As of 3 p.m. Monday, April 24, some 12,081 voters, or about 22.4 percent of registered voters have cast their ballots for or against Proposition 1, which would create a new regional fire authority (RFA).
Ballots are due no later than 8 p.m. tomorrow, either at the Voting Center, 2400 Evergreen Park Drive SW, Olympia, or in any of the 13 ballot boxes open for this election, including two in Lacey.
If approved by voters, the cities of Olympia and Tumwater would combine their fire departments into the Olympia Tumwater Fire Authority, effective September 25, 2023.
The RFA would be governed by a six-member governing board in its first year, comprised of three members of each city's council; the board would grow to seven members starting January 1, 2026, including three who would be elected in 2025. By January 1, 2028, only two of the commissioners would be assigned by the cities (one each) and five would be elected by a majority of the combined eligible voters in both cities.
If you need a last-minute ballot, the options include downloading a ballot at VoteWA.gov or visiting the Voting Center.
The JOLT has published more than 20 news stories and approximately eight reader opinion pieces on this topic over the past year. To see a list of these, search "regional fire authority" in the search box at the top of this page.
To see the March 29, 2023, debate between proponents and opponents of Proposition 1, sponsored by The JOLT News Organization and the League of Women Voters of Thurston County, please click here.
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