Berger announces candidacy for South King Fire and Rescue board

David A. (“Dave”) Berger

David A. (“Dave”) Berger

David A. (“Dave”) Berger has announced his intention to run in this year’s election for fire commissioner with South King Fire & Rescue (SKFR).

He was appointed to Position 5 on the Board of Fire Commissioners late last March, after the retirement of former commissioner Jim Fossos. Since then, Berger has been fully engaged in the fire board’s budgeting, operational and other key policy decisions, including the need to rapidly familiarize himself with the details of the district’s financial condition. Understanding its justification and potential impact if not replaced, he became a strong advocate for the expiring Maintenance and Operation Levy that over 60% of SKFR’s voters approved last August. Berger emphasizes having “hit the ground running” in effectively serving the district’s residents and businesses, due to his knowledge of fire protection and emergency medical service gained as a city manager and assistant city manager for over 20 years. He also calls on his private sector experience, accrued during five years between city manager positions, as a regional vice president/business manager with the country’s largest environmental engineering consulting firm.

Berger explained that he’s running to retain his fire commissioner position “to continue to be a good steward of SKFR taxpayers’ dollars, by ensuring that they are spent wisely to maintain a high quality and level of fire protection and emergency medical service to the greater Federal Way, Des Moines, and Auburn West Hill communities that we serve. During the past year, I’ve listened closely to the other commissioners, fire administration and firefighters themselves describe the challenges and opportunities the district faces over the next few years. Berger added, “In response to those challenges and opportunities, I look forward to shaping my own ideas about goals and objectives for input to an update of the SKFR strategic plan. That plan update was deferred due to the district organization’s overriding priority response to the COVID-19 emergency.”

Berger is very pleased that Jeanne and Jim Burbidge have agreed to be honorary co-chairs of his election campaign. They will provide invaluable advice from having run many successful campaigns that led to Jeanne’s 20-year distinguished service to Federal Way as city council member and mayor. He is also grateful for the many current and previous elected officials, as well as other community leaders, who have offered their support and early endorsement of his candidacy.

Finally, Berger emphasized that he “brings to South King Fire & Rescue a proven track-record of personal integrity, prudent financial oversight, and a strong connection to the community.”

Having retired from the workforce 11 years ago, when Dave and his wife Donna moved to Federal Way, he is proud of his volunteer leadership. Dave serves on the Multi-Service Center Board of Directors, is a member of the Federal Way Parks and Recreation Commission, and is a Federal Way Mayor’s citizen representative to the Sea-Tac Airport round table that includes Des Moines, Federal Way and other overflight-impacted communities. He is a long-time Rotarian, previously served on the Sound Transit Citizen Oversight Panel, and has been on other civic task forces and committees.

His early endorsers include Washington State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti; Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell; Federal Way City Council members Martin Moore and Linda Kochmar; former Federal Way City Council members Jeanne Burbidge, Mary Gates, Mark Koppang, Jack Dovey, Skip Priest, and Susan White; and several others.

For further information on how you can support or help in Dave’s campaign, please contact him by email: or at (206) 592-2233.

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