Fire Protection District 3

Commissioner Pos. 3

One candidate running for this position responded to our questionnaire:
Ryan J. Felix

One candidate did not respond to our questionnaire:
Daniel R. Rankin
This candidate has chosen to not participate in our Voter's Guide. Please refer to your Official Pierce County Voter's Guide information.

Candidates are listed in the order they will appear on your ballot.
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Sanctuary Status

Do you support Sanctuary Status for the area you would represent? Please explain.

Ryan J. Felix

Yes

I support sanctuary status for Pierce County and its cities, and have been disappointed by recent setbacks in those efforts. Our county must welcome and serve all residents, regardless of legal status.
This issue absolutely affects our fire and EMS services. Fire does not discriminate. When a person without legal status sees a fire, or smells a gas leak, or is concerned about a fire hazard that could lead to injuries or deaths to our first responders and our citizens, do we really want them to hesitate in picking up the phone to dial 911?
West Pierce Fire District does not, to my knowledge, collect any information regarding legal status or share any such information with other agencies. If elected, I will introduce a resolution to affirm this practice and incorporate this affirmation into our educational materials, and will seek to have educational materials distributed in the native languages of our immigrant communities.

PCYD & WA Democrats Resolutions

What resolutions from PCYDs or the WA Democrat State Party do you align with?
(PCYD: Decline to Sign I-1552, Petition: Tacoma City Council: Protect Undocumented Immigrants #HereToStay)

Ryan J. Felix

I decline to sign I-1552, and I fully support equal rights for transgender people. I think that should go without question in 2017.
Transgender people face increased challenges in career fields such as fire protection and emergency services, where workers share living quarters and facilities. If elected, I will introduce a resolution affirming the right of transgender West Pierce Fire employees to use facilities corresponding to their gender identity.
I am not a Tacoma resident and so do not feel it is my place to voice a position on your #HereToStay petition to the Tacoma City Council. I would support similar petitions to the Lakewood City Council and the Pierce County Council.

Goals & Needs of Constituency

If you could achieve three accomplishments in your coming term, what would they be?

Ryan J. Felix

1. Pierce County has 11 different fire & EMS districts. Each of these districts has its own administration, its own IT department, its own HR department, its own accountants... and that's just the fire districts; all of Pierce County's police departments and other emergency services have their own versions as well.
There's no reason why we need 41 different computer networks, 41 different HR systems, 41 different finance systems for Pierce County's services. They're all doing basically the same thing, just for different districts. I will spearhead an effort to consolidate these services among the fire and police districts. The taxpayers need to be confident that their tax dollars are being spent efficiently. Right now, they aren't.
The savings from consolidating these services will be directed toward improving our services to the citizens of Pierce County.

2. South Sound 911's new computer system has been beset by failures. The system that SS911 bought was known to be flawed at the time it was purchased; the company was under investigation by a San Jose (CA) grand jury, and had its contract with the New York City Fire Department terminated early.
On the night that Officer Jake Gutierrez was shot, the SS911 system completely froze; dispatchers had to switch to old-school radio dispatch, tracking units on pen and paper.
We know that our region is prone to natural disasters. Mount Rainier is the only volcano in the US on the IAVCEI (International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior) list of Decade Volcanoes, those volcanoes that require particular study due to their unique threat to life and property. The Big One, a magnitude 9.0+ megathrust earthquake, could hit at any time.
The evening of Officer Gutierrez's tragic death showed us that our emergency dispatch system is not up to the job. If it could not handle that situation, there is no way that it can possibly handle a volcanic eruption or earthquake.
South Sound 911, whether out of pride, or for political reasons, or maybe because someone was paid off, is giving bullshit answers to questions from the Tacoma News-Tribune and the public on this topic. I have a very low tolerance for bullshit. I will make it my mission to get to the bottom of why SS911 chose a subpar system of out Alabama when we have an abundance of companies here in Washington that can do the job better.

3. Commissioner Rankin, the incumbent for this seat, has done an outstanding job of supporting West Pierce's fire and emergency personnel. I will follow his example in that regard.

What are the top five needs of your constituency?

Ryan J. Felix

1. West Pierce Fire District taxpayers must know that their tax dollars are being spent responsibly, with as much as possible going to provision of fire and emergency services rather than overhead.
2. As mentioned above, West Pierce residents must be confident that their 911 emergency dispatch service will be available when it is needed most. We can't be confident with the system we have now.
3. An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure. Fire prevention efforts must remain a high priority. This includes both education and code enforcement.
4. Recruitment has been down. We need to ensure we have enough young firefighters and EMS personnel beginning work to replace those who retire - and then some, because the region is expanding. Constituents need to know their fire and EMS services will continue to be well staffed. We need to expand existing partnerships with Clover Park Community College and examine other ways of expanding recruitment.
5. West Pierce residents want to know that their first responders are honored. I will continue that tradition.

Connecting with Young People

How do you plan to involve the voices and needs of young people?

Ryan J. Felix

Here's an idea.
The West Pierce Fire Commission accepts public comment.
I've read through the past few years' minutes. The public rarely chooses to comment.
What if we wrangle local AP US Government classes into offering extra credit for researching and giving comment on issues to the commission?
I was an AP student once. Smart high schoolers are actually pretty smart. We could probably learn from them.
Young people have perspectives that aren't colored by years of exposure to our current national politics. They're uniquely situated to offer fresh perspectives. We should welcome their participation, and we should give their ideas equal consideration.
I don't know what in particular young people need from the fire district that is different from anyone else. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Police-Minority Relations

Do you have any plans for improving police-minority relations? Please explain your response.

Ryan J. Felix

No

West Pierce Fire District does not have the authority to implement plans for improving police-minority relations.
Personally I support such efforts. As I noted above, I will seek to make our educational materials available in the minority languages spoken in our community.

Homelessness

How will you advocate for the homeless population? Including in regards to city camp sweeps and voting rights?

Ryan J. Felix

Homeless people are residents of West Pierce Fire District as much as any other people, and we must serve their needs too.
I would welcome education regarding how West Pierce Fire can better serve our homeless constituents. Could PCYD give me a rundown on this issue?
I absolutely support the right of homeless people to vote in the district they reside in, or if transient to vote in the district they are registered in. We cannot deny anyone the right to vote if we want to call ourselves a democracy.
I support the rights of homeless people and want the best for them. I also commute to Seattle every day, and I've seen how a ""hey homeless people, we love you and you can do whatever you want and we won't stop you"" policy turns out. Surely there's a better way!
I've followed Utah's successful experiment with housing-first policy with interest. I think it's shameful that Washington Democrats have been outdone on this issue by f*cking Utah. Up your game. Stop trying to look good and pass purity tests, start trying to solve problems.

Net Neutrality & Internet Privacy

Would you advocate for Net Neutrality on a Federal Level? Please explain your response.
Note: There was an error when creating the questionnaire that originally required a 2250 character response. Any additional characters candidates added as filler only have been removed.

Ryan J. Felix

Yes

Yes. I'm a web developer. The recent moves toward curtailing net neutrality would threaten the open, dynamic tech marketplace that supports so many livelihoods (directly and indirectly) here in the Puget Sound region. I'm with you 100%.
If elected, I would not address net neutrality as a member of the board of commissioners. I do not believe that it is useful for special district boards to spend their time passing symbolic resolutions that have no effect on their operations. It is a waste of taxpayer money and, frankly, an insult to our voters' intelligence. I believe PCYD should respect and endorse this view, and direct its efforts toward supporting pro-net neutrality organizations and campaigns at the national level.
Basically, it's an important issue, but none of us running for local office can possibly have any impact on it (beyond our impact as private citizens). Let's focus on what we can accomplish locally.

How would you protect people in your area from having their info sold through ISP?

Ryan J. Felix

Again, this isn't an issue that I feel is within West Pierce Fire District's purview.

Incumbency, PCYD's Involved & Campaign Consultants

Are you an incumbent to this position?

Ryan J. Felix

No

Do you have any staff from PCYDs currently working or volunteering for you? If so, what are their names?

Ryan J. Felix

No

No

What consultants for this current campaign have you worked/collaborated with?

Ryan J. Felix

I'm flattered by the question, but I am not in a financial situation to hire paid consultants, nor do I have any desire to.