Mulyck relies versatile background

Mike Mulyck believes his background in the telecommunications industry, including 15 years as a safety and risk manager and as a volunteer firefighter, in St. Paul, Minn., make him a strong candidate for West Manatee Fire Rescue.

“I just think my background is helpful and I look at it as volunteering my services to the city I live in,” Mulyck said.

Mulyck retired and moved from St. Paul, Minn. to Anna Maria in 1998.

In 1999, he was appointed to the board of commissioners of the Anna Maria Fire District. With the merging of the Anna Maria and Westside districts in 2000, his seat was eliminated and he was appointed to the pension board.

In November 2000, Mulyck was appointed to fill a West Manatee Fire Rescue Board of Commissioners vacancy and then was elected in 2002 and 2006.

Mulyck believes he has been instrumental in the development of the district’s safety program. He serves as the board representative to the safety committee and participated in development of a long-term strategic plan. He also has attended various educational seminars relating to fire service.

Finally, Mulyck was chairman of the board from 2006 to 2008.

Mulyck does not believe there is a problem with wasteful spending in the district.

“We are well within the limits set by the state,” Mulyck said. “We are well below the allowable rate. We just are going to have challenges like anticipating a two-fold increase in health care costs.”

Mulyck anticipates other difficulties.

“When your budgets are diminishing and your costs are going up,” he said, “it’s difficult.”

RESIDENCY: Anna Maria.
OCCUPATION: Retired safety and risk manager, telecommunications industry.
OFFICE SOUGHT: West Manatee Fire Rescue District commissioner.
FAMILY: Married, two children, two grandchildren.
INTERESTS: Woodworking, fishing, baseball, NASCAR.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:  Active member, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.
QUOTE TO LIVE BY: No answer.

An Islander Q&A with Mike Mulyck, seeking re-election to the West Manatee Fire Rescue District commission in the Nov. 2 general election.
The Islander: Why did you decide to run for office in November?
Mike Mulyck: I am interested in using my background and experience in safety and risk management, city government and fire service to serve my community

The Islander: What are your qualifications for this office?
MM: In addition to having expertise in occupational health and safety, I have dealt with managing public services in a cost-effective manner as a city councilman. I have been a part of fire and rescue service 18 years as a volunteer. I am a homeowner and taxpayer in the district and have served on the WMFR board 10 years.

The Islander: What are the three top goals/positions in your platform?
MM: First, to provide effective, professional fire and rescue service to homes, businesses and visitors in the fire district.
Second, to recruit and retain well-trained professional firefighters and officers, including women and minorities in a safe-working environment.
Third, to keep the cost of fire and rescue services at the lowest level possible without compromising service.

The Islander: What is your understanding of Florida’s Sunshine/Public Records laws?
MM: All meetings between elected officials must be public. No private communication related to WMFR is permitted between members of the board. If I have any questions, I refer to the publication “A Pocket Guide to Florida’s Government-In-The-Sunshine Laws.”

The Islander: From time to time there is talk of consolidating local governments and/or local services. How do you feel about consolidation?
MM: I have participated in the consolidation of two fire districts and discussions about further consolidations. If the potential for positive outcome outweighs the potential for negative outcomes, I would be in favor of consolidation.

The Islander: Characterize the direction of the locality. Right track? Off track? Wrong track? Explain.
MM: WMFR makes every effort to keep on track through the involvement of citizens on advisory committees when significant decisions must be made. The district engages community stakeholders in the strategic-planning process.  Public hearings are held when finalizing the budget, which, when adopted by the commissioners, is strictly adhered to. 

The Islander: Why should voters cast their ballot for you over your opponent?
MM: I am very familiar with the operations of the fire and rescue services of WMFR. To increase my ability to find solutions to the problems it faces, I have attended fire service seminars. I am actively involved in implementation of a cost-effective strategy for moving the department into the future.

The Islander: What is the most significant issue facing the electorate at this time? How will you handle that issue?
MM: The challenge before the board is to continue to provide services that comply with state and federal regulations and home/business insurance requirements, while financial resources decline. Maintaining and/or improving the quality of fire and rescue services must be done within the confines of the resources available.

The Islander: Local governments are beginning a new fiscal year. What is your view of the local budget/tax situation? And how do you approach government finances?
MM: WMFR is supported through property assessments, not ad valorem taxes. In 2010, the assessed rate is well below the allowable rate. Keeping in mind that costs, for example for healthcare, are increasing, my view is that WMFR’s board should continue efforts to keep this rate as low as possible.
I approach the use of public funds with the same caution and concern I approach the use of my own funds.

The Islander: Is there a promise you want to make to voters?
MM: I will continue to work to ensure the provision of effective efficient fire and rescue services.

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