Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Mahala Murphy-Martin joins Fire District #3 Board of Commissioners


LEAVENWORTH – In February, Mahala Murphy-Martin took over the vacant Fire Commissioner role for District #3, following the retirement of Commissioner Tom Stanton, who served the district for nearly 40 years.

“[I’m] stepping into some big shoes. The commissioners have been very stellar in their representation of the citizenry and the department and I think they should definitely be lauded for their efforts and their dedication,” said Murphy-Martin.

Since moving to Leavenworth in 2015, Murphy-Martin has been heavily involved in her community. She is currently the Leavenworth Rotary President, The Dwelling Place Board Member, and served on the citizens committee, which assisted Fire District #3 in successfully getting approved for a levy.

“I was utterly amazed when I learned what this department did with so little,” said Murphy-Martin.

Through various jobs throughout her life, Murphy-Martin has experienced emergency situations firsthand, starting as a teen lifeguard, to owning a business in the Alaskan fisheries industry, to working in senior living. Moreso, Murphy-Martin has had ties with emergency responders her entire life, many of whom have been close friends and family.

“I know what they do. I know how they're serving the public. And as a citizen, I feel it's really important to be supportive to our first responders in our departments. It's critical,” said Murphy-Martin.

When Murphy-Martin was asked if she would consider the commissioner role, it was a no brainer for her. The district had been an enormous help for her and her family during an emergency, and she would support it in any way she could.  

However, she considered carefully how she would best contribute while serving on the Board of Commissioners. Murphy-Martin has 18 years of experience in the financial industry. She is a licensed financial advisor and the owner of her own firm, which specializes in retirement planning.

“What I feel I can also bring is the fiscal responsibility aspect to the position. That's my world: finances. I feel that that is a strength that I can bring to be able to take a big picture approach to see, what does the department need?” said Murphy-Martin.

Murphy-Martin will be filling the shoes of former Commissioner Tom Stanton, who retired at the end of 2023. Stanton was appointed in May of 1986 and served as Board Chair for 16 years. He hired the first paid chief, Jim Taylor, then the subsequent Chief Doug DeVore and current Chief Kelly O’Brien. During his tenure, the department grew from one paid chief with volunteers, to 8 full-time personnel, four residents, and 30 volunteers. Station 32 was built in 1989, and Station 31 in 1998. Stanton was also instrumental in the purchase of a District-owned wood chipper. Stanton’s years of experience will be missed by the department, and they wish him well.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or


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