September 3, 2019
Meeting was called to order by Carol Johnson at 7:36am. Randy J. led the flag salute.
Thought of the Day:
Peggy gave a history moment.
Jack moved to accept August 27 meeting minutes, seconded by Gerry. Motion passed.
Kiwanis this Thursday features the United Way.
This Saturday is the Historical Society’s garage sale including Dale Price’s library.
Debby announced the 89th season of the Port Angeles Symphony on the 27th & 28th.
A Downtown Hotel tour is today sponsored by the Soroptomist Jet Set.
Andrew gave a chamber report: discussion on how to review the executive director, review of finances, membership is slightly up, planning is happening for the ice village, Ride the Hurricane brought 671 people – 52 of whom were from the Olympic Peninsula, discussion about government affairs and NOLA.
Program: Steve Hopf and Keith Courtner, candidate for Fire District 2 Commissioner
Andrew introduced the candidates.
Candidates gave opening remarks. Keith has held multiple positions in fire departments and the business world. Steve has been a firefighter, EMT, nurse and captain locally and in King County. Their job is to provide oversight to the chief.
Steve identifies problem in decision making, looks at probably solutions, evaluates what is best for this district, and looks for feedback. Keith said people want reasoning and expectations. Decision making needs to be part of a team including the community. Decision making involves spending money wisely and using a third-party needs assessment.
Steve said the department has a role in meeting with the public and he wants to know why there is turnover in volunteers. Keith added it’s part of building a family, community outreach is part of that.
Keith said there are not a lot of fireworks related fires. From a department perspective they don’t make the rules. They look at statistics and will talk to leaders. Departments do risk assessments for everything using weather and more, yearly. Steve said the commissioners talk to the county and city to discuss bans. To prepare they carry brush-fighting weight gear in addition to building fire gear. They should have a united front with surrounding districts and cities and find better ways to support non-profits if they sell fireworks. Keith agreed all rules should be the same, knowing risks and hazards, all factors, and restrict when necessary. The fire department does not currently have enforcement. Keith said you’d have to ban sales, how do you tell the tribes.
Steve said controlled fires are done by the Department of Natural Resources. They are tightly controlled and District 2 is their backup. He’s in favor of controlled burns for a healthy forest. Keith said the district has a responsibility too to mitigate fires. Controlled burns, reducing fuel loads and clearing space is where the district can help. Community outreach will help educate the public, including schools.
Keith said the department’s role after a Cascadia earthquake goes back to a needs assessment. One station is in a tsunami zone. Community outreach and making sure the chief has the tools and resources to help is part of the plan. Some stations don’t having living quarters. Steve said protecting staff and apparatus are priorities. They do their own needs assessment, a windshield survey. Having up to date supplies in containers is a good idea along with a certain amount of generators and ready to eat meals, not a huge cache. Keith assured membership that he is not taking away from local input when talking about a third party needs assessment. Much of the container conversation will be at the county level.
Andrew moved to extend the meeting up to 15 minutes, seconded by Jim. Motion passed.
Steve said the department has a good working reserve, the budget is reasonably healthy, they don’t have a cash flow problem, and have not asked for allowed assessments. He would spend a month looking at financials and increase taxes only if they have to. Keith would look at where they can get money without a tax increase but understand they would need funds for infrastructure and replacing older trucks from somewhere.
Keith would look at insurance rates. Steve said WA state determines rates based on many factors. We are a 4, with a 3 the insurance rate goes down.
Candidates made closing comments.
Meeting adjourned at 8:48am.