Election 2010: Three new faces pledge to change the face of the Truckee Fire board | SierraSun.com

Election 2010: Three new faces pledge to change the face of the Truckee Fire board

Jason ShuehSierra Sun
Sun File PhotosFrom left, Gerald Herrick, Paul Wilford and Victor Hernandez.

TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Three new residents will be charged in helping with two pivotal decisions next year on the Truckee Fire Protection District board of directors andamp;#8212; choosing a new fire chief and sorting out a controversial ambulance operating agreement.Challengers Paul Wilford, Victor Hernandez and Gerald Herrick have all been given the nod by voters after a fallout between the previous board and former Chief Bryce Keller, which eventually led to Kellerandamp;#8217;s dismissal this summer, partly due to his decision to house an ambulance near Squaw Valley and the boardandamp;#8217;s apparent lack of knowledge of the move.The challengers based campaigns heavily on transparency, a criticism lobbied against the current board andamp;#8212; of which incumbents Joe Straub and Ben Malone are members andamp;#8212; for its closed session decision-making meetings.In Nevada County, Hernandez was atop the list with 31 percent of the votes, while Wilford nabbed 28.3 percent of votes and Herrick garnered 15.1 percent. Malone (13.6 percent) and Straub (11.9 percent) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.In Placer County, Wilford held 26.97 percent of all votes, with Hernandez behind at 26.09 percent and Herrick at 20.67 percent. Malone and Straub were last again, garnering 14.54 percent and 11.73 percent of the respective votes.Hernandez labeled the results as a clear-cut message by constituents asking for more communication by board members and broader access into district affairs.andamp;#8220;Truckee has a practically new fire board,andamp;#8221; Hernandez said. andamp;#8220;So I think thatandamp;#8217;s a progressive thing … the message was pretty clear by the voters.andamp;#8221;Herrick agreed.andamp;#8220;There are going to be some improvements in the way board meeting are being conducted, and I think that myself, Paul and Victor have all said that,andamp;#8221; Herrick said.Despite the tumultuous last few months for the district, Hernandez, Herrick and Wilford said Thursday they still feel the current board, overall, has done a good job maintaining the district and praised directors highly for their hard work and service.Straub said while election results werenandamp;#8217;t what heandamp;#8217;d hoped for, he has no hard feelings and would make himself available to the board members for any information or advice wanted.andamp;#8220;As to what issues are to be the most important, itandamp;#8217;s going to be their call,andamp;#8221; Straub said. andamp;#8220;Thereandamp;#8217;s probably going to be the need to pick a new chief and then the new (emergency services) operating agreement.andamp;#8221;Wilford said he would take Straub up on his offer andamp;#8212; and potentially the same for Malone, who was not available to comment for this story.andamp;#8220;I would have to say I have a lot of respect for the outgoing board members and would hope they would be willing to do some teaching before they leave,andamp;#8221; Wilford said. andamp;#8220;Iandamp;#8217;m excited and trying to anticipate whatandamp;#8217;s coming up and humbled by the chance to go out and represent the town and fire department.andamp;#8221;

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