(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
LONGTIME PUBLIC SERVANTS: Three cornerstones of the community retired last year from the City of Chewelah…
The City of Chewelah has honored three long-time city employees who recently retired. While no in-person city council meeting could be held, plaques were awarded to Mark Burrows, Richard Hixson and Debbie Husby for their many years of service to the community.
Mark Burrows was honored for his 29 years of service with the Chewelah Police Department. Burrows was hired as a patrolman on June 25, 1991. He was promoted to sergeant in September of 2001 and to police chief on May 2015.
Burrows served as chief until November 30, 2020 when he resigned to accepted a position as a Stevens County Commissioner.
Before all this, the longtime Chewelah resident served in the United State Air Force as a weapons specialist on advanced fighter aircraft and spent most of his enlistment in Europe. He also worked at Hansen Logging for a year before being hired by the City of Chewelah.
Richard Hixson began work with the City of Chewelah 36 years ago.
He was first hired as a temporary employee riding on the back of the city garbage truck. In May of 1984 he was hired as an apprentice lineman for the city.
He was promoted to the head of the electrical department in May of 2002 when the previous head, Dave Park, took a position as the city administrator.
In May of 2003, Dave Park returned as head and Hixson became head lineman. He did work for the City of Port Angeles from 2005-2013 before moving back to Chewelah in June of 2013 to become the city’s Electrical Department Supervisor.
Hixson also spent many years driving the City of Chewelah plow truck and that’s when he caught the attention of his future wife, Lisa. Lisa spotted him in January of 1984 shoveling sand by hand onto the Chewelah roadway from the back of a city dump truck. The two did not meet formally until 1986. Richard retired at the end of 2020.
While Mark was the police chief, everybody knew that Debbie Husby was the one who kept the Chewelah Police Department running as secretary.
Debbie was hired as the City of Chewelah’s Police Secretary on June 1, 1990. This kicked off a thirty year career where Husby was the one people interacted with when they came into City Hall and the police department’s offices or called the department on the phone. She also kept the office in proper order while police officers worked on the streets.
An invaluable part of the Chewelah Police Department, Husby, along with her husband Lynn also spent 23 years owning Chewelah Floor and Wall at the Third Street Mall in downtown Chewelah before selling the business in 2019.
If you add up all this experience, it equals 87 years working for the City of Chewelah.