A cluster of Fire District 7 commissioners said their goodbyes earlier this month.

Dean Schwartz, Shauna Willner and Marc Inman will step down from their posts serving the residents of Snohomish County and representing the agency prior to the start of 2018. Fire Chief Gary Meek said in a news release that each one was instrumental in the merger of what was formerly Fire District 3 and Fire District 7.

“All three of these Commissioners stayed true to their beliefs about the future of the fire service, and cast their visions in building the district as it is known today,” Meek said in the release.

Voters legally approved the unification in the 2016 August primary election, and the two agencies officially became one that October. Emergency responders now cover 98.5 square miles, providing services to 110,000 residents in Monroe, Maltby, Clearview, Mill Creek and other surrounding communities.

Since the merger, a 10-member board has represented the agency. Eventually, it will be reduced back down to five, and it will function with six commissioners once Schwartz, Willner and Inman leave; their positions will not be considered vacant for this reason.

Fire District 7 recently celebrated with a groundbreaking at the location of its new station, which is expected to improve response time to the Lost Lake and Echo Lake areas once open. Construction began in early September. At about the same time the agency’s executive staff moved into their new offices in Monroe, and this summer a levy lid restoration was passed by about 60 percent of voters in the primary election.

Between the three officials about to make their exit, the board will lose 53 years of combined experience. Schwartz has served for 35 years, Inman for 12 and Willner for six.

Schwartz began as a volunteer firefighter for Fire District 3, and then ran for the Fire District 3 Board of Fire Commissioners in 1988. Inman, who is an engineer, stepped up when a position became vacant partway through a term, and then decided he wanted to keep the seat.

Willner, who works in real estate, “has been an asset” during the planning process for purchases of new buildings and properties, according to the release. Each commissioner was lauded for the unique expertise they brought to the position.

Schwartz and Willner’s last day will be Dec. 31, when their current terms end. Inman will step down Dec. 15, as he will be moving out of Fire District 7’s jurisdiction.

“Being involved in the Monroe community has been great,” he said in the release. “In my position I felt that I could give back to such a wonderful community.”