(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
FROM COP TO COMMISSIONER: Chewelah Police Chief Mark Burrows now serving as a Stevens County Commissioner…
In early November, Chewelah Chief of Police Mark Burrows learned that he was selected by the Washington Governor’s Office to fill the vacant Stevens County Commissioners
No. 2 seat. While he will be serving the whole county now, many people in town can attest to how he has already served Chewelah.
“I have received a lot of calls from people around Chewelah thanking me for being here for so long and showing that they care about me and I want to say that the feeling is mutual,” Burrows said.
Burrows had shown interest in the open seat, and the Stevens County Republicans selected him as one of the candidates to fill in the vacated seat. The governor’s office didn’t make a decision until voters elected former Stevens County Commissioner Wes McCart and Stevens County Deputy and Jailer Greg Young in the general election. This meant the office only needed to select one person to fill in the No. 2 seat.
Burrows is from Valley and is a longtime Chewelah police officer, sergeant and for the past five-and-a-half years, police chief. Burrows also served in the United State Air Force as a weapons specialist on advanced fighter aircraft and spent most of his enlistment in Europe. He worked at Hansen Logging for a year before being hired by the City of Chewelah.
In 2018, Burrows was also selected as undersheriff by Stevens County Sheriff’s candidate Mike Berry, if Berry had been elected.
The commissioner seat was vacated earlier in the year after it was determined that the previous board of commissioners had improperly used homelessness funds. The seat was vacated by Don Dashiell.
Burrows worked with the City of Chewelah on how his Police Chief schedule before becoming a commissioner full-time. The city is now contracting out with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office until it can fill its open police positions. Burrows said he is coming into the job with a feeling of responsibility for having the public’s trust as the commissioners tackle things like the county budget.
“The goal is to treat people well and that’s my focus,” Burrows said. “When people come to you with an issue and there is something you can do about it, that is particularly rewarding.”
Burrows knows fellow commissioner Greg Young well as they’re both involved in law enforcement, and the Chewelah law enforcement officer may have booked a few people with help from Young.
“Greg has a great reputation as a supervisor,” Burrows said. “He has a level head and I’m looking forward to working with both him and Wes McCart.”
Burrows says that he knows McCart professionally but not personally but says he has a reputation of being a hard worker and that the county relied on him being proactive on matters.
The Chewelah police chief said it will be weird not driving a government vehicle for a change.
“It’s going to be the first time in 25 years I’ve driven my own car to work,” Burrows said.
Burrows plans to run in the upcoming special election in the 2021 General Election and, if he wins that, he would hold the seat until the term expired and he said he would run again
for another 4-year term.