The Federal Way Mirror asked the South King Fire & Rescue commissioner candidates a few questions about priorities and plans if elected. Read the Position 3 candidate responses below. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Caroline Vadino is running unopposed.
Brief description of yourself: I grew up in Federal Way, and have lived in the district for most of my life. After attending Washington State University and completing my degree in finance, I now work as an accountant in the healthcare industry. I volunteer as a King County 4-H leader and am a member of the Federal Way Performing Arts Foundation Board. I care passionately about our community and want to utilize my experience to give back.
Top three priorities if elected:
1. My top priority is to ensure that the department is providing the best services to our community. I will work to ensure the department has the best technology, equipment, and the diverse workforce needed to meet the needs of our fire district. We should always look at opportunities for training and resources that can make our department even better.
2. We also need to support our hardworking firefighters and administrative staff. We have a committed team working around the clock to keep our community safe.
3. I also want to prioritize community engagement and transparency. It is important for residents of the district to be involved and informed. Community outreach in an area that speaks over 100 languages can improve safety and help us understand the needs of the public.
Why are you running for the South King Fire & Rescue Board of Commissioners?
I am running for this position because I believe it is important to be involved in the community. I grew up in Federal Way and have lived here most of my life. I have watched South King County grow and thrive throughout the years. As an accountant and active community member, I offer a unique perspective to the board. With my financial background, I will provide knowledge that will benefit our district in operational and budgetary concerns.
What do you see as the most pressing issue impacting the safety of Federal Way residents, and what do you intend to do about it?
The continuation of COVID-19 and our recovery from the pandemic remains a pressing issue. We need to ensure that we continue to safeguard the community. Education and financial resource allocation are two important areas I will focus on.
The fire district operates on a budget upwards of $35 million. What areas do you believe are unacceptable to face budget cuts and why?
As we are a growing fire district, I believe it is important to strategically prioritize the budget to ensure we will keep up with our expanding community and utilize our assets in the most effective way. We need to optimize our financial resources to ensure that everyone in the district has access to high-quality services without compromising on the vital role that we play in the district.
The Board of Fire Commissioners recently made a policy prohibiting unvaccinated firefighters from working with patients. Do you support this policy? Why or why not?
I believe vaccines are essential in ending the pandemic. These have been some of the most challenging times we have experienced. South King Fire and Rescue has been on the front lines and plays a pivotal role in ensuring the continued safety of our community. I believe it’s important to partner with the employees and stakeholders to address concerns in implementing the new mandates in the changing environment. Working in the healthcare industry, I understand how critical vaccination efforts are in the fight against COVID-19 in our community.