Following a raucous end to the North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (NWFR) board meeting on January 19, board members held a special meeting at which they voted to publicly censure fellow commissioner Dean Berkeley.
Commissioners voted unanimously on January 26 to censure Berkeley, who “is no longer authorized to represent North Whatcom Fire and Rescue at the Cross Border Meetings or any other meetings where he speaks as a representative of the district.” Commissioners also voted to remove Berkeley from all assigned district committees.
The action was taken in response to Berkeley’s actions at a regular meeting on January 19, when Berkeley spoke out during a public comment period.
“Well, this is going to be interesting,” he said to commissioners. “I don’t know where to start.” He proceeded to accuse a member of the audience of slander based on comments made at a board meeting in October. “We have a liar in our midst here,” he said.
Berkeley then proceeded to engage in a short dialogue with that individual which led to a heated interchange between him and fellow commissioners who then abruptly adjourned the meeting.
“There is nothing the four of us can do except what we are currently doing tonight,” said commissioner Bruce Ansell. “Basically what we’re doing tonight is saying [Berkeley] did a bad thing and [he] shouldn’t do it anymore.”
Berkeley was not present at the NWFR special meeting on January 26. In a phone call with The Northern Light, Berkeley said he was unaware of the meeting and had no comment.