2/26/18 LMRFD fire board meeting 11 am in Meadview

Agenda for Monday’s meeting in Meadview. 

Note: Time changed to 11:00 a.m.


Almost EVERYTHING is in executive session AGAIN!

To shed a little light on the mysterious agenda items:d. Discussion and possible action regarding: Personnel Matter re: Correspondence re: Chief DeMaio; letter of complaint; public apology.

Fire chief Tony DeMaio accused previous LMRFD administrative assistant Ellen Bower at a previous board meeting of poor training of her successor when she retired.

Essentially, the chief is blaming Ellen for his inability to create a SIMPLE report of all ambulance calls to Meadview since 7/16 with the results (transport, DOA, etc.) as I requested about half a year ago.  I was going to order some of the more interesting reports to publish response times and so we can see what kind of services we actually NEED in Meadview, but it’s pretty obvious that he does not want to have the info out there.

I don’t understand why Karen can’t create that report (shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, it’s all on the computer) while she watches her baby sleep or whatever.

I see so much smoke and mirrors at LMRFD, I’m just glad I’m not in the fire district.  Some poor sucker in Meadview just joined  — do these people know what they’re signing up for?

Pay THOUSANDS of dollars FOREVER (unless the district dissolves) for NOTHING with NO chance of EVER having a properly staffed station with ambulance in Meadview — according to LMRFD research.

It is incredibly weird that the cash poor LMRFD pays the administrative assistant Karen Jackson to work from home so she can take care of her baby and then the chief contracted with a temp agency to have Victoria answer the phone, etc.

Not to mention that a Dolanite could be making $20+ hr INSTEAD of paying a TEMP AGENCY!

This is all so weird and I can’t help but wonder WHY the chief keeps paying Karen — it reeks of nepotism or something strange going on.

Is she blackmailing him?

Is he the father of the baby?

What is going on?

That’s of course NOT for the people who pay the salaries to know — executive session.

I’m still waiting for the LMRFD “letter” regarding my posts here and I’d love to actually get into court to find out what’s REALLY going on.

Our lives are on the line.

25 Responses to 2/26/18 LMRFD fire board meeting 11 am in Meadview

  1. Hi Christine. I`m commenting about Karen working from home. Studies show parents who telecommute have less stress and therefore are more productive employees. A benefit for and her employer. And her baby.

    • Mar 7, 2017 @ 08:00 AM 32,917 2 Free Issues of Forbes (Excerpt)
      Are Remote Workers More Productive Than In-Office Workers?

      Larry Alton , Contributor I cover changes to the American workplace. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

      The Problems
      The majority of these studies seem to suggest that working from home is more productive, so why aren’t more businesses allowing it? The truth isn’t so simple, and these complicating factors demonstrate why:
      • Defining productivity. ONE PERSON’S PRODUCTIVITY MAY NOT EQUATE TO ANOTHER’S. Jobs that focus on measurable output, such as outbound phone calls, emails sent, or data gathered may be able to provide a quantitative figure, but that doesn’t account for quality of work.
      • LIMITED EVIDENCE. Even though there have been many studies conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of working from home, remote work is still new, and we’re working with limited evidence.
      • REMOTE WORKER BIAS. People who like working from home are more likely to intentionally work harder to prove that working from home is a benefit to their employer. In addition, remote workers who enjoy their positions are liable to self-report an increase in productivity, Excerpt: (Introspective ability – Even if a participant is trying to be honest, they may lack the introspective ability to provide an accurate response to a question. We are probably all aware of people who appear to view themselves in a completely different light to how others see them. Undoubtedly we are all, to some extent, unable to introspectively assess ourselves completely accurately. Therefore any self-report information we provide may be incorrect despite our best efforts to be honest and accurate.) regardless of whether that increase actually exists. Studying remote employees will always result in these biases, even if measured by an outside authority.
      • DIFFERENT TYPES OF WORK. Call center work is much different than other types of work. What results in an increase in productivity for one position won’t necessarily bear the same increase for another position. Some positions simply can’t be done from home (at least for now).
      • LONG TERM VARIABLES. Most of these studies have taken place over the course of a few months, at most. What we currently lack is a long-term study of productivity. New remote workers may be thrilled to get started, but how do their morale, productivity, and communication skills change over the course of several years?
      • INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES. Some people are better remote workers than others, thanks to their discipline, willpower, HOME ENVIRONMENT, or personal preferences.

      Full Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryalton/2017/03/07/are-remote-workers-more-productive-than-in-office-workers/2/

      To begin with, a Fire District is not the same as a privately owned business. A fire district is taxpayer funded, and the taxpayers OWN the fire station and everything it contains; the taxpayers have rights to access that normal business customers do not.

      The Administrative Assistant position in the LMRFD is a customer service position, with duties to include greeting the public and directing them appropriately; keeping the door to the station open when the crew is out on a call; etc. Additionally, some of the duties required of the AA cannot be done remotely, ie: Records Management, which is required by Arizona Statute and is a time consuming task that must be done in the station for security reasons.

      The taxpayers of the LMRFD, after recovery from insolvency, demanded a return to their historically present and available fire chief and station, with doors open and staff on duty in the office. Taxpayer dollars could have been saved by contracting with a nearby fire district for their chief and administration services. Instead, we pay a premium for our station to be open and available to the public, with someone present who is willing and capable of becoming knowledgeable enough to be of assistance.

      Finally, what happens when the AA decides it’s time to move on? Will she train someone from home? How will she train someone in LMRFD office procedures when she doesn’t know them? Who will restore the functions in the LMRFD office? Who will take care of updating computer and software requirements in the office? We are on a slippery slope right now and our chief needs to correct it.

  2. Can you explain why the chief can’t provide me with a report of Meadview ambulance calls since 7/1/16?

    Have a look at the crappy LMRFD.org website. Full of lies and misrepresentations! They can’t even add a button for an email list with announcements such as meetings.

    And if Karen is MORE productive working from home, why do the people of Dolan Springs and some in Meadview pay for a temp?

    Really need some help understanding that!

    • And why are the meeting minutes ALWAYS late being posted.. and so full of errors that the Board must then spend hours going over them at every meeting? Why were there still 3 months of PAST minutes being discussed/corrected for approval at January’s meeting? The amount of time our Fire Board is spending in meetings because of administrative incompetence is outrageous! The Board needs to take their own minutes. That is standard practice in many AZ Fire Districts.

  3. I agree with the above…she needs to get into the office or resign…sorry she has to care for a love one but this is a business….maybe It’s time for the Mojave County District Attorney or Arizona Attorney General office to open an investigation… Agree why all the back room meetings (executive sessions) what are they hiding? Maybe the Daily Miner should investigate….where are the term limits…..where is the common sense of this board. .shame on the board and chief…shame on Dolan Springs and Meadview for allowing this BS

    • Randy you said, “Agree why all the back room meetings (executive sessions) what are they hiding? Maybe the Daily Miner should investigate.”

      Actually, investigation by some members of the Board and their attempt to gain the data they need to develop personnel policies for the LMRFD Administration Dept is part of the reason they are spending so much time in Executive Session. As noted in the January minutes, see: http://lmrfd.org/minutes/ The Executive Session is currently being used primarily to address the chief’s and admin’s issues…which are required by law to be done in ES. Looking through past minutes, the same issues appear repeatedly. The Board apparently does not receive the requested information from the chief to complete their task, and so it gets tabled to the next meeting. This has been going on for months, with old business piling up on top of new business.

      • I realize the board is “attempting” to do a good job for the communities but asking and telling could be the difference. In the couple of meeting I’ve attended the one common thing I’ve noticed is it appears the board is NOT in charge of the district. The chief is asked and not instructed to provide documents or inquires in the timely and accurate time. The board is NOT holding the chief to the boards time line. The board HAS to tell the chief to provide or complete inquires by a date and not accept his standard answer, I’ll look into it with no time line. Board meetings are taking up to much time on CORRECTING the minutes of the last meeting. If the chief can not follow or complete the boards instructions the board and or the chief better get off their collective butts and get people or individual who can….

        I’ve worked as a loss control inspector doing fire and liability, on site, inspections for some of the largest insurance companies in the US for over 25 years. In that time I’ve attended fire department commission meeting for paid and volunteer, large and small departments in California, New York and New Jersey. In all the meetings I’ve attended I have never seen anything like what I’ve seen here. Words can not describe the in justice and total lack of responsibility exhibited by this commission / board

        • Randy, I sincerely hope you will run for a Board position at the next election. With your inside knowledge and experience you would be a REAL asset to the LMRFD!

  4. Randy, the Miner doesn’t do any investigations, they just report (no staff to investigate).

    What you read here is as close to an investigation as it gets and I don’t have a staff either and am on no payroll, so it is what it is.

    But someone told me that Karen is now in the office 2 days/week and a volunteer also staffs 2 days a week.

    I just cannot understand why they can’t get a COMPETENT administrative assistant. Way back when I first heard about Karen she was supposed to be God’s gift to LMRFD, extremely competent, WordPress savvy, etc.

    The public needs to be able to easily access ALL documentation, be notified by email of meetings and changes, etc.

    I don’t see it.

    Regarding executive meetings, personnel matters are confidential, but it also irritates me greatly that so much is CONSTANTLY discussed in executive sessions.

    Attending almost every board meeting, I had NO idea that they were PAYING Karen this entire time to work at home (still don’t have a clue what she did) until recently.

    There’s something wrong with that.

    It’s the same with the chief’s complaints about postings here — if I didn’t KNOW that he’s talking about HighDesertDIrt.com because it’s my site, I’d have NO idea what he’s talking about.

    And that is wrong.

    • It’s ALL wrong and the board is the main reason this service does no work. I gave one of the board members, sorry don’t remember name, not Charlotte two ways to make money for the district. Time will tell if she proposes it and they act on it.

      • The Board makes decisions based on information provided by the chief and admin. Garbage in, garbage out.

    • Hi Christine. I see there are still no minutes for the February 26 meeting. Deadline is 3 days and we’re going on 2 weeks! I am anxiously awaiting the “updated and accurate” numbers the Board at the JANUARY meeting directed the chief to provide regarding the “Personnel Cost Analysis” I shared with you. As clearly noted on the analysis, it was based on 2015 personnel cost data, because I have been unable to obtain anything more recent. I feel certain that current numbers will indicate an even higher cost per person than my 3 year old analysis revealed. This is public information that the taxpayers are entitled to. Most certainly the Board members should be aware of it as they make financial decisions critical to the survival of the LMRFD.

  5. Also, I tried to SEARCH the minutes and I find NOTHING. I looked for “Berg” and for “chief”, nothing is found.

    This is something I had a problem with when you worked for LMRFD, documents were posted as pictures or non searchable pdfs. I’m guessing that nobody ever showed you how to properly post pdf files so that they are actually useful.

    Now Karen doesn’t know how to post pdfs properly either.

    I can of course volunteer MY time to run each file through OCR, but then it is subject to ERRORS — do we really need of work of files that contain errors because a number is misread by OCR?

    Does anyone here want to VOLUNTEER to check each document for OCR errors? Even the best can miss something.

    This is all so ridiculous.

    • It never was my job to maintain the website. Before insolvency we had tech savvy young guys on the crews who built and maintained the website. After insolvency, they went away to make more money elsewhere. I did the best I could to get the necessary stuff up there. I’m not a website wizard, never claimed to be and don’t have any interest in becoming one.

      The rest of the minutes are below the January minutes. The most recent ones are at the top of the page, and they scroll sideways. February’s aren’t posted yet.

      I don’t know what OCR is.

      • Ellen, it’s Optical Character Recognition — the software scans the document and converts it to text that can be copied and searched.


        Financials are almost useless when you can’t convert the pdf to a spreadsheet.

        It really has nothing to do with the internet or web, but businesses have used pdfs for many years to share documents and get work done efficiently. But of course you need to know HOW to do it.

        Thing is, if you are able to create a pdf such as converting a Word or Excel file and you PROTECT it, you can just as easily NOT protect it by changing the software settings.

        Usually pdfs are protected when you do NOT want readers to copy text and you want to make it extremely difficult to actually analyze the info.

        • And I’m pulling my hair out with these minutes! So I realized that I wasn’t looking at the last minutes, but at the FIRST PAGE of ALL posted minutes and you have to view them sideways.

          I cannot figure out how to download these minutes so I can repost them at the forum, OCR’d, so that one can actually figure out what’s going on in this FUBAR fire district.

          Help!!!! How do I download these minutes?

          • I’m so pissed off now, I’m about ready to file a formal complaint and send a letter to the editor of the Miner.

            LMRFD “might” be complying with the letter of the law by posting these IMAGES of minutes, but I’m getting very close to seriously lobbying to dissolve this BS fire district.

    • There are options. My research indicates that a good number of Arizona Fire District Board Clerks keep the minutes.

      • Who is our board “clerk”? It seems logical to have an employee do it as these meetings are so long and it takes quite a bit of time to prepare the minutes, but it looks like there is no competent employee.

  6. As much as I would love to be on the dysfunctional board, being a snow bird from NY I would feel I was disrespecting the community not being here during the summer months. Besides I could not trust the board in my absence.

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