1: What inspired you to run for elected office?
I worked for the Northside Fire District from November 2013 to March 2017. I felt that the changes that needed to happen could only be accomplished by becoming a commissioner.
2: What unique qualifications would you bring to office that no one else could match?
I wouldn’t say that I bring any qualifications to the office that no one could match. I do, however, have the ability to solve difficult problems and make decisions that benefit the majority.
3: What are the most important issues facing the community? Why?
In my opinion, the most important issue facing the district is consistent, timely emergency response. With volunteer numbers dwindling, it is becoming difficult to cover calls 24 hours a day without burning personnel out.
4: How do you plan to address these issues?
Hiring more or scheduling the current employees to a 48/96 shift, like most surrounding districts do, would fix the immediate problem. Implementing an aggressive recruitment and retention program for the volunteers would help with the long-term issue.
5: If elected, what legacy would you hope to create? Why?
My goal is to establish a solid volunteer culture that people want to participate in. Regardless of hiring more personnel, the money available will not support enough responders to do away with volunteers. They will always be needed and I want them to feel that way.
6: How do you foresee your typical workday as an elected official?
The day-to-day operations are handled by the employees of the district. Currently the commissioners meet once a month to address de- partment problems. I would like to see better communica- tion be- tween the command staff and commissioners.
7: What do you most look forward to after you are elected?
I look forward to talking with and interacting with the taxpayers and fire personnel. It is impossible to address the needs of each without open dialog. In addition, being involved in community outreach programs such as reading at the elementary schools, fire prevention and Santa’s Sleigh are activities that I feel are important to participate in.
8: What’s the harshest criticism you expect to face on the campaign trail and how would you respond to such criticism?
I would anticipate criticism for wanting to hire personnel. The fear or concern would be from those individuals thinking that this can only be done by a levy increase. Not true, money currently allocated towards apparatus purchases and excess overtime can be re-directed into new firefighter wages.
9: If you could only get one thing across to voters during your campaign, what would it be?
Exercise your right to vote. Become educated on the issues and the candidates and vote accordingly.
10: What question should every candidate be asked? What is your answer?
Why should voters choose you? I feel that as a firefighter/EMT for the past 25 years, with most of those being in Bonner County, that I am in touch with the needs of the taxpayers as well as the responders.