Lake Stevens’ new fire commissioner looks ahead

LAKE STEVENS — Paul Gagnon, the newly elected Lake Stevens fire commissioner, began his six-year term Wednesday.

Gagnon, 43, also works for the Everett Fire Department and serves as president for its union, Local 46.

Gagnon won the race by 15 votes. Eight candidates ran for the position, previously held by Vern Foster, who died in July. More than 7,800 votes were cast in the race, said Garth Fell, Snohomish County elections manager.

The votes underwent a second count Dec. 6 because the results were so close, Fell said. The final results were certified Dec. 9.

Gagnon said he’s grateful for those who supported him during the campaign, and looking forward to his new role.

“I will work to my best ability to fulfill the faith you have expressed in me as your fire commissioner and to make our community a safe place to live for all residents,” he wrote in an email to The Herald.

Gagnon joins two other commissioners, Troy Elmore and Dan Lorentzen, the city’s police commander who’s also been serving as the interim police chief since late 2012.

Lake Stevens Fire, also known as Snohomish County Fire District 8, serves an estimated 42,350 people over 41.8 square miles.

The board of commissioners sets policies for the fire district. Commissioners are paid a little more than $100 a meeting, with annual limits set by state law.

It’s unusual for so many candidates to run for a fire district board.

“It was good to see so much interest” from people wanting to serve their community, Fire Chief Dave Lingenfelter said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449,

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