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Meet Fire Commission seat 4 candidates

October 10, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

On Nov. 6, Pine Island will have an opportunity to vote on Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control Districts Fire Commission seat #4. There are two candidates for the non-partisan seat, Jamie Brush and John Cammick.

A successful fire department meets the needs of its community by preventing fires and enforcing fire codes. The department relies on its elected fire commissioners to represent the fire district. The fire commission board is also responsible for establishing budgets, implementing policy, and providing administrative oversight. Commissioners must be well educated about equipment and all phases of fire fighting and personnel needs. The fire commissioners and the fire department are also responsible for disaster preparedness.

(Candidate biographical information sourced from the candidates.)

About Jamie Brush:

Pine Island has always been my home away from home, perhaps like many of you. I started out as a part-timer, spending summers at my dad's house in Bokeelia. I loved fishing the gorgeous Gulf and camping under the stars at Cayo Costa. About a year and a half ago, my husband (who is fifth generation Pine Island) and I decided that with two young children, it was important we move back to Pine Island and have our children grow up near their grandparents. We didn't realize how different Pine Island would look when we returned.

While studying at Florida Gulf Coast University, I was part of a select group of students nominated by the biology department to attend a six-day canoeing trip through the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades National Park. That experience transformed me from a nature lover into a nature advocate.

I went on to pursue a career in marketing at a construction business with yearly operating revenues totaling $100 million. Still, Pine Island and its abundant natural beauty called.

Now that I'm back in Pine Island, I want to do everything I can to ensure it is restored to a pristine state. I am not a career politician, and I'm proud of that fact. I'm a nature advocate, an unapologetic idealist and a concerned mother who wants the best for my beloved town. If I'm elected, I pledge to make thoughtful decisions of behalf of our community and blow the doors open on backroom deals.

Jamie Brush Q & A

Q: What are the duties of a Fire Commissioner?

A: To represent the citizens and taxpayers' best interest as well as the FD personnel.

Q: What is a primary issue facing the District that needs to be addressed?

A: From what I've gathered from our community, the biggest issue facing our district is the exuberant tax and millage increases. My opponent is no stranger to tax increase and in the past has continued to push for higher millage even though taxpayers voted wholeheartedly against it.

Q: If elected how do you plan on addressing these challenges?

A: The budget increases for the new station make me a little nervous that for awhile we will have to continue to live beyond our means but if elected I hope to counter these frivolous budget decisions.

Q: What equipment and training needs rank foremost for your fire district?

A: Taxpayers in Cape Royal have expressed great concern with not being able to get homeowners insurance because the new fire station has yet to be built. Because the fire station is the ultimate housing and communication point for our district it is extremely important we get this station off the ground as soon as possible. It is driving a bigger wedge between the citizens and the department.

Q: What skills or experience would you bring to the fire district?

A: My passion for being a mother is whats driving me to run for this seat. My children are directly affected by all of the decisions made by our local commissioners and will be the biggest benefactor of what the commissioners leave to our community. When I make decisions it's not because I think it will secure a deal for my business later on. I'm considering our citizens, their children, and their grandchildren. Furthermore I've worked in commercial construction for over a decade which would seem to benefit our district and the new station.

Q: Why should the citizens of the island vote for you?

A: You may not be a person of faith, but I am. I truly believe God put me on this platform to make a difference in our community. I ask that the people keep me in mind for their vote should they want someone fighting for the greater good of Pine Island.

About John Cammick:

John Cammick was raised in Lee County and learned early on the value of hard work, teamwork, and perseverance. John, the Vietnam veteran, has demonstrated his willingness and capacity to serve our community with honor and integrity for many years.

Cammick began his involvement with the Matlacha Pine Island Fire Control District as a volunteer fireman in 2000 and became a Fire Commissioner in 2003.

Cammick has been involved with the Matlacha / Pine Island community for many years and is also the current president of the Greater Pine Island Water Association Board of Directors. He has teamed with the Association to strategically locate fire hydrants and develop water infrastructure to increase safety and reduce insurance premiums.

As a Fire Commissioner Cammick held steadfast against the City of Cape Coral's improper annexation of Matlacha parcels - resulting in a 20 year agreement against further affirmative annexation.

He also supported the commercial "off-the-shelf" procurement of new fire trucks - resulting in a 50 percent cost reduction to taxpayers.

Cammick has been engaged in the successful negotiation of several firefighter union contracts - resulting in high satisfaction and service.

Cammick has successfully added a new fire station on the Island for Bokeelia residents, providing needed fire and EMS protection to those residents, with the added benefit of reducing insurance premiums.

Cammick's diligence and leadership abilities have successfully guided our fire district in both challenging and prosperous times. John Cammick is a "hands on" commissioner; ensuring both fiscal accountability and the highest level of safety for our island community.

John Cammick Q & A

Q: What are the duties of a Fire Commissioner?

A: To oversee the district keeping in mind the fiscal responsibility. Hire, and supervise the Chief. Purchase all equipment from brush fire gear to 250K trucks. Negotiate union contracts. Set budget, mileage rate. Work to qualify for lower ISO rates. Keeping our equipment follow ISO standard.

Q: What is a primary issue facing the Fire District that needs to be addressed?

A: To complete Station #4 with quality in mind in a timely manner while at the same time provide 1st class service.

Q: If elected how do you plan on addressing these challenges?

A: Stay focused on taking care of our constituents and continue to work on grants. Station 2 needs some TLC.

Q: What equipment and training needs rank foremost for your fire district?

A: We've addressed updating out fire boat by acquiring a $150,000 grant and we're also building a new brush truck.

Q: What skills or experience would you bring to the fire district?

A: I joined the Matlacha / Pine Island Fire Control District in 2000 as a volunteer and in 2003 was elected commissioner in 2003. I have been deeply involved in every aspect of the department for 15 years.

Q: Why should the citizens of the island vote for you?

A: I am a long time Pine Island resident who's been active on the Water Board, Kiwanis, GPICA, American Legion, VFW, Vietnam Vets, and the Disabled American Vets for many years. I always give 100 percent to everything I do.

For more information about Jamie Brush: (search for Jamie Brush).

For more information about John Cammick visit



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