Occupation: electrical engineer, communication systems
Why are you running for office and why are you the best candidate for the position?
I am running for the ECFPD Board of Directors to gain the opportunity to improve the effectiveness of the firefighting and emergency medical care delivered by our district professionals. I have a long history as a proven, successful leader who works assiduously to solve difficult problems — most often using technical, financial, and logistical means — always utilizing teamwork for the best possible results. You may find more information about my professional career and personal history: www.newbyforelkcreek.org.
What are the three biggest challenges facing the Elk Creek Fire District?
ECFPD faces a number of critical challenges, including: 1) the long-term financial soundness of the fire district; 2) attracting and retaining highly skilled professional and volunteer firefighting and emergency medical care personnel; 3) the ability of the fire district to maintain an appropriate level of fire protection response in an increasingly hazardous wildland urban interface environment; and 4) the possible merger of the Elk Creek FPD with one or more of its adjacent fire districts — these are a few of the most critical.
How do you propose tackling those challenges?
I believe we must: 1) ensure the mill levy expiring in 2023 is retained, while exploring additional sources and mechanisms for funding fire-protection operations; 2) find ways to attract and retain highly skilled professional and volunteer personnel such as using grants to convert parts of Elk Creek Stations 2 and 3 into remote office workspaces so staff working within the fire district are available for calls; 3) find ways to increase effectiveness through newer/better equipment and other means; 4) work with county and state officials to develop programs to positively impact fire protection, emergency medical care, wildfire mitigation and emergency evacuation planning requirements.
What experience or expertise would you bring to the Elk Creek board?
In my professional career, I have spent more than 45 years leading teams toward collaboratively solving seemingly intractable problems involving strict technical, financial, logistical and other constraints and, while the challenges facing the Elk Creek FPD are unique, they are certainly solvable as long as the fire district maintains and strengthens community support. Again, you may find more information about my professional career and personal history: www.newbyforelkcreek.org
What would you do to promote openness and transparency in government?
I would spend quite a bit of time with Fire Chief Ware, Fire Marshall Parker as well as our firefighter/emergency medical personnel to understand the challenges they face every day. I would then share my findings with other board members as well as with community members at monthly board meetings, so the community and the fire district may become more engaged.
How can Elk Creek better educate residents about fire mitigation?
I would continue existing community outreach programs including the Ambassador Program, the wildfire mitigation home assessment program, and the chipping program but then create additional community engagement programs, particularly in partnership with existing and emerging community-based organizations.
Inter-Canyon, Elk Creek, Indian Hills, and North Fork fire departments are discussing consolidation. What is the biggest asset to such a merger, and what is the biggest barrier?
The fire district consolidation feasibility study identified a number of costs and benefits. However, I believe that these are early days in these discussions such that, at this point at least, the “biggest asset” or “biggest barrier” to these merger proposals are unknown at this time.
Do you feel that consolidation is a wise decision for Elk Creek?
Again, without the facts, an answer cannot be developed at this time.
Two large residential developments are being proposed in the Elk Creek Fire District. What is the department’s responsibility to ensuring it can provide emergency services to all of its constituents?
The Elk Creek FPD has an obligation to ensure that the district can adequately protect all residential and commercial developments in a professional, effective and sustainable fashion.
How can Elk Creek improve communication with constituents?
I believe the best approach is for the fire district to use all of the channels of communication available, including all social media platforms, community-based organization meetings, invited and/or suggested local newspaper articles, educational programs aimed at young people and more.
Is there anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
I would like for voters to know that, if elected, I will invest my time so that they and the other stakeholders in our mountain communities have improved fire protection and emergency medical care. I would also like them to know that — as a long-time resident of this area, I am familiar with many of the concerns of our mountain communities — and that I am available to discuss their concerns, needs and ideas. I can be reached through my website, www.newbyforelkcreek.org or at 720-260-9212.