Monthly Archives: November 2016

November Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE WHETSTONE FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD MEETING, November 29th, 2016

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

Chairman, Rick Evans, called the meeting to order at 6:05 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
Michelle Bell, Board Member

Staff Present:

Pete Bidon, Fire Chief
Cathy Dyer, Office Manager

Absent:

Bobby Chapman, Board Member

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

Rick Evans addressed the public by stating this is our monthly meeting, not a trial or hearing. Members of the public are allowed to make comments to the board only on topics on the agenda. Under state law the board is not allowed to introduce new material, take action, or discuss items not on the agenda. The board is not required to respond. If somebody is determined to disrupt the meeting they will be asked to leave, the meeting may be adjourned early or law enforcement may be called.

Call to the Public:

No members of the public wished to address the board.

Rick Evans asked anyone not requested to stay in the Executive Session to leave the meeting. No action will be taken during Executive Session.

Lauri Owen from Cochise County Attorney’s Office stated the board cannot go into executive session until one of the board members moves, it has to be seconded and carried by majority.

Rick Evans asked Lauri Owen if she is here as the district’s attorney. Lauri Owen replied she would discuss that in a little while. Rick Evans stated he needs to know now because this is not a hearing if she is here representing an individual.

Lauri Owen stated she decided to come to the meeting because of significant concerns based on things they (the county attorney’s office) have been made aware of over the past few weeks. She represents the fire board and will explain more in executive session. Lauri Owen said she needs to know if the board wants continued representation from the county attorney’s office by majority vote or they are going to withdraw.

Rick Evans asked if any of the board members have been approached by the county attorney’s office or talked to them about any concerns. Lauri Owen stated that information is confidential and no one has to report to Rick Evans – this is part of the issue. Lauri Owen said she is here to provide assistance to the board and keep us from legal trouble.

Rick Evans stated he is disinclined to continue, he is not able to continue discussion with the county attorney’s office. He called the county attorney’s office to ask questions and they wanted to schedule a meeting. Lauri Owen said he cancelled the meeting. Rick Evans stated he did not cancel the meeting. He stated the other board members said the restrictions and requirements the county attorney’s office wanted to put in were unacceptable. Lauri Owen stated they did not put in any restrictions. Michelle Bell stated she was never asked about meeting with the county attorney’s office.

Chief Bidon stated he understood the original meeting was supposed to be Rick Evans, himself, Britt Hanson and Lauri Owen. Michelle Bell stated she wants it known that she was never personally asked. Lauri Owen stated she wants everyone to understand if there are ever meetings the board members are all invited and would never be excluded. Rick Evans stated he called Britt Hanson to ask questions and a meeting was scheduled. Rick Evans said he was told it was better to meet with a small group and he does not represent the board at the meeting. Michelle Bell stated she misunderstood Rick Evans and thought he said he had asked the board, she just wants to clarify that she never had any contact. Lauri Owen said the county attorney’s office was asked if a reading of the rules was correct and can an action be taken. The county attorney’s office responded they didn’t know and asked for a copy of the rules and scheduled a meeting; Rick Evans told her he would come and represent the board.

Rick Evans said he only called the county attorney’s office because he heard they were talking to people from the district. Lauri Owen said anyone from the board, the chief or any member of the fire department can call the county attorney’s office at any time because they represent the fire district.

Rick Evans asked for a copy of the contract we have with the county attorney’s office. Lauri Owen said it doesn’t work like that, the IGA they have says they have a contract with the fire district as a client. It is a basic legal premise that any member of the district can call the county attorney’s office. Their primary responsibility is to maintain the integrity of the board as a whole, the district as a whole, to protect the district from litigation. Rick Evans said that is the board’s job too.

Lauri Owen said based on things that have happened, things that have been said and the hostility with which they have been treated they don’t feel comfortable anymore and require an affirmative vote from the board to continue to represent the board. It should be put on the agenda and discussed by the board. Also, in the call to the public the public can address any issue they want, it does not have to be on the agenda.

Ken Leffler said he does not know what is going on. Mary Foote said her too. Lauri Owen said the reason that it was decided for her to attend the meeting was because of the telephone conversations that went considerably different than relayed, a couple calls their office has received and their concern for the health of the district and misunderstandings about policies.

Lauri Owen said she is reluctant to discuss in open session the issues that were raised because it will reflect poorly, especially on Rick Evans.

Rick Evans asked who is included in the executive session. Lauri Owen replied the board, the chief and herself and that’s all.

MOTION: Move to go into Executive Session
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Michelle Bell

Executive Session:
This executive session is authorized under A.R.S. § 38-431.03, Subsection (A), paragraph [Personnel Matters]

1. Review, Discussion and Follow-up on Current Investigation Regarding Filed Harassment and Hostile Working Environment Claims

2. Review and Discussion of Personnel Action in Relation to Fire District Policy, Procedures and Fire Board Direction

Old Business:

No Old Business.

New Business:

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

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

2. Review and Discussion of Fire Board Member Conduct, Actions and Potential Open Meeting Law Violations

Rick Evans called the meeting back to order. He apologized for the length of time everyone was out of the room; the board got the benefit of talking to the attorney as a group.

Rick Evans stated he would like to table the motion to allow the attorneys’ time to review the information in the fire board handbook. Michelle Bell stated her understanding of what Lauri Owen stated is the board does not review each other, they are all equal, the motion should be removed. Pete Bidon said she stated it is illegal and he thinks it should be pulled not tabled.

Rick Evans stated the book has to be neutralized or made ineffective otherwise we are ignoring something we adopted and he sees the legality of that as well.

Ken Leffler stated he does not see any reason why this cannot be dropped.

Rick Evans stated he would like the board to be cognoscente of our responsibility to reach decisions collectively and support it for the good of the district.

MOTION: Move to remove the item from the agenda
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Michelle Bell

3. Review, Discussion and Possible Retroactive Action of Adjustment to Fire Chief’s Allowable Spending Limit Increase to $12,000.00 for the Purchase of a New Philips Heartstart MRX Cardiac Monitor
Motion made during meeting on October 25th to increase Chief Bidon’s spending limit to purchase a cardiac monitor during a limited time special for the month of November. Item was not listed as an agenda item but as a topic presented in the Chief’s Report therefore resulting in the Retroactive Action.

Chief Bidon stated it has been purchased from capital – a new monitor for the third ambulance because we had a loaner from the state and we needed Bluetooth capability to send 12-leads to the hospital. We had a limited amount of time to get the sale price and saved the district $22,000.

MOTION: Move to authorize retroactive action to increase the spending limit for the specific purchase of a new Heartstart MRX Cardiac Monitor
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Mary Foote

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

Cathy Dyer said to close out the month of October real estate tax we did get a big chunk of revenue, $123,321.36 in real estate revenue. Close of operations is $60,963.11, the reserve account closed out at $148,533.93, and the volunteer pension is still sitting at $41,096.63. Since revenue is coming in we shouldn’t have to worry about dipping into the credit line anymore. We haven’t had any big expense except for things like upgrading the lighting, things that are under the $5,000.00 range. The machine for the check deposits arrived and we did get the software installed.

Cathy Dyer stated we will have to make the purchase for the Governor’s Highway Safety Grant. Ken Leffler said that money will be returned once the purchase has been made. Chief Bidon stated the board approved the grant for $25,000. We make the payment up front and get the money back.

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

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

The ladder truck is in Tucson – the computer went out so it can’t go into gear. They are trying to find the part to fix it for $6,000 to $8,000. Ken Leffler asked if it had to be towed. Chief Bidon stated yes, we will have a couple of tow bills because we also towed the ambulance. We had a mechanic come here to make a safety inspection. Danny Speer says everything is good.

Michelle Bell asked Danny Speer if he found the mechanic to come here. Danny Speer responded yes. Michelle Bell said thank you very much.

The board has copies of the call log with no buildings burnt, lots of EMS calls.

We were out on the Empire fire (a BLM fire in the Sonoita area) for 6 hours.

We had a couple of roadside fires and we’re getting a little revenue for that.

Board Member Comments:

Michelle Bell stated she would like on the next agenda hiring a third party investigator to deal with any personnel issues we may or may not have.

Chief Bidon asked if the board is considering having the attorney on the next agenda. Michelle Bell said yes, can we also put on the agenda a vote for whether or not we want the Cochise county attorney to represent the board. Chief Bidon said it will be the district as a whole. Rick Evans said it will be the district because our concerns start with the residents that created the district, the board that was hired by them to administrate it, and the employees that actually handle the calls and do the work. Rick Evans said he would like to add to the item to get a description of the services they provide. The agenda item will be to interview and discuss continued contract with the Cochise County Attorney’s Office.

Chief Bidon stated we have the annual training for the board members at the Arizona Fire District Association in January. Bobby Chapman needs to go and Rick Evans and any new board member. Mary Foote said this is her last meeting. Ken Leffler asked how often board members have to take the class. Chief Bidon stated every election cycle. Ken Leffler stated he has to go to the training because he was just reappointed. Chief Bidon stated the election cycle is every four years so Ken Leffler has four years to go to the training.

Future Agenda Items:

See Board Member Comments.

Chief Bidon stated tomorrow he will email the board members the Arizona Revised Statute Title 48 section where it states how many days we have to fill the vacant board seat.

Adjournment:

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

Rick Evans, Chairman
Diana Jones, Billing Administrator

Agenda November 2016

NOTICE OF MEETING AND POSSIBLE EXECUTIVE SESSION OF
THE WHETSTONE FIRE DISTRICT
Sections 7.6.8, 7.7.4, and 7.10.1
Pursuant to A.R.S. 38-431.02

DATE: Tuesday, November 29th, 2016
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

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:

This executive session is authorized under A.R.S. § 38-431.03, Subsection (A), paragraph [Personnel Matters]

  1. Review, Discussion and Follow-up on Current Investigation Regarding Filed Harassment and Hostile Working Environment Claims
  2. Review and Discussion of Personnel Action in Relation to Fire District Policy, Procedures and Fire Board Direction

Old Business:

None

New Business:

  1. Review, Amendment and Possible Action of Public Session Minutes for October 2016
  2. Review and Discussion of Fire Board Member Conduct, Actions and Potential Open Meeting Law Violations
  3. Review, Discussion and Possible Retroactive Action of Adjustment to Fire Chief’s Allowable Spending Limit Increase to $12,000.00 for the Purchase of a New Philips Heartstart MRX Cardiac Monitor
  4. Motion made during meeting on October 25th to increase Chief Bidon’s spending limit to purchase a cardiac monitor during a limited time special for the month of November. Item was not listed as an agenda item but as a topic presented in the Chief’s Report therefore resulting in the Retroactive Action.

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

Chief’s Report

Board Member Comments

Future Agenda Items

Adjournment

DATED THIS 23rd DAY OF NOVEMBER 2016
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.

Whetstone Arizona
46°
clear sky
humidity: 19%
wind: 17mph WNW
H 46 • L 18
42°
Mon
46°
Tue
53°
Wed
47°
Thu
52°
Fri
Weather from OpenWeatherMap