Meeting Minutes July 2013



The regular meeting of the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Board was called to order at 6:03 p.m., by Chairman Paul Biondo, at 4123 Vance Road, Traverse City, MI 49685.


Roll call – 7 members, a quorum


Fife Lake – Linda Forwerck

Grant – Doug Moyer

Green Lake – Paul Biondo

Long Lake – Karen Rosa

Springfield – Tom Gray

Union – Doug Mansfield

Whitewater – Ron Popp

Chief Bill Sedlacek

Accountant Dave Milliron

Attorney James Young

#2 AC Brian Carpenter

Blair Chief Jim Carroll

#6 Capt. Roger Gibson

Tracy Sedlacek

Excused:  Paradise


AGENDA:    Motion by Union, supported by Long Lake to approve the Revised Agenda.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


MINUTES:   Motion by Springfield, supported by Long Lake to approve the 6/19/13 Minutes as mailed.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


FINANCIAL REPORTS:   Dave gave the Financial Reports.  General Op. Fund – Money Market balance $128,055.58.   Line item #910.000 Fleet & Liability Ins. is overdrawn by $883.00 and #977.000 Machinery & Equipment is overdrawn by $183.80.  There is a recommended Budget Amendment to take care of this.  Next month Dave will need to put more money into #934.000 Vehicle Repair & Maintenance. Public Improvement Fund balance is $1,388.51.

Grant Fund balance is $5.00.

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


BUDGET AMENDMENT:  Increase #910.000 and #977.000 by $1,066.80.   Decrease #992.000 Contingency by $1,066.80.   Motion by Union, supported by Springfield to approve the Budget Amendment as presented.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


C L A I M S:   Pre-Approved $2,634.30.   Motion by Union, supported by Whitewater to accept the Pre-Approved Claims.   All ayes.  Motion carried.   (Pre-approved in June – Wildfire Skid Unit).

Open Invoices $39,188.12.   Motion by Long Lake, supported by Fife Lake to approve the Open Invoices in the amount of $39,188.12.   All ayes.  Motion carried.




Claims continued:


Payrolls:   6/6 – $4,225.89  and 6/20 – $3,914.15.   Motion by Union, supported by Fife Lake to approve the payrolls.   All ayes.  Motion carried.


CORRESPONDENCE:   Chief Mike Stinson Acting Chief resignation letter.  Discussion.

Rosa-Long Lake asked about the last page, next to last sentence “I also stand with Supervisor Biondo in his recent statement at a Rural Board meeting that unless we install a proper command structure, “We are out”.    Chair Biondo stated he said it because they need structure, and he and his Board are looking at it.  Motion by Union, supported by Springfield to accept the letter from Chief Mike Stinson stating his resignation as Acting Chief, with all the thanks and respect that went with the position.   All ayes.  Motion carried.    Chairman Biondo said Mike is a great resource to discuss things with.  Popp-Whitewater said he was surprised that Mike would leave them in this position, and he remembers Paul saying the words Mike wrote.   Discussion about the Policy book, which would have to be changed if they didn’t have a Chief.  Mansfield-Union said him and Trudell went over those items with the station chiefs that Mike listed in his letter.

Chief Sedlacek said those who called about the job posting asked what the pay scale was.  The Board said they should tell them what Bill is paid.   Union said they don’t want to hire someone who is using the position as a stepping stone to retirement, because they want someone who will be around awhile.


Correspondence from Green Lake Trustee Pat McDonald – FOIA request for copy of Rural Agreement, Audit, Budget, June and July minutes, and copies of future minutes for 6 months.

Chairman Biondo said Pat was doing due-diligence.




Budget/Finance:  No report

Equipment:    Union asked about equipment repairs and if they should double the money in the next Budget.  They had 2 trucks that needed radiators.   Brian Carpenter of  EVP said it’s usually electronics problems.   Popp-Whitewater said he encourages the Board to go out continually for bids for truck repairs.   Popp said there is a discrepancy in repair costs.  Chief Sedlacek told him they go out for bids, and repairs are done in house rather than taking a truck somewhere else. They need to keep the trucks in-service.  Brian said EVP had nothing to do with the radiator repairs, he found someone to do the work. They often sub-contract repairs.  They can’t control what repairs are needed.   Dave said inspections, ladders, etc are in the line item and he could break it down.   Discussed truck mileage, engine types, truck age.   Discussion about the Ladder truck from the GT Band.   It is too costly to maintain, even though the Band paid for some of the equipment.


CHIEF SEDLACEK:    Chairman Biondo informed the Board that today was Bill’s birthday, and they wished him “Happy Birthday”.      Chief Sedlacek said they have received 16 job resumes so far.   There are a number of people who plan on applying.   Union said it’s public information of what the Chief’s salary is so applicants can be told what Bill makes.  Chairman Biondo stated that the insurance will be canceled for Mike and Bill and they needed two people to make a “group” for better rates.



Chief Sedlacek said that since they are in dire straits without Mike, he would be willing to stay on a few more months.  The Board said they also need another Acting Chief.   Union said they had human resource and MIOSHA issues to worry about.

Chief Sedlacek stated they had 2 people who wanted to go to a State Fire Inspections School.  The State said Rural is not compliant with NFIRS so they wouldn’t allow Rural people to attend.   There was a grant element involved.  Julie explained that even when they enter reports they don’t get her the field reports.    She said she needs the hard copy to make sure it matches what was entered.    There are human error mistakes she corrects.   Linda – Fife Lake asked if reports could be faxed.  (They can).   Union said Julie appears to be editing reports prepared by the Chief.  She said she usually corrects the code entered if it’s the wrong code.  The narratives also have to match.


H&SO:   Excused due to surgery.   She can only work light duty for short time periods.   Union said her position has expanded.   She has taken initiative to do extra work.   It’s in the policy book.  After the MIOSHA issues -she voluntarily took that task on so that Rural is compliant.


RTC:    Chief Sedlack stated there are no classes now.  They are doing maintenance on the buildings.


ATTORNEY:    James Young in attendance.  Attorney Young said Bill’s consulting contract expires at the end of July.  Young said if Bill continues in the consultant capacity he would draft something that extends his status – puts it in writing.    Attorney Young said he is concerned about liability if they don’t also have another Acting Chief.   Bill agreed to continue as consultant, and they need to appoint another Acting Chief.   Bill said he would like to continue doing what he is doing now.  Young said he was concerned Bill would be hurting himself if he was an employee rather than consultant.  It is simpler to extend the consulting contract.  There is no insurance now, and they would add the cost of insurance to his consultant income.  Discussed length of contract.   Union stated he was all for Bill continuing the consultant contract for 4 months.   Bill said he was willing to continue as he has been with some compensation for the insurance-he will start collecting Medicare.   Motion made by Union, supported by Fife Lake     to continue Bills consultation contract for a compensation package of $2,500.00 per month through November 14, 2013.  All ayes.  Motion carried.  Bill said that was fine with him.   Moyer-Grant asked if Bill’s contract would continue if they hired someone before November 14.  Union said the new hire would have the benefit of Bill if they wanted.   They need to appoint an Acting Chief.   Roger Gibson said they should let the station chiefs continue as is for the next few months.  Linda-Fife Lake asked if they could appoint someone or if they had to go through a process.  Union asked if Roger’s job application would be compromised by being appointed temporary Acting Chief.  Atty. Young said they need a temporary Acting Chief to avoid any problems.   There is no conflict if Roger accepts the position.    Union said discussions and interviews will be public.

Popp-Whitewater said they should throw it out to the stations to see if anyone else would be interested in being temporary Acting Chief.   Julie asked if the Acting Chief would have to work in this office, because Mike didn’t have time.   They said he would have to come in sometimes because of operational matters.    Chairman Biondo said they had to make decisions tonight.

Springfield asked Chief Sedlacek if he thought Roger was qualified to be Acting Chief on a temporary basis.




Chief Sedlacek stated he worked with Roger for 30 years and has no problem with him- as far as the personal thing that goes on with him and Julie- they will just have to get over it.  Springfield said they were adults and this is their job- he expects Roger and Julie to work together- they don’t have to like each other.   Ron Popp asked if #10 Capt. was going to apply for the job opening.  Karen said she didn’t think he was going to apply but said he offered to help out if needed since Mike left.   Chief Sedlacek recommended they appoint Roger.   Roger was asked if he would take the pay Mike was getting.   He answered yes.  They asked Bill who he would have picked for Deputy Chief/Acting Chief if Mike had not done it.  Bill said Roger. They would pay Roger $1,083.00 monthly with contract ending November 14th.  Roger said he is self-employed and semi-retired so he can do the job.  Roger said he and Bill have had a good relationship for 30 years.  Roger said his only concern was they have one station chief out there they need to worry about – and that is having one person identify a fire scene and have a handle on it.   Roger said he was qualified to investigate and call suspicious fires.

Motion by Union, supported by Long Lake to appoint Capt. Roger Gibson as interim Acting Chief for $1,083.00 a month, starting on July 18, 2013, as an at-will employee, and contract ending November 14, 2013.   All ayes.  Motion carried.

Attorney Young will create the contracts.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS:    *Mayfield Service Contract.  Tim Trudell was going to speak to John Ockert.   Brian Carpenter said he was at the last Mayfield Board meeting and they said they would address the contract in August, and they are not going to have the contract say retroactive from January.    Chairman Biondo said they extended the time frame to July 31st.   Springfield wants to send them an invoice.  The Board doesn’t want to keep making extensions.  They will send Mayfield a notice.   Motion by Grant, supported by Union to extend Rural services until August 15th, to give them time to send back the Rural Agreement.     6 ayes     1 nay- Whitewater.  


*Buckley Service Agreement – Paul Biondo signed it.


PUBLIC INPUT:    Roger Gibson stated he is setting up an Officer/Chief meeting in Fife Lake on the July 29th at 7:00 p.m.


Linda Forwerck said she and Karen Rosa worked on a plaque for Marie Dean.  Linda went to Trophy Trolley for 9×12 plaque that says Supervisor Marie Dean for 20 years of service to Paradise Township.    Put in years.   Signed by Chair – Rural Fire Board and Chief Bill Sedlacek.

Board approved.


The ad hoc committee (Forwerck, Rosa, Trudell) will meet August 7 at 6:00 p.m. to sort and pre-filter the resumes.    They will present the selected resumes and recommendations at the next meeting August 21.   They will record the Ad Hoc meeting.  It will be posted.


Meeting adjourned 7:57 p.m.