Lake Dillon Fire Protection District to hold board elections May 4 |

Lake Dillon Fire Protection District to hold board elections May 4

The Lake Dillon Fire Protection District will hold its biennial election for three seats on the Board of Directors on May 4 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Four candidates are vying for three spots on the Board: incumbent president Tom Hill, incumbent member Jerry Peterson, Jim Cox and Rob Sollenberger. Outgoing Vice-President David Zaitz is not seeking re-election after 12 years on the board.

The special-district election is open to registered Colorado voters who reside in or own taxable property within the boundaries of the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District.

Polling will take place at the district’s Silverthorne fire station, 401 Blue River Parkway; at the Frisco Town Hall, 1 Main St.; and at the Summit Cove fire station, 0434 Summit Drive. Voters may cast ballots at the polling place of their choice. Absentee ballots are available through April 30 at the district’s Silverthorne station. Voters also may have ballots mailed to them by making the request to Linda Boucher at (970) 262-5102 by Tuesday, April 27, and they may pick one up in person at the Silverthorne station through Friday, April 30.

The five-member Board of Directors is the policy-making body for the fire district, which encompasses more than 400 square miles in northern Summit County and operates on an $8 million annual budget primarily comprised of property taxes. Board members serve four-year terms and are not paid for their services.

The candidates have submitted the following responses to a brief questionnaire about their desire to serve on the Board:

I feel that any board, at some point in time, needs a turnover or change in its members. Not that the current members have done anything wrong or not represented the public’s best interest, but with a change in membership, fresh ideas and concepts are presented. I have served on numerous boards in the past, including the Snake River Fire Protection District and the combined Snake and Lake Dillon Fire Board during the transition period. I have also served on several HOA boards and currently am a member of the Summit Wildfire Council, the Snake River Sewer Fund Citizens Advisory Committee, the Lake Dillon Fire Corps and am a deputy with the Summit County Office of the Coroner. I am an active volunteer with the U. S. Forest Service, Friends of the Dillon Ranger District and the Summit Historical Society. Seasonally, I volunteer with Keystone Resort as a mountain tour guide, and at various events for the Keystone Neighbourhood Company. My wife and I have received the “Citizen of the Year” award from the Summit Foundation. I reside in Summit Cove with my wife and three cats. We have been full time, year round residents for the past seven years, and part-time residents for 15-plus years prior to that. My concerns are that the district provides the necessary needs of the firefighters while keeping within the district’s budget and giving the community the best possible service. In addition, to explore any possible combinations or mergers with other districts or entities that might be mutually beneficial to the District. As I have a history with both Snake River Fire and Lake Dillon Fire, I feel that I already have the experience and qualifications to be a Lake Dillon Fire Protection District Board member and through my close association with the District, I am already aware of the issues before the District.

I have lived in Silverthorne since 1985, owning a home and business. I have been involved with the fire service all my life and started with the Silverthorne Fire Protection District in 1987. I was active in the consolidation of the Dillon, Dillon Valley, Frisco, Snake River and Silverthorne Fire Protection Districts into one organization. Through these consolidations, we have been able to provide better services to the citizens we serve and have been able to better hold down costs. I am running to retain my seat because I feel that I can provide valuable input for the future direction of the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District.

I have been involved with the fire department since 1963, when I moved to the county. Prior to that, I was a member of a flight line fire unit for five years with an Air Force Reserve unit while in college. I have helped push start the first engine Dillon had and seen Summit County growth demand and require quality fire-rescue departments over time. I have been a member in the past years of the Dillon Town Board and the Dillon Improvement Corporation, was one of the founders and volunteers of the Summit County Volunteer Ambulance Service, and presently serve on four other boards. I have lived in the town of Dillon for 46 years. My hope is to provide the best training, equipment and equitable pay and benefits for the department’s employees within the bounds of funding available. I’ve served a good many years on the trucks and ambulances and have retired due to a physical disability. My goal is to not let the demons of fire, trauma, and disease win.

I want to continue a lifetime tradition of service by giving back to my community and its citizens in a new and challenging way. I spent 30 years in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, served in five ships and commanded a frigate with a crew of 300 sailors, and retired with the rank of Captain. I spent four years as a volunteer disabled parking enforcement officer with the Virginia Beach, Va., police department, re-vitalizing a program that was in disarray and leading 20 other volunteers. I spent five years as a volunteer firefighter and paramedic with the Fairfax County, Va., fire and rescue department, contributing almost 10,000 hours during that time. I have served for three years as a volunteer member of the Summit County Rescue Group, was voted as the 2008 Rookie of the Year and am especially active in team administration and member training. I have spent three years of part-time employment as a critical care technician at the Keystone Medical Center. I have been a year-round resident of the Willowbrook neighborhood in Silverthorne for the past three years. My main concerns include ensuring adequate staffing and pay and benefits to preclude losing firefighters to Front Range fire departments; procuring state-of-the-art apparatus and equipment; ensuring interagency advance planning and operational cooperation for wildfire suppression; planning for the eventual retirement of senior staff members; planning for the possible new station north of Silverthorne; exploring the potential for merging the three existing county fire districts into one district for efficiency of service and cost savings; and exploring the potential for merging with the Summit County Ambulance Service for the same reasons. Volunteering, whether in national, regional, or local community service is in my blood, and I give a 100 percent effort in doing so. As a qualified firefighter and paramedic, I understand the issues, and I “speak the language” of those directly involved.

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