Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District board member Linda Beck-Sweeney resigned Monday night, citing “personal reasons.”
Beck-Sweeney, who has served on the board since 1999, was one of three board members who prevailed in a recall vote last year organized by residents who criticized the board’s handling of former Fire Chief Mike Balzer’s firing.
Beck-Sweeney did not indicate whether or not the experience played a role in her decision, but said after 34 years of volunteer work in Cannon Beach she needed to focus more on her personal life.
“I’ve been doing this since March of 1999. I love it, but I need to make some changes in my personal life, and I feel like it’s time to step away from the board for awhile,” she said. “It has nothing to do with the board.”
Mark Morgans of Greenwood Resources was recommended by Beck-Sweeney and appointed by the board to fill her position until the seat is up for election in May 2019. Morgans served as a volunteer firefighter at the district for more than 17 years before stepping down as a captain in 2016.
“It was the right time to retire then, but when you make this kind of commitment it becomes a part of your lifestyle,” Morgan said. “I missed the camaraderie and the service to the community, so when Linda asked me I saw it as an opportunity to get involved again.”
Morgans said he hopes to bring his dual perspectives as a firefighter and as a businessman to the table to help the district achieve its goals.
“With my background, I am concerned with the needs of firefighters and the taxpayers of Cannon Beach,” Morgans said.
Beck-Sweeney, who is the owner of Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals, said that while she is resigning from the board she “isn’t going anywhere.” She plans to still volunteer at fundraising functions and host barbecues at her business across the street from the district.
Board members thanked Beck-Sweeney for her work.
“You are going to be missed. Thank you so much for your time and efforts,” said board member Garry Smith.