Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Seeley Lake Rural Fire District Board of Trustees

Local Election Guide

 

April 14, 2022

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The two candidates for the Seeley Lake Rural Fire District: Incumbent Jon Kimble and Alyssa McLean. The mail-in election is May 3.

Voter Information: Incumbent Jon Kimble and Alyssa McLean are the two candidates running for the one, three-year term on the Seeley Lake Fire Board. Candidates' responses were based on the following questions:

• Biography

• Qualifying experience

• Why do you want to be a trustee?

• What would you like to see changed or what issues would you address if elected?

• What challenges to you see facing the board and the fire department in the near future?

Ballots for the Seeley Lake Rural Fire District Trustee election were mailed April 13 to all registered voters in Seeley Lake Rural Fire District. To be counted, the Missoula County Elections Office must receive the ballots by the May 3 deadline, postmarks not accepted. There will be a ballot drop off at Seeley Lake Elementary on May 3 from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Next week, the Pathfinder will include coverage from the Candidate Forum that was held by the Seeley Lake Community Council, April 11. To view the recording visit the Seeley Lake Community Council's Facebook page.

For more information visit the Missoula County Elections Office (missoulacounty.us/government/administration/elections-office) or call 406-258-4751.

Jon Kimble - Incumbent

I was born and raised in Arizona. I served in the US Navy as a nuclear plant operator/supervisor. I received an honorable discharge in 1990. I was employed by an Independent Electric Power Producing firm in California. I began vacationing in Seeley Lake - hunting, hiking, horseback riding and snowmobiling - in the mid-1990's. We all know the attractions here, not the least of which are the people of the community! My wife Laura Cullen and I built a vacation home here in 2007. We moved to Seeley in 2013. We really love it!

My combined tenure and experience in the US Navy, Northwest Natural Gas and Wellhead Services, INC. included assignments to various positions and qualifications. As an operator/technician on board a US Navy surface vessel, and at civilian power facilities, I was trained as a first responder to equipment and personnel casualties. As a qualified Engineering Officer of the Watch, Engineering Watch Supervisor, Operations Manager and Plant Manager, I was trained in emergency management and scene control.

I have served, and currently serve, on the Boards of Directors of the Veterans & Families of Seeley Lake, the Seeley Lake Lions Club, The Sullivan Memorial Community Park (Community Hall), Missoula Electric Cooperative's Operation Round Up and the Seeley Lake Rural Fire District. I also volunteer as needed with the Seeley Lake Food Bank and The Seeley Lake Senior Center.

I applied for and was appointed to the Seeley Lake Rural Fire District by the Missoula County Board of Supervisors to fill a vacant position, largely, because no one else applied. For the last three years, I have been learning the management requirements of the Fire District, I have participated in its governance and will continue to serve if elected. Community services such as these are extremely vital given our environment and proximity to outside resources.

The priorities of any emergency response organization are staffing, staff training/qualifications and equipment availability to enable the staff to safely perform their duties. The responsibility of the organization is to meet those priorities by the lowest practical costs to the public.

Recent and future population growth will, naturally, require more response capacity and capability. More staff, more and improved equipment and higher levels of training are anticipated. Whoever is elected to the seat will have to consider and continue to help manage those priorities.

Thanks for your consideration and I wish us all continuing success!

Alyssa McLean

My name is Alyssa McLean and I've been a resident of Seeley Lake for six years. I grew up around the Fire/EMS industry in Missoula County due to my father's 25-year career with Missoula City Fire Department. I'm familiar with the industry and have a passion for first responders.

I have professional experience in accounts/money management, office management and medical billing. I feel all of these skills make me an asset on this board, especially my familiarity with medical billing and insurance contracting, considering the recent raise of rates/charges and the Department's recent push for another paid Paramedic.

It's my opinion that another paid paramedic is needed here and I am all for that cause, especially with our ever-growing population and tourism. However, it is also my opinion that if the one paramedic we did have on the department would treat as a paramedic more often (I recently had experience being denied paramedic treatment with no meds or IV, after breaking three limbs in a head-on collision) and also allow outside aid like MESI and LIFEFLIGHT, then maybe we wouldn't be as desperate to have that second Paramedic here in town. Also, maybe we could have spent more time researching and studying before raising fees.

I see some weaknesses in our board and our department right now. For example, I am curious if the Chairman of the Board consults the board before he speaks on their behalf in the media? I don't recall any discussion in the board meeting regarding a statement in the paper, but then there was a big retort in the paper calling my real-life experiences "derogatory statements."

In the last few meetings I attended, it has become evident to me that this current board isn't even totally clear on the rules, policies and regulations of being on a board and making decisions/passing motions as a board. Recently there have been steps missed at these meetings including posting the meeting agenda 24 hours ahead of time, trying to pass motions too early without the proper discussion and order, and I even watched a motion almost get passed without one of the board members even having answered yet (they had to go back at the END of the meeting for clarification from this board member, after the motion was "passed" already). These are definitely things I would stand up for and push to improve on this board.

If you have been following the Department events at all over the last few years, you are probably familiar with my name on the ballot for one of these seats. I have wanted to get involved and help using my skill set on this Department for year, but now it means something totally new to me, as a recent patient of this Department.

It is my opinion that we need change and improvement on this board. I have the real-life experience and scars to prove it. I am willing to speak out, stand up, research, put time in and push for the professionalism, diligence and smooth operation that we deserve from this Board of Trustees and this Department.

I am always open to answering questions, please feel free to reach out to me at ajmclean2009@live.com.

 

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