Union Fire Protection District board member Gary Banderman Sr. will face Mike Dedert in his bid to retain a seat on the board in Tuesday’s general municipal election.

The Missourian interviewed each of the candidates to hear their views on issues that face the district.

Terms are six years. Candidates are in alphabetical order.

Gary Banderman Sr.

Banderman, 887 East View Drive, Union, has been on the board for six years.

He is a retired heavy machinery operator who said he has time to invest in the board.

“I have a concern for the district and overseeing how taxpayer money is being spent. After all, we are funded by the taxpayers,” Banderman said, adding that during his time on the board he feels money has been spent wisely.

In the past six years, the district has purchased five vehicles, a training tower and other equipment needed to improve firefighters’ ability to serve the district.

Banderman said in addition to overseeing spending practices, he wants to continue to ensure the district has good trucks and equipment.

Banderman has lived in the district for 42 years.

He belongs to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 513, which he has been a part of for 39 years. He is president of the retirees club.

Additionally, Banderman is a member of the Highway 47 corridor committee, the Missouri Alliance of Retired Americans and the St. Louis Labor Council Retirees. He has served twice as master of the Easter Lodge 575 Masonic Lodge, St. Clair.

He has been a member of the Union FFA alumni for the past 22 years and is president of the Mid-Missouri Off Roaders, which sanctions mud races.

Banderman is a graduate of St. Clair High School and earned an associate of applied science degree from East Central College.

He and his wife, Verna “Cookie,” have two grown children, Gary Banderman Jr. and Katrina Banderman, and five grandchildren.

Banderman’s son, Gary Banderman Jr., is a lieutenant in the volunteer fire department. 

Mike Dedert

Dedert, 7378 Highway BB, Union, said he was asked to run by members of the Union Fire Department. He worked for the Union Ambulance from 1998-2013.

He currently is a firefighter/paramedic for the city of Clayton, which combines fire and EMS services.

Dedert said his goal is to keep services going, as well as provide more full-time fire staff for better coverage.

“There are only about 15 full-time people right now, which is a pretty small number for the amount of area they cover,” he said.

The department also has about 25 volunteer firefighters.

Another goal is to keep the financial solubility of the department.

Other top priorities include maintaining the district’s reputation and keeping training going so “they’re prepared for all of the challenges the department faces,” he said.

Dedert earned a paramedic certificate and associates degree in paramedics, both from East Central College.

He recently finished a managing officer program at the National Fire Academy and holds several certifications.

He and his wife, Catherine, have two children.