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I find myself somewhat amused—but mostly just irritated and appalled—by Wade Bradfield’s letter of April 28.
In the first three or four paragraphs, Wade crows about how transparent and selfless the Fire District Board has been. Other recent letters from board members have also bragged about their transparency.
And yet, it appears that now Wade is ticked off because this information is where the public can see and read it. Apparently, if you are a taxpayer, the only way you deserve to know what your board is up to is if you attend the board meetings.
Wade has certainly put his spin on things. Yes, Chief Cook wrote a job description, just like the board asked him to. Then it was tabled because board members wanted more time to look at it. Tabled again because the board forgot to look at it. This went on for a few months, then a totally different job description (not written by chief) was presented by Sheri Halandras and was adopted. So tell me again, Wade, who you should be mad at that it took so long?
The $25,000 figure for repairing the old fire truck is not false. I believe chief said $15,000 to $25,000 in his letter. Go back and look at what has been spent in repairs on the truck in—oh, let’s just say the past five years. $15,000 this year, several thousand in recent years, how much next year? And, you were not told you needed to fix the old truck to maintain ISO. You were given the options of repairing it or replacing it.
But maybe you just weren’t paying attention in that meeting.
Incidentally, you want your ISO rating to stay down, not up. This was explained to you several times in board meetings, but you must not have been paying attention then either.
I won’t even address the obtuseness of Wade’s comments about NIMS and Haz Mat, where he seems to become particularly defensive. Perhaps he just skipped the last four paragraphs of chief’s letter, where he reiterated that his comments and observations were meant to be constructive. Or maybe he wasn’t paying attention then, either.
Wade, you, of all people, know exactly why Chief Cook resigned. He did not “give up” on the department.
The board was going to terminate his employment at their special meeting in January because he wouldn’t meet the unethical and illegal demands of the board. You claimed that you were caught off guard by the decision of the other board members to call a special meeting. So much for all board decisions being made as a group.
The only reason chief wasn’t fired that night is because the Fire District’s attorney shut you all down. Why? Ironically enough, because you didn’t have the policies and procedures in place to do it without leaving the Fire District wide open to litigation.
Wade’s last paragraph is particularly tacky and childish.The Fire District Board spent more than $15,000 in the first quarter of this year on attorney fees, mostly on advice telling them they need written policies and procedures. How’s that for irony?
Three pieces of advice to you in the future, Mr. Chairman of the Board:
1) Don’t make insulting and libelous comments that are contradicted in public records (board meeting minutes and financials).
2) Pick one side of the fence (rather than sit the middle) and stand on it. Don’t let greed get in the way (like being granted a pension year credit that you didn’t deserve.) You failed to attend a half-year’s worth of business meetings in 2015 and didn’t sign up for the required call shifts.You were deficient in three areas, but because you were a board member, your year was granted, where others weren’t.
Lastly, No. 3. To help the next fire chief be more successful, don’t offer him the keys to your kingdom (your words) and then systematically change all the locks.