More than a week after the dust had settled in every other political battle in the state, results were finally announced in the only contest that really counts among firefighters in a certain mountain town: the Evergreen Fire Protection District recall election. The mail-in ballot had been delayed by printing and procedural problems, but there was no mistaking the verdict. Voters unseated two members of the five-member EFPD board, replacing them with veteran firemen in a clear effort to preserve the volunteer nature of Evergreen's tumultuous fire department.
The two deposed board members, Phil Shanley and David Klaus, had been strong supporters of former fire chief Joel Janov, whose prickly management style and heavy reliance on costly consultants stirred considerable strife within the ranks, as detailed here. Janov resigned under pressure last spring, but board president Shanley, a local businessman who's been with the EFPD for 32 years, was regarded as too keen on reorganizing the department, prompting the recall. T The final returns indicate how deeply divided the community has been — Shanley was recalled by a vote of 1504 to 1399, Klaus by a vote of 1565 to 1300. Replacing them are George Goldbach, the former West Metro fire chief, and Jeff DeDisse, an Evergreen Fire Department veteran.
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Supporters of the recall say it's time to get back to fighting fires rather than each other. –- Alan Prendergast