By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Keizer Fire District swore in a familiar name to its Board of Directors at its Tuesday, Dec. 19 meeting.

Greg Ego, who served on the board from 2001-2016, was tapped to fill the vacancy left by Mike Bauer.

Ego grew up in Sweet Home. After moving to Vancouver, Wash., he worked with the Clark County Fire District for nine years as a volunteer, lieutenant and then state instructor.

Ego moved to Keizer in January of 1993 to take over his father’s company, Rasmussen’s Spray Service in Salem. After a couple of years on the KFD budget committee, he was first appointed to the fire board in November of 2001.

“This was a way to stay involved in the community without making calls and getting out in the middle of the night,” Ego said. “I’d done enough of that and this was a good way to stay involved. I had some history with what was going on for volunteers and with the fire service, so I just stayed with it.”

After 15 years, Ego decided to step away and let someone with new ideas join the board.

“We’d accomplished a lot,” Ego said. “We’d grown the paid staff. We’d just passed the equipment bond, a new local option levy was just increased and things were very positive. I just thought it was maybe time for someone new.”

But Ego said he didn’t leave with a bad taste in his month and when a position came back open, he believed he had the history and knowledge to fill the seat.

“I really did enjoy it,” Ego said. “I really enjoy the people over there and I really enjoy the public service. I thought I can come back up to speed. I’ve already got experience on the board. I kind of know the history of budgeting and our bonding. I’ve done that work so I can just step right in and go the rest of that term for Mike and hit the ground running without a lot of ramp up time.”

The KFD Board chose Ego over John Rizzo, who has also served on the budget committee.

“It’s a win-win no matter what,” Keizer Fire Chief Jeff Cowan said. “They’ve got great careers in public service. Both are stellar individuals. I couldn’t be happier.”

Ego hasn’t decided if he’ll run for election in March of 2019.

“I will make that decision when the time needs to be made,” he said. “I think we have a great fire district. I think it’s running really well. It’s well managed and I can continue to be part of that.”