Tuesday vote determine two seats on Aspen Fire Protection District board | AspenTimes.com
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Tuesday vote determine two seats on Aspen Fire Protection District board

Harvey Fahy

Voters on Tuesday can select as many as two of the three candidates running for the board of directors for the Aspen Fire Protection District. Mail-in ballots must be dropped off at the AFPD, 420 E. Hopkins. Ave., before 7 p.m. Tuesday. Postmarks to not count as a received date.

The following highlights the three candidates and why they are running for the fire board.

Name: Harvey Fahy

Age: Old enough

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Profession: Pediatrician

Education: Engineering degree and MD

Experience in public safety: Health care is my profession. I also have experience in public safety issues, particularly as they relate to public health concerns.

Family: Wife and three children

Years in the Roaring Fork Valley: I have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for roughly 30 years.

Why are you running for a seat on the fire board?

I am running for the board to add some medical perspective.

Why are you the best person among the three candidates to sit on the Aspen Fire Protection District’s board of directors, and whatever your top goal as a board member would be.

I know the other two candidates personally and do not want to make any argument that I am any more qualified than them for this board position.

Name: Michael Buglione

Age: 57

Profession: Construction superintendent for Centaur Construction and co-owner of LIV ASPEN MEN

Education: Degree in Construction Management, Graduate of Colorado Law Enforcement Academy

Experience in public safety: 18 years, including former sergeant for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, police officer for Aspen Police Department, deputy coroner for Pitkin County and currently on the board of directors of the Aspen Hope Center

Family: Wife Holly, daughters Nicole and Lou Lou and step daughter and son-in-law Olivia and Travis Vandomelen and new granddaughter Hayes.

Years in the Roaring Fork Valley: 19

Why are you running for a seat on the fire board?

I see the primary role of this position is to help guide the future of the Aspen Fire Department while staying ahead of current trends with respect to its deep-rooted traditions. My experience as a first responder for 18 years as well as my experience with the safety, budgeting and scheduling for large construction projects are assets to this position. I have most recently helped develop the city of Aspen’s construction site safety plan for COVID-19, which is being used on all construction sites in Aspen. Having recently gone back to the private sector I would like to contribute to our community with my experience in public safety.

Why are you the best person among the three candidates to sit on the Aspen Fire Protection District’s board of directors, and whatever your top goal as a board member would be.

I am the best candidate for the Aspen Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors due to my experience as a former sergeant for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, police officer for the Aspen Police Department, and a Pitkin County deputy coroner as well as currently sitting on the board of directors for the Aspen Hope Center. In these roles I have worked shoulder to shoulder with the Aspen Fire Department on many critical calls. I have witnessed their dedication and have an understanding of their needs. I have decades of experience in working through difficult circumstances while promoting a sense of safety and comfort within the community.

Name: John Ward

Age: 49

Profession: Banking

Education: MS

Public safety experience: Aspen Fire Board member since August of 2015.

Family: Wife Ashley Ward (formerly Ashley Dodge, 1988 graduate of Aspen High) and two boys Tyler (17), junior at Aspen High School and Treven, 13, seventh grader at Aspen Elementary

Years in the Roaring Fork Valley: 20 — drove across Castle Creek Bridge and moved in with the in laws for a short period of time on May 15, 2000; currently we reside in North 40

Why are you running for a seat on the fire board?

As the lone incumbent in the election I have been involved in work that has secured the future of the Aspen Fire Protection District. We have secured the financial position through our bond issue that was supported by 70% of fire district voters. It has allowed us to put in motion a first responder housing project in the North 40, secured funding to replace an aging fleet of response equipment and allowed us the flexibility to increase district reserves and move to a combination pay/volunteer model that should only improve service to the district. I am running to see that work to the finish line.

In addition I have been actively involved in several community organizations since arriving in 2000. I believe it’s important to be involved, make a difference and build on what community leaders have done in the past.

Why are you the best person among the three candidates to sit on the Aspen Fire Protection District’s board of directors, and whatever your top goal as a board member would be.

I think all candidates are qualified to be a part of guiding the district in the future. My background as a community banker gives me a finance understanding that the other candidates don’t have which is critical in working with a multimillion dollar budget, maintaining fiscal responsibility in an organization that is soon to have double digit employees, residential real estate to manage and still provide the best volunteer benefits of any fire organization the state. In addition my experience on the APCHA board will be important in developing policy around the soon to be constructed first responder housing. In the last five years as a board we have addressed several issues. First and foremost was housing to ensure Aspen Fire had volunteers and paid firefighters that could afford to live in district, second was ensuring that the district is able to replace an aging fleet of response apparatus, making sure first responders were arriving on scene with safe, reliable and efficient equipment, third was working to honor the volunteer model but meeting the expectation of citizen’s in the district to services, response times and professionalism. The fourth major pillar was shoring up the district balance sheet with adequate reserves to weather the unforeseen. With our recent board decision to move to the combination pay/volunteer structure the top goal as a board member has to be integrated that structure while being sensitive to the volunteers and the model that has served the district for so many years. A secondary goal is to continue working with Pitkin County and other stakeholders making sure we are meeting the needs and expectations of our stakeholders outside of the roundabout. A tertiary goal is building a housing plan that is fair to all first responders that need and want housing inside the district.


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