Open letter of gratitude to the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District Board: Thank you for your dedicated service to the community, volunteer firefighters, rescuers and emergency medical services providers.

I have attended several of your public board meetings over the years since I began volunteering in 1999. I have witnessed firsthand some of the challenging situations and decisions that you have been tasked with assessing and acting upon in the interest of the district, its citizens and visitors. I consistently observed that you attempted to understand the gravity of your decisions and placed your service above personal interests.

Recently, one such required action created considerable controversy with some members of the community. Being a leader sometimes means doing the unpleasant in an effort to fulfill your board obligations to the district and its constituents. These actions have become even more unpleasant when faced with the realities of modern society, and it became prudent to act under the guidance of legal counsel. Knowing you, I’m confident that your preference would have been to proceed more sensitively.

Again, thank you for your service and commitment to the district, its citizens and to those of us that volunteer. I’m hopeful that the mindful citizens agree your service is worthy of continuation for as long as you’re willing to serve and make the tough decisions on our behalf.

Mark R. Morgans

Captain, Cannon Beach RFPD