Oak Creek Fire District election set for May 4

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Four candidates are running for three spots on the Oak Creek Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

The election likely will put the spotlight on how the district has performed in the two years since the mill levy benefiting it was doubled.

The residents running are incumbent Steve Jones, appointed board member Chris Zuschlag, and new candidates Sonja Norris and Ken DePaul.

Each would serve a two-year term on the five-member board. The board meets once a month and works on the district's policies, procedures and budget, and holds the district employees accountable, District Chief Chuck Wisecup said.

Wisecup said he was glad to see a "good amount of interest" in the positions.

"We've had better interest than I remember in quite a while," Wisecup said.

Two years ago, district voters -- which include residents of Oak Creek, Stagecoach and surrounding areas -- voted to increase the district's mill levy from 4.38 to 9.93, Wisecup said.

The increase meant a higher tax for district property owners, but also more funds for the district. The district's revenue jumped from $110,000 to $230,000 the first year, Wisecup said.

In 2004, there is an additional $50,000 more than what was expected because of increased property values.

The increased funds have allowed the district to hire Wisecup as a full-time district chief and also will help residents build a fire station in Stagecoach, with other capital improvements on the list.

Wisecup said he guessed some of the candidates would distribute fliers about themselves, but said he did not know whether a candidates forum would be scheduled.

The election will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 4 at Oak Creek Town Hall.

Residents interested in running for the election, can file an affadavit with the intent to be a write-in candidate. To do so, contact District Secretary Tina Holliday at 736-8158.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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