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Whatcom Fire Protection District 21 Commissioner Position 4

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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    Rich Bosman (NP) Small Business Owner

  • Reid Campion (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) 319-4567
Email richb@bostec.com
Town where you live Lynden, WA
Experience (300 characters max) Previous terms as Fire Commissioner, 20 years as small business owner, retired WSP State Trooper
The board of commissioners is in the process of implementing a strategic plan. As chairman of the board I have been deeply invested in this and been encouraged by fellow board members to seek another term to see this through to completion. This plan is part of a larger process of moving the board to a more professional and responsive entity.
Funding: We continue to look for ways to maintain staffing levels and stay within our budget. We have an area of responsibility that is 182 square miles with over 3500 incident calls a year and 45-48 paid employees. As the economy slowly rebuilds we continue to face higher operational costs and capital needs while being held to statutory limits of increased revenue. Healthcare: .It is hard to plan budgetary items when we are faced with yearly healthcare increases of 18-20%. We will spend about one million dollars on healthcare next year. Maintaining staffing levels: Our fire district is not immune from the national movement away from volunteer firefighters toward part-paid and full paid firefighters. This is not anyone’s fault but a characteristic of our changing society. The challenge for fire departments the size of District 21 is to maintain competitive wages and benefits that allow us to attract and keep qualified firefighters and administrative staff.
Without a doubt, funding. I take very seriously the fiscal responsibility I have to the taxpayers of our district. The strategic plan we are implementing is a direct response to our desire to allocate funds in the most effective manner. I continue to look for ways to streamline processes and look for new, innovative ways to deliver our expected service.
I believe I have unique mix of public service and business experience. I retired after 25 years of service to the Washington State Patrol; I followed that by 20 years of running a small business. My status as a business owner brings a business side to the board while understanding the public service side. This is not a small fire district any more, this is serious business. This is a board responsible for almost 8 million dollars of taxpayer money. I believe I have the knowledge and background to continue the process of moving the board forward in a more professional and responsive body.
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