Bob Loveridge — Candidate for the Arvada Fire Protection District Board
9105 W 68th Ave, Arvada, CO 80005
1. Why are you running for the fire board?
After 14 years on the Apex Park & Recreation Board of Directors it has come to the point in time that I am term limited. After much consideration I decided that I could be of service to the Fire District with the experience I have gained at Apex and my other government experience. I have always been fascinated with fire fighting which makes this endeavor interesting to me. It has been said that I am jumping from the pool into the fire. I look forward to be able to help the staff continue to make the District better each and every day. No, I am not a fire expert. The professional staffs are the experts. I want to help provide the staff with what they need with great respect for the tax payer’s dollars. I will represent the citizens and not any special interests or individuals.
2. What skills do you bring that will help you govern the Arvada Fire District effectively?
· First elected to Apex Park and Recreation District in 1998 will serve till May 2014
· Have served on the Jefferson County Building Code Board from 1996 to present
· Arvada Board of Adjustments for 9 years
· Athletic Booster Club President for 2 years in local High School
· Ski Instructor for Blind Skier Program 5 years
· Arvada Small Business Owner 35 years
· Sunday School Teacher
· Apex Foundation Member
· Volunteer Probation Officer, Jefferson County 2 years
· Interests include vintage and sports cars, woodworking, gardening and people
While serving on the Board of Directors of the Apex District these are some of the accomplishments for which I am very pleased.
Apex Center: Completed ahead of schedule, under budget, and still profitable
Lutz Field Expansion
Acquisition & Improvements of Stenger Soccer Complex
Indian Tree Golf Renovation
Long Lakes Ranch and Pioneer Park
Sunset Tax for Indian Tree Bonds
Reconstruction of Secrest and Lake Arbor Pools & Centers
Improvements to Community Center
Instrumental in over $65 million in New and Expanded Recreational Projects
Increased the number of Ball Fields from 22 to 92
Apex Field House and Simms Street Center built without any debt
Reduced the Apex Budget Tax Dollars from 70% to 35%
Improved Apex Facilities throughout the District
With all of this that has been accomplished, there are still many needs and areas of the District that need improvement.
3. What are the biggest challenges you see facing the Arvada Fire District?
As a native of Arvada, I have always been proud of the Arvada Fire Protection District and the great service that they provide to the community. My goal is to help them continue this reputation and help them rise to higher achievements. With my experience in Special Districts, I bring a wealth of knowledge of how they need to operate and knowledge of the other Government entities that the Board needs to interact with.
As Candelas continues to grow the west area the need for a Firehouse in that area needs to be addressed. Then as the commercial properties begin to develop there could be a need for specialized equipment to protect the buildings that may be built. We will need to be able to find ways to accomplish this need. The ISO rating in that area is not acceptable.
It would be good to take a close look at the ISO rating and see what policies and needs we have to reach the next rating level. This may help the insurance costs of the District residents and businesses.
We need to continually need to be looking better ways for the Fire District to be able to better serve. We should also explore other opportunities to serve the community
There needs to be planning for the replacement of Station 1 as it out dated and needs upgrading as it would help serve the old town area better. Finding the land needed is a challenge in developed areas and then securing it.
4. How does the configuration of Ralston Road impact the level of service that the Arvada Fire District can provide?
The configuration of Ralston Road needs to be looked a very carefully as the City does not always consider the impact on emergency services, such as the configuration in old town where they can not take a fire engine down those streets. I find that very concerning and unacceptable. The Fire District would appreciate any support for those issues as they develop. As a Board Member I would do much lobbying with the City to make emergency access a priority.
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?
The information that I has been given to me is that the Ambulances are saving money over the cost that was incurred from Pridemark. As an ambulance service provider, Pridemark was sold to another company and we were not receiving the same level of service that we enjoyed for many years. That is when the Fire District decided to take over the ambulances. I do appreciate the fact that the Ambulances have a place to go when not in service. It bothered me that they had to sit in parking lots around the city waiting for a call. That must have been hard on the paramedics and I would wonder how fresh their minds would be when arriving on the scene after being cooped up in the Ambulance. The paramedics could not go to the fire house for any reason. If it is truly saving money a good look at how that money saved is being used would be in order. I understand that it is going towards more firemen on the trucks. This may be in order however I would ask if it was not better to put it towards maintenance and capitol improvements. This would be similar to what we have done at Apex and is how we built the Field House at Lutz Fields and the Simns Street Center that was done with out going into debt and without having to raise fees.
6. Did you support the last ballot measure that would have removed term limits for Arvada Fire Board Members?
I understand the frustration at times that term limits can bring, however this community still likes term limits and may have looked at maybe allowing 3 terms if it was asked for in a regular election not a special election for that one question. It does appear to be sneaky and secretive. I want to communicate better to the citizens on what the board is facing with issues and letting them know of the decisions and why. Too many things that have gone on at the Fire District have had poor communications. I have always said to be proud of your decisions and let the people know. A tax or policy question that you want a vote on from the people, the Board should always be proud of and put it in an election that will attract the most voters. These votes are an opportunity to communicate and have a dialog with the citizens. That also means that you may not always get what you may like, however it is a way of listening to the people.
7. Did you support the 55% mill-levy increase in 2010?
I did understand that they needed a mill-levy increase as they were seeing their income depleting as the mill-levy was ratcheting down do to several laws that create that effect. I do not want the District to be under funded so they can not handle emergency situations that may come up. They need to be over prepared. However I have wondered if it was over reaching and they have more money than needed. As I have looked at the budget I do not see an abundance of money. As a Board Member I would always be looking for ways to be more efficient with the tax payers money with out asking for so much that it puts a tax burden on the citizens.
[Editors note: This is a late submittal by the candidate. It arrived after the initial April 11th deadline for responding to the neighborhood association’s candidate questionnaires. In fairness to the remaining candidates who have not responded to the CLRC questionnaires, additional late submittals for both the AFPD Board and the Apex Board will be accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org up until 6:00 pm on Saturday, April 26, 2014. –JK]