The April regular meeting did not have drama written in as an agenda item, but it showed up none the less.

The public comment section was longer than usual as some citizens showed up to mention items of interest. Subjects included the opening of the Des Moines Farmers Market and appreciation for the AED which was presented by the fire district last year, comments about the fundraiser basketball game between the fire district and the police department and all the good that will come of the contributions raised, and show of support from an employee for her boss.

It could have been the usual friendly banter of commissioners, employees and citizens.

But the charges made by the fire chief, and the failure for them to hit their mark, are still apparently festering.

Every meeting has another jab to the hilt. Last month it was the chairman himself wielding the shiv.

So much for those hollow words of the chairman, lets put this behind us and move on.




Comments Comments Off on The chief gets a pat on the back, at commissioner expense

Thank you to the South King Fire & Rescue Search & Rescue Team members for joining the efforts in Oso.

Last week, Gary White, Shane Smith, Paul Mernaugh, Travis McKenney and Roy Smith have given up the comforts of home and family to join the operations at the devastating mudslide in Snohomish County.

Thank you.




Comments Comments Off on While we enjoy our creature comforts……

Public statements against some of your elected officials being bullies is not Politically Correct.


Or speaking out against elected officials wasting tens of thousands in tax dollars.


Or speaking out against elected officials disgracing the honor of the the fire district.


Or at least not something any one of your elected officials is willing to do.


I have personally presented the case of fire commissioners Bill Gates, James A Fossos, Mark Thompson, John Rickert and Fire Chief Al Church doing all of these things to the below listed public officials and community leaders.


I have sent them public records that support each of these atrocities.


The Federal Way Mirror has reported on these claims.


Your elected officials and community leaders have ignored these facts.


Have you heard a whisper from any of them?


Where can I link to their response? If they are willing to stand silent, where is their integrity?


It is well past time you called them and demanded an answer.

Comments Comments Off on Speaking out against bullies is not Politically Correct


Is the union proud of their decision?


Will Bill Gates and Jim Fossos succeed in bringing our district to complete and total disgrace?



Are you there yet?


How can you remain silently on the fence?


Mr. Federal Way has spoken


Former Auburn Mayor Bob Roegner has written



Others will be coming out. Soon.



Where do I link for your public statement on this injustice?






These are your elected officials. Do you agree with the Commissioner Bill Gates and Jim Fossos comments (after the 23:30 mark) in a public meeting? Were they respectful? Did they add anything of value? Would you have allowed, or confronted, it in one of your meetings?


Are you going to call them about it?


Comm Freitas noted earlier that the north wall had been redecorated. He mentioned that removed was a plague that said “We will respect each other and their opinion, and we will hold each other accountable to confront inappropriate behavior, or behavior that does not add value.”



Chair Gates chose a positive comment Comm Freitas was making to Lt. Bellinghausen embracing the position of CAO to drag up something from months ago.


Chair Gates reluctantly ‘allowed’ Comm Freitas to address Lt. Bellinghausen then spent the time formulating a personal attack.


When a body votes 4-1 to adopt something, the natural position, the mature path, is accept you were outvoted and move on. The decision is made and we all need to embrace it and move forward. Same thing with a 3-2 vote. For the good of the body and the organization, you accept it and move on. It happens the world over.


Unless you are Chair Gates. Months later, he is still fuming at the fact that Comm Freitas voted against the extra expense of a CAO.


Starts at about 25:00 with Chair Gates pandering to Chief Church and calling out Comm Freitas to explain himself. Then, like clockwork, Comm Fossos chiming in with another of his snide editorials.


Are you going to call them about it?


Or are you too afraid of the bully? Shame on you!

Comments Comments Off on Why has the union fought to keep this bully in the pulpit?

A new installment in our local Soap Opera wrapped up this evening as the regular meeting of the board of commissioners got under way.

(I did not make this connection. Mr. Federal Way put the junior-high spin on the juvenile behavior at the fire district. Paired it with another, supposedly unrelated, event in our area. The irony is not lost)



A few things of note. First, an excellent presentation of how he is raising awareness of services and activities in our community by Lt. Jeff Bellinghausen, recently assigned Community Affairs Officer for South King Fire & Rescue.

This starts at about 14:30 and goes for several minutes, well worth watching to hear how the district is reaching out to the community and how you can interact with the district.


Secondly, the most recently hired firefighters have completed probation and become numbered badge employees at South King Fire & Rescue.

Welcome aboard, everyone. Sorry for the bad camera angle.


Then the boring stuff. Skip this if you don’t want to hear my voice during Public Comments asking why the district is shutting the door on hundreds of thousands in cash for non-encumbering easement, and would rather saddle the taxpayers with additional tax burden in coming years.

And an opinion piece that was interrupted by Comm Fossos about the witch hunt against Comm Freitas.




Then a memory lesson and some bullying. Do you recall at the end of the Special meeting on March 10th, Chairman Gates was eager to announce the attack on Comm Freitas was behind us and he was eager to move forward?


Apparently not very far forward, though.


You can never please this guy.


Do exactly as he says and you are wrong, every time. Both him and Comm Fossos were spectacles, again, this evening.


Today, Chair Gates chose a positive comment Comm Freitas was making to Lt. Bellinghausen embracing the position of CAO to drag up something from months ago.


When a body votes 4-1 to adopt something, the natural position, the mature path, is accept you were outvoted and move on. The decision is made and we all need to embrace it and move forward. Same thing with a 3-2 vote. For the good of the body and the organization, you accept it and move on. It happens the world over.


Unless you are Chair Gates. He wouldn’t know maturity if it sat on his head. Months later, he is still fuming at the fact that Comm Freitas voted against the extra expense of a CAO.


Starts at about 25:00 with Chair Gates pandering to Chief Church and calling out Comm Freitas to explain himself. Then, like clockwork, Comm Fossos chiming in with another of his snide editorials.

Is Comm Thompson looking a bit uncomfortable as he sits between Comms Gates and Fossos?


Comments Comments Off on Start anew, unless you are the Chair, then rule the roost.

Update – From another concerned citizen

At great expense to the fire district Al Church sent his disgruntled employee letter to Bill Gates, who cherished it as an excuse to skewer Mark Freitas.

Instead of taking a leadership role, Bill gates bought into the false interpretation of the time to retire statement,  which was well supported by ample explanation not even approaching age discrimination, and contacted his buddy Jim Fossos, who brought in Al Church’s layer, who also, if you can imagine, is the attorney for the fire district, to put forth an ‘independent investigation’ with another buddy on the outside.

The complaint is the musing of a frustrated disgruntled employee. Pure and simple.

Every ‘charge’ against Commissioner Mark Freitas is weakened by the simple fact that his employer had clear established contractual expectations and the employee had failed on so many of them that it was time he was called out for it.

Many could have been dealt with internally on a more supportive nature had the chief just met the most basic of requirements, attend the board of commissioners meeting. Which is a condition of his contract.

But apparently, even though the required monthly meetings for next year are scheduled at the last meeting of the year, the chief could not make attending a priority, missing several. Prompting Commissioner Freitas to ask “Where is the chief?”

I can and will chronicle many other laughable ‘complaints’, but I am very curious about anothe development.


Where is the outrage?


We have several elected officials in our region, any one of which could have had these false charges levied against.


Had it been a complaint against Skip Priest, people would have come out of the woodwork taking a position for or against the accuser. In fact, that scenario played out more than once.

Many spoke on the Kelly Maloney-Skip Priest situation.


Starting the day the travesty was exposed, and as of this morning, I personally have contacted several ‘leaders’ in our community asking them to do two things.

First, contact Mark and tell him you support him in this time of attack. I understand a couple have done so.

And second, make a public statement that you do not condone the bullying activity that is taking place.

As of today, only a couple have spoken, according to the article in the Federal Way Mirror.


So what am I to think when these same ‘leaders’ come to me asking for my support? In their next election, on their next project, in their next big plan?


Their character is on the line.


I do not condone the actions of the majority of the board of commissioners to fail in their duty to deal with the only employee they are in charge of hiring/firing.

I do not condone the actions of the majority of the board of commissioners to protect the integrity of the district as we move into more difficult times.

I do not condone the actions of the majority of the board of commissioners to wage war against a fellow commissioner who, by all accounts in the disgruntled employees complaint, was doing his job as he was elected to do.

I do not condone the actions of the majority of the board of commissioners to abuse their authority as an excuse to bully.

Do you?



What do I have to lose?

Is there any reason why I should not expose a list of the people who have been provided the actual complaint, complete investigation, and otherwise apprised of the facts in this case and still remain silent of the obvious?


Do they deserve protection?


So the list of irresponsible public servants begins:




Comments Comments Off on Do you condone bullying and false reporting?


As they said in A few Good Men, You can’t handle the truth!


Ready for a generous dose of bullshit and waste of tax dollars?


4 asinine commissioners skewer the only upstanding commissioner we have while pandering to a has-been fool of a chief?

What started it all:

“For many reasons, It is time to consider retirement. You are at the top of your game.”

The entire report



I am humbled by the generous amount of time and space the chief gave me in his complaint, by name or inference.

Including a shout-out for this very website.

I must really be in his head.

I am not sure what galls the chief worse, an elected official talking to experts in their field to better serve the district he represents, an elected official that is accessible to the constituents he serves and is willing to talk with them over coffee (on his own time/dime and not charge the taxpayers for the it like some of Al’s friends), his myopic opinion that he can simply dismiss anyone who disagrees with him as a ‘disgruntled employee’ (of which he mentions there are apparently many) or that a member of the public has enough brains to see what is going on without needing a ‘source’

Oh, why pick just one. He is throwing a major temper tantrum on all of it.




There was something validating to see in print, by his own hand, though. And it goes to his deluded state of mind.
From about the middle of page 41:

“I had requested a few modifications to my contract, including a severance package should the Board simply decide to eliminate me and move in a different direction thus preserving my ability to reach my full retirement (out of concern that Freitas and Galland could end up on the same Board, and then work to simply eliminate me and bring in someone of their own choice).”

Having the contract presented in such a blindside move of only presenting it minutes before the vote, Church was only able to triangulate three cohorts into voting yes (did they already know about it, in violation of quorum?) with John Rickert and Mark Freitas, asking for, and being denied, time to actually read the thing, voting no.


The ‘modification’?


Oh, that. Well, it was only jumping a mere one year severance check up to a two full year severance check. At the time a jump from nearly $170,000 to about $340,000, where it remains to this day.

This is consistent with the facts I have been writing and speaking about here and beyond ever since it was discovered.

Oddly, a few pages after he validates my speaking of the truth, on page 45 he writes that I am making ‘erroneous accusations about my severance package’

So, he freely admits that it was fear of me that prompted him to demand a $340,000 severance package, but it is erroneous of me to write about it.

I wonder who is feeding him information about my blog. I can’t imagine that he would stoop to visiting it himself.

Comments Comments Off on Read what Al Church finds so offensive. Updated

Now that Bill Gates is showing his true colors, making the prophesy come to happen, are we going to wait for his next bullying personal attack and illegal actions to cast the district deeper into the gutter?


Or are we going to take action to save our Class 2 Insurance rating?


Remember, that rating is based on a wide number of factors and every day your district so-called leadership is steering us toward the gutter of lower rating.


Integrity and trust in the administration was high on the list of assets and Bill Gates along with James A Fossos and Chief Al Church are doing their level best to drag us down as quickly as possible.


And making illegal motions to destroy documents will not help in any way, shape or form. And for what? To remove a few words about age and retirement? All this crap over some imagined slight having absolutely no bearing on anything for the good of the district?


Hell, at this point regardless of age we would be better off if Church retired. Well almost. Those 4 dirty commissioners promised him over $340,000 in severance pay. Of your tax money. And he probably leaves behind a culture of bullying that infests others. God, I hope not.



And where is the union on this?

It appears the smudges that appeared with the Firefighter Brandon Church fiasco are turning into large sooty marks of complicity from the ever silent union ‘leadership’.


Instead of protecting the integrity of the uniform, the honor of the department and the citizens of the community, they remain true to the tyrant of a chief.


Oh, I answered my own question, didn’t I?

Every employee in the fire district serves at the pleasure of the chief. The chief has a long and rich history of retaliation for the slightest infraction in his fiefdom. And not a single member of the fire department, union or administration has the guts to defy him, even when he is wrong, very very wrong.

The chief has a standing order that any employee who speaks to me will feel the wrath of Hades. I have no doubt he placed the same order against your only elected official standing up to his bullying and for the citizens.

Look no further than the demeaning motion his boys Gates and Fossos drafted and passed to see the truth.

So devoted they are they would rather see the entire ship founder than utter a syllable in defense of the only fire commissioner they have that shows any honor and integrity.

This ‘investigation’ will show how sick the district is and how much in need we as citizens deserve a regime change.

An open public and sincere apology is well past due. What are you waiting for Gates? Fossos? Church?

Comments Comments Off on Time for a recall and How the hell does the union fit in?

And issue an ‘order’ to the Public Records Officer to DESTROY PUBLIC RECORDS that are by statute to be retained?

Is the altering and destruction of an official public record, in this case a formally approved performance evaluation of the fire chief, which by Washington State law is legally subject to retention in its original form, along with any modifications, allowed by simple motion of the board of commissioners to be altered and records destroyed?

Four of the five commissioners took an extreme measure to remove what appears to be one phrase from the evaluation regarding age and retirement, (although it now exists as a permanent record of the recent meeting), and attempted to ensure it was deleted from the evaluation and the districts files and records.

The meeting is posted in two parts of raw video, before and after executive session, on YouTube and the pertinent motion identifying the record and advocating what I consider to be its illegal alteration and destruction is after executive session, starting at about 1:30 through 2:30 although you may want to watch it from the beginning for accurate context.

Part two, after executive session: see pertinent portion starting at about 1:30 into the video

Part one, prior to executive session:

Riddle me this:

The Public Records Officer is so titled because they are the employee responsible for upholding the laws that make up the Washington State Public Records Act. While they may seek advice from the district attorney, can not they be held personally liable of BREAKING the law if they in fact are the person charged with willful destruction of retentive documents?

Just because four idiots of commissioners and their never-been-right-on-a-critical-matter attorney want to pacify a tyrannical boss does not indemnify the Public Records Officer from resisting the illegal demand to destroy or alter without retention those public documents to which they are entrusted to maintain.



Comments Comments Off on In an open public meeting, no less, does the chair overtly break state law?

The commissioners paid themselves for another meeting this evening, this time it was a “Special Meeting” at which they took turns publicly attacking Commissioner Mark Freitas for supposed past slights.

Apparently all for the sole goal of sanitizing the fire chiefs annual evaluation of one line regarding age, chairman Bill Gates and his pit bull vice-chair Jim Fossos nearly wet themselves to make motions that did nothing for the good of the district and much to show the public exactly how small they are.

Performing as trained monkeys, and poorly trained ones at that, they went out of their way during the last Legal Committee meeting to draft outrageous motions that wiggled all over the place so that each could present a motion, neatly choreographed to be seconded by the other, to call for censuring of Commissioner Mark Freitas.

The motion of censure was so ill-conceived that the districts attorney, usually their willing lackey to their chicanery, had advised them in executive session that it was a retaliatory motion and should not be made. But no, they were hell bent to ridicule to the max tonight.

I am working on posting the videos so you can see who at the table excels in disrespect at every turn, which explains why, as the master in bullying, he is so quick to accuse others of the merest slight.

Beginning of the “Special Meeting”

Second portion of Special Meeting – after Executive Session

Thanks for reading


Comments Comments Off on Always entertaining, the circus was in full swing this evening

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