South County Politics: Introductory statements from Fire District 1 candidates in primary

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Fire District 1 board candidates Bret Chiafalo, Brandy Donaghy, Michael Ellis and Brandon Richards recently sent statements introducing themselves to voters. Incumbent Commissioner David Chan did not respond to requests for a statement.

The five are running on the Aug. 1 primary ballot for the position on the Fire District board of commissioners that Chan now holds. The top two vote-getters in the primary qualify for the Nov. 7 general-election ballot.

The district includes unincorporated areas of Snohomish County south of Everett. The cities of Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Brier get service from the district, but those cities don’t vote in district elections; nor does the City of Lynnwood, which shares administrative functions with the district.

Ballots for the August primary will go to voters by first-class mail starting July 13, with voters’ pamphlets sent a day earlier by bulk mail.

Here are the candidates’ introductory statements in the order that their names will appear on the primary ballot and in the voters’ pamphlet.

FIRE DISTRICT 1
Commissioner Position 3, six-year term

David F. Chan
Incumbent; did not respond.

P. Bret Chiafalo
I have lived in Western Washington for my entire life. I have been to every Caucus since I was 18. I am currently 38 and I work as a Network Engineer at the Xbox Live Operations Center, a 24/7/365 Incident Response Team..

I was elected as the 2nd CD Presidential Elector and founded Hamilton Electors, which attempted to stop Donald Trump in the Electoral College.

I have been endorsed by: Snohomish County Councilmember Brian Sullivan, FireFighter and Paramedic Union Local 1828, the 21st, 44th, and 38th LD Democrats along with Snohomish County Democrats.

Brandy Donaghy
I’m a US Navy veteran, parent, UW Bothell alumna, local volunteer, and homeowner in here in Snohomish county. I made the decision run because I don’t believe that I have the right to urge others to step forward if I’m not willing to do the same. That is why I am eager to apply my education, skills and experience to this Fire Commissioner position- because our first responders are working hard every minute of every day ensuring the safety of our community members, and they deserve to have us doing our very best for them.

Michael Ellis
I am a police officer often called to respond with personnel of District 1. They provide excellent emergency service but deserve more support to include getting necessary training and equipment to do their job safely and efficiently.

Our community needs a new commissioner who will support improvements in Fire/EMS services. I will build confidence in our department’s elected governance by making the Board sensitive to our communities’ needs.

I am endorsed by IAFF Local 1828 representing District 1 Firefighters and supported by former fire chiefs and by fire commissioners and police officers from around Washington.

Brandon Richards
Fire District 1 needs strong leadership. Poor decisions have tarnished the commissioners’ office. I believe leadership starts from the top. This position requires someone with business skills, 1st responder experience and ability to make tough decisions and take responsibility for them. I’ve run a successful company for 25 years, worked in leadership in conjunction with local law enforcement and served as a first responder with Snohomish County Search and Rescue. I believe my unique skill sets will provide direction, leadership and support for the Firefighters and Paramedics of District 1. I’m asking for your vote.

–By Evan Smith

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

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