Monthly Archives: February 2015

February Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE WHETSTONE FIRE DISTRICT

BOARD MEETING, February 24, 2015

Call to Order/Roll Call/Affirmation of Quorum

Chairman, Rick Evans, called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m. The meeting was held in the Whetstone Fire District Station 321 classroom, 2422 N Firehouse Lane, Huachuca City, Arizona.

Present:

Rick Evans, Chairman
Mary Foote, Board Member
Jerry Hopper, Board Member
Wayne Lewis, Board Member
Peter Bidon, Fire Chief

Absent: Ken Leffler, Clerk

It was determined a quorum existed with four board members present.

New Business:

    4. Discussion of AFDA Fire District Board Training Seminar

Wayne Lewis shared what he learned from the firefighter training in Laughlin:

He recommends the other board members attend the meeting in Arizona this June.

Board of director packet should be received at least three days prior to the meeting –
Wayne Lewis would like them ready four days prior.

Statutory law states that we have a meeting every month and not skip them; board members can be charged a class 6 felony for not having a meeting; coming in to approve minutes and financial reports is better than skipping a month.

When a board member takes office or is re-elected (reappointed) they are required to take oath and it must be kept on file.

Every board member should have the red book – a generic rules and regulations of the fire district. Possibly the international fire code, according to Rick Evans, or a field operations guide. Chief Bidon stated he will contact our attorney, Britt Hanson, and other fire chiefs to research specifics. Although, he believes it may be the Arizona Fire District’s Association Hand Book.

The open meeting law class is required for all fire board members. It is online and must be notarized or it is a misdemeanor. Chief Bidon stated he has researched the class and found that we can have someone come to our location and present the class for our board; however, he will research it further.

A hard copy of the executive session minutes is required. The attorney said it should be recorded and transcribed for a board member to retain. Rick Evans stated the executive session minutes were being recorded on a separate recorder so the regular minutes can be available to the public without the audio of the executive session.

The board is required to do a performance evaluation on the fire chief once a year. We should have something drafted with the goals listed and whether they are met or not. Chief Bidon stated he will email each board member a copy of the one performance evaluation he had that is from Northwest Fire.

Three or more fire board members cannot be on Whetstone Fire District’s Facebook page – ever – or any social media for the same reason, a quorum. It was recommended that we not have a Facebook account. If we have a Facebook account it was recommended that one or two board members are given access to the account so they can screen the content. Or, make it static so no one can leave comments. Mary Foote stated she has been on our Facebook page and left comments. Chief Bidon stated our Facebook is more of an information page and we have never had anything derogatory posted. Chief Bidon assured the fire board that comments have to be approved before it shows up on our page. Chief Bidon stated that if it’s a problem we can remove the Facebook account but he will research it more. Chief Bidon stated one time someone made a derogatory comment toward Huachuca City Fire and we removed that comment and we removed that person from posting. Chief Bidon said the board members can converse on their own Facebook pages but it would be construed as official business if they conversed on the Whetstone Fire District Facebook page. Wayne Lewis said that one of the board members should be designated to check the Facebook profile prior to the monthly board meeting.

Wayne Lewis also stated he met the people who did our first audit and they had nothing but good things to say.

Old Business:

    1. Update on the Final Stages of the Consolidation of Districts

Chief Bidon and Cathy Dyer went to Bisbee and started turning in all the resolutions. Chief Bidon stated we are now waiting on the final approval thing from the state. The levies will change before July 1, before the new budget. Chief Bidon will keep the board updated.

New Business:

    1. Review, Amendment and Possible Approval of Public Session Minutes for January

Jerry Hopper made the following motion, seconded by Wayne Lewis and approved all in favor none opposed:

Move to approve the Public Session Minutes as presented.

    2. Action and Discussion and Possible Approval of Reappointing Chairman Richard Evans to the WFD Board

Jerry Hopper made the following motion, seconded by Mary Foote and approved all in favor none opposed:

Move to reappoint Chairman Evans to the board.

    3. Review and Discussion of the District Department Vehicle Usage Policy – Possible Approval on March 25, 2015

The board members were presented with copies of a draft of the vehicle usage policy to read and make decisions on during the next board meeting. Chief Bidon requested all comments back by 1000 hours on March 18 in order to have the board member packets ready by the same day.

    5. Review, Discussion and Possible Action on the Fire District Facebook Account

Previously discussed.

    6. Review, Discussion and Possible Acceptance of the Newly Awarded Governor’s Highway and Safety Grant

We were awarded $32,531.17 for the new extrication equipment. We need board approval to pay the amount out of capital and get reimbursed from receipts.

Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Mary Foote and approved all in favor none opposed:

Move to approve payment for the Highway Safety Grant.

    7. Review, Discussion and Possible Approval of Expenditures from the District Capital Reserve Account in Relation to the Governor’s Highway and Safety Grant

Approved above.

    8. Review, Discussion and Possible Approval of the Financial Reports

In our account we have $159.220.31 and in our capital we have $146.245.38. In the Pension Relief Fund we have $38,113.96. We did make some repairs to trucks that will reflect in the balance next month.

Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Mary Foote and approved all in favor none opposed:

Move to approve the financial reports as presented.

Chief’s Report

You guys have your calls; we had 80 for the month of January. We’re up to 151, I believe, as of today. We got that the Cowboy Church is being built off of West Oak, building. They’re putting it in. The arena’s already in; it’s been there for about a year now so now they’re putting in their building. They were currently in the feed store. So they’re going to be moving to West Oak right just past that corner lot where you see everybody parked their vehicles for selling and stuff, the next lot right behind it, they’ll be there.

We went to a structure fire the other night, Huachuca City barn up at the end of Hunt Ranch Trail, so it’s actually in the Babocomari Fire District. So we were back out there. Everybody did a good job, I mean the barn was already gone; it was an open face barn. By the time we got up there the efforts were used to put the hose lines on the house because the barn was within probably 15 feet of the house and the house was already peeling so that’s where it did. There was no damage to my truck but when I was stopped a horse ran right into it and about knocked himself out ‘cause before we got there I believe the homeowner opened up the corrals and were getting the horses out.

I do have a copy of the District levies limits here if you guys want a copy I’ll give it to you but we did go down from… we are down to, it went down to 15 million, 15.8, we are at 15.39 and PBW went down to 2.5 from 2.7, so. But we should be okay with the combined district now we’re going to be right where we’ve been so we should be okay. I don’t anticipate any tax increase at all. I see us maintaining where we’re at.

I’ve been, again, covering the Huachuca City Fire Chief duties when he’s out taking care of that issue that we discussed that I don’t think needs to be in the minutes.

And I got a request to burn a property located at 2495 Calle Quinto. We went and looked at it; there’s great separation between all the houses and stuff. It’s a trailer that has a built on little section there, we’re looking at it. And I went and did the assessment. We can make it safe per NFPA 1403 to conduct a live burn. I went through the checklist; I got the insurance thing that there’s no insurance on it, that he does have the title, that there is no back taxes owed or anything like that. So the property is clear. There was some items in there that we told him that could not be in there for us to burn i.e. furniture, appliances and stuff. All that stuff was removed, so it looks like we could do it, we’re just finalizing it before we go do it. This will be the second one that we’ve done in the eight years that I’ve been here. At this point I’m very confident and can assure you guys that it would be a safe for us to burn it and it would be safe for the surrounding properties for us to burn it. We could totally contain it, control it. And one of the things I’d like to do is open it up to a lot of the smaller fire departments in the area to get some of their firefighters some live fire ground/structure fire training. And the way we can do… and obviously we’re going to burn it to the ground. He knows he’s responsible for cleaning the property when it’s done, that the District… I’ve explained that to him, he’s okay with it. We can do multiple little fires, you know room and content fires inside and then break it out and then do the, you know, burn it down in sections kind of thing. Control burn it all the way down in sections. So I’m leaning towards doing it, I’m going to meet with the Captain’s on Thursday and we’re going to go do another walk-through and make sure that we have everything; make sure I have a water supply that will be able to handle that whole, yeah.

The last thing I have on my chief’s report that we can’t take it off the internet because it’s in the minutes that you guys approved but I need to retract my statement regarding Fire Chief, Bill Miller, from the Fry Fire District when I made comments that he filed a complaint with the mayor and council of Huachuca City and was possibly coming down here. He stated that he never went to the council or anything like that and that I misspoke but I talked to Chief Jon, I’m trying to remember who told us that he did. Neither one of us can recollect to I’d just assume retract that statement from the minutes and you know, basically clear any negative connotation towards his name for that statement. I wish we could remember who said it ‘cause then we could’ve fixed that end of it. But I can’t fix that end of it but I can fix the end or my end of it of making a statement that could have been construed as negative toward Chief Miller when in fact he said he never made the comment. So, that’s my statement for the minutes.

Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Mary Foote and approved all in favor none opposed:

Move to accept the Chief’s Report as presented.

Call to the Public

No members of the public wished to address the board.

Board Member Comments

Jerry Hopper asked if it is possible to have an alternate board member so we do not miss monthly meetings. Chief Bidon said we can have more fire board members but not an even number. Or, we can use our conference phone if necessary. We can possibly change our board meetings to the third Tuesday in each month effective next budget year.

Jerry Hopper also asked if there is someone lined up to fill his position. Chief Bidon said each board member has a letter from a possible replacement, Michelle Bell. Discussion followed regarding setting up an interview. Jerry Hopper stated he has turned in his resignation and this is his last meeting. (tape ended)

Adjournment

Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Jerry Hopper and approved all in favor none opposed:

Adjourn the meeting.

Rick Evans, Chairman
Diana Jones, Billing Administrator

AGENDA February 2015

NOTICE OF PUBLIC SESSION
FOR THE WHETSTONE FIRE DISTRICT
Pursuant to A.R.S. 38-431.02

DATE:                                                  Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
TIME:                                                   6:00 P.M.
PLACE OF MEETING:

Whetstone Fire District
2422 N Firehouse Lane
Whetstone, AZ 85616

AGENDA: ANY ITEM ON THIS AGENDA IS OPEN FOR DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION

Pledge of Allegiance

Call Meeting to Order

Roll Call and Affirmation of Quorum

Old Business:

  1. Update on the Final Stages of the Consolidation of Districts

New Business:

  1. Review, Amendment and Possible Approval of Public Session Minutes for January.
  2. Action and Discussion and Possible Approval of Reappointing Chairman Richard Evans to the WFD Board.
  3. Review, Discussion of District Department Vehicle Usage Policy. Possible Approval on March 25th 2015.
  4. Discussion of AFDA Fire District Board Training Seminar.
  5. Review, Discussion and Possible Action on the Fire District Facebook Account.
  6. Review, Discussion and Possible Acceptance of the Newly Awarded Governor’s Highway and Safety Grant.
  7. Review, Discussion and possible Approval of Expenditures from the District Capital Reserve Account in Relation to the Governor’s Highway and Safety Grant.
  8. Review, Discussion and Possible Approval of the Financial Reports.

Chief’s Report

Call To The Public

  • This is the time for the Public to comment. Members of the Board may not discuss items that are not specifically identified on the agenda.

Board Member Comments

Adjournment

DATED THIS 23rd DAY OF FEBRUARY 2015
PLACE POSTED:  Website

The Whetstone Fire District Board may vote to go into Executive Session on any agenda item pursuant to ARS 38-431.03(A)(3) for discussion and consultation for legal advice with the governing Board Attorney on the matter(s) as set forth in the agenda item. The order of the Agenda may be altered or changed by order of the Board. Copies of the Agenda are  available upon request at Administration 2422 N. Firehouse Lane Whetstone, AZ. 85616. Call to the Public – According to  the Arizona Open Meeting Law, the District Board can only discuss matters listed on the meeting agenda. At the  conclusion of the open call to the public, individual Board Members may respond to criticism made by those individuals who have addressed the Board, may ask staff to review a matter or may ask that a matter be placed on a future agenda. However the Board will not discuss or take action on any matter rose during a Call to the Public unless the matter has been properly noticed on the agenda. Please step forward or otherwise identify yourself when the Chair announces the item(s) on the agenda which you are interested in addressing.
1. Please state your name and address for the record.
2. Speak only on the issue currently being discussed by the Board.
3. Please limit your comments to 5 minutes.
4. During “Call to the Public” you may address the Board on any issue within the jurisdiction of the Fire Board.
5. Any member of the public speaking must speak in a courteous and respectful manner to those present.
Thank you for your cooperation.
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