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May 2, 2014
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Meet the candidates for the Aspen Fire Protection District board

Ten candidates are running for three openings on the board of directors for the Aspen Fire Protection District.

The Tuesday mail-in election has drawn incumbents D. Stone (Stoney) Davis and Thomas C. Clapper, along with candidates Chuck Fillion, Mike Haman, George Kremer, David C. Lyons, Denis Murray, Stefan Reveal, Steven Seyffert and Wendle Whiting. Ballots also can be dropped off at the Aspen Fire Protection District headquarters, located at 420 E. Hopkins Ave. The deadline to submit the ballots is 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Aspen board consists of five members. Terms are four years.

Here’s a look at all 10 candidates seeking election:

Tom Clapper

Age: 57

Job: Aspen Skiing Co., skier service and ACRA Visitor’s Center

Area of residence: Smuggler Trailer Court, Aspen

Civic/community experience: Fireman and department treasurer (1980 to 1988), Aspen Volunteer Fire Department; member, Aspen Fire Protection District board (2006 to present); coach, Aspen Youth Football program and Aspen middle school and high school football programs; volunteer for Boogie’s Buddy 5-Mile race and Race for the Cure

Please explain why voters should keep you in office.

1. As a previous member of the fire department for eight years, I understand the needs of the firefighters and of the community.

2. Having been the fire department’s treasurer, I understand the financial needs of the department and district.

3. As an incumbent, I understand where the district and department have been, where they are and what their plans are for the future. And I have a fiduciary understanding that I believe is representative of the taxpayers, which is the primary responsibility of the board of directors.

4. And of great importance is my family history with both the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department and the Aspen Fire Protection District for the past 50 years. My father was a firefighter for 30 years, 17 of which he served as chief. In the 1980s there were five Clapper members of the department: my father, my brothers Willard, Dale and Jay, and myself. At that time the department was nicknamed the Clapper Fire Department. My brother Willard has been a member of the department for 35 years, having served as chief and now serving as captain.

Stoney Davis

Photo not provided

Age: 71

Job: I was a partner in Cap’s Auto Supply for 20 years; the business was sold in 1995, when I retired.

Area of residence: Smuggler area, Aspen

Civic/community experience: I was an ambassador for the Aspen Skiing Co. for 17 years on Buttermilk, Snowmass and Aspen mountains. I am a member of the Elks Lodge and have been a member of the Aspen Rotary Club for 31 years. I am president and treasurer of the board of Red Butte Cemetery Association, on the board of the Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District and treasurer of the board of the Aspen Fire Protection District. I have served on the fire district board for 18 years.

Please explain why voters should keep you in office.

I bring 18 years of service on the fire board to the table, and I think those years and my 12 years as treasurer give me the experience to provide financial oversight and to try to maintain the district’s volunteer model.

Chuck Fillion

Age: 62

Job: Meter tech, city of Aspen Water Department

Area of residence: Aspen

Civic/community experience: 15 years as hazmat Level 3 responder; 20 years of confined space trainings (as part of hazmat); Aspen Junior Hockey coach and volunteer; ran city baseball league in the 1980s; longtime member of Aspen Rugby Club; vice president of Rugby Club in 1990

Please tell us why the voters should select you over the incumbents.

As you see from my bio, I’m a team player, a coach. I’ve learned that structure fires are basically licked by building, fire and sprinkler codes. I want to work with the public, the fire board and the firefighters to assure our residents and visitors that we have a fire department, volunteer by description, which is as well-trained, well-equipped and prepared to attack the most formidable pyro threat to our safety, property and recreational values. That is wildfire, my friends. Wildfire. That is all.

George F. Kremer

Age: 58

Job: Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy

Area of residence: Centennial Apartments, Aspen

Please tell us why the voters should select you over the incumbents.

As a sheriff’s deputy and a former Aspen police officer, I serve the people of Pitkin County and also serve as a sort of ambassador, as well, setting the example that is law enforcement; problem solver, mediator, a good listener, able to empathize with all strata of people both locals and visitors alike, and all things involved in law enforcement for the past 21 years. As a deputy and police officer, I work closely with the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department members in my role as law enforcement, and I have gotten to know many of the firefighters.

David Lyons

Age: 39

Job: Showroom manager at the Ranch Design Collection

Area of residence: Aspen Highlands

Civic/community experience: Former successful Aspen small-business owner, Maroon Creek Station HOA board

Please tell us why the voters should select you over the incumbents.

As an Aspen native and former business owner, I have seen how our town has evolved over the years. From this experience I feel that I can provide a unique perspective to the board and make a contribution to further enhance emergency services to my neighbors and fellow citizens. I feel it is important to have a fresh perspective on taxpayer-funded boards like this to ensure that our tax money is being spent in the most cost-efficient manner possible. Thankfully, fire-protection services are not needed daily, but when the alarm sounds, you should expect the best equipment and training. I will help ensure the Aspen Fire Protection District is ready for your call.

Denis Murray

Age: 54

Job: Plans examination manager, city of Aspen Building Department.

Area of residence: Aspen

Civic/community experience: None

Please tell us why the voters should select you over the incumbents.

I am at a place in my life where I want to give back to the community that has given me so much. A constant reminder of my inspiration to ask for this position in some ways is the noon siren and what it represents. When it sounds and it is not noon. I have seen the look in the eyes of friends who are either volunteers or professional fire department personnel drop everything and answer the call. This commitment to help people is what I want to be a part of. I have been involved with the application of the building code and fire code for the last 15 years. For the opportunity to use this knowledge to contribute to the effort to provide life safety for our community and to continue a tradition of fire prevention and suppression that has been going on for over 100 years I would be grateful.

Mike Haman

Photo not provided

Age: 54

Occupation: Owner of Mtricity Ltd., a local electrical contracting company

Area of residence: Aspen Village

Civic/community experience: Proud and active member of both the Aspen Elks Lodge and the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department, two of the oldest organizations serving Aspen.

Please tell us why the voters should select you over the incumbents.

Actually, running for the seats that incumbents Stoney Davis and Tommy Clapper are seeking re-election for is not my intention; I support their contributions and would like to see them retain their positions. I am running for the open seat left by the vacancy of Pam Cunningham. Being an active volunteer fireman, I have attended many fire board meetings over years. This has given me an insight of the continuous work that is needed to provide the community with the variety of life-safety programs and operations that may be needed at a moment’s notice. Accountability to the community, efficiency and encouraging a team effort would be my focus.

Stefan Reveal

Age: 33

Job: Commercial relationship manager for Community Bank of Colorado

Area of residence: Burlingame Ranch I Condominium

Civic/community experience: Financial-aid review committee (since Sept. 30, 2010), Kids First; advisory board (since Feb. 1, 2012), Kids First; president, Burlingame Ranch I Condominium Association (on the board since Feb. 1, 2011); secretary and treasurer, Burlingame Ranch Affordable Housing Association (master board, member since Feb. 20, 2013); Citizens Review of the Green Key Grants (member since March 17, 2011), Community Office for Resource Efficiency; coach, third season, Aspen Junior Hockey; member, Rotary Club of Aspen.

Please tell us why the voters should select you over the incumbents.

Several reasons that voters ought to vote for me: my experience with being a board member, my extensive understanding of financial statements and the fact that I make mindful, informed decisions. I am an individual who will listen thoughtfully and weigh information in order to best contribute to thorough discussions and educated decision-making by the board. Not only will I conduct myself in such a manner, I have and continue to do so on other boards I serve. I believe that this fire district board will benefit from a mindful approach to any potential issues concerning prevention and protection efforts, budgeting and capital assets. I am confident in my abilities to bring such an approach to my fiduciary duty to the taxpayers of the Aspen fire district and the wonderful work of the volunteers and staff.

Steven (Steve) Seyffert

Age: 53

Job: Senior private banker, Wells Fargo Private Bank in Aspen

Area of residence: Obermeyer Place

Civic/community experience: 30-year Aspen resident. Former general manager/partner at The Inn at Aspen (15 years), finance industry the most recent 15 years. Aspen Rotary Club since 1991, Aspen Ducky Derby, Shining Stars Volunteer, Rotary Fall Jeep Tour, active runner and mountain biker, father of two daughters, city of Aspen Infill Committee member, past board member of Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention, past president of the Aspen Lodging Association, past president of the board for Aspen Central Reservations (now Stay Aspen Snowmass), current HOA director of Obermeyer Place, past HOA board member of The Inn at Aspen Condominium Association

Please tell us why the voters should select you over the incumbents.

I am not necessarily challenging the incumbents. There are three seats open in this election. Pam Cunningham has been a very thoughtful and respected board member who has helped guide the fire district along with the current board. I would like to attempt to fill her shoes by offering prudent fiscal management of the fire district’s resources for the future. The fire district bears the responsibility of providing emergency services for our community. The board has the responsibility of meeting this requirement with providing the facilities, equipment and training for volunteer firefighters/emergency response personnel. Four new facilities and emergency-response vehicles have been recently built or added to help meet the district goals. The next chapter for the district where I have the experience to help to manage and guide the district is through balancing tax revenues with sound fiscal asset-management practices. I will use my finance, business, asset-management and communication skills to meet these objectives and maintain the legacy of the Aspen Fire Protection District.

Wendle Whiting

Age: 41

Job: Concierge, Hyatt Grand Aspen

Area of residence: Hunter Creek, Aspen

Civic/community experience: Two decades of volunteering for many various community organizations: World Cup, KDNK, Aspen Institute, Aspen Community Theatre, Food and Wine, Aspen Curling Club, Aspen Film, inaugural recipient of Spring Board Aspen’s Prom King Award for community philanthropy and volunteering.

Please tell us why the voters should select you over the incumbents.

I don’t believe the voters will be poorly served by any combination of this slate of candidates. So pick who you know and are comfortable with. My candidacy is an attempt to bring an element to local government that is missing: representation of community members who are involved in our main economic engines — the hospitality and service industries.


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The Aspen Times Updated May 2, 2014 12:00AM Published May 6, 2014 06:14PM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.