Port Orchard

Welcome to Port Orchard

Council Position 7

Councilmember Jerry Childs

Jerry Childs

Position No. 7
Term Expiration 12-31-2013
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(360) 443-2611

Committees

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Biography

Current Occupation/Work History:

I was elected to the City Council in November 2007, and have been honored to serve the citizens of Port Orchard for nearly five years.  Now in my third term, my activities and duties on the Council include Mayor Pro-tem, Member Finance Committee, Chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and Member of the Festival of Chimes and Lights Committee.

Recent initiatives:  As an advocate for the Bay Street Pedestrian Pathway, I proposed and implemented an alternative route through Waterfront Park that saved the city upwards of $200,000 while also increasing safety and improving public access.  Also in concern for our most vulnerable citizens, I proposed a Utility Assistance Program---now implemented and known as Helping Hands---to provide a safety net for our seniors, the disabled, and others who need help.

As a visionary, I created and helped present the Debbie Macomber inspired Cedar Cove Days Festival, attracting 12,000 people with an economic impact of $412,550 to our economy.  We were proud to host guests from 42 states and 8 foreign countries.   As Chair of the Festival of Chimes and Lights the last four years, I’m proud of the leadership that helped grow the festival into a regional event attracting thousands to this family holiday favorite.  In an effort to keep the event ever fresh and new, in 2011 I added the very popular Jingle Bell Run/Walk for arthritis.

As a member of the Finance Committee, I continue to work to assure our finances are prudently managed, focusing on the fundamentals that keep taxes stable.   I have been supportive of targeted and sensibly managed annexation, and am proud of the growth strategies that have brought new revenues and stature to our city, helping secure our finances in a down economy.

Other work history:  I retired from the Seattle Fire Department in 2008 with 40 years’ service.   I was a captain over 26 years, working the last 18 years on Ladder 3 a rescue unit in the Central District.  During my 40 years with the Department, I held four administrative positions:  Compliance Officer working with businesses to resolve fire safety violations, Legal Officer where I worked with the City Attorney to prosecute ordinance violations and/or bring to resolution public safety disputes, Public Affairs and Information Officer where I conducted Radio/TV interviews, wrote press releases conducted press conferences, wrote a weekly department newsletter, wrote articles for national fire service periodicals, and Special Events Officer where I worked with corporate entities to provide public safety for such events as Seafair, Folklife, Bite of Seattle, Bumbershoot, Rock Concerts and other fairs, festivals, and events throughout the city.  The major venues I worked with included the Seattle Center, Kingdome, and Washington State Trade and Convention Center. 

During my years in the Seattle Fire Department, I received numerous awards and citations, including a Citation for Heroism at the infamous Mary Pang Warehouse fire where my driver Tom Gray and I crawled back into the building to search for Port Orchard's own Jim Brown.  Brown started his career as a rookie on my company and later transferred to a Georgetown unit.  Sadly, in addition to Brown, three other fire fighters perished in the blaze, set by arsonist Martin Pang.  I was most proud of the fact that I was able to bring my entire crew home safely to their families.  I received several Certificates of Achievement from Firefighters Local 27 for organizing fundraisers and telethons for charity, including the Mary Pang Widows Fundraiser at Union Station in Seattle.

Other notable achievements, I received a Letter of Commendation from Judge Barbara Yanick for exceptional service to the International District Community for my work as Legal Officer in bringing the Milwaukee Hotel up to code, and thereby alleviating the displacement of many poor and elderly people.  After the MGM Grand fire in Las Vegas, I also received a Letter of Commendation from KOMO TV for my work on their Upfront Program where, as Public Information Officer, I did a segment on hotel/motel safe exiting.

In 2001 I took my crew to New York to attend funerals and show support for the brave New York Police and Firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center.  I created company and battalion websites, along with off-shift sporting activities to bring our 5th Battalion crews closer together. 

Volunteer/Civic Involvement:

In prior years I have served on numerous committees and boards.  While living on Bainbridge Island I came up with an idea for an alternate dock design for our Manzanita Bay house.  The design proved so popular that I was asked by the mayor to serve on the Dock Review Committee.  While Captain at the Greenlake fire station, I organized a bench project for our senior citizens who often passed by and received an Executive Achievement Citation from Mayor Royer. 

In 1997 I organized the 5th Battalion Open Golf Tournament for firefighters and friends.  This annual event filled Kent’s Riverbend Golf Complex to capacity.  The 10th Anniversary event was my last, as 150 golfers gathered for merriment and most importantly, to raise funds for charities administered through Seattle's Bravest Charity, including the Widows and Orphans Fund. 

I previously served on the Seattle Fire Fighters Pension Board and currently serve as Chair of the Kitsap County LEOFF 1 Pension Board.  I am a member of the Rotary Club of South Kitsap and also of Cedar Cove Association where I am an Officer on the Board.  My wife and I are active in the community and support numerous local events and charities.  We are members of the Olympic College President's Circle, and feel that sharing our good fortune and supporting community is the very essence of being a good citizen. 

Family Info (spouse, children, etc):

I have been married 25 years to my wife Shannon, who is the SVP/Marketing Director with Kitsap Bank.  We have a son Troy, daughter-in-law Christina, and two happy, healthy grandsons, Jack and Ryan.  They live in Seattle's Lakewood district.

I was born in Seattle, grew up in South Seattle, where I lived until 1990 when Shannon and I moved to Bainbridge Island, later choosing to relocate to Port Orchard in 2005.  I have numerous relatives throughout this region I call home, and can think of no place I would rather be.