Latest Draft Minutes…………26 June 2017
Call to Order.
Roll Call of Board Members
Pledge of Allegiance.
Call to the Public
Don Irving – discussed the Fire Wise program and how it was a very important part of the recent fires, the response of the community towards the incidents and fire department. The wildland fire truck was exactly the right kind of truck for this fire. The other element I’m concerned about has to do with how we reward our firefighters. I’m very much in favor of reserve funds. I would like to make a recommendation to increase the budget to include a reserve fund and to increase the benefits for our firefighters. You can handle that many ways but benefits might be best – provide adequate healthcare coverage.
Peter Pototsky – The word is getting out that this year’s budget is the same as last year’s lavish increase except no reserve. And that must be considered to prevent the 20% increase over just one year. He spoke of the numerous fires from the Sawmill to the recent Encino Fire…the department has had an extremely busy season with long nights. When SEFD is farmed out for their services, who pays all that? (The state of Arizona.) Are we sending money out when we call on those people. Has the SEFD been scheduled for any raises, or, better than that, Bonuses? This department has worked really hard the last few months, I think it’s time for bonuses. If you budget for that and re-think the budget, it will still hurt our pocket-books, but not our hearts.
Sandy Ruppel – Appreciated the mic system; thank you for all you did on the Encino. I do seriously appreciate you pulling the firefighters off; a firefighter was killed last week on a fire on the NM/AZ border. I spoke with Kurt (Bahti) last week; he said you had frozen the budget. I appreciate that. I like the bonus idea; I don’t know if we can use fundraisers for that?
Vista & John Michael Letter – read by K. Venos – We cannot attend this evenings meeting and are very sorry. We want to add our appreciation, thanks and admiration for the incredible job done by the Chief, his staff, volunteers and the myriad of resources coordinated to combat the Encino Fire while at the same time taking usual 911 calls. Our comments are: 1) We appreciate the improvements and updates encouraged and guided under Administrator John Flynn’s tenure. He listened to the Chief, staff, volunteers and the community and helped the District update and approach it’s effective potential. 2) Concerning the budget, John and I believe that a contingency fund is necessary to keep SEFD improving and effective. This should be considered even if tax increases occur. This Board is careful & thoughtful and in meeting and planning for the needs of this community so we believe their recommendations will be consistent with their past acts.
Consideration, review of passing a 2017/2018 fiscal year SEFD budget – After considerable discussion regarding the proposed budget, taxes around the county, Motion to approve a budget and turn it over to the county, seconded by Suzanne Jenkins for discussion. Each board member spoke for a bit regarding their current stance towards the proposed budget as presented by the Chief. Chief De Wolf addressed the Board briefly as he had spoken to the accountant on this subject. We could have a Financial Stability Reserve as a budget item, it would be an account that is controlled by the Board. It’s in our regular budget but money could only be spent with the consent of the Board. Chief spoke of industry standards, 2%, 4%, and 6% increments of increase and how it would affect the budget and therefore the taxpayer. Archibald and Webber stressed the reserve fund as more important as we have income from the wildland fires that we can to reward personnel. Venos – I would support the 6% increase to the budget. Archibald – I don’t agree with 6 %. Jenkins -I would support 4%. Archibald – I will amend my motion to adopt the budget with a 2% increase. Seconded by Jenkins. There was additional discussion. Archibald amended the motion again to be…I’ll amend the motion to increase the budget by 6% taking the levy rate to $2.65. Call for the vote: Ayes – Venos, Archibald, Bahti, Webber; Nay – Jenkins. Motion carried.
Review and approval of the governing board meeting minutes of May 22, 2017 Motion to approve was made by Bahti, seconded by Webber, motion carried unanimously.
Report from the Fire Chief: Chief De Wolf gave his monthly status report on the fire district and included a brief run-down on the status of fire suppression billing. He spoke about the Encino Fire for several minutes, thanking community members for their support with moving livestock, the water tenders, opening of homes and business to help their neighbors.
Review and approval of monthly financial reports for May 2017 – Vicki Rutter presented the currently monthly finances and the updated cash flow forecast to the Board, there were no questions. Motion to accept financials was made by Archibald, seconded by Bahti, motion carried unanimously.
Hall & Parker PSPRS settlement – what’s the next step. Chief DeWolf – Chief De Wolf presented information on the SEFD perspective on the return of funds to affected personnel. Checks for the refund of the overage in deduction amounts will be given out prior to the next regular payroll.
Adjournment – motion to adjourn by Archibald, seconded by Webber, motion carried.