Loomis Fire District candidates state their cases

By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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The Loomis Fire Protection District board of directors race includes incumbents and a new face. Two district board members seats are up for election on Nov. 2, while three district residents are seeking the position The Loomis News asked each candidate four questions about their campaign and possible election. Chris Gibson Age: 47 Chris Gibson, 47, has lived in Loomis since 1994. He and his wife, Trisha, have been married for 18 years and have two daughters. Tiffany and Jennifer both attend Loomis Grammar School. Gibson grew up in the Auburn-Folsom Road area of Loomis and graduated from Del Oro High School. He’s a former fireman, having worked for the South Placer Fire District for nine years. He graduated from Life Chiropractic West in Hayward in 1994, and moved back to Loomis the following year. He also helps with security at Adventure Christian Church in Roseville. Two years ago, Gibson was appointed to fill the seat on the Loomis fire district vacated by Greg Fellers. Q. Why are you running for re-election? A: I’ve only been on the board for two years. I’m just starting to learn about the district really well. I want to make sure we take care of our community and firemen. I want to make sure we’re spending our money appropriately. We need to continue spending within our means, and not overextend ourselves as other districts have done. Q: What are your goals if re-elected? A: One of my goals is to make sure that Loomis folks are taken care of first, and that we have great response times. Q: What do you bring to the table? A: Because I’ve been a fireman for 9 years, and a business owner, I understand budgets really well. I understand how to spend wisely. When it comes to employees, I want to make sure we’re taking care of our employees. I also understand about the operation of a fire district. When it comes to equipment, I have great knowledge. Q: Can you describe your ability to successfully work with and influence other fire board directors? A: I’m pretty easy going. I get along with the board fairly well. I bring a different perspective to the board. I ask questions differently so we can maybe resolve matters. I respect everyone on the board, and I’d like to keep my position there. Russ Kelley Russ Kelley, 69, has been a Loomis resident for 43 years. He and his wife, Joyce, have two adult sons. Kelley is a member and past president of the Loomis Lions Club, is adjutant for American Legion Post 775, member and past president of the South Placer Heritage Foundation, member and past board member of the Loomis Basin Chamber, former soccer and Tri-Cities Little League coach, and past president of the Lakeside Little League. He is a Del Oro High School booster. Because of his interest in youth, sports and recreation, he also served on the Placer County Parks Commission for 20 years. Kelley retired from Sure West/Roseville Telephone as a facilities manager for 27 years. He is currently serving as a Loomis Town councilman and was mayor in 2008. He has spearheaded projects such as Del Oro High School greenhouse and the town event sign, helped in the construction and placement of the new Loomis Chamber building, and served as a project manager for the Blue Goose Fruit Shed renovation. Q: Why are you running? A: I feel I can continue to provide value to the community in a meaningful way. This could be a good fit for me. I worked with the committee to assure and maintain local control of our fire department. We have a great department, and I would work to keep it at its best for our community. Q: What are your goals if elected? A: To make sure that we stay sustainable and be able to meet the needs of the community. Q: What do you bring to the table? A: I have experience and background in fire systems, damage control and incident command, which is part of the fire system. My experience as a facilities manager is also valuable. Q: Can you describe your ability to successfully work with and influence other fire board directors? A: I’m able to work with community members. I have always been able to work as a team member, and as a coach, with other people. Bill Tudsbury Bill Tudsbury, 64, is a Loomis native. He is married to his second wife, Diana Murray Tudsbury, an accomplished pianist. Tudsbury’s adult children are Brett, of Bozeman, Mont., and Tiffany, of Roseville. Tudsbury taught in the Roseville High School District for 36-1/2 years, retiring from Oakmont High. He is a 1968 graduate of Chico State and earned his teaching credential in 1969. Tudsbury has also been a farmer all of his life. He is serving his third term on the district board. Q: Why are you running for re-election? A: The reason I got involved on the board in the first place was because of the financial situation, as far as fire district was concerned. We failed with the first vote attempts, but we were finally successful in getting the benefit assessment through. I want to serve at least another term to make sure that all the things for the benefit assessment are properly in place, before I cut it loose. We made a heck of a transition. We went from a volunteer district to a fully paid fire district. I was appointed to fill my dad’s spot in the mid-1990s and have been elected ever since. Q: What are your goals if elected? A: To make sure the benefit assessment is implemented correctly, that it does what it was intended for. Sometimes monies get in place, and they get redirected. This is not going to happen with me. It isn’t going to happen anyway, because Fire Chief Dave Wheeler is doing a good job. Q: What do you bring to the table? A: My experience, and my working knowledge of Loomis. Q: Can you describe your ability to successfully work with and influence other fire board directors? A: Right now, we’re pretty darn fortunate. The board has been pretty much in agreement on all the major issues, as long as I’ve been on it. The board has a sense of community and cooperation; nobody has an agenda. The common goal has always been serving the community. I’m going to what I think is best for fire district in the spirit of the benefit assessment.