Meeting Minutes April 2013



The regular meeting of the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Department was called to order at 3:00 p.m., by Chairman Biondo, at 4123 Vance Road, Traverse City, MI 49685.


Roll Call – 8 members, a quorum


Fife Lake – Linda Forwerck

Grant – Doug Moyer

Green Lake – Paul Biondo

Long Lake – Karen Rosa

Paradise – Tim Trudell

Springfield – Tom Gray

Union – Doug Mansfield

Whitewater – Ron Popp

Chief Bill Sedlacek

Dave Milliron – Accountant

Acting Chief Mike Stinson

HSO Rebecca Pruyne

Chief Jim Carroll – Blair Twp

#6 Capt. Roger Gibson


AGENDA:    Motion by Union, supported by Springfield to Approve the Agenda as revised.

All ayes.   Motion carried.


MINUTES:   Motion by Union, supported by Springfield to approve the 3/7/13 Minutes with correction by Trudell-Paradise under New Business -Meeting times.  All ayes.  Motion carried. Correction should read “Paradise changed their second Wednesday meeting date to the third Wednesday.”   (Trudell stated they changed it back to the second Wednesday so he has no conflict).


FINANCIAL REPORTS:    Dave Milliron gave reports.  General Op.Budget Money Market balance is $145,579.91.   The Line Items and Cost Controls are in balance.   Ladder Truck repairs took a bite out of #934.000 Vehicle Repair & Maintenance.

Public Improvement Fund balance $1,387.99

Grant Fund balance $5.00

Motion by Springfield, supported by Union to approve the Financial Reports as presented.   All ayes.   Motion carried.


CLAIMS:   Authorized Pre-Paid Claims 3/12/13 $3,088.65 and 4/8/13 $3,869.35.   Motion by Long Lake, supported by Fife Lake to approve the Pre-Paid Claims totaling $6,958.00. All ayes.  Motion carried.  

Open Invoices in the amount of $35,232.74.   Motion by Long Lake, supported by Fife Lake to approve the Open Invoices totaling $35,232.74.   All ayes.  Motion carried.    

Payroll:   #6 $4,038.51 & #7 $3,987.23.   Motion by Long Lake, supported by Grant to approve the #6 & #7 Payrolls.  All ayes.  Motion carried.




Correspondence:  None


Budget/Finance & Equipment:    No reports




ACTING CHIEF:   Chief Stinson gave the Board information about Bids on a wildfire skid unit.   Spartan ERV came in lowest at $13,885.00.    A letter and information was placed in the Board Books per Chief Stinson to be discussed under New Business.


H&S O:   Becca had information and copy of a Grant Request to Michigan Township Par Plan for RRGP $5,000.00 for Water Rescue Equipment and Training.

Rural will match equipment and training cost for $3,308.00.    There is a Resolution for the Board to adopt.    Motion by Union, supported by Grant to adopt the Resolution to commit $2,650.00 to cover cost of Water Rescue Training, and Submit RRGP Grant to MTPP for $5,000.00 and local match of $3,308.00.    Roll call vote 8 yeas,  0 nays.   Resolution adopted.

Becca will edit draft of Resolution for Chairman Biondo’s signature.


Becca reported the Art Bowman funeral was well done.

Becca reported physicals were finished except for a couple fire fighters.


RTC:  Fire Fighter Graduation was a success.  All of Rural’s students passed.  Chairman Biondo attended and remarked on the nice job everyone had done.


Attorney:   (excused) see CEO Job Description & Blair/Rural Agreement.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS:    BLAIR AGREEMENT.   The Board had samples of Blair’s Agreements with Mayfield and Buckley.   Board approved the Blair/Rural Agreement but did not have the final to sign.  Agreement will be retroactive to January.  Chief Carroll will send it to Chairman Biondo.

MAYFIELD TOWNSHIP:   No word from Mayfield.    Chairman Biondo said they extended their service to Mayfield through April, but they should extend it another month.   Motion by Union, supported by Grant to extend fire services to Mayfield through June 19th.  All ayes.  Motion carried.  Mansfield-Union wants to send the Attorney the sample contract to make a contract for Rural and Mayfield.  Trudell said Mayfield doesn’t want a fee for services agreement like Rural and Blair. They would have a Contract for Service and cut Rural a check. ($13,000.00).

BUCKLEY AGREEMENT:   Doug Moyer reported that Grant Township decided to give Buckley 25% of Grant’s Contribution to Rural within the structure of Rural Fire or without.  Grant will send Buckley a letter of intent.  Motion by Paradise, supported by Union to contract for fire services with the Village of Buckley for 25% of Grant Township’s annual payment to Rural Fire Department, and have Attorney Jim Young create a contract with Buckley.  *Seven members voted aye.    Ron Popp-Whitewater voted no.   Motion carried.  





UNFINISHED BUSINESS continued :   Job Description Ad for CEO/Chief.   Attorney approved the sample job description posting.   Chairman Biondo stated that as much as he wants to stay with Rural, that if Rural didn’t hire a Fire Chief then Green Lake would pull out, because he is convinced they need a Fire Chief.  Trudell-Paradise asked if it was just him or the Green Lake Board.  Chairman Biondo said it was just him.   Trudell asked why he was trying to threaten this Board with one vote.  Chair Biondo said he advises his Board of what he sees at the Rural Fire Board.   Chair Biondo said they discussed Fire Chief/CEO, and a Fire Chief was preferred.   Mansfield-Union said they better agree.   Popp-Whitewater asked Chair Biondo if he thought the “Ad” fitted his personal Fire Chief definition.   Chair Biondo is concerned that if they hire just an administrator they were going to have some difficulties dealing with officers in the fire department.    Mansfield said some of the officers have verbalized to their Supervisors that they are good with the hiring of a CEO.    Chair Biondo asked if those officers were “Chiefs”, because he is backing what they decided a year ago.   He is not sure what they have.  Would they change that model back?   Capt. Gibson stated that the chiefs were happy to run the operations as chiefs.  Mansfield-Union said the station captains/chiefs  don’t want to handle budget, human resources, OSHA, etc.     Chief Stinson stated that Management and Leadership were two distinct different things.   The State of Michigan recognizes the Fire Chief as the authority of a Fire Department, per Act 207.    Mansfield said they worked on this for 6 months.  Mansfield said they had to make it work for the station officers and fire fighters.  Popp-Whitewater asked if 207 defines the chief.   Chief Stinson said 207 doesn’t define chief, but it assumes and recognizes there is a Fire Chief and he is the authority in a Fire Department, and it assigns specific legal responsibility and duties to the Fire Chief.   That person can condemn property, can do a lot of things that a paper pusher can’t do.   Popp asked to see that statute and Chief Stinson said he would give him a copy.   Popp asked if they could have a combination of both CEO/Fire Chief.   Popp asked if they had to abide by the 207 statute-authority.    Chairman Biondo said they would have all kinds of applicants.    Chief Stinson said “that in the legal world they recognize the Chief, not the chiefs – the buck stops with the Fire Chief – total responsibility.   It’s the Chief who finds “origin & cause” and if he is wrong who is going to sit on the witness stand?   The Chief has qualifications and certifications to investigate fires properly according the NFPA standards.”

Chairman Biondo said if they want 5 chiefs in 5 jurisdictions they should split up, if they are going to be in business together they need to get someone in charge of it.
Chief Stinson said there would be no consistency in dealing with human resources, discipline issues, etc.    Mansfield-Union said Mike was the only Chief who is fighting the CEO issue.

Chief Stinson said the reason was because the fire board has invested in him – sent him to classes, officer school, conventions, he talks to the Michigan State Fire Marshal, to places to learn these things and he is coming back to tell them what he has learned.

Popp asked who would they go to with human resource issues- how is a chief capable and trained to deal with human resources.    Chief Stinson stated their Fire Officer III has an extensive program dealing with personal relationships, management, that are the exact same things they have been talking about.





Mansfield said he wants the money to go back to the stations because the Administration Office is too top-heavy.   He wants the leadership and pride back at the township level.    Chief Stinson said there would be not be any leadership with the CEO.

Mansfield and Gray said they want the leadership to be at the Township level.  Mansfield stated that a CEO doesn’t deserve the honor- all I want him to do is the day to day ugly functions.   Chief Stinson said that is why they need a Fire Chief because there are day to day ugly functions they deal with.

Chairman Biondo said they would probably get some Chiefs applying, and he wants to get the job posting out there.

Doug Mansfield said he would get with the secretary to send the job posting to various sites.

Board discussed the process to disseminate the applications and appoint a committee.

Motion by Union, supported by Fife Lake to post the job description, and request that the applications be mailed to the Rural Administration Office, to be received by May 15th at 2:00 p.m.    All ayes.  Motion carried.    The Board agreed to appoint a committee of 3 members at the next meeting, and it would be an Agenda item.


NEW BUSINESS:     *Set Board meeting calendar for remainder of 2013.  Tim Trudell changed his Township Board meeting date so is available on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00. Forwerck said she would change her calendar so she could meet the third Wednesday.

Motion by Union, supported by Long Lake to set the Board meeting time the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.   All ayes.  Motion carried.  


*Station #4 Wildfire Skid unitChief Stinson reported they won a grant from the

Mich.Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program in the amount of $4,999.99, to be used.   Rural will pay $9,885.01.    Sparton ERV was the low bid for the unit.  Motion by Grant, supported by Union to approve the purchase of a Skid Unit from Spartan ERV for $13,885.00, and include funds for installation of the Skid Unit.   All ayes.  Motion carried.   


OTHER BUSINESS:    Becca mentioned she had done a CPR course at ‘Fit For You’ gym and received two yearlong membership gift certificates.   She will hold and promote a challenge to be held at the RTC for Rural fire fighters to participate and win the gift certificates.


Forwerck-Fife Lake said they met with the new County Emergency Manager who has a physical fitness program available.


Chief Stinson stated that there was a lot of camaraderie at the Art Bowman funeral.  The Rural Fire Fighters worked together, looked sharp in their dress uniforms, and presented an excellent  image to the public.


No other business.   Meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.