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Snohomish Co. fire commissioners refuse to resign over racially-insensitive comments

Commissioners Bob Meador and David Chan from Snohomish County Fire District 1 Board declined to resign during a special meeting Friday after they made racially insensitive comments during a prior meeting. (Photo: KOMO News)

EVERETT (KOMO) – Two commissioners from Snohomish County Fire District 1 Board declined to resign during a special meeting Friday after they made racially insensitive comments during a prior meeting.

The transcript of the March 7 reads:

David Chan: Can we hire Mexican paramedics?

Bob Meador: I don’t know.

David Chan: It’s cheaper.

Bob Meador: I don’t want those immigrants. They can’t do the job, you know.

David Chan: It’s cheaper.

Bob Meador: Yeah, but that’s what I am saying, some solutions are…

The comments were made during a break at a March 7 Board of Commissioners meeting regarding firefighter hiring practices.

On Friday, both commissioners were apologetic for the comments, but said they were taken out of context.

“This is just bantering because of the Trump immigration, back and forth,” said Commissioner Meador.

Commissioner Chan said their conversation was far more innocent compared to the rhetoric of President Trump.

“If I was being condemned by these three sentences,” said Chan Friday, “than I’d ask the union, did you ask the President, who said much more worse words to Mexicans, to resign.”

The Board voted to ask the two commissioners to step down, but the Board voted 2-2, with Commissioner Chan and Commissioner Meador denying the request.

Local firefighters also asked for the two commissioner’s resignation.

After the meeting, one Snohomish County firefighter and Commissioner Chan engaged in a brief dialogue.

“As an employee, as one of your employees, I definitely take great offense to that,” said Moi Castellon of Fire District 1.

“I apologize. I’m sorry for that,” added Chan.

The Board cannot force the resignation of their commissioners.

Because fire commissioners are elected officials, the only way to remove them from office is by a public recall.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

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