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Spokane County FD10 Commissioner Position NO. 1

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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  • Kevin Haughton
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Gordon Hester
    (NP)

Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What unique qualities do you bring to this job?

What do you think are the most important environmental issues your county will face due to changing climate?

What other issues face your fire district?

How do you intend to find a solution to your most urgent issues?

What part should your district play in your area’s environmental health?

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Phone (509) 879-8805
Email Gordon.hester@yahoo.com
Town where you live Spokane
Experience (300 characters max) I have 30 years of experience in financial management and property management experience at Kiemle Hagood. Currently I am Vice President and a Partner at the company. I have ten years of volunteer fire fighting experience at Spokane County Fire District 10, serving as Captain currently.
I have deeply enjoyed my time as a volunteer fire fighter, and want to continue to serve the community as a commissioner. My background in financial management of real estate, and my experience with the fire department make me uniquely qualified to serve in the role of commissioner. I have experience on numerous community boards, both as a member and serving as President of several, and the ability to find consensus among diverse personalities is a skill that I bring to the board of commissioners. I want to insure that the fire district remains financially stable, and improve communication from the command staff, to the paid staff and to the volunteer fire fighters that serve.
I have a degree in finance, and thirty years of financial management experience. I have been President of the Spokane Building Owner’s and Manager’s Association, President of the Holy Family Hospital Foundation, President of the Northeast Community Center Association, and President of the Business Improvement District. I understand leadership and consensus decision making. I have lived in the fire district for 25 years, and volunteered as a fire fighter for ten years, currently serving in the role as Captain. I am a licensed EMT in Washington State. The ability to bring both business and financial management experience and a ten year tenure as a firefighter make me unique among the three candidates running for the position.
We see changes to the fire season due to changes in the climate. In particular the hotter, drier summers and the increase in wind are creating wild fire seasons that start sooner in the year and last longer. The potential for larger fires is greater and our department’s staffing and ability to respond are very important as we look at how we serve the citizens that live there. The air quality challenges we have faced the last several summers cause health issues with our most vulnerable residents and our fire department responds to those medical calls to assist with the increase in allergies and breathing problems. It is very difficult to predict what a particular fire season is going to be like, and we must be ready to serve the needs of our residents at all times.
Currently we are in a good financial position, but with the annexation of a large portion of our fire district by the City of Spokane, we have lost revenue opportunities. We must find ways to keep the district healthy financially, while dealing with some aging equipment issues. We have done a very good job purchasing new engines and three new brush trucks, but need to also evaluate the rescue truck, an older pumper tender, and aging fire stations. We are a combination department of a few paid staff and a lot of volunteers and need to continue to evaluate that staffing to insure our response to the citizens is appropriate.
The ability to collaborate with the neighboring fire districts is critical to insure coverage is maintained for both them and us. We need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our own district and theirs, and you do that by having the conversations and acting on them. I think communication can be improved and my ability to listen and build consensus will help the current board in this effort. I am trusted by the volunteers I work with, and by the Chiefs of the neighboring districts. I will use my financial experience to evaluate our staffing costs to see where we can add to the paid staff to insure they are fairly compensated and that the staffing numbers are appropriate.
As a fire department, our main role is in educating the public about fire safety and to respond to fire and medical calls. By being more proactive with our communication, I believe we can improve residents understanding of the fire season and how to take measures to make their own homes safer from structure and wild land fires.