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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Voters to decide commissioners for Clark County fire district boards

Familiar faces on general election ballots Nov. 7

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: October 26, 2023, 6:05am

Voters will decide Nov. 7 who will serve as commissioners on several Clark County fire district boards.

Voters in areas served by Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue will choose between Brigid Taylor and incumbent Jade Bourke, who are both running for Position 2.

Taylor has previously served on the city of Ridgefield’s Parks Board, and she has 23 years of teaching experience in the county. She said she’s regularly attended commissioner meetings and hopes to bring more transparency and communication with the public to the board. Taylor said she’d hope to ensure response times of five minutes or less for all residents in the agency’s service area, according to the voters’ pamphlet.

Bourke has held the commissioner post for the past year. He had 10 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter/EMT, and he touted the agency’s accomplishments while he’s served on the board. He noted the agency’s use of grants and other outside funding to increase resources, including pairing mental health professionals with paramedics. He also highlighted the recent full-time staffing model for the fire station near the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds in partnership with Clark County Fire District 6, according to the voters’ pamphlet.

Stanley Chunn is running unopposed for Position 3.

Fire District 5

In Clark County Fire District 5, voters will choose between incumbent Mike Lyons and Craig Hancock.

Lyons is asking voters to reelect him to the post. He retired from the Vancouver Fire Department, and he said he has been involved with the local fire service for the past 46 years.

He said he would continue to prioritize ensuring the agency has adequate staffing to serve a growing community.

Lyons touted his involvement in the building and staffing of Station 7, serving Glenwood, Barberton, Pleasant Valley and Brush Prairie; and Station 11, serving Orchards, Sifton and the 117th Avenue corridor, according to the voters’ pamphlet.

Hancock is also again vying for the position. He retired from the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 2018. He said he believes his 34 years of experience and ranks of that department make him qualified to oversee Fire District 5.

In addition to managing staffing and training, Hancock said he would prioritize the agency’s public education programming and firefighter safety.

Fire District 13

Voters served by Clark County Fire District 13 will see Tom McGraw and Matt Sciaretta on their ballots.

McGraw owns an in-home care business and sits on the board of North Country EMS. He graduated from Battle Ground High School in 1986 and has volunteered with the local little league. He wrote in the voters’ pamphlet that as fire commissioner he would aim to ensure community members receive the best service.

Sciaretta has spent 20 years in fire and EMS service in the county. He’s currently a shift captain for Clark County Fire District 10 in Amboy, where he began as a volunteer firefighter. He’s also previously worked for North Country EMS and Fire District 13. He said living in the district and working for the agency has made him qualified to help direct it in a way that balances financial responsibility with the needs of the agency, the voters’ pamphlet states.

Unopposed candidates include Joshua Seeds for East County Fire and Rescue Position 1, Martha Martin for East County Fire and Rescue Position 4, Dean Thornberry for Clark County Fire District 3 Position 2, Rick Steele for Clark County Fire District 3 Position 2, Brad Lothspeich for Clark County Fire District 6 Position 1 and Sam Arola for Clark County Fire District 10 Position 3.