Monthly Archives: October 2016

October Board Meeting Minutes

BOARD MEETING, October 25th, 2016

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

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.

Members Present:

Rick Evans, Chairman
Ken Leffler, Clerk
Mary Foote, Board Member
Bobby Chapman, Board Member

Staff Present:

Cathy Dyer, Office Manager

Absent: Michelle Bell, Board Member

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

Call to the Public:

No members of the public wished to address the board.

Old Business:

No Old Business

New Business:

1. Review, Amendment and Possible Action of Public Session Minutes for September 2016

MOTION: Move to approve the Public Session Minutes as presented
RESULT: Minutes approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Bobby Chapman

2. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Adoption of Standards for Board Members
Maintain Standards, Training Files, and Requirements

Rick Evans stated that everything the board needs to do is in the standard that was adopted by the board in April, 2016. Other boards are doing training, preparation and development for new board members where new members are expected to complete a class on open meeting law and receive a manual to carry with them and reference when necessary. Orientation on equipment, assets and services provided by the district are included.

Rick Evans wants to start a training file for new board members and a required training program just like with new employees.

Ken Leffler said it is a good idea. He would have liked to have more information up front when he became a board member.

Mary Foote said it sounds like a great idea; even for board members who have been on the board a long time, because things change continually.

Bobby Chapman stated he agrees with Ken Leffler. More information initially will help eliminate confusion on policies and procedures. He would like a copy of the board member handbook and some of the department’s policies in regards to the investigation that needs to be done.

Rick Evans stated the policies need to be updated and formatted the uniformly.

Ken Leffler stated the policies need to be continually reviewed and updated. He asked if there is a binder with the policies.

Cathy Dyer stated she does have a policy manual she can copy for Bobby Chapman. Some of the policies are from Chief Balke and are not available in digital format; newer policies are available in either format.

Cathy Dyer asked if a format has been decided on for the policies. Rick Evans stated the board adopted a format in April; the same as the board member handbook. Cathy Dyer asked if the employee manual should be the same. Rick Evans stated everything should be formatted the same and include a table of contents.

Rick Evans told Cathy Dyer to forward the employee manual in digital format to the board for formatting and editing accordingly.

Rick Evans told Cathy Dyer and Diana Jones that they can hire help if at any time any of the requests are labor intensive enough to interfere with completion of administrative duties.

3. Review, Discussion and Possible Action on a vote for Changing of the Chairperson

Mary Foote stated there is no reason for changing the chairperson; Ken Leffler and Bobby Chapman agree.

Item dies for lack of a motion.

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

Cathy Dyer said as of close of last month the operating balance was $3.35; we have been in and out of the credit line. Ambulance revenues are not reflected in the balance because the deposit wasn’t received by the county until the 5th even thought it was mailed on the 26th.

Ken Leffler asked if we were running deposits to Bisbee at one point. Cathy Dyer stated the Water Office used to take our deposits to Bisbee at the end of each month for many years. We will go back to that since there are so many issues with the electronic deposits. Carmen from the county said she will send information on a machine we can get (at no charge) that allows us to scan checks and deposit them in-house to be posted the next day. Checks would be shredded after 45 days. Trips to the bank might be required for cash deposits.

Bobby Chapman stated that is the same thing he did in Huachuca City – scanning the checks one at a time and doing an electronic deposit.

Cathy Dyer stated the county is changing their entire banking system to be more digital at the first of the year.

Cathy Dyer stated the reserve account is still holding at $156,733.93 – no large expenditures have cleared from the account. A warrant for $6,200.00 or $8,000.00 was written to the contractors for the remodeling as part of the down payment. The volunteer pension with a little interest is at $41,096.63. There is $1,071.33 in the PBW operating account that will be transferred tomorrow and their capital account is empty and should be closed. Rick Evans asked who needs to be contacted to get the account closed. Cathy Dyer said she believes it is more of a county procedure – once the accounts (Whetstone Fire District and PBW) are completely combined.

Cathy Dyer said we received final documentation for the grant from the governor’s office. One page was not completed but we have time to get it finished and sent back. Tommie Teel said we have to make the purchases up front and get reimbursed from the grant.

MOTION: Move to accept the Financial Reports as presented
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Mary Foote

Chief’s Report-
Information regarding the following topic(s) presented by the fire chief:

Ken Leffler asked if there is an update on the accident. Cathy Dyer stated the ambulance is going to be sent to Tucson for assessment because any work done would have to be done in Tucson. Mr. Ritenour’s mobile service is going to make sure the ambulance is safe to drive to Tucson. Everything seems to be working okay except the high idle will not engage.

Rick Evans asked for more information on the accident. Cathy Dyer said Spencer Packer and Crystal Zickefoose responded to a call in the new Ronald Regan/Wildcat area the other morning (October 19). Crystal Zickefoose was driving. She passed the turnoff and attempted to turn around in the street and drove off the road into grass and the ambulance slid into a ditch. They were unable to remove the ambulance without a tow truck. Both firefighters were sent to High Desert for drug screening with negative results.

This was Crystal Zickefoose’s fourth infraction with a vehicle so her employment was terminated.

Ken Leffler said it was his impression that law enforcement was involved. Cathy Dyer stated Chief Bidon call CCSO and they issued Crystal Zickefoose a citation for failure to control the vehicle.

Cathy Dyer stated the Haunted House is this Saturday along with a Trunk or Treat.

The two new units (ambulances) are in need of cardiac monitors. Captain Packer has quotes and one company has a significant sale price that is only good until November. Rick Evans said it should have been an agenda item so the public knows why $12,000 was spent. The board will have to hold a special meeting or do an emergency action and then justify and document the decision at the next meeting by posting it on the agenda and retroactively approving the item.

Rick Evans entertains a motion to make an emergency spending limit adjustment to $12,000 to allow for purchasing the cardiac monitors.

MOTION: Move to allow an emergency expenditure of $12,000 because of substantial savings on the purchase of a cardiac monitor
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Bobby Chapman

Board Member Comments:

Ken Leffler asked if the O2 leaks in the new ambulances were corrected. Cathy Dyer said she doesn’t think they have been pressure tested yet, that has been delegated to Danny Speer, but the lines were tightened and do not leak anymore. The ambulances are registered and operational.

Ken Leffler said he is sorry for what transpired last Wednesday night at the special board meeting. He said the board members need to treat each other with respect and calm and coolness. Mary Foote agrees; respect is very important to have on a board. She was very disappointed.

Ken Leffler said he thought the board was going to have more discussion about the personnel issue tonight but it is not on the agenda.

Rick Evans said it was his intent about the discussion they had continuing the adoption of the board member manual. The adopted handbook is not just informational; board members are bound by it. The handbook lists requirements on how we behave how we treat each other as well as all the legal requirements and open meeting laws.

Rick Evans concern came when after the blow-up you’re (Michelle Bell) asking for action by saying you (Rick Evans) should be removed. We were in violation of open meeting law by attempting to take action or make a motion that was not on the agenda. Even though we went over it several times and said you can’t keep interrupting other people and jumping in over the top, you are out of order, we got no recognition or response that somebody was going to pay attention to it. The meeting ran two hours to cover two simple informational items.

Bobby Chapman said he agrees with Ken Leffler. As a board we need to do some investigating; we have only heard one side. We need to table the personnel issue until we hear the other side of the equation.

Rick Evans said the reason he talked with Chief Bidon informally was to hear his side and determine if there was potentially something so serious as to require removing him from work.

Bobby Chapman said he does not agree with Chief Bidon wanting to be put on administrative leave. He would also like to know more about Huachuca City’s policy. Cathy Dyer said there is an image of it in the documents given to each board member.

Rick Evans said the nature of the complaints require us to investigate. No investigation has been done; Cathy Dyer is doing interviews and preliminary stuff and will bring everything to the board when she is done. Chief Bidon cannot put himself on administrative leave because he is the subject of the complaint.

Ken Leffler said Cathy Dyer is done with her portion of the investigation. He said there are a lot of red flags on both sides of the information received from Cathy Dyer.

Rick Evans said we need to have procedures in the manual for handling complaints on upper level positions. We have to conduct investigations and gather evidence step by step, fairly and honestly.

Cathy Dyer said we do have harassment and violence in the workplace policies but we do not have procedures on how to step by step investigate or take a complaint for such matters.

Ken Leffler asked Cathy Dyer how she knew how to process the complaints. Cathy Dyer said she used her thought process and got the interview questions from an HR manual. She will give the board members questions to ask Chief Bidon that coincide with the questions she asked the two complainants. The envelopes given to each board member tonight has the complete investigation with Captain Manning. Firefighter Zickefoose provided a statement and attachments that has to be typed and then will be provided to the board.

Bobby Chapman asked Cathy Dyer if she heard the recording with Ms Mitchell. Cathy Dyer said it is related to Huachuca City not Whetstone Fire District so she has nothing to do with it.

Rick Evans said Huachuca City policy has no legal tie to what we are doing here but if we have a supervisor who has become involved with the process in Huachuca City beyond what we are aware then it becomes pertinent.

Rick Evans would like to have received a call from Chief Bidon as soon as he realized he had complaints made against him, and he would like to have heard about the accident right up front.

Ken Leffler said it is not Cathy Dyer’s responsibility to call the board members unless the fire chief instructs her to contact them.

Rick Evans doesn’t want someone on the board who has a personal goal or wants to cut all the services back to bare bones. We need people from the community that have experience in grant writing, annexation or development.

Ken Leffler said to Cathy Dyer and Diana Jones that what we have experienced here recently we (the board) could have done a better job.

Future Agenda Items:

Need to document and take action retroactively on the $12,000 spending limit adjustmen


MOTION: Adjourn the meeting
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Bobby Chapman

Rick Evans, Chairman
Diana Jones, Billing Administrator

Agenda October 2016

Pursuant to A.R.S. 38-431.02

DATE: Tuesday, October 25th, 2016
TIME: 6:00 P.M.

Whetstone Fire District
2422 N Firehouse Lane
Whetstone, AZ 85616


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.

Old Business:

No Old Business

New Business:

  1. Review, Amendment and Possible Action of Public Session Minutes for September 2016
  2. Maintain Standards, Training Files, and Requirements

  3. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Adoption of Standards for Board Members
  4. Review, Discussion and Possible Action on a vote for Changing of the Chairperson
  5. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Financial Reports

Chief’s Report

Board Member Comments

Future Agenda Items



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.

Whetstone Arizona
clear sky
humidity: 19%
wind: 17mph WNW
H 50 • L 19
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