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Budget restraint, improved service highlight Penryn Fire candidate goals

By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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The Penryn Fire Protection District board of directors race includes incumbents and new faces. Three district board members seats are up for election on Nov. 2, while five district residents are seeking the position The Loomis News asked each candidate four questions about their campaign and possible election. PHIL BARGER Age: 74 years Phil Barger has lived in Penryn with his wife, Diane, and family since 1973. Their six children graduated from Penryn Elementary School and Del Oro High School. The Bargers were active in the Penryn and Del Oro parent teacher clubs, were Cub and Scout leaders, and were involved in Camp Fire Girls, 4-H and with their church. Barger was a member of the Penryn/Horseshoe Bar Community Master Plan committee in 1987. Barger served in the Air Force for 22 years, last assigned at Beale AFB in the SR-71 Wing, where he retired as Lt. Colonel. He has a Master of Science degree in computer science and worked with NEC Electronics as a software engineer. Q: Why are you running for election? A: I want to insure we fiscally responsible and don’t raise any fees or taxes. I’m not implying anything against the current incumbents, but I would like to see more new faces. Two of them have been directors for 12 years. Q: What are your goals if elected? A: To try to accomplish more with less. In any organization, you can look at it and improve how it operates. I’ve learned you don’t walk in with preconceived ideas; once you get in you look at the organization and start from there. Q: What do you bring to the table? A: I was a consultant in the computer industry. I’ve seen many different organizations, such as Bay Area Transit and NEC Electronics and I see how they work and become more efficient. I’ve been a financial analyst and understand finances very well. I want to make sure we have expertise and proper use of our finances. Q: Can you describe your ability to successfully work with and influence other fire board directors? A: In the Air Force, I worked with many different organizations to achieve the objective we were assigned. Since retiring, I was president of the non-profit Sacramento Air Force Association that has 1,300 members and have been on its executive board for 10 years there. I have worked with many people with different ideas. TOM BOWLING Age: 63 Tom Bowling has been a district resident for 21 years and has served been on the district board for 12 years. He also served on the Penryn Elementary school board. Bowling has raised four children, three of whom graduated from Penryn Elementary and Del Oro High School. Bowling has been a heating and air conditioning mechanical contractor in Placer and Sacramento counties for 38 years. Kleenair Heating & Air Conditioning has 20 to 25 employees. He is a horseman who first participated in the Tevis Cup Ride in 1971. He served six years as a director for the national American Endurance Riders Conference. He worked as yardmaster for Western Pacific Railroad and supervised 40 men. Q: Why are you running for re-election? A: I enjoy belonging to an organization that is not only a necessity, but one we can certainly improve over time with wise spending as we have over the 12 years I’ve been on it. Q: What are your goals if re-elected? A: I’d like to institute advance life support. Eighty percent of our calls are emergency medical calls, not fire related. With advanced life support we would have paramedics, personnel trained to handle medical emergencies, on the trucks. Our budget wouldn’t allow it now. If more people move into area it will create a larger tax base. Q: What do you bring to the table? A: I work well with people. The job of a board member is to oversee the budget, to assist the chief in making employee. Q: Can you describe your ability to successfully work with and influence other fire board directors? A: I bring a good, common-sense manner. We have four other members of this board who are equally qualified. We’re well diversified in our experiences. MIKE CAGLE Age: 46 Mike Cagle has been a district resident for 10 years. He and his wife, Kimberly, have two sons. He has had an office in Loomis since March 1990 when he became a chiropractor. He’s also a 1982 Del Oro High School graduate, attended Sierra College and New College in San Francisco, and graduated in 1989 from Life West Chiropractic College in Hayward. His sons have raced quarter-midget cars, and Cagle has served on several regional club boards. Since January 2008, he has also been a volunteer fireman with Penryn Fire. Q: Why are you running for election? A: If elected I will take a leave of absence from being a volunteer. My No. 1 reason for running is I want to serve my community. I think having run my own business for 20 years I have the perspective of being fiscally conservative as well as keeping Penryn Fire District the superior district that it is. Being a volunteer fireman brings a unique perspective to the board. Q: What are your goals if elected? A: To keep Penryn Fire the best operation that it already is. To use funds appropriately while maintaining its high standards. They make the best of what they have, and they do a very good job at it. We don’t have brand-new equipment. I know everyone of the guys down there; they do a fabulous job of protecting and keeping the community safe. I want to investigate finding money, grants, elsewhere, to make sure we have equipment to let them do their job, without raising taxes. To want to secure the funding to maintain the high-quality fire serve we get without raising taxes on Penryn Fire District residents. Q: What do you bring to the table? A: The fact that I successful ran business for 20 years, and that I have the perspective of having been a volunteer there. Q: Can you describe your ability to successfully work with and influence other fire board directors? A: My experience of being on several boards in the past. I’m pretty good at bringing consensus and getting things done. BRIAN MYERS Age: 57 Brian Myers has been a Penryn Fire District resident for two years. He currently serves on the board as appointed incumbent. He has been married for 32 years to Linda, and the couple has three adult daughters and one grandson. Myers was on the school board in Elk Grove for 21 years. The district had 6,000 employees and a budget of $400 million. Myers has been a deputy district attorney for Sacramento County 32 years. He reviews cases and determine what charges should be filed. His work includes working with the fire departments in Sacramento County on their arson cases. Q: Why are you running for re-election? A: We’re working to modernize Penryn Fire District facilities and to replace aging equipment. Contributing to that endeavor is important to our local community in Penryn. Q: What are your goals if elected? A: To make sure the budget is under control and that we don’t waste tax payer money in any way, that we run an efficient and quick-responding fire department. A: What do you bring to the table? A: I have huge management experience running large organizations and an extensive law enforcement background. And those combine together to make me what I hope makes me a good director. Q: Can you describe your ability to successfully work with and influence other fire board directors? A: I think I have a lot of experience in dealing with other board members, even handling controversial issues. I have a solid background in the law, and I think I play a contributing role with that background. MIKE POSEHN Age: 63 Mike Posehn has been a district resident for 15 years. He is married and has two adult children. Posehn has a doctorate in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, another in electrical engineering and computer science. He was served on the board since 1998. Q: Why are you running for re-election? A: There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. I have a lot of experience with the firefighters’ needs and with the limitations of our district funding. I’m interested in making sure we get the best service we can for the amount of money we have. Q: What are your goals if re-elected? A: I want to improve service by finding a way to get advanced life support in the district. I think we’re getting a raw deal from the county, because only six percent of the property tax money comes back to the fire district, and Granite Bay gets about 12 percent comes back. I’d like to find funding for better equipment, without putting it on the backs of district taxpayers. Q: What do you bring to the table? A: I have been an independent businessman since 1980 and am aware of living within a budget. I fought for the district’s interests in regard to the bordering Bickford project, and with then-Chief Mike Davis’ help we managed to get a promise of $150,000 in impact fees. I want to stay on to make sure we see that money when the new owners take over. I’ve saved the district about $10,000 directly. For 10 years I did not draw the meeting stipend of $75 that we are due. I am taking it now. A: Can you describe your ability to successfully work with and influence other fire board directors? A: All the board members have a different point of view, but we’ve all gotten along well by respecting each other’s opinions. I have the community’s interest and heart. I have been a good director, accomplished a lot in my 12 years, through my suggestions and support for the staff and district.