Board of Commissioners Unofficial Regular Meeting Minutes October 18, 2016← Back
~~ St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 1
Board of Commissioners
October 18, 2016
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.
The prayer and pledge of allegiance were done.
ROLL CALL: Chairman Crowley and Commissioners Brackett, Hoying, Rich and Gay were present.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION-
Citizen’s Academy Recognitions: Solutions (absent), A-1 Wrecker Service (absent), Acadian Ambulance
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Commissioner Brackett made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 20, 2016 meeting. Commissioner Rich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
OLD BUSINESS – (none)
NEW BUSINESS –
1. Chief’s Report
a.) 2017 Budget Discussion- Chief Kaufmann stated that the draft was sent out and there were no questions; therefore, he asked that the Board vote to advertise the budget (Resolution under PMI).
Commissioner Gay stated that he was very impressed with the process and how all of the numbers were justified and carefully considered.
Chief Kaufmann stated that with regards to the revenue, the most accurate, actual number that we currently received was used to project the revenue which is more accurate than the Assessor’s recommendation.
b.) 2016 Budget Revision Discussion- Chief Kaufmann stated that if revenues/expenditures exceed 5%, a budget revision will need to be done
Commissioner Hoying inquired as to whether we were making progress with the Assessor’s office on getting better numbers. Chief Kaufmann stated that we received a draft of a tax roll, with a statement that homestead exemptions have been filed, and the tax roll is not certified.
Chief Kaufmann stated that he was verbally told that the majority of the Summit appealed their taxes.
Attorney Ingram stated that he was told that there were 100 appeals made to the Parish Council and 15 of those appeals were reviewed. He is unsure of how many were granted.
c.) Update- Station 13/HQ – Chief Kaufmann stated that we are finalizing the plans and will be selecting a soil testing company. He further stated that we will likely be advertising in December.
d.) Public Campaign/ Outreach- Fire Prevention Month- Chief Kaufmann stated that numerous presentations have been done and tonight is Night Out Against Crime and we have our personnel are attending several neighborhood functions. The Crossgates HOA requested to use Station 14 for their event, and they were granted permission to do it.
e.) Operations Report- Chief Kaufmann discussed the “Operations” report (September) which covers YTD call totals, Hydrants Inspected, NFIRS Incidents, Dollar Loss/ Dollar Save (by Station location), Average Response Time (by Station) and EMS Call Type and Number of Incidents.
f.) Fire Prevention Report- Chief of Administration Duffaut discussed the monthly “Fire Prevention” report (September) which included Inspections, Public Fire Safety & Education Events, Investigations, and Economic Impact.
Commissioner Hoying inquired as to whether a correlation has been done with the number of inspections vs. the number of fires. Chief Duffaut stated that he has researched the topic through the National Fire Academy (NFA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and found they concluded there is no definitive measurable correlation, other than the number of inspections and amount of fire education conducted does reduce the number of fires. Chief Duffaut stated that the Fire Prevention end of the year report will show the last five years trend on the number of fires, inspections, and educational events.
g.) Training Report – Chief Kaufmann discussed the “Training” report (September) which included Classes, Certifications and Revenues.
Chief Kaufmann stated that we are working with the PIAL consultant on the many changes involved with the PIAL rating standards. The rating will be complete by June 2017.
h.) Maintenance Report- Chief Kaufmann discussed the “Maintenance” report (September) which covered preventative maintenances and major repairs performed.
i.) Realized Costs Associated with Responding to Former Commissioner McDonald’s request- (to be discussed under “Attorney” report)
Commissioner Brackett made a motion to accept the Chief’s report. Commissioner Hoying seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
2. SFFA (Slidell Firefighters Association)
• MDA Book Shake- December 10, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., at Gause and Rue Rochelle. This year the fire stations will also be open for anyone that wants to make any donations.
3. PMI Report- (presented by Chad Danenhower)
a.) Employee Benefits
1) Open Enrollment- Complete
b.) Human Resource
1) 2016-045: BOC Resolution (Advertise 2017 Budget)
Commissioner Hoying made a motion to adopt Resolution 2016-045, Relating to the Advertisement of the 2017 Budget for District No.1. Commissioner Brackett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
c.) Payroll – (none)
d.) FRS (Firefighters Retirement System) – (none)
e.) VFIS Special Risk Insurance & LWCC
1) LWCC Renewal 6.1% Rate Reduction : Effective 11/01/2016: Coverage Bound
Commissioner Brackett made a motion to accept the PMI report. Commissioner Rich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
4. Duplantier Hrapman Hogan & Maher, LLP- Mr. DiGiovanni discussed the September financial report.
Commissioner Gay made a motion to accept the September financial report. Commissioner Brackett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
5. Attorney’s Report-
a.) Attorney General Response to Allegations - The Attorney General’s office has determined that there is insufficient cause for the Attorney General’s office to institute enforcement proceedings for alleged allegations regarding the open meetings law and the complaint has been dismissed.
Attorney Ingram stated that Mr. McDonald served a public record request relative to documents concerning the architectural RFQ and he delivered him approx. 131 pages.
Attorney Ingram stated that he was asked to give an assessment as to what it has cost for work related to complaints generated by Mr. McDonald while he was a Commissioner, or against him while he was a Commissioner.
Chairman Crowley inquired about the process for handling public record requests. Commissioner Brackett stated that there is no process; however, it has to be in a formal format.
Commissioner Hoying stated that there is a cost associated with preparing the response for the requests and he feels like we should be reimbursed for the costs involved, to the extent that the law allows. Attorney Ingram stated that the Board has adopted, by Resolution, a $25.00 administrative fee, and a cost per page fee of .25. He further explained the internal process that has been implemented between the Chief of Administration and himself.
Chairman Crowley addressed Mr. McDonald stating that we have spent just under $30,000, over the last two years, in answering his requests, while he states that he’s trying to do good for the taxpayers. Chairman Crowley stated that Mr. McDonald, while a Commissioner, had full access to anything he needed; however, he feels that he is still searching for something and asked Mr. McDonald what it is that he’s looking for. Mr. McDonald stated that he would not have to make a request if he could just ask a question and get an answer and he has done “Letters to the Editor” to get others involved. Chairman Crowley inquired as to when he didn’t get an answer to a question(s). Mr. McDonald stated that he tried on one occasion and it didn’t work, so he will did it through official channels.
Chief Kaufmann stated that after the Board meeting last month, citizen McDonald handed him an envelope that said, “Fire Chief Chris Kaufmann”. He further stated that he is responsible for the day-to-day operations and he believes that with all the previous actions, as well as his continued actions, that he is being harassed and will be seeking personal legal counsel due to this not stopping. Chief Kaufmann stated that he was appalled at the amount of money spent in dealing with Mr. McDonald’s “conspiracy theory” that we are doing something wrong. He stated that we are totally transparent and do everything above board. Chief Kaufmann stated that he did not shake Mr. McDonald’s hand tonight, as he has no friendly business to do with him and will continue to keep his conduct professional.
Chairman Crowley inquired about the “open door” policy that we have. Chief Kaufmann stated that we have had an “open door” policy in effect for years and the questions that Mr. McDonald is asking could have easily been answered, instead, it’s costing the taxpayer’s money.
Chairman Crowley stated that he would like to help Mr. McDonald with anything he may need, and asked if there was anything he needed. Mr. McDonald replied, “not at this time”.
Mr. DiGiovanni stated that he welcomes Mr. McDonald’s help; however, it feels like it is
harassment, not help.
Chief Kaufmann stated that Commissioner Hoying gave the direction for the process to select an architect, wanting detailed documentation, etc. and Mr. McDonald was in the audience when all of that was discussed. He further stated that he feels Mr. McDonald is looking for something wrong, even though this was all done in an open meeting and in compliance.
Commissioner Gay made a motion to accept the Attorney report. Commissioner Brackett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
6. Board comments
Commissioner Brackett made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Rich seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 7:06 p.m.