North Lyon Fire Protection District Board of Director candidates

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Editor’s note: With the unlikelihood that there will be public campaign forums during the lead up to this year’s primary election, The Fernley Reporter has submitted a questionnaire to candidates for offices that represent Fernley.

All candidates were asked the same questions, with the freedom to answer in whatever manner they choose. Responses to those questions will be grouped by each office they are running for, and will be published as they are received. All responses have been edited only for spelling and punctuation, and no content has been changed. In addition, all candidates are responsible for their own comments, and any false or misleading statements are the responsibility of the candidate and not The Fernley Reporter.

Candidates will be listed alphabetically, as their names will be listed on the ballot.

Pat Hon

1. Describe who you are and where you’re from, your background, work history, experience, community service, etc.

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2. State why you are running and what qualifies you for the office you are running for.

3. What are some of the main issues you believe the board you are running for faces, and what are some of your solutions?

4. What else would you like voters to know about you and what you would try to accomplish if you are elected?

Patricia (Pat) Hon seeking my second term on the North Lyon County Fire Protection District. I have lived in Northern NV since 1971 and moved to Fernley in 2010. I am retired after 33 years in the banking industry and five years as a real estate developer. I left retirement briefly and accepted the position of Executive Director for the Fernley Chamber of Commerce for 18 months of which I’m still active as a volunteer. 

Community Involvement as been an important part of my life. Prior to Fernley I was a member, Director, and Past President of the Carson City Rotary-Sunset Club; member, Secretary and past President of the Builders Association of Western Nevada.

Since moving to Fernley I have been a board member of the Desert Lakes Homeowners Association, also a member, Secretary, Youth Chair and past President of the Fernley Rotary Club. With Rotary I purchase and monitor packing for our Weekend Food Backpack project. This project provides food for over 100 Fernley students who are identified as food challenge over the weekend. I also have served as an advisor to our Interact Club at Fernley High School.

I am currently finishing my first term on the NLCFPD. During this term the Board has met many challenges including hiring a new Fire Chief. I bring to the board my experiences from Senior management in the Banking industry especially regarding budget and finances of the District. Major challenges for the NLCFD is providing adequate public safety within our budget restraints. As Directors we oversee the Department’s management and adherence to policy and procedures. Work with Chief in locating viable other sources of income, fleet management and support for our greatest asset, the firefighters.

Daniel McCassie

1. Describe who you are and where you’re from, your background, work history, experience, community service, etc.

Dan McCassie, age 54. Family – three kids, three dogs. Lived in Fernley 52 years. Occupations sales ad loans. Served 8 years on city council and four years on North Lyon County Fire Board, Chairman for Room Tax Board and chairman for the North Lyon County Fire Board.

2. State why you are running and what qualifies you for the office you are running for.

Years of experience of government. Still have a lot of planning of growth, streets and traffic.

3. What are some of the main issues you believe the board you are running for faces, and what are some of your solutions?

Trying to work with qualified people.

4. What else would you like voters to know about you and what you would try to accomplish if you are elected?

Paul Murphy

1. Describe who you are and where you’re from, your background, work history, experience, community service, etc.

My name is Paul Murphy, I was born and raised in Southern California and lived there until my move to Fernley in 2004. Shortly after my relocation, I was voted into the Fernley Volunteer Fire Department and thus began my passion for serving others in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services. I earned my firefighting credentials through the Northern Nevada Fire Rescue Academy in 2005 and then my Emergency Medical Technician Basic level certification in 2006. I continued to serve the citizens of Fernley as a volunteer firefighter until I was hired in a full-time, professional Firefighter/EMT capacity in August 2007 by the North Lyon County Fire Protection District. In 2012 I attended REMSA’s renowned Paramedic Program to increase my capabilities and in 2013 I completed said program and earned my Paramedic certification. In October 2019 I was given the opportunity to work for the prestigious Reno Fire Department which would further expand my knowledge, skills, and abilities. After much internal and external deliberation, and with great conviction and hesitation, I resigned my employment with North Lyon Fire as a Firefighter/Paramedic to advance my career with the Reno Fire Department. While leaving North Lyon Fire after 15years of service to the citizens of Fernley was an incredibly difficult decision, it allowed me the ability to continue my public service within our community in a more effectual position as a Director of the North Lyon County Fire Protection District.

2. State why you are running and what qualifies you for the office you are running for.

Simply put, we as taxpayers should demand the best Fire and EMS services possible. I submitted my candidacy for the North Lyon Fire Protection District Board because there is not currently, nor has there been in the past, a more qualified candidate to serve the absolute interests of the community and its well-being than myself. I have worked hard to advance through the ranks of North Lyon Fire, starting as a volunteer fireman and earning my way up to Firefighter/Paramedic. I was part of the team that worked to expand staffing from six firefighters up to the current 18 firefighters. I was involved in the acquisition of the advanced life support ground ambulance service that the District now provides to the community. I have been and continue to be involved in seeking out and finding additional revenue sources for the District that have allowed for better and more comprehensive services to the community at no additional cost to us, the taxpayers. I understand the current and future challenges to the District and will do everything in my power to conquer those challenges. I am methodical, purposeful, rational, objective, and above all – honest. I have always pushed for transparency, professionalism, and integrity at all levels of the District, often against popular opinion and ultimately sacrificing my own self-promotion, and will continue to do so. Bottom line – no other candidate for the North Lyon County Fire Protection District Board of Directors possesses the knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, conviction or passion in the Fire Service that I possess.

3. What are some of the main issues you believe the board you are running for faces, and what are some of your solutions?

The core issue that North Lyon Fire faces is a lack of funding. Statewide tax abatements adopted in 2005 have severely restricted the District’s ability to provide adequate staffing to meet the ever increasing call volumes. North Lyon Fire only receives approximately 60 percent of assessed property valuation in the form of ad valorem taxes, ergo, the District only receives roughly $1.8 million of the $3 million that it should be receiving, which is effectively halving the services currently provided! In addition to abatements, we are also within pennies of the local tax cap and can no longer directly raise taxes to increase District funding.

So what’s the fix short of pushing legislation at the State level to remove the abatements?

During my time with North Lyon Fire I advocated for better utilization of the Out-of-District Wildland Firefighting Program, which has the potential to generate additional revenue to the tune of $500,000+ dollars annually. I also advocated for special assessments and impact fees on new housing and large business to buffer the cost of fire apparatus, safety equipment, and stations, thus allowing current funds to be reallocated within the budget. I would take advantage of recovering operational costs when our local fire resources respond to and provide service to non-taxpayers traveling through the area. I would also work within the current and future budgets to eliminate wasteful spending, reduce liability by poor administrative practices, and anticipate economic trends to better protect our hard-earned tax dollars from being squandered. Through these programs, controls and more, I would strive to be as economical with our money as possible without sacrificing service delivery or increasing taxes or costs to our current taxpayers.

At the end of the day, the North Lyon County Fire Protection District is ultimately a business whose only profits are the lives, properties, and environment that it is able to preserve and protect and We – the taxpaying citizens of Fernley – are its customers.

4. What else would you like voters to know about you and what would you try to accomplish if you are elected?

I can’t guarantee that my aforementioned ideas and goals will come to fruition if I were elected, but I can guarantee that I’ll work diligently alongside the other four Directors to achieve those ideas and goals.

I’m a very direct person – I say exactly what I mean with purpose and intent. I’m also not very interesting, but if you’d like to know more about me feel free to shoot me an e-mail or call me.

h2opolomurf@yahoo.com      775-230-4729

Jay Rodriguez

1. Describe who you are and where you’re from, your background, work history, experience, community service, etc.

I am Jay Rodriguez, Nevada Native, born & raised in Carson City. I moved to Reno in 5th grade and lived there till I moved to Fernley in summer of 2013. Worked in radio broadcasting, ran a successful mobile DJ business since 2004, and started Fernley’s own radio station in 2016. I’ve been a community service member since for many years, volunteered to serve in the Catholic communities in Reno & then in Fernley. I’ve also volunteered with local organizations in the autism community & the local Lions Club.

2. State why you are running and what qualifies you for the office you are running for.

I am running for North Lyon County Fire Board to help bring support for our community & be a voice.

3. What are some of the main issues you believe the board you are running for faces, and what are some of your solutions?

I believe that the current board is facing teamwork issues & financial decision making issues. I’m looking to help bring stability, while being a voice to serve for what I believe will be best for our community with the North Lyon County Fire Department. 

4. What else would you like voters to know about you and what you would try to accomplish if you are elected?

If I am elected, I’d like voters to know that I stand for community & support. I’m here to do the best I am able to do & I am here to support the best interests for our community to the best of my ability & knowledge, with the help our North Lyon County Fire Protection District.

Harry J. Wheeler

1. Describe who you are and where you’re from, your background, work history, experience, community service, etc.

I am Harry J. Wheeler, and I am running for a position on the North Lyon County Fire Protection District. I have resided in Fernley, Nevada since 1991, except for a brief period from 2005-2010. I began my fire service career in 1969 in Hemet, California. While in that Department, I obtained an AS/Fire Science Degree (Associates Degree in Fire Science). Upon moving to Reno, Nevada in 1977, I was hired by the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, Washoe County, Nevada as a firefighter. I continued with the TMFPD through the first consolidation with the City of Reno Fire Department, retiring in 2003 with a combined Fire Service Career of 34 years.

During the same time, I served our country with a military career. I served with the USN from 1965-1968 on the USS Princeton LPH-5, and then continued in the USN Reserve. In 1979 I joined the Nevada Air National Guard, 152 CES, retiring as an E-8/ 152 AW focusing on Education and Training.

Additionally, I obtained a 2-year degree from the Mississippi State Civil Defense, and became a Certified Emergency Manager. Beginning in 2000 I served as a Type II Incident Management Team (Sierra Front Cooperators) and a Type I, IMT, Great Basin, through 2007. I also assisted with Hurricane Katrina recovery on August 29,2005. (Gulfport Ms.)

2. State why you are running and what qualifies you for the office you are running for.

I have been affiliated with the North Lyon County Fire Protection in several ways. Have previously served on the Fire Board. I understand the fundamentals of the daily operation of the Fire District. I have knowledge of NRS 474, fire District. I have served as a Volunteer as well. I have an Associates Degree, Fire Science, I have a 2-year degree as an Emergency Management Manager. I have been appointed to both Incident Management Teams, local and nationally, Type II and a Type I.

3. What are some of the main issues you believe the board you are running for faces, and what are some of your solutions?

Supporting the Fire Chief, with the needs of the community. To assist with a workable plan. The growth of the community, and the North Lyon County Fire Protection District.

4. What else would you like voters to know about you and what you would try to accomplish if you are elected?

My campaign platform is simple: My experience will be beneficial to the North Lyon County Fire Protection District, allowing the Fire District to properly serve the citizens within the District, which includes the City of Fernley community. I promise to continue to meet the specific standards, support the Fire Chief, maintain a balanced budget, and provide the members within the Fire District the necessary equipment and personal protective needs.

Ray Block

Pat Hon

Paul Murphy

William Rieser

2 thoughts on “North Lyon Fire Protection District Board of Director candidates

  • April 30, 2020 at 11:43 am
    Permalink

    On my sample ballot I cannot find ward 4, Albert Torres. I see ward 2 and 5 but no 4. Is it me or did it not get printed in the sample ballot?

    Reply
    • April 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm
      Permalink

      Mr Bretz. Since there are only 2 candidates running in Ward 4 we will not be on the Primary Ballot. I will be on the ballot in the November General election. Thank you. Albert.

      Reply

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