Commissioner Patrick Burch
Board Member Since: July 18, 2016
Current term expires: December 31, 2026
Commissioner Burch was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in July 2016 to fill an unexpired term and has served continuously since that time. Commissioner Burch is co-owner and Business Manager of Neurotherapy Northwest. He became a volunteer member of the Department’s CERT Team in 2008 and later served as a team leader/member of Fire Corps.
“I admire the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s focus on continuous improvement. Our dedication to the community, fiscal responsibility and the fact that we are one of the few accredited fire departments in the State of Washington all make SVFD great!”
Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Burch was elected by voters in November 2017.
Commissioner Mike Pearson
Board Member Since: December 10, 2012
Current term expires: December 31, 2021
Commissioner Mike Pearson was appointed to the Spokane Valley Fire Department Board of Fire Commissioners in 2012 and has served continuously since that time. He retired from the Central Valley School District in 2008 where he spent 31 years as a teacher, administrator and superintendent.
“I’ve found my second passion, serving the greater Spokane Valley community through the fire service. Spokane Valley Fire Department is a strong organization. Financially, our budgets are monitored carefully and there is no bond indebtedness. We’re a progressive organization where training is a priority, and most importantly, our crews provide professional, compassionate service to our community every day.”
Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Pearson was elected by voters in November 2013.
Commissioner Bill Anderson
Board Member since: January 1, 2000
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2023
Commissioner Anderson served our community as a Spokane Valley Fire Department firefighter for 29 years. Throughout his career, he worked as a firefighter, dispatcher and engineer before he was promoted and became an officer. He was Station Captain of Millwood Station 2 when he retired in 1999. During his years as firefighter, he was an active leader of Spokane Valley Firefighters Local 876 and served as a trustee on the Washington State Council of Firefighters for 25 years.
“It’s important to me that we continue the good service we’ve always given the people. We’ve accomplished a lot and are pulling in the same direction to get better. I’m very proud of the Spokane Valley Fire Department.”
Commissioner John Guarisco
Board Member since: August 27, 2018
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2026
Commissioner Guarisco was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in August 2018 to fill an unexpired term and has served continuously since that time. Commissioner Guarisco founded Marjoni Marketing in 2004 and in 2010 merged with MDI marketing. He then pursued Real Estate, earning his license and now, currently serves the greater Spokane area as a licensed Realtor. He has long been active in the community and has won numerous awards during his career including the Volunteer of the Year (2014) and the Community Caring Award (2010) from the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Greater Spokane Valley Rotary Club and holds an AA degree from Spokane Falls Community College.
Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Guarisco was elected by voters in November 2019.
Commissioner Mike Kester
Board Member Since: January 1, 2020
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2026
Commissioner Mike Kester was elected to the Board of Fire Commissioners in November, 2019.
Commissioner Kester grew up in the Spokane area and has a deep appreciation for just how fortunate we all are to live in this beautiful area. He believes that being involved in this community is not something to take lightly.
His background includes joining the United States Coast Guard (U.S.C.G) after high school and serving on a port firefighting boat doing search and rescue in Portland, Oregon. After the Coast Guard, he attended the University of Montana earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Resource Management. He then went on to work for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, serving in their Parks Department.
Spokane was the next step in his career. He went to work for the Burlington Santa Fe Railroad and the next 22 years was spent as a conductor moving freight. Commissioner Kester retired in 2010 after a workplace injury and now, he and his wife enjoy making meals for World War II Veterans, helping out at the YMCA ,and providing meals for those in need.
“In the 25 years of being a resident of the Spokane Valley the professionalism of the SVFD has inspired me to take an active part in bettering our community. We have one of the best fire departments in the whole Pacific Northwest. My wife and I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. I have dedicated my life to keeping them safe. I want to apply that dedication to our community. Keeping us all safe is a goal we should all aspire to in one way or another. Communication within the department and with the public is, and always will be one of my primary goals.”
Board of Fire Commissioner Rules
The five-member Board of Fire Commissioners is governed by Chapter 52.14 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) which sets for the number, qualifications and compensation for the Board of Fire Commissioners.
The rule states: “The affairs of the district shall be managed by a board of fire commissioners composed of three registered voters residing in the district except as provided in RCW 52.14.015 and 52.14.020.”
The rule also details the rate of compensation for the board. Earnings cannot exceed a set amount each year. As of 2019, the yearly allowance for earnings is twelve thousand two hundred and eighty-eight dollars per year. Board compensation is for time spent in actual attendance at official meetings of the board or in performance of other services or duties on behalf of the fire district.
The Chair of the board for Spokane Valley Fire Department assigns meeting attendance for the commissioners each year.
As the Spokane Valley Fire Department consists of a fire department of full-time, fully paid firefighters, RCW 52.14.020 determines the number of fire commissioners and states “there shall be five fire commissioners.”
Commissioner’s terms are set forth in RCW 52.14.060 for a period of six years. Elections are held with the county auditor opening up a special filing period. The person who receives the greatest number of votes is elected to that position and takes the official oath of office at the first board meeting in January. The fire commissioners elect a chair from their members each year as provided in RCW 52.14.080.
The board holds regular meetings twice per month. The meeting schedule for the board for Spokane Valley Fire Department is the second and fourth Monday of every month. All of the meetings follow the open public meeting requirements.