Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS
 
 
 

Meet the Fire Board candidates

October 31, 2018
MEGHAN BRADBURY (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

There are a total of seven candidates running for the Fort Myers Beach fire district.

Three candidates, Forrest Crister, Robert Raymond and Bill Santomas are running for the Fire District Seat 1; two candidates, Jacki Liszak and Carol Morris are running for Fire District Seat 3 and two candidates, John Bennett and Theodore Schindler II, are running for the Fire District Seat 5.

The polling precincts include Bayside Estates Clubhouse, 17601 San Carlos Blvd.; Church of the Ascension, 6025 Estero Blvd; Chapel by the Sea, 100 Chapel Street and St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3751 Estero Blvd.

Article Photos

Polling locations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Fort Myers Beach Fire 1

Forrest Crister

Age:

Profession: Bi-vocational minister, former business owner and manager

Why are you running for the fire board?

"Another important asset I would bring as a Fire Board member is my extensive knowledge of our island's diversity and ever-changing dynamics between the residents, visitors and business owners. I have constant interaction with many of these three groups, which has helped me develop an excellent rapport with them. I am able to listen and evaluate before making decisions. It is important to me to consider all sides of an issue."

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

"I foresee ever changing needs in the near and far future on our island because of the growth in our downtown and San Carlos Island. We need to provide our Fire Department with the latest equipment and provide them with the facilities and training to keep up with the growth and help them to continue the excellent job and response times."

Robert Raymond

Age:

Profession: Retired real estate

Why are you running for the fire board?

"Because of everything coming up and the possible cost to the taxpayers of the town. There is a lot of new construction going on in San Carlos Island. There is a lot of things going on. I've been on it for the last four years. The firemen did not have a contract for four years, within three months of being there, they now have a three year contract.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

"Straighten stuff up with a new fire station. It's pass its lifetime (Fire Station No. 31). We know we have to do something. If we started today, found a place to build a new one, it would be a year or two before it's built. That will not affect the taxpayers for the next three years."

Bill Santomas

Age:

Profession: Restaurant industry

Why are you running for the fire board?

"I believe that the service industry correlates to a fire department in that firefighters are the ultimate service providers. Our firefighters are always there in our time of critical need."

What do you hope to accomplish if elected? ***

"As a FMB fire commissioner I pledge to advocate for their mental and physical wellness and to provide them the finest leadership, technology, training, compensation, advancement and equipment. My most important and specific agenda is to move this department forward to being the best in the region and do so fiscally responsibly."

Fort Myers Beach Fire 3

Jacki Liszak

Age:

Profession: President and Executive Director of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce

Why are you running for the fire board?

"We've had a lot of fires on the beach of older homes. I have lost a friend in a fire on the beach. As a family, we've had two boats and a house almost go up. I have had personal experience of what it is like to lose something in the fire. I would like to continue the good work that the commissioners ahead of me have done."

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

"I think we can continue to do a lot of the work that they (commissioners) have already started and continue to make the department more fiscally strong. I want to continue to give our firefighters the best training and the best equipment possible to help provide them with all the tools they need to be the best in class."

Carol Morris

Age:

Profession:

Why are you running for the fire board?

"I am running for re-election to the fire board to ensure that the major improvements that we have been making to the district continue and that the budget and spending be kept under control. The district cannot afford to have new commissioners with new spending ideas and expansions raise the taxpayer's bill."

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

"Having adequate funds to do all the good things we have started is a concern that I plan to tackle during the next four years by looking at some creative ways to bring more money into the district without placing the burden on our taxpayers."

Fort Myers Beach Fire 5

John A. Bennett

Age: 52

Profession: Manager

Why are you running for the fire board?

"The reason I'm running for office is fairly simple, public service to our community. Service has always been part of my life, 12 years in the US Navy, four years in law enforcement and volunteering in community committees and organizations for some of the last years."

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

"If elected, some of my goals for the coming four years would be improving employee satisfaction/retention, increasing response capabilities through the use of new technologies and improving community outreach with a more visible online presence. All of this will have to be done while maintaining the long term planning and budget goals of the district."

Theodore Schindler II

Age:

Profession: Certified financial planner, business owner

Why are you running for the fire board?

"I have worked diligently for the past eight years to not only bring this fire district back from the brink of bankruptcy, but to change its culture. We now are solvent with reserves, have high morale, good retention and an outstanding chief."

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

"I will continue to be fiscally prudent to keep our great firefighters trained, equipped and paid without raising taxes. I am a retired USAF command pilot, certified financial planner and business owner, thus making me uniquely qualified for this important job."

*** The Observer did not receive an response to the two questions asked for this Q&A from Mr. Santomas. He did respond to a similar Q&A offered by EITA and his responses were taken from that submission to the Observer. The Observer apologizes to Mr. Santomas and the other candidates for the tight turnaround time for this feature.

 
 

 

I am looking for:
in:
News, Blogs & Events Web