ELECTION 2013: Gates vs. Galland for South King Fire board

Mirror staff reports:

For the 2013 election, there is one contested race for South King Fire and Rescue board of commissioners.

Longtime incumbent Bill Gates will seek re-election to position 1 against challenger Jerry Galland, a resident of unincorporated King County and an outspoken critic of the fire district.

Gates was first elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2007. He has served as board chairman the past four years. In a news release, Gates said he wants to "continue to use his extensive budget and finance knowledge to assure tax dollars are used wisely to provide professional emergency services for our residents."

A resident of Federal Way since 1974, Gates has received numerous accolades for community service in capacities including the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, Centerstage Theatre and local library boards. In 2012, the Department of Health appointed him to the Central Region Trauma Care Council.

In 2011, Galland ran for the board of commissioners against James Fossos and lost. Galland regularly attends board meetings. He started a blog ( a few years ago to criticize fire district procedures and finances.

“This year I will again attempt to bring responsible, accountable management to South King Fire and Rescue,” he said in a news release. “Watching the financial situation at our fire department turn from need to waste has troubled me for several years.”

Galland also ran for the state Legislature in 2010. That summer, he also spearheaded a campaign against a South King Fire proposed service benefit charge that failed in the primary.

Filing deadline for 2013 candidates was May 17. The primary election (for races with three candidates or more) is Aug. 6. The general election is Nov. 5.


In November 2010, Gates told Galland to stop videotaping a South King Fire board of commissioners meeting. As a result of The Mirror's inquiry, the board's guidelines were revised to allow private citizens to videotape the board's public meetings. Click here to read more.


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