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Inter-Canyon candidate wants 'to see this through'

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Caimi was appointed to board after alleged thefts

By Daniel Laverty

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of profiles of candidates running for the Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District board in May’s election.

After serving on the Inter-Canyon Fire District board for nearly a year, Deer Creek Canyon resident Leslie Caimi wants to serve a full four-year term.

“Serving on the board has been a great experience,” Caimi said. “I really want to see this board and this district continue to move in the right direction.”

Caimi was appointed to the board last April to fill a vacant seat after Ted Fandel resigned because he was retiring.

The district has been steeped in controversy since last October, when former fire chief David MacBean was indicted on charges of stealing $647,000 from the district. MacBean pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of theft and one of embezzlement and faces sentencing in June.

Caimi was not on the board when the thefts occurred.

A ‘chance to serve my community’

Board President Michael Reddy approached Caimi last April to fill the vacant seat. 

“A mutual friend introduced us, and (Reddy) told me about the open position,” Caimi said. “I thought about it and said yes. This was my chance to serve my community.”

Caimi said she had no knowledge of the embezzlement when she joined the board and was shocked when she found out.

“It’s a small district in a small community,” Caimi said. “It’s amazing that something like this could’ve happened.”

Caimi said she had no experience with fire districts prior to joining the board.

“It’s really made me appreciate what the fire district does and the commitment level of our volunteers,” she said.

A different perspective

Caimi said she brings different experience to the board after owning the Aspen Perk coffee shop from 2002 to 2004 and coordinating large fund-raising events such as the Big Chili Cook-off in Evergreen in 2009. 

Caimi said she also understands the difficult relationship between motorists and bicyclists in Deer Creek Canyon. The canyon is notorious for bad blood between the groups.

“Being a cyclist and property owner in Deer Creek, I easily relate to both sides and understand both arguments,” she said. “I’d like to think I also bring a different perspective without the fire background.”

She said the current board is moving in a positive direction in the wake of the alleged theft, thanks to new financial policies and the district no longer issuing credit cards.

“I want to continue to see this through,” she said. “We all know it’s a long road to recovery, but we are moving forward. I’d like to be a part of that process.”

Election Day is May 6

Caimi joins incumbents Reddy and Karl Firor and newcomer Kerry Prielipp in vying for three four-year terms on the Inter-Canyon board. Incumbent Joe Marcus was the only candidate to run for the two-year term and will remain on the board. Firor also was not on the board when the alleged thefts occurred.

Board member Ralph Dreher’s seat is up for election in 2016.

Inter-Canyon’s election will be May 6, and the polls will be at Station 1, 7939 S. Turkey Creek Road in Morrison.

Formed in 1954, the Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District serves 55 square miles of Deer Creek Canyon, Turkey Creek Canyon, Morrison and parts of Waterton Canyon. Operating with approximately 60 volunteers, the district has five stations and 15 vehicles.

The next Inter-Canyon board meeting is at 7 p.m. April 9 at Station 1.

For more information, visit www.intercanyonfire.org.

Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042 or Daniel@evergreenco.com.  Follow Daniel on Twitter @LavertyReports.