Bainbridge fire commissioners to interview five candidates for board seat

Five islanders have stepped forward to serve in a soon-to-be-vacated seat for the board of commissioners for the Bainbridge Island Fire Department.

BIFD Fire Commissioner Bruce Alward announced his resignation in early May. He told fellow commissioners he was moving off Bainbridge, but planned to serve on the board through the commissioners’ meeting on July 18.

The board of commissioners is expected to interview the five candidates for the post — Gina Batali, Madeline Fort, Dana Marinelli, Jack Metz and Robert Peterson — at the board meeting on Wednesday, July 18.

The board is also expected to vote to appoint the new commissioner at the same meeting.

Five islanders submitted “letters of interest” for the board seat.

Fort is a scientist for Amgen, Inc., a biotechnical company, and is married to a volunteer Bainbridge firefighter.

“In my professional life, I am expected to hold high quality and ethical standards for the research that I oversee, demonstrate responsibility with company resources, and provide transparency in regard to scientific methods and results to colleagues within my company and to regulatory authorities (such as the FDA) who have legal oversight over the drugs that my company produces,” Fort said in her letter. “I would like to bring my professional experience and my enthusiasm for BIFD to be part of the board of fire commissioners and to help develop the best fire department for the people of Bainbridge Island.”

Marinelli is the chief financial officers for a group of orthopedic surgeons in Seattle and is also involved in the started of a new medical company.

Marinelli has worked in the corporate business world for the past 28 years, and originally hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“I have experience with managing people and work groups,” Marinelli said in

“I have always been an advocate for community service and giving back to the community,” Marinelli added.

Metz has a long history in emergency services volunteer.

Before his moved to Bainbridge Island, he was a residential property manager in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, and before that, was executive director of the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania.

Thirty years has been devoted to a career in fire/EMS, Metz noted in his letter of interest, first as a volunteer EMT, then a 911 paramedic, and then in management.

“Along the way, I have gained a vast set of experiences and industry knowledge including operations, personnel management, communications technology, finance, data analysis and more,” he wrote.

He has also been a volunteer with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department as a special service volunteer since his move here.

Peterson has served 34 years in the fire service and has worked as a chief officer with fire boards for 23 years, both as a fire chief and a deputy chief of operations in two different Washington fire districts. He was also a commissioner for 11 years for the Northshore Utility District.

“In my capacity as a fire chief working with boards of commissioners, I always strived to apply a broad perspective on issues; teamwork and the ability to deal professionally with confidential and sensitive information,” Peterson wrote in his letter of interest.

“Teamwork and the ability to work effectively with others is paramount in the board setting,” he added. “My experience has highlighted by ability to listen to others, constructively solve problems, make fair and objective decisions and reach consensus in a timely manner.”

Peterson was a fire chief for 9½ years; four in King County Fire District 40 in Renton and five in King County Fire District 16 in Northshore. He currently works for American Mold Inspection.

Also a candidate is Batali, a north Bainbridge resident who is the former owner of Salumi Artisan Cured Meats in Pioneer Square.

Unlike the other candidates, who submitted resumes or curriculum vitae with their letters of interest, Batali submitted just a two-sentence letter expressing interest in the post.

The new commissioner will serve until December 2019. The next election for the seat will be in November 2019.

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