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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

The Board of Fire Commissioners for Fire District 17 is a five member governing body that is responsible for making the legislative decisions for the fire district and providing oversight of the administrative operations as authorized by the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 52.14.

Each Commissioner is voted into office by registered voters who reside in the fire districts jurisdiction and when elected serve a term of 6 years. The terms are staggered to maintain continuity on the board.

Meetings of the Board of Commissioners are bound by RCW 42.30 Open Public Meetings Act and are open to the public.

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Rick Ainley

Chair

Term Expires: 12/31/2025

Rick was elected Fire Commissioner and began serving his six-year term in January 2020. Rick previously served as a volunteer and full-time firefighter with Fire District 17 beginning his volunteer service in February 1981, hired full-time in 1995 and retired in 2018.   

Gary Chandler

Vice-Chair

Term Expires: 12/31/2027

Gary began serving as a Fire Commissioner in January 2022 as a newly elected official.  Gary served a Firefighter/EMT for 29 years with the former Lake Stevens Fire Department before he retired in 2017.  Gary is a graduate of Everett High School and Everett Community College.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his Wife, 3 Children, and 3 corgis.

Rick Hjelle

Term Expires: 12/31/2029

Rick was appointed Fire Commissioner in 2019 after the voters approved to expand the Board from three to five members.  Hjelle was then reelected in 2023 to begin serving a six-year term which started in 2024.  Hjelle retired from Granite Falls Fire as Fire Chief in 2009 after serving 32-years of dedicated service which began as a volunteer in 1978. 

Jesse James

Term Expires: 12/31/2027

Jesse was elected Fire Commissioner and began serving his six year term in January 2016.  Jesse retired from Snohomish County Public Works in 2003 following 28 years of employment.  Jesse also provided 25 years of dedicated service as a volunteer firefighter with Fire District 17 (1977-2002), the last 14 years as Assistant Fire Chief.  Jesse enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, gardening, building bird houses and spending time with his family. 

Dick Dinham

Term Expires: 12/31/2025

Dick is a former Robe Valley Fire District Commissioner and came to be a Commissioner for Fire District 17 through the 2023 annexation.  Prior to his tenure as a Fire Commissioner he was a Manager for an automotive company and volunteer firefighter.  In his spare time Dick enjoys reading and working on classic cars. 

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Jim Glover

Term Expires: 12/31/2029

Jim was elected as Fire Commissioner in January of 2024.  Commissioner Gover started with Fire District 17 as volunteer Firefighter in 1986.  Jim was hired as a career Firefighter in June of 1989 and served 31.5 years until he retired as a Captain on A-Shift.  In his spare time, he enjoys helping his wife Karen with her flower business, wood-working and running farm equipment with his brother-in-law. 

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