Gales Creek, Government, News

Gales Creek’s Melinda Fischer sworn in as newest member of Forest Grove Rural Fire board

The Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District met Wednesday, August 2 to conduct the regular business of the board, and also to swear in newly-elected members from the May 16 special district election.

New board member Melinda Fischer was sworn in, as was returning board member Gary Post, who was sworn in remotely for his second term. Both were sworn in by Forest Grove Fire & Rescue Chief Jim Geering, who also serves as the chief for the Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District and a handful of other local fire districts and departments.

Gary Post is sworn in remotely at the August 2 2023 Forest Grove Rural Fire Board meeting. Photo: Chas Hundley

Also elected in May to a second term was Brooke Gramer, who was not present at Wednesday’s meeting.

“I’m gonna be learning a lot in the first year for sure,” Fischer said in a brief interview with the Gales Creek Journal after the meeting.

“I’m just looking forward to getting familiar with how exactly the organization runs and what we can do to improve things,” she added.

Fischer may be a newcomer to the board, but she’s no stranger to some of the inner workings of the Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District, having served previously on the district’s budget committee.

And while genetics may not help in terms of the governance of a rural fire district, it certainly can’t hurt that her father, Dallas Boge, recently ended his long tenure on the board as well; it’s his seat that Fischer ran for and won on May 16.

In addition to being sworn in, Fischer was also elected by her fellow board members to serve for one year as the Board Secretary-Treasurer.

The board meeting itself was a routine examination or previous meetings, including remarks on the Gales Creek Fire Station. According to Geering, there’s the possibility of some improvements to the roof and gutter at the Gales creek station.

He praised Fire Marshal & Public Information Officer Division Chief Dave Nemeyer for improvements already made to the station.

“Dave’s been doing a lot of work,” he said. He note several improvements, including the hanging of a new sign for the station.

The new sign at the Gales Creek Fire Station. Video taken June 29, 2023 by Chas Hundley

“It was refreshing to hear from [Joyce Sauber],” Geering said, noting he’d spoken to Sauber the day prior. Sauber recently planned an open house at the Gales Creek Fire Station to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of firefighting in Gales Creek. Her late husband, Bill Sauber, was a longtime volunteer firefighter in Gales Creek, and one of the original members of the firefighting brigade that would eventually become the Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District.

“She cares a lot about her community, and to hear her say that she’s pleased to see the station looking the way it is, I think we’re doing well,” Geering said.

The Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District board usually meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Forest Grove Fire & Rescue offices in Forest Grove (1919 Ash Street). The meeting is open to the public, and includes a portion of time for members of the public to speak before the board for three minutes.

More information can be found by calling Forest Grove Fire & Rescue at 503-992-3240.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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