Geoffrey Gardella — Candidate for the Arvada Fire Protection District Board
1. Why are you running for the fire board?
I love Arvada, and believe our community is leading the way in defining the suburban community of the 21st century . I am looking for a way to be involved with and give back to this city. I hope to be a community voice on the board.
2. What skills do you bring that will help you govern the Arvada Fire District effectively?
I see my role on the board as trying to help the professionals on the force to implement their vision for the District in a fiscally responsible way. I am a team player, and would look to work together with other board members, the chief and firefighters to keep the District strong and responsive to the community’s needs.
3. What are the biggest challenges you see facing the Arvada Fire District?
The development at Candelas in the North-West will necessitate the building and staffing of a new station. That will mean growing the force by more than 10%. The district was forward-looking by securing the tax revenue for this, and now the work remains to begin the development process.
The district is working with the police department on an active-shooter response program, to bring rescue personnel in to assist shooting victims sooner. Arvada’s initiatives are at the cutting edge of response programs for this type of emergency. Some might say that they are “writing the book” on this subject
Currently the district does not extend into the part of Arvada which falls in Adams County. One of the biggest decisions in the coming years will be whether or not to absorb this area into the district, and how to implement such a change.
4. How does the configuration of Ralston Road impact the level of service that the Arvada Fire District can provide?
Arvada is changing rapidly, and this will affect the traffic patterns on numerous arterial roads in the city. I am not a traffic engineer, and would need more information to answer this question.
5. Do you think that the benefits to the community out weighs the costs of having our own ambulance service.
If so please explain the trade-off between the added cost and new services being provided.
If not how will you approach liquidating the Ambulances that were purchased and reducing the Arvada Fire District staff?
Yes, I strongly support the District’s choice to take over emergency transport. The department just celebrated one year of providing this service to the citizens of the district. It is paying for itself, so will not be an added cost for tax payers. I personally, would rather put my life in the hands of an Arvada career EMS team, than a for-profit company.
6. Did you support the last ballot measure that would have removed term limits for Arvada Fire Board Members?
I did not support this measure. I think it is vital to public boards that new perspectives are brought in on occasion.
7. Did you support the 55% mill-levy increase in 2010?
Yes, I support the current mill-levy. The district has needed more money to respond to the rapid changes that are coming to Arvada. With the advent of a professional force, and the growth of the district, there has been lots to do. Specifically, I think the new maintenance and training facilities were needed (the old burn building could no longer be used for active burning). Nobody enjoys paying taxes.
[Editor’s note: The CLRC received a note from Mr Gardella saying that he had submitted a response to the CLRC steering committee’s questions before the Friday deadline, but his email service provider had not been sending out all of his emails. Hence the reason for this late posting. –JK]