursday, the board members decided to undergo a similar process to fill Wiley’s seat, and expected to begin accepting applications soon.

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