Mark Brunton hopes that he and the two other new faces on the El Dorado County Fire Board will be able to turn the board’s financial troubles around.
Thank you for reading the MtDemocrat.com digital edition. In order to continue reading this story please choose one of the following options.
If you are a current subscriber and wish to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com, please select the Subscriber Verification option below. If you already have a login, please select "Login" at the lower right corner of this box.
Special Introductory Offer
For a short time we will be offering a discount to those who call us in order to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com and start your print subscription. Our customer support team will be standing by Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm to assist you.
If you are not a current subscriber and wish not to take advantage of our special introductory offer, please select the $12 monthly option below to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com and start your online subscription
“I thought it was a good election,” Brunton, a fire battalion chief with Cal Fire, said of his 12 percent win over incumbent Dennis Edwards. He said he hopes the “results will benefit the fire district, the three new seats work together well.” Brunton was voted in with Chris Swarbrick, who, along with Brunton, was backed by the local firefighter’s union, and Dennis Thomas, owner of Robinson’s Pharmacy in Placerville.
Brunton said, “We have looked at areas we need to cut” in finances, something the “current board has been doing in the eleventh hour.” He said he and the new members of the board have already begun “looking at a better model” to become more efficient.
Edwards said he is “fond of Mark, I think he’ll do a great job.” He said he is also “pleased the union did not get a majority vote. I’m happy with that.”
A fire captain at Sacramento Metro, Swarbrick said that he hopes to serve with “honesty and integrity” and that his “first order of business is to collectively work together with the board towards a common goal” of fixing the financial status. “We need to raise morale and work to restore the department,” he said.
Tom Mahach, who lost to Swarbrick after serving 12 years on the board, is still “committed to solving the problems with the fire board.” Mahach intends to attend meetings as a member of the community to “help to ensure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Mike Dennis, the only union-backed incumbent who lost, to Thomas, agreed with the others. “Mark and Chris are very qualified,” he said. “My main concern is morale is horrible.” He, too, will stay active with the fire board, he said.
Thomas intends to get caught up on the financial matters and “dig in deep.” He said he is already in contact with the board staff and the union to do so. “We need a business plan,” he said. “One, three and five year plans.” Thomas said that the board needs a “good analysis on the year-to-date (earnings)” so that the can develop “a financially sound approach” to fixing the district.