Have you had the chance to drop by my VoteJerry.net campaign website yet?


Please check it out. Schedule of events and other informative pages.

Also, read the latest article by Bob Roegner in the Federal Way Mirror.

Sounds like he is feeling a bit bullied by some of the commissioners.

What do you think of the article?


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Vote Jerry Galland
POBOX 1843
Milton, WA 98354
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Captain Jeff Bellinghausen gave a presentation at the SKF&R commissioners meeting Tuesday and a disappointing statistic was cited.


The location of only 10-12% of all Automated External Defibrillators purchased in King County are known to 911 dispatchers.


Nearly 90% of these lifesaving tools are in the community, but may not be available when seconds count.


King County has the highest survival rate in the state for sudden cardiac arrest, and with the affordable automated devices becoming available at retail outlets, our residents are making great efforts to keep themselves safe.


But how available is it?


Did you or your company purchase an AED? Did you place it in a location known to all?


If you were in need, and someone that did not know where the AED was called 911, would the 911 operator know where to tell them to locate the AED?


Taking the initiative to have a lifesaving tool is admirable.


Knowing where it is when seconds count is essential.


Take that extra step now.  Follow this link and take just 15 minutes to register the location of your AED.


Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) don’t work if you can’t find them. Registering an AED helps 911 dispatchers match the location of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victim with the nearest AED. It also allows the dispatcher to alert emergency teams that an AED is onsite.

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Participation in opinion events leading up to the general election in November.


August 4th is the deadline for jurisdictions to file measures for the November ballot.


Back in April the fire commissioners promised to have public meetings, even mentioned forming a Citizens Advisory Team, to get a pulse on what the public really wants.


That time has running out. With the special meeting on June 30th, there is not enough time to advertise for, organize, meet and form meaningful sessions with members of the general citizenry.


A lot of effort and money is being used to influence pushing the existing bind without seeking feedback as to why the last one failed. Or seeking serios conversation about how to pass another full blown request for higher taxes.


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Budgets and reserves


Not that many years ago South King Fire & Rescue was able to responsibly buy new fire trucks.

Without asking for more taxes.

Not that many years ago they also used to hire full time firefighters.

Without asking for more taxes.

What happened to force an exceedingly irresponsible $53.7 million dollar bond measure on the ballot?


The Operating Budget and the Capitol Budget set the tone for spending each year and the district is supposed to set aside Reserves for predictable major expenses.

The separate divisions generally categorize people, structure, equipment and associated maintenance with the Reserves acting as an accumulating savings account to cover the equipment replacement and outstanding maintenance as necessary.

A responsible budget would include spreading revenues over the all sections of the budget to maintain a safe and adequately staffed fire district with the vital tools and buildings to serve our community.

For decades this district has balanced staff with equipment and structures to provide the excellent Class 2 rated services our citizens have come to expect. Administration and commissioners worked well to forecast and identify vehicles ready for moving to stand-by status, and decommissioning while timely purchasing new ones.


Sadly, for the past few years, the Reserves account has not been adequately funded, leaving less and less money for needed fire trucks, aid cars and service vehicles, as well as basic and major building maintenance.


So what is different now? Why is the district suddenly $53,700,000 short of meeting its obligations?

Yes, we had a few bad economic years, bring real estate values down and fire district revenues with them. But isn’t that exactly what Reserves are intended to cover? Taxes collected but not spent on the everyday costs to provide service?

And the economy is recovering very well. Housing prices are back to 2010 levels, and beyond, bringing fresh property tax revenue to the district in increasing amounts every year.

Who decided, at the expense of responsible planning and learned financial forecasting, that taxes be diverted away from decades long recognized obligations and saving practices?


Every citizen and homeowner has the same budget standards.

From your income, you pay regular living expenses (Operating Budget) and put some money into scheduled maintenance on the house and vehicles (Capitol Budget) and set something aside for predictable repairs. And have an account for the new roof every 20 years, furnace or water heater replacement, and that new car every 5 years (Reserves).

Accountable and responsible property owners make wise choices and never have to seek gifts from their neighbors to maintain all three of the legs of the financial stool.

So what has happened to make your fire chief and the commissioners come to you begging more money?


Is the first step out of economic depression to spend more money on Operating Expenses?

Or is it to focus on our Reserves and so we can quickly get back on track purchasing the equipment needed to keep our district functioning at a Class 2 Rating?

These goals could, and should, have been met before asking the public for more taxes.


So, what happened to our Reserves Account?

And is the dismal performance with Reserves having a negative effect on our Class 2 Rating?



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I am reminded of a commercial where a family cherishes their boat and the elderly woman, pictured in a home of modest means, just could not see the benefits. Begrudgingly she goes for a ride, while muttering about the waste of it all.


Are we that little old lady? Are we being taken for a token ride on the rich mans safety blanket? Are we aware enough of the situation that we should be muttering? Or do you own a boat moored at the Des Moines Marina?


Every day we hear someone talk about the 99% subsidizing the elite 1% rich folks eating caviar or jetting off to places of  luxury, but how does that apply on a local level?


A while ago, through a fortunate twist of fate, the fire boat owned by SKF&R responded to a major fire at the Des Moines Marina. We commit hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintaining, staffing and training so this boat can be pushed from its trailer into the waters of Des Moines once or twice.


But I ask you, how many voters in this district benefit from the now proposed spending on another $700,000 fire boat? Why are we subsidizing the rich yacht crowd? Why don’t they pay for this insurance themselves?


When the battle cry ‘Tax the Rich’ echos across the Occupy Federal Way camp, do they mean it? Is it your responsibility to miss your morning latte so the rich can sleep safe knowing a $700,000 boat awaits there distress call?


This is a clear case of the rich few benefiting from the many taxpayers subsidizing their lifestyle. I say that the operators of the Des Moines Marina be solely responsible for purchasing and maintaining their own boat. And that means that the city of Des Moines needs to step up and fund this extravagance themselves.


It has been over a decade since the Federal Way and Des Moines fire departments merged, and well enough time has passed for the city to take action. But, because the current administration and commissioners of SKF&R you don’t care where that waste your taxes, and the city of Des Moines has been grateful not to be burdened with the expense, our taxes go to serve their tight little community benefit.


Here is a small portion of the district wagging the tail of the dog, sort of like that junior taxing district debacle that was cleared op in less than a month a few years ago. You, remember it, right? After threatening the taxpayers with doom and gloom should the 60% tax increase Service Benefit Charge fail, (which it did to no marked devastation) while holding the hospital taxing over our heads, it took less than one month and less than $1,000 to remove the shadow forever.


Do we need a boat? It is just one factor of the $53.7 million dollar budget that should be seriously reconsidered for elimination from the backs of Federal Way taxpayers.



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So what makes the Troy Kelley / Jason Jerue story so tantalizing?


Is it because he was paid $22,884 in public funds for little work product?


Is it because possible corruption took place?


Is it because it was at the state level?


Or is it because a Democrat is calling out a Democrat?


The Office of the Attorney General has sided with the governor to ‘investigate’ a $22,884 job-for-friends deal between Troy Kelley and absentee buddy Jason Jerue.


I am not real happy with the lack of accountability at the state level. And even less delighted with the complete whitewashing at the local level.


Other than my expose, not a single publication asked even one question, printed even one word or cared even one breath about Chief Al Church’s hand picked second fiddle turned absentee gold-digger Patrick Kettenring’s $200,000 gift. But some guy in California gets a paltry by comparison $22,884 and everyone races to their podium to make a statement. Some to condemn, some to defend.


Where were they when the assistant fire chief took nearly $200,000, plus generous benefits, of your local taxes? Rumor has it Patrick Kettenring enjoyed his nearly two year paid vacation gift from Chief Church for hiring his then girlfriend into South King Fire & Rescue.


I am sure his wife was not happy, but the taxpayers were raped.


There was not a shred of outrage. Kettenring not only got a fat paid 2 year vacation, he was obviously given a glowing letter of recommendation to pursue his City of Tacoma fire department job. Which some say ran partially concurrent to his SKF&R ‘special assignment’ job.


Presumably at the sole direction of Chief Al Church, Kettenring kept his retirement, was paid to ‘stay home’ for 22 months, and was told to not step foot on district property without express invitation from Chief Church and supposedly given the sole task of ‘updating’ a policy booklet. (I am pretty sure none of the commissioners condoned this activity. Wink wink)


Nothing of substance to benefit the district was done while the checks just kept rolling in.


And Kettenring still kept up with his friends in the district. He joined up with Ed Plumlee to become two of the older ranking members of SKF&R to climb Bank of America fundraiser Firefighter Challenge just a month prior to severing employment with SKF&R.


But did the Attorney General give a whit about $200,000 of your taxes then? Hell NO! Not enough political posturing to get the AG involved.


The cover-up was nicely out of the spotlight because of the Grant Gaspard issue. Remember him? Another fine choice for administration by our illustrious Chief. Garpard was found guilty of embezzlement and ‘misuse’ of over $775,000 of your tax dollars. Gaspard was also to pay $959,200 in restitution.


Ironic, isn’t it, that Gaspard and Kettenring share the same last day with SKF&R? Both left their positions with the district on July 31, 2008. How tidy.

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On these pages are my years of dealings trying to get open and accountable government working for you.


Now I need your help becoming an elected official having even more impact.


Please visit my campaign blog for information about how to support your fire district with an advocate for accountable and open government.




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The contract with the firefighters is up for renewal this year.

And while everyone wanted the huge tax increase passed so the other district revenues could be sliced up in new wages without conflict, it appears that the contract may have to go forward the same way as earlier years with a diversionary patch instead of a solid multi-year contract.

I am sure we will hear how much the firefighters want to respect the voters, and how important it is that they slide their increases until revenues are higher. Don’t want to look greedy in the face of another failed ballot measure.

So, I expect a slider to come out of today’s Executive Session.

Some contract extension for a year, or at least until after the $53,700,000 ballot measure is voted on in November.

No surprise. Same ol’ same ol’.


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Fireworks at the meeting this afternoon.


With little regard for how stupid they looked, and childish they acted, a couple of the commissioners, with cheering from the chief, again showed how juvenile and disrespectful they can be. Not satisfied the commissioners were doing a good enough job making fools of themselves, the chief added his plugged nickels worth too.


While one commissioner tactfully avoided the meeting, (excused but maybe only running late, according to the chair), two others launched a full attack on the lone voice of reason, while the third kept wiping his face. In despair?

Apparently the paragraph that appears on the bottom of every agenda applies not to the chief, or eager to attack commissioners. Respect is clearly not a part of their persona, and civility is grossly absent.


Adding to the bizarre setting, this latest display of dirty laundry was aired while invited honorees waited patiently for their place on the agenda.


Commissioner Comments


Two commissioners spoke of their activities this past month, which consisted of some external meetings.

Then Commissioner Freitas was offered his turn at comments. And he had many.Too many to list here.

From asking about the appointment of committees, which is usually completed in January, Chairman Gates is shirking his responsibility until, maybe, May, to special session commissioner meetings about the union contract which is due this year, the reaction was heated.

Add pending litigation concerning the city of Des Moines; members of the district potentially illegally using district email to advocate, or dissuade, persons running for office; potential lies from the administration about holding public meetings for the bond issue; and something about a salary survey that was quickly squashed, and you can see why the chief was openly enraged, actually cursing at the Commissioner Freitas.

Chairman Gates had no commissioner comments and so quickly launched into other items on the agenda, he ignored the order by skipping past one agenda item.

Not sure what the police chief and other members of his department thought of this infantile display, but I am sure they were not comfortable. After these members of the police force were honored for life-saving acts they performed in 2014, they evaporated from the chambers.


$53.7 million bond on April ballot


By the way. One of the questions that Commissioner Freitas asked concerned public meetings to explain the bond measure. At every single on of the three hastily called meetings in late January, early February, all of which were sparsely attended by members of the public, Commissioner Gates and Chief Church promised more outreach and more educational public meetings would be held if the commissioners approved putting the measure on the ballot.

Commissioner Freitas asked specifically when those meeting would be held, and were they being scheduled.

Chief Church said three of them were held. And no others are currently scheduled.

But that is a bald faced lie. The three meetings Chief Church spoke of today were those held pre-approval by the board, not any meetings as promised held AFTER the board voted to put the measure forth to the people.

The only public informational or educational meetings were to put forth the question, Should SKF&R put the bond measure on the ballot?

Not a single open public Educational meeting has been scheduled or held to help inform the public of the actual measure that was put on the ballot.

Proof is as simple as checking their meeting list. Nary a meeting in sight. The farce continues.

Even at today’s meeting, the last one scheduled before the vote, there was no educational mention of the ballot measure.

Chief Church and his band of merry men are all Liars.



We want our endorsement back


Meanwhile the games continued as Commissioner Fossos and Chairman Gates suffered buyers remorse over the letter they so happily approved, voted 3-2 to support, and sent to the county last month regarding the mega-million dollar PSERN radio vote.


As if their play acting today was anything but chest beating, they tag-teamed each other making fools of themselves trying to rescind their letter of support. As if it mattered. The ballot measure will be fully decided by the time the so-called wah wah I-Screwed-Up-Give-Me-Back-My-Endorsement Letter is drafted, and they damn well know it.

Just a dog and pony show for political advantage. Though it is more like playing the public fool, to me.


You know that Damn well!


Oh, on the title? That’s what it sounded like the Fire Chief retorted to Commissioner Freitas when asked about sending the commissioner some material regarding one of the issues. Specifically in response to the comment about notifying Commissioner Freitas regarding potential litigation with the fire district.

“It was handled in an email to you and you know that damn well!” Chief Church declared.

Excuse me?, the taken aback Commissioner Freitas said.

And the chief, so full of himself, uncontrolled and to angry to even realize how asinine he sounded, or where he was, repeated himself

Imagine how he acts out of public view.

You know that damn well!


Are these the people you trust $53,700,000 of your hard earned tax dollars?

Too arrogant to even realize the damage they are causing the district, no wonder the ship is sinking while these commissioners and administration founder.


Maybe this explains why Gordon Olson chose to leave the state to get away from this bunch.




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