The move to ask voters to approve a five member board was voted on by the current board members.

Despite the best of intentions, the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District missed the deadline to place an issue on the upcoming April ballot to expand the number of members on the governing board. 

Earlier this year, the board announced their intention to seek voter approval to expand the number of elected representatives on the governing board from three to five. When the board made the announcement, they intended to have the ballot issue ready for the April election. For various reasons, that didn’t happen. 

Interim Fire Chief Jamie Karl said the board still intends to move forward with the ballot issue. It’s just a matter of when. 

“The ballot issue of going to a five member board is still in the works,” he said. “Due to a few other issues the board was working with, the issue of proceeding with this ballot issue is simply not going to be on the April ballot.”

The move to ask voters to approve a five member board was voted on by the current board members. 

The fire district has been at the center of ongoing disagreements among board members over a multitude of issues, including a lawsuit filed against the district over the seat currently held by SBFPD board member Denise Dill.

The lawsuit was filed by SBFPD board member Bob Hemen, alleging Dill was not duly elected. The court ruled in favor of the district. 

Hemen has also raised questions about finances, policies and other issues directed at Dill and SBFPD board member Brian Layman. 

Disagreements with Hemen led to the resignation of the former fire chief.

In their discussions about changing the makeup of the veering board, members felt it would lend more stability to the district. 

There is one seat on the SBFPD board up for election in April. Dill is running to retain her seat. A second candidate, Betty Hovey is also running. 

Dill has served on the board since being appointed in 2016. She has lived in the district for 15 years. Dill is a teacher at Hurricane Deck Elementary School. 

Hovey is a former employee of the district, having spent 13 years working with the board and staff. She has lived at the lake for 16 years.