Fire Commission | Palm Harbor Seat 3

In the Palm Harbor Special Fire Control and Rescue District race, newcomer Debbie Buschman will face incumbent Bob Shatanoff, who has served on the commission since 1992. The five-member commission oversees an $8.5 million budget that includes about $6 million in taxes from the residents of Palm Harbor and $1.9 million from Pinellas County for EMS services, and $300,000 earmarked, if needed, from reserves. The district, with four stations, covers the area bordered roughly on the north by Klosterman Road, the east by Lake Tarpon, the south by Curlew Road and the west by the Gulf of Mexico. Piper Castillo, Times staff writer

Bob Shatanoff, 56

Certified public accountant and former chief financial officer.

Debbie Buschman, 43

Fiscal assistant for the Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender's Office

Nonpartisan
Shatanoff has served as a fire commissioner for 20 years. He believes his experience serving as the CFO of several companies whose revenue ranged from $20 million to $150 million brings great benefit to the district. He is currently serving as the commission's secretary and treasurer.Experience Along with working with numbers in the public defender's office, Buschman has served as as a board member for the North Pinellas Community Action Council for two years.
Bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Michigan; master's degree in taxation from DePaul University in ChicagoEducationAttending the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with plans to complete degree in political science in 2013
Yes.Should the fire departments be allowed to take over emergency transport of patients to the hospital?Yes. As a mother who recently had to wait at one of our fire stations for EMS transport, it was frustrating that they were not able to take my daughter immediately to the ER.
That all depends on the situation. It makes economical sense, but if it's just for certain departments that they can't generate revenue to survive, then they should be consolidated into other departments, but not countywide.Do you think the county should consolidate some of the fire departments?No. I feel that would cause a delay in the response time for first responders.
No. 1 is fire-based transport. No. 2 would be that the system of collecting tax revenue from members of the community and reallocating it is an inequitable system. Some departments get more funded to them for EMS services. The other part is that members of some of the communities, for example in Palm Harbor, pay more into EMS than they get back. St. Petersburg gets funded a lot more than it pays into the system. If you had the power to re-create Pinellas County's fire and EMS system, what would you do differently?I would allow Pinellas County's different fire departments to take over EMS services, which would make emergency transport time quicker and in the process more efficient.
Yes. We've been successful. Back in 1995, we asked the citizens to raise the millage rate. We projected the millage rate increase would last us for five years.It's been 17 years, and this is the first year we've had to eat into the reserves.Do you think your fire district has been successful with its daily operations given budget constraints? If not, what should be done differently? Yes. I would challenge the department to continually evaluate all budget items and continually look for efficiencies while maintaining the highest level of services and keeping jobs.
Home and an IRA accountAssetsNone
NoneLiabilitiesCredit card debt
SalaryIncomeSalary
Shatanoff is married to Laura Shatanoff; two adult childrenPersonalBuschman is married to Greg Buschman; four children ranging in age from 14 to 22
NoneWebsiteNone
rshatanoff@msn.comEmailvotedebbiebuschman@gmail.com

About the job: Fire Commission members serve a four-year term and are paid $500 a month.

Palm Harbor Fire Commission, Special Fire Control and Rescue District, Seat 3: Debbie Buschman, Bob Shatanoff, nonpartisan

In the Palm Harbor Special Fire Control and Rescue District race, newcomer Debbie Buschman will face incumbent Bob Shatanoff, who has served on the commission since 1992. The five-member commission oversees an $8.5 million budget that includes about $6 million in taxes from the residents of Palm Harbor and $1.9 million from Pinellas County for EMS services, and $300,000 earmarked, if needed, from reserves. The district, with four stations, covers the area bordered roughly on the north by Klosterman Road, the east by Lake Tarpon, the south by Curlew Road and the west by the Gulf of Mexico.

Palm Harbor Fire Commission, Special Fire Control and Rescue District, Seat 3: Debbie Buschman, Bob Shatanoff, nonpartisan 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:22pm]

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