I am now in my second term as FMB Fire District Commissioner and have seen a lot of different views as to what a commission needs and can do. When I came on board I wondered why we did not have a fire boat, fire chiefs only lasted an average of 2-3 years, why we had three stations and dwindling reserves. Surely issues of concern, but once familiar with the operation and funding, my aspirations changed.
Ron Fleming, a candidate for Seat 2 was asked his top two financial or service goals. His immediate goal was to raise our rating to Class 1. This will be expensive to our district and may save a few islanders on insurance premiums. Check with your insurer and most likely you will save nil. His second goal was having water rescue boats. More expenses, more manning – both costly. We are an island and have no fire/rescue boats, but we are the only district that enjoys a 24/7 US Coast Guard station outfitted with several vessels. We work with the Coast Guard routinely and efficiently. This saves the district thousands of dollars each year. Finally, our reserves are high, since not only for emergencies- but provide funds for capital expenditures like fire trucks and more.
John Pohland’s goals are known. He is spearheading an effort to reduce maintenance costs saving the district money each and every year. He also led the effort to purchase our new beach vehicle (needed due to Estero construction) and saved the district here as well. He is a team player but is not a “yes man” as evidenced by a history of nay votes. He is not naïve like his opponent.
Theodore R. Schindler II
Vice-Chair FMB Fire District