Fawning over government

December 8th, 2012 by Ken

It isn’t often I fawn over a government commission, but I’ve recently begun having positive thoughts about the make-up of the Lacey Fire Commission.

In my 40+ years of covering local government, I haven’t found many local boards that have the quality and diversity of the Lacey Fire Commission.

Frank Kirkbride is a long time member of the Lacey Fire Commission, but not consecutively.   He was defeated for re-election once, then ran a year later and was again elected.   This gives him a realization of how fickle the public can be and how important it is to listen to them.   He’s an  architect who owns his own business.   This gives him a business perspective.

Tom Nelson is young, energetic and has eyes towards a political future.   He’s an accountant and loves to delve into the mundane details of the district’s budget.   He’s an excellent watchdog for the taxpayers.

Gene Dobry is a retired army officer who’s back ground is in meteorology – – not that that has much importance for a fire department.   But Dobry has been in major management positions and understands  government bureaucracy.   As a retiree, he also represents the largest demographic users of Medic One.

John Christiansen has a special relationship with the fire fighters.  His son is a fire fighter and an officer in the union.   His eyes and ears with the rank and file give him a special place in representing their views before the board.

And finally, we have Judy Wilson, who is the most experienced commission member in terms of diversity.   Judy has served on the North Thurston School Board and as a Thurston County Commissioner, in which position she has had to manage people and negotiate with unions.  No one can beat her breadth of experience.  Former Thurston County Commission Dick Nichols says that no one can outwork Judy and few are more intelligent.

In my opinion these five Lacey Fire District Commissioners comprise the most experienced and most diverse local government board I’ve ever covered.

But,  before I get to carried away – –  a reminder.  They still have to perform, and, they still have to realize who they work for.

Posted in Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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