Monthly Archives: August 2015

AGENDA Special Meeting August 26 2015

Pursuant to A.R.S. 38-431.02

DATE: Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
TIME: 6:00 P.M.

Whetstone Fire District
2422 N Firehouse Lane
Whetstone, AZ 85616


Pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.02, notice is hereby given to the members of the Whetstone Fire District and to the general public that the Whetstone Fire Governing Board will hold a meeting open to the public on August 26th 2015 at the Whetstone Fire District for the purpose of deciding whether to go into executive session. If authorized by a majority vote of the Whetstone Fire Governing Board, the executive session will be held immediately after the vote and will not be open to the public.

Pledge of Allegiance/Call Meeting to Order/Roll Call and Affirmation of Quorum

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.

Executive Session:

  • Personnel Matters.
  • The discussion or consideration of employment, assignment, appointment, promotion, demotion, salaries, discipline, resignation, or dismissal of a public officer, appointee, or employee A.R.S. § 38-431.03(A)

  • No Official Action Will be Taken During the Executive Session.



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.

August Board Meeting Minutes


BOARD MEETING, August 19th, 2015

Call to Order/Roll Call/Affirmation of Quorum/Pledge of Allegiance:

Chairman, Rick Evans, called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was held in the Whetstone Fire District Station 321 classroom, 2422 N Firehouse Lane, Huachuca City, Arizona.

Members Present:

Rick Evans, Chairman
Ken Leffler, Clerk
Mary Foote, Board Member
Wayne Lewis, Board Member
Michelle Bell, Board Member

Staff Present:

Peter Bidon, Fire Chief
Cathy Dyer, Office Manager


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

Call to the Public:

No members of the public wished to address the board.

Old Business:

1. Review, Discussion and Follow up on the Fire Chiefs Performance Evaluation

  • Performance Evaluation to be Provided to the Board Members

Ken Leffler picked one of the three evaluation forms provided. Chief Bidon confirmed it is the form he modeled after North West Fire District’s. We have an electronic copy of the template and Chief Bidon said he will have copies printed for the board members.

MOTION: Move to continue to use the chief’s evaluation form that is in existence for Whetstone Fire as it is.
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Wayne Lewis

2. Discussion and Presentation of District Operation Policies and the Fire Board Manual

Rick Evans stated regardless of what the manual is called he prefers a plain language instructional format. Attorneys say what matters most is what is done with it.

The manual Rick Evans is working on has three main sections with clear and concise information regarding:

Administration/Personnel – hiring/firing, promotions/pay increases, how to complete a time sheet, harassment, physical fitness requirements, annual physicals, how to handle injuries, misconduct procedures, etc.

Fire Board – conduct and procedures, open meeting laws, how to fill positions/remove members, answer questions, notification of meetings, post meetings, executive sessions, Arizona Revised Statues, etc.

Operations – sets policies on what we will and won’t do at a scene, how to fight fire, lay hose, laying a water supply versus working out of tanks, uniforms, terminology, etc.

The manual will be a working document open to input from anyone for change or addition; all policies will be within the law; for our protection; available to all personnel; standardized.

Rick Evans will have a draft of the format to the board members for review as early as tomorrow.

Ken Leffler wants to determine what we are going to call it. Rick Evans stated referring to the policy manual as rules and regulations binds us to it without exception while calling it guidelines leaves room for interpretation.

Chief Bidon stated we have a rules and regs book and standard operating procedures; Rick Evans is reviewing, blending and formatting everything for consistency and ease of use. Chief Bidon said he is working on the 48 page “chapter” for the board members.

Ken Leffler asked if we are going to have an attorney look over the manual when completed. Chief Bidon stated he will send it to Britt Hanson.

3. Review, Discussion and Possible Action on the District Vehicle Usage Policy

  • Item Tabled From Previous Meeting. Policy Presented to the Board by Chief Bidon for review and possible approval

Chief Bidon asked the board if they want to proceed with acceptance of the vehicle usage policy presented or wait until the manual is completed.

Michelle Bell stated she likes the policy presented by Chief Bidon and wants to know if it can be used in the manual if approved by the board.

Rick Evans said it is real close with good operations focus.

Wayne Lewis wants clarification on if family members are allowed to ride in the department vehicles. Chief Bidon stated they are but the vehicle cannot go emergency traffic.

Ken Leffler stated the fire chief is on call and uses a command vehicle at all times. He does not have a problem with the chief transporting his family when necessary.

Chief Bidon stated that in some cases his son may have to ride in a department vehicle and if there is an emergency call he will respond without lights and siren and his son will just have to sit in the back seat of the truck until it’s over.

Rick Evans stated he would rather the chief respond to a scene normal traffic in a vehicle with all the equipment and resources than not be available because he has to drop his son off and then pick up the department vehicle.

Mary Foote stated they will not be covered by our insurance.

Cathy Dyer stated our insurance company doesn’t have an issue with the public riding in department vehicles as long as it is for a public service, like parades or roadside assistance. They do not recommend personal use of the department vehicles; accident coverage would be disputable.

Wayne Lewis does not like the policy presented. When the chief picks up his son he is presenting a liability to the district. That was the complaint the fire board received. The wording is too vague regarding who can ride in the vehicles and lights and sirens should be used at the discretion of the vehicle operator.

Chief Bidon stated he will change the wording and re-present the policy.

New Business:

1. Review, Amendment and Possible Approval of Public Session Minutes for July 2015

Ken Leffler said he cannot accept the minutes as presented. Michelle Bell suggested less word for word and more bullet points. Diana Jones stated the only part of the minutes that is word for word is the chief’s report because it is not always clear what he is trying to say and it’s easier to write out than guess what he meant. Chief Bidon stated he provided Diana Jones a copy of his chief’s report so she would know what he was reporting. Diana Jones said she cannot use a report that does not represent what was actually said during the meeting. Michelle Bell asked what could be done to make it easier to transcribe. Rick Evans stated the business conducted needs to be documented not so much what was said. Wayne Lewis stated the revised minutes have to be approved within 3 days – 30 days from the date of the meeting. Chief Bidon stated he will sit with Diana Jones on Friday and go over what he wants on his chief’s report and deliver the corrected minutes to the board members. Michelle Bell wants to hire someone to train Diana Jones to do the minutes correctly and legally. Chief Bidon will look into it.

MOTION: Move to approve the Public Session Minutes as presented
RESULT: Not approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Mary Foote

2. Review, Discussion and Possible Action on Policy – 1501 Equipment Inventory

  • New policy presented to the Board for review and approval

Chief Bidon presented the board an equipment inventory policy to keep better track of our capital inventory – any item worth $500.00 or more that will be usable greater than one year (not disposable property) – with a property disposal request and authorization form. If approved will cost the district $500-$600 for stickers.

Rick Evans offered use of an Excel program that will keep an electronic record.

MOTION: Move to adopt the Equipment Inventory Policy presented
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Mary Foote
SECONDED: Michelle Bell

Ken Leffler moved to open discussion on item 3, Cochise County Assigned Tax Rate for PBW and Whetstone Fire Districts, seconded by Mary Foote.

Open for discussion:

3. Review and Discussion of the Cochise County Assigned Tax Rate for Whetstone Fire District and PBW Fire District c/o Whetstone Fire District.

  • Explanation and discussion of the tax rate/ levy increase for WFD from 2.9567 to 3.0339
  • Explanation and discussion of the tax rate/ levy increase for PBW c/o WFD from 2.0931 to 2.4089

The board packets included tax levy paperwork from Cochise County. Chief Bidon stated PBW was supposed to go up to 2.95 to match our existing tax rate, instead Whetstone Fire District went up to 3.03 and PBW went up to 2.40 because something didn’t get done by the Arizona Department of Revenue. Tom Shelling said we are stuck with the rate until next budget year.

Ken Leffler wants to know how the state can dictate our tax rate when he thought we could choose to increase or decrease our tax rate.

Chief Bidon said the state does not recognize the consolidation until next budget year; he does not know why because he thought we had all the paperwork turned in – until he talks with Flo from the state. Chief Bidon said he will go to Bisbee Friday morning and talk to the treasurer and Tom Schelling to see what he can do. He wanted to drop money out of the budget to compensate for the $.08 since he cannot increase any revenue item since it was already published.

Cathy Dyer said the tax rate is figured by using the information we provide to calculate the levy limit; the worksheet has the correct budget numbers provided from the chief.

Chief Bidon said it has to do with PBW not going up to 2.95, they got maxed out.

Ken Leffler moved to review, discuss and possible approval of the financial report, seconded by Michelle Bell.

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

Cathy Dyer presented the board with the financial reports from last month and month before along with the Cochise County Treasurer’s report used to reconcile the monthly financial reports and stated we are operating in the black.

MOTION: Move to accept the Financial Reports as presented
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Michelle Bell
SECONDED: Marty Foote

Chief’s Report:
Information regarding the following topics was presented by the fire chief:

85 calls for the month of July
New construction: the water company is rebuilding a well on Via Mercado – we do not get money as it is a government facility
Continuing with training
Spent $2,800 having the pump motor rebuilt on brush 321

MOTION: Accept the Chief’s Report as presented
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Wayne Lewis
SECONDED: Michelle Bell

Board Member Comments:

Michelle Bell wants the buzzer fixed on the front door. Chief Bidon stated the doorbell will be fixed by placing a bell in the bay and one up front.

Wayne Lewis asked where we are with the garage door repairs. Chief Bidon stated we got a quote we are going with from Miner out of Tucson.


MOTION: Adjourn the meeting
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Wayne Lewis
SECONDED: Michelle Bell

Rick Evans, Chairman
Diana Jones, Billing Administrator

Whetstone Arizona
clear sky
humidity: 19%
wind: 17mph WNW
H 46 • L 18
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