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Recall committee names candidates to run against fire board members

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By Sandy Barnes

A committee supporting the recall of Evergreen Fire Protection District board members has released the names of four candidates who will run in a special election on April 23.

Evergreen residents Jodi Kesten, Barry Pier, Paul Peil and Daniel Koller submitted their self-nominations and acceptance forms with designated election official Micki Wadhams on Monday. 

These candidates are challenging incumbents George Kling, Charles Simons, David Christensen and Jeff DeDisse. The fifth board member, Charles Dykeman, recently resigned to move to South Carolina. The fire board is planning to appoint his replacement during a special meeting March 5. 

“We totally support the firefighters,” Pier said while discussing the recall effort. “Our misgivings are with the board members themselves and their lack of leadership and management.”

Pier also said that he and other recall committee members do not think the fire board members have the best interests of the community at heart. 

A controversy arose last spring over the district’s plan to build a fire training facility with live burn capabilities at Fire Station 2 in Bergen Park, which is near homes and a school.

Pier and others objecting to the plan say they are not opposed to enhanced training for firefighters. They just don’t want live burning to take place in that area.

Evergreen Fire Chief Mike Weege and district board members say the facility with live burn training is necessary for the volunteer firefighters, and the project is moving forward. 

The recall committee has released the following information about the four candidates:

• Jodi Kesten served with the New York City Fire Department for six years as a professional emergency medical technician and firefighter. As a long-term resident of Evergreen, Kesten has served the community in various roles, working for the Seniors’ Resource Center, the Life Care Center and in local schools. 

• Barry Pier is a registered professional engineer with more than 35 years experience in the design, construction and program management of offshore oil and gas platforms and telecommunications networks. He is a serial entrepreneur who was the founder, CEO and chairman of WisperTel; a local wireless Internet service provider.  Pier is currently the CEO of Idaptic, a Denver-based start-up. Previously, Pier held board positions in homeowner associations and has been active in the Evergreen community for the past decade.

• Paul Peil worked as an engineer with Lockheed Martin Space Systems for 35 years. Now retired, he has worked the last 10 years in systems engineering as development manager for several large-scale projects. Peil has served for the past seven years as the architectural review committee chairman for an Evergreen homeowner association and was involved in defensible space mitigation and coordination with Jefferson County Planning and Zoning, Roads and Bridges and Evergreen Fire/Rescue.

• Daniel Koller is a certified project manager with 23 years experience in software development, project management and financial controlling in the banking, retail and communication/media industries. He is now an independent consultant with an international clientele. Koller has served in the Swiss army and the Swiss National Guard. He has held board positions in a homeowner association and a nonprofit organization involved in planning issues at the city and county level.

“The candidates have been selected on their commitment to take on the responsibility and leadership that comes with a board position with the fire protection district,” a news release states.

Mail-in ballots for the recall election are scheduled to go out on April 1. The fire district is responsible for the cost of the election, which is estimated at more than $170,000.

 

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.