Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Prez candidate letter!

Vietzke For President
I am Mark Vietzke, and I am running for the position of president for Local 29. I have been with the Spokane Fire Department for 24 years and have worked at Fire Station # 4 since 1994. For the past 9 years, I have served in an official capacity for the local. In 2001, I was elected to the executive board where I served 4 years. In 2005, I was elected vice president and continue to serve in that position today.

Over the past 9 years, I have attended numerous classes and seminars educating and preparing me to do my job as a union leader. The classes have educated me in contract negotiations, grievances, health and safety, LEOFF 2 disability issues, mediation and arbitration procedures, and other aspects of service for you and our union.

I was part of a team that negotiated our latest contract. In my opinion, it’s one of the best contracts in Local 29’s history. We also negotiated a salary savings plan with the city that is a great benefit for retiring members.

One thing I have certainly learned over the years is that you cannot always make everyone happy. However, I can assure you that in every issue, we always try to make a decision that is best for the body as a whole.

The last nine years have been exciting, successful, and humbling. Even though there have been some stresses along the way, I have enjoyed serving as your vice president. I am now am asking for your support to be the next president of Local 29. I can say I will work hard for you and keep Local 29 moving in the right direction.

Thanks for listening,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Hello. John Griffith here. I am running for e-board. I was on it years ago, but after my initial term, didn’t run again because of some time constraints.

When I was on the e-board, one of my goals was to establish better lines of communication between union members and also between the union, the citizens and the news media. I maintained this role after my term expired. For many years now, I have continued to edit the newsletter, blog the blog, write press statements, forge relationships with our elected officials and create multi-media epics and underwhelming street theater.

My PR work has been a key topic in senior staff meetings, resulting in the occasional Informational Notice.

Not being on the e-board, yet having the job of “spreading the word,” sometimes leads to an incomplete picture of what’s going on in our union. If elected, once again, I would know more of what’s going on, and I would let you know. In the past, I always brought your concerns to the table, and sometimes was a lone dissenter because I thought it was the right thing to do.

You know what you’re getting if I am elected. I will even “amp it up,” as the kids say. Because of that, or in spite of that, I am asking for your vote.

I would be happy to answer any questions, or hear your concerns. Just click on the Foss head in the upper-right corner.

Thank you,

John Griffith


Dan Strobeck is running for E board

Our union is only as strong as the effort put into it by its members. Thankfully our previous representatives have been there for us. After many years of letting someone else do the hard work and put a tremendous amount of time into our union, it’s time for some of us to take on bigger roles. I’ve been there when the union calls for help, door belling and sign waving. Now our union needs our help. The union, now more than ever, needs to be strong in these tough economic times. Without a doubt, we face many tough opponents who will try to divide and conquer us. However, a continued vigilance is necessary to face up to the difficult challenges ahead.

In my many duty stations (14’s, 13’s, 3’s, 8’s, 1’s) I have had an opportunity to work with a huge variety of people. I’ve worked on BLS pumper ladders (way old PL14 now in field house), ALS pumper ladders and squads, BLS engines and ALS engines. With this background and perspective I believe I can help our union maintain its strong commitment and dedication to our members.

Thanks for reading this and please consider me for E board,
Dan Strobeck


Local 29 members, My name is John Goodman and I am running for one of the three soon to open E board positions. I am not a politician or aspire to be one, I speak pretty directly and to the point, sometimes too much so. I am willing to listen, and work for you or with you and the other board members. The learning curve is steep but I am willing to give it the time and energy to make myself a useful tool for the union and the membership. If this sounds like the type of person you would like to represent you on the E board, I would like your vote.
In closing I would like to thank the guys stepping down as they have done a fantastic job and have left us much better off than we could have been.
Thanks for your time, John Goodman


Wood for E-Board

I’ve been on our fire department for 17 years and I’m convinced we all have some obligation to make this job better and safer for the long-term. For me, this means active union participation, and well-placed political action. Towards this end I’ve tried to pay my dues as a Trustee, Grievance member, and Station Rep. I’ve availed myself of labor education when offered, and I’ve served on numerous committees. Two years ago I had the privilege of attending the State Legislative Conference in Olympia.

Most important, I’ve seen how our contract negotiations play out from beginning to end, and I realize that there is nothing that we get that can be taken for granted. While it’s impossible to make everyone happy, by and large we win the big battles of wages, benefits and working conditions; and only because we pick our battles wisely and do our homework to prepare. With this upcoming election our union is losing some experienced and dedicated members. It would be easy to lose the thread of continuity that has made us successful. To see how quickly things can unravel, look no further than the Police Guild where a regime change allowed personal gripes to overwhelm the greater notion of being a union- the result is dysfunction and a failure to be proactive. For lack of concessions, they now face layoffs and in frustration their President elects to slam us in the pages of the Spokesman-Review. All he had to do was tell the City, “we’ll do what the firefighters did”, but I'm guessing the Guild lacks an established “brain trust” to honestly study the issue. Let’s not make the same mistakes.

I look forward to serving my union brothers and sisters on our eBoard during these challenging times, and I would appreciate your vote!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Hello Union Brothers,

I am running for one of the vacant Executive Board positions. I am not going into the politics of making statements I can not keep. I will do my best to represent you the union body fairly and equally. I will be approachable for any issues and questions you may have if I do not have the answer to your question I will get the information and get back to you promptly. IF you have any questions on why I am running feel free to call me sta 8 A shift .

Thanks Dan Awbery

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Prez candidate letter!

Shane Skipworth for Local 29 President


What makes a strong union? Involvement by all of its members. When I am elected as President of Local 29, I will work for you, the members, not the other way around. As union president, I am responsible for my decisions and actions. However, I am accountable for those decisions and actions to you, the members of the union.

What do I bring to the table? I have been in local 29 for 8 years. I graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1998 with a degree in Criminal Justice which required some classes in law, government, ethics and management. Some people will say I don’t have the experience required to do this job. What I do have is the motivation, desire and personal integrity to be the president. I concentrate on the issues not the person. We may have differing opinions, but you will get the same effort from me. I believe this is about what is right not a popularity contest. We are a professional organization and we should act like it.

I believe in respect, whether it’s dealing with the chiefs, city hall or our membership. We may not agree on every issue, but all discussions and negotiations can be done with professional courtesy and respect.

We need to unite and look toward the future together. We need to unite and be prepared for both the good and the challenging times. We need to unite to be a stronger union. Together let’s bring the you back in union.

Shane Skipworth


Brian Chavez for Executive Board

When I decided to run for the E-Board I asked myself the same question that I expect to hear from each one of you. Why do I want to be on the E-Board?

The answer to this question can be found in the Constitution and By-Laws of Local 29, Article 2 titled objectives. It states that one of the objectives of this local shall be "the cultivation of friendship and fellowship among its members". I believe we have lost sight of this and we have let personal agendas and intolerance for diverse opinions divide and even alienate the members of this local. You have members of this local who are ostracized because they are vocal about their opinions and what they feel is a lack of any true representation. This is absolutely unacceptable. You cannot have accountable leaders who are not willing to listen to all

I believe in equal, fair, non-preferential treatment of all members. I value diverse opinions and I am an advocate of open honest discussion of relevant issues without fear of retribution. As an E-Board member my job will be to represent you, and to be your advocate. The only way to do this is by open communication. I will accomplish this by actually going out and talking with the members. I realize that this is promised by everyone at election time but seldom acted upon. Its time for a change and I promise that I will represent all of you to the best of my abilities.

Thanks for your consideration,

Brian Chavez

Cell 991-2450