In the Oct. 16 edition of the Chinook Observer, Steve Kovach was interviewed about his campaign for Fire Commissioner of Pacific County Fire District No. 1. While he expressed his concern over us working without a current contract, that turned out to be information that was not completely accurate, and that is our fault.

While it is true that we do have a current collective bargaining agreement, we have not settled on 2019 wages and another article of our contract. We are currently in mediation with the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC), and the Fire District to attempt to resolve these issues. These are issues that have been ongoing through the negotiation process that started in July 2018, and we have come to an impasse up to this point. We did not clearly communicate the difference between currently negotiating our 2019 wages, and working without a contract in general to Steve, and therefore we take full responsibility for the misunderstanding. We strongly believe that Steve’s statement in the interview regarding our contract was made in good faith, given the information that he had at the time.

We fully support Steve for fire commissioner, as we have come to know him as an honest, compassionate and responsible leader who will serve all members of the fire district and the community with the upmost integrity. We believe that when he expresses his concerns for our safety, mental health and wellbeing, that he is sincere in his assertions. There is no doubt that he will serve the community with transparency and honesty. Steve knows what it means to make the employees of an organization its number one asset, in addition to securing the bottom line. Additionally, there is no doubt in our minds that he will be fiscally responsible to our citizens that we all value so highly.

Please join us in voting for Steve Kovach for Pacific County Fire District Number 1 fire commissioner.

Members of South Pacific County Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 3999

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