Jackson County Fire District 5 Position 5
Special districts in Oregon are formed to govern specific resources. Examples are people’s utility districts, library districts, sewer districts, irrigation districts, ports and cemetery districts. Some districts get revenue only from taxes. Others, such as water districts, get revenue from ratepayers. Others may combine the two sources. Each district is governed by a board of directors which is responsible for the operation of the district and its financial accountability. ( https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/198.010 ) Qualifications: Candidate must be a registered voter or an landowner in the district. If the district has a supporting ordinance, employees of the district are not eligible. ORS 478.050Salary: A member of the governing body of a district may receive an amount not to exceed $50 for each day or portion thereof as compensation for services performed as a member of the governing body. Such compensation shall not be deemed lucrative. The governing body may provide for reimbursement of a member for actual and reasonable traveling and other expenses necessarily incurred by a member in performing official duties. [1971 c.403 §2; 1983 c.327 §2; 1983 c.740 §53a; 1989 c.517 §1; 1995 c.79 §74] In event of Vacancy: Except as otherwise provided by law, a vacancy in an elected office in the membership of the governing body of a district shall be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining members of the governing body. If a majority of the membership of the governing body is vacant or if a majority cannot agree, the vacancies shall be filled promptly by the county court of the county in which the administrative office of the district is located. [ORS 198.320]
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How would you improve communication with the communities you serve, involving them in decision making, keeping them informed of district activities, and increasing fire awareness?
What experiences or skills do you have that will contribute to your service as a board member?
What innovative approaches to expand community fire safety programs would you support?
¿Qué experiencias o destrezas tiene usted que contribuyan a su trabajo como miembro de la junta?
[Sólo para los departamentos voluntarios de incendios] ¿Qué propondría usted para mejorar el reclutamiento y la capacitación de bomberos voluntarios? ¿Cuáles son las prioridades en un presupuesto limitado para equipos, vehículos y capacitación?
¿Qué enfoques innovadores apoyaría usted para ampliar los programas comunitarios de prevención de incendios?
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Town Where You Live
I have served on the fire district board since 2018.
Firefighters are my heroes. I say this with all sincerity and appreciation for the selflessness they exhibit every day.
The failure to implement preventative measures to reduce the risk of fire has been consequential. Our beloved community lost more than 2800 homes and businesses in the Almeda Fire. This fire was not an Ashland problem. Or a Talent or Phoenix problem. Or a Medford or Central Point problem. This was a regional tragedy that requires a regional solution guided by professionals with a track record of experience crafting successful plans for economic renewal and prosperity, affordable housing, and regional revitalization. I will continue to support initiatives to improve communication with district residents, including increased transparency by including recordings of all meetings - in their entirety - on the website. My cell phone number is listed on the website and I personally answer all constituent calls and look forward to continuing to do so.
The contribution I am most proud of is bringing a renewed structure and spirit of collegiality to the board. Over the years, there was tremendous turnover in the board of directors. Meetings lacked collegiality and were unproductive. As chair, I brought structure and strict adherence to parliamentary procedures, which has eliminated in-fighting while supporting spirited and respectful discussions. We have the ability to challenge each other’s perspectives in a collegial manner, and the board's meetings are now both more productive and efficient. Additionally, I am proud to say that the board’s bylaws, some of which had not been updated for many years and were absent official dates and signatures, are all within 2 years of currency. This allows the board to have consistency in our operations while preventing the internal conflicts of the past. I sincerely believe that this has contributed to the substantive reduction in attorney’s fees paid for by district constituents.
Rather than working in isolation with each town and city creating its own solutions, the Jackson County Commissioners must lead our community through a comprehensive process – facilitated by a professional urban planner with experience working with multiple jurisdictions. We need a comprehensive community warning system that is not reliant on cell phones to inform citizens of impending danger. The county must partner with ODOT to ensure that viable escape routes are blocked due to road work during fire season. Zoning laws must mandate multiple escape routes for mobile home parks. The Jackson County Expo must have multiple exists so we don't have another close call with a death trap for those who had been evacuated to the Expo, as happened on September 9. We need year-round maintenance of the greenway, managed by professional firefighters. Finally, the County must adopt ordinances require property owners to maintain grass, weeds, brush, downed trees and similar vegetation.
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