This year, incumbent Fall City Fire District 27 Commissioner Eric Hollis is being challenged by Brandon Bothwell. Longtime residents will likely support Hollis and newcomers may be tempted to vote for Bothwell. I’m a “newcomer” who supports Hollis.
Hollis has been commissioner since 2004, a “known quantity,” a leader who’s helped our department modernize its operations, equipment and station. Bothwell got involved two years ago and is critical of our department, an easy position for a newcomer. Hollis has taken action on improvements, championing additional career firefighters to achieve 24/7 three-career firefighter staffing (a need highlighted in recent fire merger discussions) and voting for additional safety equipment.
Hollis has uniquely diverse experience in management, law and operations along with firefighter training. The board has relied on him to negotiate contracts with the firefighters since 2004. These contracts are negotiated collaboratively and approved by both commissioners and firefighters. Bothwell touts his firefighter/medic experience. Our chief and staff already bring that to the table. We need commissioners who can look at our needs and finances from a holistic perspective, not just as a firefighter/medic. Being a current firefighter union member would limit what Bothwell could do as a commissioner and decisions he could make in order to avoid a conflict of interest. I am concerned he would put firefighters’ interests ahead of our community’s broader interests. We know that Hollis will represent our community, asking hard questions and insisting that all options are fully vetted and data verified, as he did when the merger was proposed. Hollis has also championed open and transparent board discussions so we know what’s being discussed and how it could impact us.
My vote is for Eric Hollis. He has the best experience of all our commissioners. He works for us, the citizens of Fall City.