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Thurston Fire Protection District No. 08 - South Bay Fire Commissioner, Position No. 2

6-year term; No salary. A Fire District is responsible for fire response and containment and for emergency medical services. The commission sets the general policies of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional fire chief and fire district personnel. One of commission's main duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any fire levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The commission sets policies and approves all spending via the budget, whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for district employees.
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    Milt Harper (NP) Fire Commissioner

  • Terry Mcdaniel (NP)

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Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What are three major issues facing your fire district?

Of the three, which one is the most urgent?

What unique qualities do you bring to this job?

Phone (360) 705-3763
Email wmharper101@gmail.com
YouTube Video facebook.com/harperforfire
Experience (300 characters max) I have served six years as a Fire Commissioner, four years as Chair, Board of Fire Commissioners, and three years as Chair, Education and Ethics Committee, Thurston County Fire Commissioners Association. Before retiring, I worked 20 years in IT systems development and management.
I became involved in the fire department first as a volunteer and then as a Commissioner, because I was so impressed with the community service our Firefighters provide. It has been a great place to put my management experience and passion for our community to work. I am proud of our accomplishments, especially the improved insurance rating we attained last year. I want to continue to improve the consistency of our service and position the department for cost-effective operations as the fire service evolves over the coming decades.
1. Increasing staffing and improving consistency of service. This is my top priority. Service from our South Bay fire station is outstanding, but we need expanded staffing to provide consistent service throughout the district.

2. Planning for long-term cost-effective operations. We need to carefully consider how the fire service is evolving and make sure we are prepared for the future. The community needs to be involved in evaluating future fire station locations and we need to sell properties that are no longer useful.

3. The growing risk of wildland fire. Much of our District is particularly vulnerable for the very reasons it is so attractive – the mix of wildland grass, forest, and residential housing. Continued emphases on fire department preparedness and public prevention education are needed. This risk needs greater focus from all of us.
Increasing staffing and improving consistency of service.

We have a strong and growing volunteer program but we need to do more. I support expanded volunteer leadership development to increase volunteer retention and creating new career opportunities to support training and supplement staffing.

Johnson Point is currently served out of the South Bay station resulting in extended response times for that area. I support restarting the resident firefighter program, at least as an interim measure, to improve service there. The community needs to consider options for a permanent fire station solution to improve response times in this area.

Fire service costs are growing and improving service will require investment. The board should continue to work with staff to improve efficiency and limit our operating tax levy to $1.50 per thousand.
I like to make decisions that are well reasoned, based on facts, and take into account long-term consequences. I work hard to be a good listener and keep an open mind.

Commitment: I am deeply invested in our community, having served in a number of community service and leadership roles for 12 years.

Experience: In addition to my experience as a Fire Commissioner, I have over 15 years IT management experience with a focus on leadership development, planning, budgeting, and communication.

Vision: A fire department that will provide outstanding cost-effective service consistently to all citizens of Fire District 8 for years to come. A department in which volunteer and career members work together to achieve this vision, recognizing that everyone needs to thrive in order to succeed as a whole.
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