19 apply for East Fork Fire Board
The list of applicants for the East Fork Fire Protection District Board reads like a who’s who of Douglas County officialdom.
Nineteen residents filed for the board, with all but one of the new board’s districts attracting multiple applications.
Retired Carson City Fire Marshal Steve Mihelic was the only resident to apply for the district’s area 5.
A half-dozen residents applied for the area 2 seat, including retired East Fork Chief Bill Driscoll, retired Clerk-Treasurer Barbara J. Griffin, former Ranchos volunteer firefighter William Sugden, former Gardnerville volunteer firefighter Christopher Goulay, certified public accountant Mark Neddenriep and 2001 Douglas County Grand Jury Chairwoman Carole Freemen.
Five residents applied for the area 1 seat, including retired East Fork Battalion Chief Ron Haskins, retired Carson City Chief Fire Officer Eric Bero, retired East Fork Fire Capt. John Bellona, Alpine County emergency dispatcher Christine Mills, and Douglas 911 Surcharge Advisory Committee member Kenneth S. Garber.
Four residents applied for the area 4 seat, including retired Tahoe Douglas Fire Chief Guy LeFever, former Douglas County commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen, former Genoa Volunteer Chief Martin Manning and former Sheridan volunteer firefighter Gary Sozzi.
County Commission Chairman Doug Johnson already announced he was seeking the seat in area 3. He will be up against former county commissioner and Undersheriff Bernie Curtis and retried FBI Agent Bill Jonkey, who was lead investigator on the 1980 Harvey’s bombing.
The deadline to turn in applications for the board was 5 p.m. Friday.
Fire Chief Tod Carlini, with the help of Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lewis and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office sorted through applications, ensuring that applicants were registered to vote and lived in the district they where they were applying.
Screening process interviews are Sept. 8-9 to winnow the number of applicants in each area down to three. Those names will be forwarded to commissioners who will pick the new board at their Oct. 4-5 meetings. Johnson won’t participate in the selection.
Each board member will represent one of five geographic areas, but will be elected by residents of the entire district.
The area of Douglas County at Lake Tahoe won’t be included in the district’s jurisdiction.
Once the five board members have been approved by commissioners, they’ll meet starting in January, where they’ll decide by lot who gets the four-year and who gets the two-year terms.
Under the proposal, a majority of the board will serve until 2020, with the two other fire board members’ terms ending in 2018.
The East Fork Fire District covers 96 percent of Douglas County’s land area, including the Carson Range and into the Tahoe Basin, according to Carlini. That portion is served by the Tahoe Douglas Fire District under contract. There are 42,000 residents in the district.
It was formed in April 1981 to fund the original volunteer fire departments that served communities outside the Lake Tahoe basin.
County commissioners have served as the fire district’s board since its formation. They voted to for a separate board for the district in July.
Once the district has its own board, it would be responsible for allocating its tax rate, though it wouldn’t be able to raise that rate because the county is already at the $3.64 maximum property tax cap.