Meeting Minutes January 2014



The regular meeting of the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Board was called to order at 6:00 p.m., by Chairman Paul Biondo, at 4123 Vance Road, Traverse City, MI  49685.


Roll call – 8 members, a quorum




Fife Lake – Linda Forwerck

Grant – Doug Mansfield

Green Lake – Paul Biondo

Long Lake – Karen Rosa

Paradise – Tim Trudell

Springfield – Tom Gray

Union – Doug Mansfield

Whitewater – Ron Popp

Chief Theo Weber

Dave Milliron – Accountant

#2 Capt. Brian Carpenter

#2 Lt Ken Fritz

Blair Chief Jim Carroll

John Ockert – Mayfield Supervisor

Sherry Sprenger – Public

Dave Petrove – Ret FF – Public

AGENDA:   Motion by Union, supported by Springfield to approve the agenda with addition of “Treasurer” under New Business Appoint Chair & Vice Chair (and Treasurer).  All ayes.  Motion carried.


MINUTES:   Motion by Union, supported by Fife Lake to approve the 12/18/13 Minutes as presented.   All ayes.  Motion carried.


FINANCIAL REPORTS:   Dave Milliron gave reports.  General Operating Fund Money Market balance is $124,768.25.  There are a few line items over drawn.  There will be more adjustments later.   Revenues have increased.  Fund balance has increased by $20,000.00.

Public Improvement Fund:  $1,389.58

Grant Fund:   $5.00

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


2013 BUDGET AMENDMENTS:   Increase Revenues #670.000, #669.004, #669.000 to total $12,526.12.   Decrease Expenditures #743.000, #760.000, #801.000, #850.000, #923.000, #990.000, and #992.000 to total $12,526.12.    Motion by Union, supported by Paradise to approve the Budget Amendments as presented.  All ayes.  Motion carried.



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CLAIMS:   Pre-Authorized – $4,323.97.  Motion by Long Lake, supported by Springfield to approve the Pre-Authorized Claims.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


Open Invoices- $67,011.07.   Motion by Springfield, supported by Union to approve the Open Invoices.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


Payrolls:  12/05 – $7,129.75 and 12/19 – $7,070.86.  Correction made to 12/19 Payroll amount – extra zero removed.   Motion by Union, supported by Fife Lake to approve the payrolls with correction.  7 Ayes    1 Nay (Whitewater).  Motion carried.


Correspondence:   None.   Chair Biondo commented and complimented Chief Weber on the article in the Record Eagle.

Reports:    No Reports.


CHIEF WEBER:    (See Activity Report).    Chief Weber reported he updated Rural Fire Dept.  personnel listing with the Fire Fighter Training Council, and the State Fire Marshal’s office.


Chief Weber reported he worked on two new policies.   A “Code of Ethics” policy and a “Social Media” policy.


Chief Weber has not heard back from the MIOSHA inspector.


Chief Weber reported Engine 3 was hit by one of Clearwater Fire Dept. trucks at a Fire Scene due to a slippery road.    Insurance Company has taken care of it.

Chief Weber reported it was discovered that Engine 6 had been backed into one of the protective posts in the garage a few months ago, and was not reported.  They contacted the insurance company and it is in the process of being repaired.


Chief Weber reported they have had several structure fires.  The Miller Road fire had a life saved by heroic efforts of fire fighters.   There was a loss of life at the Hanna Road Fire.  There were challenges due to lack of access and delivery of water.


Chief Weber reported on a command change at Station #6.   Kyle Bonter was promoted to Probationary Lt.    Lt. Ken Fritz is #6 Acting Captain overseeing the station and showing Lt Bonter the ropes as well as the rest of the staff.    Station #2 has changes with the Retirement of Ron Hollister and Brian Carpenter was promoted to Probationary Captain.   Tim Shaffer is retiring from Station #3.


Chief Weber attended a Fire Chief 101 training seminar in Saginaw.   It was valuable training that will help him do his job.


Chief Weber reported they copied a Liability Waiver form used by the Traverse City Fire Dept. and approved by their attorney.   The Liability Waiver form will be used to limit their liability on CO2 calls.


Chief Weber reported the Required Training Schedule is complete for 2014.   Each training is offered 3 times a month at different stations in order to accommodate all of the fire fighters.

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Chief Report continued:  


Chief Weber reported they started the physicals for this year.  Letters have gone out.


Chief Weber attended an Arson Training and will attend a Public Information Workshop.


Chief Weber issued a purchase order for the new “Cloud” software and the new computers.  He attended a couple meetings regarding the new Website and initiated a work order.   They will have computers in a couple weeks and Fire House up and running with Cloud in 4-6 weeks, and the Website in 4 weeks.


Chief Weber had a committee meeting regarding their duty uniforms-what they want their uniforms to look like in every station and build uniformity in the system.


Chief Weber asked the Fire Board if they could form an Ad Hoc committee to study the issues of compensation and staffing.    This is a big issue because it is done differently in each station.  It creates a management difficulty for the staff, and unfair “ball-field” for the fire fighters, where if they work at Station 3 they get paid one way, and work at Station 4 and get paid another way.  This creates difficulty in managing personnel and difficulty when they get unemployment claims to the Admin office, when they should be going to the Townships because the Townships compensate the employees and not Rural.   Tim Trudell- Paradise agreed.   Trudell thanked Theo for the good job he is doing.   Gray-Springfield said the Ad Hoc Committee should be members who are actually paying their stations.   Fife Lake only gets paid by points.   Theo needs to know the way each Township pays their fire fighters.   Chair Biondo said they could bring it back at the February meeting.   Mansfield-Union said they should take their suggestions to an analyst and look at legalities of what they are doing.   Union thought June would be more realistic.   They will put it on the February Agenda.


Chief Weber asked the Fire Board what he should do with surplus, broken, and out of date gear and equipment.   Some have a little value, some have no value.   Trudell-Paradise told Chief Weber to contact him when he is ready to get rid of surplus because he has a source that can re-cycle it.

Forwerck-Fife Lake said they have a museum that they have put old antiquated equipment in.


RTC:    Chief Weber reported they had a meeting in December.  They paid bills.  The Budget is balanced.   Dave Milliron takes care of the books and does an excellent job.  Increase in enrollment for the Officer classes thanks to Rural.

Attorney:   Excused.


UNFINISHED/OLD BUSINESS:   *Insurance Policy-Increase liability.   Discussion.  Motion by Union, supported by Paradise to increase the liability to 3 million (per occurrence) for $673.00 more a year.  All ayes.  Motion carried.   


*Lease Agreement.  Chief Weber spoke to the landlord.  They are currently on a month to month basis.   The Board wants to have 60 days to leave if terminated.   They would like the attorney to write an addendum with a 60 day “out clause. Moyer-Grant asked if they were responsible for the furnace replacement if it was needed.   Rural is responsible for maintenance.   Discussed having preventative maintenance on furnace and air conditioning.  They would like the attorney to look at the rental agreement.  Chief Weber will handle it.   They will put the Lease Agreement on the February agenda.

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NEW BUSINESS: *Appoint Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Committee members.

Motion by Green Lake, supported by Long Lake to appoint Tim Trudell-Paradise as the new Chair.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


Doug Mansfield said he could do it one more year but will be too busy after that.  Motion by Fife Lake, supported by Springfield to appoint Doug Mansfield-Union as the Vice-Chair.   All ayes.  Motion carried.


Trudell nominated Linda Forwerck as Treasurer and she declined.   Motion by Union, supported by Springfield to appoint Karen Rosa-Long Lake as Treasurer.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


Chairman Paul Biondo told the Board he had a great experience being the Chair.  The Board thanked him for the years he put in.


*Appoint Committee Members.   Mansfield-Union wondered if the Committees were pertinent.

Chair Biondo said that the Agreement mentions having Committees.   He wondered if they should decide next month.    They read the agreement and it only mentions the Personnel committee.

Standing Committees can be formed when they are needed, such as a Budget/Finance Committee.

Discussion.   The Board decided not to re-appoint committee members.   Popp-Whitewater asked if new policies should go to the Board for approval.   Trudell-Paradise agreed.    Chief Weber said their Policy & Procedure book is mostly operational policies.   Chief Weber said he would like to number each policy and put them in a logical order.   It will always be reviewed, updated and discussed with the Station Officers.   Popp- Whitewater wondered if the book could be divided into two sections – an Operational section, and a Human Resource section.


*Approve Meeting Calendar for 2014.   Meetings will be the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.     Motion by Union, supported by Paradise to approve the 2014 Meeting Calendar as presented.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


PUBLIC INPUT:   Sherry Sprenger said she stopped in to say something good.    Sherry has heard great things about Chief Weber.   She heard he is taking things on and making changes.  She is happy about that.


Chief Weber told the Board he was doing an interview Monday with Jack O’Malley.   In February he is meeting with Wayne Schmidt in Lansing regarding the ISO laws and ratings, to help improve insurance rates to our residents.  Chief Weber said water supply is the most important issue in ISO.



Trudell-Paradise told Dave that instead of having open accounts there is a “Procurement Card” that can be used by Officers to go anywhere and charge it.


OTHER BUSINESS:   Chair Biondo mentioned Julie sent him an email and he didn’t respond.   Julie said she wanted to ask the Board if they would rescind the complaint they filed against her with the County.  The Board members asked what complaint.   Julie stated someone from the Fire Board filed a complaint, and there was no Board vote- Julie wondered if everyone was polled about it.



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Other Business continued – Complaint 


Forwerck-Fife Lake said she hadn’t heard about it.   Julie said “There was an email from Doug Mansfield, and something from Whitewater Townships Treasurer’s who criticized me and doesn’t even know me.   (8/8/13)  The County Human Resource Director came to this office and told me that a few members filed a complaint against me.”   Chair Biondo said there was a ‘write-up’ issue.   Chief Sedlacek was present when Jen Seman came in.  Julie stated that someone called Jim Young and complained and had him file the Complaint.   Popp-Whitewater asked if they paid Jim Young.  There were a few emails about Julie voicing things in the Board meetings that she wasn’t supposed to.   Julie said she didn’t want that on her record after 21 years.  Doug Mansfield said it happened  six months ago and he received an email from Julie, but he didn’t remember what incident it was.  Doug said it was about emails he received.   Chairman Biondo said it wasn’t Board action, it was a personnel issue.   Julie said she had asked Jen Seman if the Fire Board voted. Jen Seman said a few people complained.  Forwerck-Fife Lake wondered if Theo could look into it.   Julie said it has been hanging over her head and it was upsetting.


No other business.   Meeting adjourned at 7:38 p.m.