San Ramon Patch has asked each candidate to fill out a questionnaire to give residents information about his or her background. See other elections coverage here.
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
I have always believed in giving back to the community. I see this position as a great way to be involved in a vital aspect of my community–public safety.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
There are many top priorities for the fire district, but ultimately my highest priority is always going to be maintaining our excellent service levels while ensuring the district keeps pace with the growth of the community.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
My experience–both professionally as a veteran firefighter with over 20 years in the fire service and personally as an incumbent board member with eight years of policy making and ensuring we maintain a long-term, fiscally responsible budget and business plan.
How would you address the cost of the district's pension system?
As an incumbent director I have already addressed this issue. The board worked very hard to be transparent in our approach to addressing the cost of the pension system. The current board conducted public hearings/educational sessions in 2009 related to pension calculations and pension law. The board commissioned a study of retirement-related compensation issues and as a result of those findings we took 10 substantive actions, which have reduced the district's current and long-term pension obligations. The board has also supported a financial cost analysis for the possibility of de-pooling the Contra Costa County Retirement Agency fund. We believe in doing so it will show that the fire district has been overcharged by CCCERA for our retirement plan. By correcting the cost allocation, this will save the district a significant amount of money in the future.
What are the other major issues facing the district?
Ensuring that we maintain current service levels in a down economy is always a top priority. And in providing those service levels, we are always concerned with insuring that we are cost-effective in protecting the taxpayers. Also, the future of our health care system is a concern for all employers and what that will mean for our overall cost of benefits.
What's your favorite thing about this district?
Without a doubt it's the people. As a whole, the employees of the district go above and beyond to ensure they provide the very best service. They always "step up to the plate" to give a little extra when it's needed, even when they know they don't have to.
How long have you lived in the district?
I've lived in the District for almost 10 years.
Where do you work and what is your job title?
I work for the Millbrae Fire Department as a firefighter/engineer.
Age and birthplace?
I am 42 years old and was born at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto.
What are the names and ages of your children, if any?
I have one son, Maddox, who is 5 years old.
Please list the schools and colleges you attended, the degrees you attained and when.
I began my career in the Fire Service very young, choosing to go straight to work rather than attend a four-year college. I have taken many classes at different Junior Colleges over the years, but have never filed for a formal degree.
Have you ever held an elected or appointed public office?
I have held my current publicly elected position on the fire board for the past eight years.
Have you run before for an elected public office?
Prior to eight years ago, no.
Approximately how much money do you expect to spend on your campaign, both total spending and personal?
I actually have not spent much money on my previous campaigns and so far I don't intend to this time either. Instead I walk door to door with my family and friends,
doing it grassroots style. I think my first campaign I spent roughly $100 buying the supplies to make my own pins, which I still have and just re-use.