LMRFD board meeting in Meadview on Monday 8/27/18

Monday 8/27/18 at the Meadview MCA at 1:30 pm

I posted the agenda at the forum:

https://forum.highdesertdirt.com/mohave/2018-august/8-27-18-lmrfd-board-meeting-agenda/

My comments about the executive session in BLUE.

6) EXECUTIVE SESSION.
1. Board of Directors may vote to go into Executive Session for legal advice pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03(A)(3), for possible direction to legal counsel pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03 (A)(4) and for personnel matters pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03 (A)(1) for the following matters:

c. Discussion regarding: Karen Jackson personnel matter. (Kiffer) 
Karen is the world’s most incompetent “administrative assistant.” I can’t believe the board failed to MAKE the chief fire her.   FIRE them BOTH!

d. Discussion regarding: Personnel Matter; possible letter of reprimand. (Terrill)
I think this is about the chief writing a giant check without board approval

e. Discussion regarding: Letter of Complaint re: Director Cass; ethics issues. (Board)
I think this is about Debbie Cass refusing to appoint Ellen for the board vacancy after Rick Sherwood’s resignation because she has someone else in mind for the position.

f. Discussion regarding: Personnel Matter; Interim Fire Chief Contract.(Board/Administration)
I’ve seen this on the agenda for MONTHS. FIRE him!

g. Discussion regarding: Board vacancy issue; Karash documentation. (Board) Don’t know what that is, why is this in the executive session?

h. Discussion regarding: travel reimbursement for Board Members. (Kiffer)
I cannot believe that this is an issue for EXECUTIVE SESSION. BS!!! Not to mention that this isn’t even anything to discuss.  They do NOT get paid anything, AT LEAST they’re entitled to get mileage reimbursement.

i. Discussion regarding: legal fees re: annexation issue. (Kiffer)
[Why is that in executive session?  I’m AGAINST annexation because I don’t want to pay one penny for this BS!]

I can’t figure out how Charlotte Kiffer can stand it. 

As you can see, she is usually the only board member to actually give a damn and get stuff on the agenda.  Eric Terrill also contributes.

This is a disaster and I’m just glad I’m not paying for this BS.

http://lmrfd.org is a nightmare.

I had hoped that they would actually put up a functioning website, but no such luck.  Aside from the agenda on the front page (uploaded as horrific images instead of pdf file), I can’t get to any documents.

Debbie Cass needs to be voted out, I’d love to see Theodora Koeppen (Meadview) on the board.

She’s been attending the board meetings and she can kick ass.   She joined the fire district over half a year ago, but the COUNTY is not getting it done.

Supervisor Jean Bishop spoke about this at the last meeting and maybe it’s easier to understand what she said on my video, I didn’t get most of what she said.  At the Dolan meeting the swamp cooler is so loud, at the MCA the echo is so bad.

We sit there like the village idiots, can’t hear much of what’s said and don’t get any of the documents they’re looking at  …

And of course they didn’t post the minutes of last meeting!

I’m sending this to Jean Bishop for an explanation.

We don’t need the County sabotaging LMRFD, it’s bad enough as it is.

45 Responses to LMRFD board meeting in Meadview on Monday 8/27/18

  1. Re: EXECUTIVE SESSION ITEM H.; travel reimbursement for Board Members. In Executive Session because the attorney is being consulted. That is one of my gripes. WHY are taxpayer $$ being wasted consulting the attorney on this? We have a couple of Board Members who refuse to take responsibility and vote for anything. The A.R.S. clearly allows “reimbursement” to Board Members for costs associated with the performance of their duties. That is not obscure in any way. Our FD is unusually spread out and Board Members traveling 60+ miles to meetings should at least have their fuel costs reimbursed.

  2. Ellen, I totally agree! I’d really like to know how much is wasted on legal fees every year.

    Also, there is NO requirement to go into executive session just because an attorney is being consulted.

    https://www.azleg.gov/ars/38/00431-03.htm

    A. Upon a public majority vote of the members constituting a quorum, a public body may hold an executive session but only for the following purposes:

    It’s “may”, not “must.” Why should the discussion of reimbursement be secret?

    And that goes for MOST executive agenda items except possibly personnel issues. This needs to change.

  3. I have been in touch with fire commissioners in NY and CA and have obtained a number of reasonable ways to establish and maintain a fire commission that will serve the communities along PFR.

    Upon my return in September I will be burning up the phone lines, so to speak, to make legal changes to the fire commission and district.

    I have also received legal advise from family attorneys in AZ on how to make legal changes to personal and policies.

    Enough of the current way the fire district and commission operate and perform their duties.

    Randy Stults

    • Randy will you please, please PLEASE come to the LMRFD Board meeting in September (should be the 4th Monday, 1:30 p.m. in Dolan Springs at the Chamber of Commerce Building, unless something changes) and present your information? We hope by then to have a quorum of reasonable minded individuals on the Board to consider your new discoveries and hopefully work with you to make the needed changes.

      • IWe are return to Meadview end of Sept and I’ll be at the Oct meeting but until I have my i’s dotted and t’s cross no info will be provided. I need to talk to the in people in both Meadview and Dolan Springs. I still pondering if I want to talk to Bishop or just board side her.

  4. None of this has anything to do with Jean Bishop. And Ellen, do you remember what the time limit is for the public?

    As I recall, it’s the ONLY initiative Deb Cass ever took, limiting the time for the public.

    As if we had a lot of input from the public!

    3 minutes or 5 minutes?

  5. Hi my name is Ted Doyle. I am on your side and agree the county has no right to condemn your homes. Also I see talk of you wanting to abolish the fire department. I just left California 2 years ago because we are forced to have a fire department unless we came up with 50% + 1 of no votes. That’s right we needed to come up with no votes or they were on our property tax bill they got away with it. I called the governor I called the senator I even called Washington and all of them said it sounds like a local problem. It is corruption. And how they do it is they start with a volunteer fire department for years and then they get somehow permission to become a county entity and through trickery they are on your property tax bill. Their pensions become huge and the chief ends up getting over a hundred thousand K per year. Corruption is coming to Arizona and it sounds like it’s Landing up your way in meadview and the surrounding area. What can I do to help. They have no right to tell you how to build or where you can build unless they tell you before you get there. It is wrong for them to come and just show up and tell you to tear down your house or condemn it how can I help?

  6. Ted you are wrong…we live on Nassai County, Long Island, NY during the summer and prior to that I lived in the San Francisco Bay area. I was in total shock when I learned about fire departments on Long Island (LI). Oh we are stoned throw from Queens. Nassau County has a population of approx. 1.55 million and are you ready for this. 72 volunteer fire deapatments with an estimated 10,000 fire fighters and EMS personal. And boy do we pay for it. None of the members of our department are paid including the chiefs or commissioners. Their operating budget comes from county taxes. Last year the resisents were taxed and unable to fight for a operating budget of 1.25 million for approx. 6,000 residents. You call and they show up in force.

    California needs paid fire fighters and you shouldn’t have complained. Yes the chief salaries might be high but when it counts all the training and classes most CA chief are required to take to get to that position will benefit everyone in an emergency.

    As far as Meadview goes they have been ripped off and are still being ripped off by the fire department and commission.

    We will be returning next month and I will be working diligently to right that ship. I have lived in areas where there is the best and I will work to get that in Mohave County.
    .

    • Randy, “operating budget of 1.25 million for approx. 6,000 residents.” That’s about 25% more than our budget and population. But I’m guessing that our covered area is much larger and EVERYBODY is paid.

      The money isn’t nearly as big a problem as the lack of qualified directors. You should have been at the meeting last Monday. It was revealed that chair woman Cass ran up LMRFD legal bills by consulting with the LMRFD contracted attorney about suing Charlotte. Charlotte is the one board member doing more work than the rest together.

      LMRFD is the attoreney’s cash cow. Typically fire districts our size spend about 5 – 10k/year on legal according to the accountant Gabe. LMRFD $30k or more. We don’t even KNOW exactly how much.

      There is NO transparency, I can’t even remember the last meeting without an executive session.

      All I see is incompetence and corruption by most of the board and especially the chief.

      • Spot on Christine on ALL points! I was APPALLED when I heard in the meeting that Cass ran up $800 in FD Attorney bills for no reason other than to shut Charlotte up! Those are taxpayer $$ she spent and she needs to PAY IT BACK! The attorney who participated in her unethical and probably illegal behavior needs to be fired as well! Cass needs to be removed from the Chairperson position. She proves over and over again her biased inability to make rational judgment calls. She votes consistently against holding the chief or the AA accountable for their actions. CHARLOTTE, along with ERIC TERRILL have done their best to take care of the people’s business, but without a 3rd Board member casting votes in favor of the people instead of covering for the chief, nothing moves forward. The Fire Board election in November is an opportunity to vote for a 3rd Board member who WILL back them up. If elected, I WILL be that third voice FOR THE TAXPAYERS OF OUR FIRE DISTRICT:

        I WILL help keep a tight rein on spending to avoid a repeat of the 2013 financial collapse of the District;

        I WILL vote to put our Administrative staff back in the office full time, with the doors open during business hours to serve you;

        I WILL vote for the District to provide a more economical Chief’s vehicle so your brush truck can remain available in District;

        I WILL vote for transparency so you get information you are seeking, easily;

        I WILL volunteer to prepare your Fire District meeting information, agendas, minutes, financial information, etc., to be posted as legally required in a timely manner, with the option of receiving it via email;

        I WILL work with your Board to pursue funding to provide more firefighter/EMS coverage in Meadview;

        I WILL work to assure a more user friendly, informative Fire District website.

        There is much that can be done to improve our Fire District. It won’t happen as long as there are a few people on the Board more interested in pursuing personal agendas and covering up for incompetence than they are in pursuing service to their constituents!

        • I have been to dozens of different fire commisson meetings between CA and NY for my former profession. Not a single commission felt the need to waste money on fancy embroidered shirts. Seems this commissions feels those matching shirts fuel the brain cells.

          Please stop any purchase of a cheif’s vehicle that will be converted into a fire fighting vehicle. There is an individual who attends every meeting and was with the vols and that thinks that way.

          The chief needs a 4 door, 4 x 4 pickup truck with an higher then above ground clearance. Vehicle can be gas or diesel. Do not get a dual rear tire axle. Do that and the purpose of a chief only vehicle will quickly disappear. Put a shell cover over the back for protection of anything carried there. A fire chief vehicle is strictly for COMMAND AND CONTROL not as a fire fighting vehicle.

          • Randy, as I recall, the shirts were purchased by the previous chief shortly before the LMRFD went insolvent. The newly elected Board, 3 years later, did not request shirts.

            Agree…Chief’s vehicle should NOT be a fire fighting vehicle. It will, hopefully, be economical to operate. At 7-8 MPG and fuel prices around $3/gal, we the taxpayers are currently putting out around $6000/yr for chief’s commute to and from Golden Valley, plus other personal use, with our brush truck.

          • Interesting. Maybe it’s something I said that prevented my reply from posting? Here goes for the 3rd time;

            Randy, as I recall, the shirts were purchased by the previous spendthrift chief shortly before the LMRFD went insolvent. The newly elected Board (3 yrs later) did not request shirts. May have had names embroidered on them instead of purchasing name tags, I don’t know.

            AGREE! Chief’s vehicle should be economical and NOT a firefighting vehicle. Currently, with our brush truck MPG at around 7-8 and fuel prices avg. $3/gal, the chief’s commute to and from Golden Valley plus other personal running around costs the taxpayers about $6000/ yr.

            • Ellen, couldn’t figure out for a while why your comments weren’t automatically approved. Then I realized you used a different email address, almost the same, but slightly different.

              I set that system to hold the first post for moderation to prevent spam and now you’re good to post with both emails.

              And I say the one thing this chief needs is a PINK SLIP!

            • We need to talk when we got back to Meadview. If you’re running for the board I want to share some major ideas. I too would run but being a snow bird it would not be fair

        • I for one do feel the board should get gas money for attending the monthly meetings in the two locations. They should set a flat fee, PAID BY CHECK on the first of every month and should not exceed $25.00. That amount should cover the gas and wear and tear on their vehicle and the monthly cleaning bill for their custom shirts.

          • The biggest problem with the board is that they can’t get paid. It’s a LOT of work, everybody should be putting in at least 50 – 100 hours / month to research the many issues we’re facing.

            Sometimes you get what you pay for.

  7. Ted, “Also I see talk of you wanting to abolish the fire department.” I’d rather have no fire department than what we got now, see my comment above.

    HOWEVER, what we really need is medical care and LMRFD also runs the ambulance service. There is no way of telling how many people have died because it takes at least an hour for the ambulance to get to Meadview.

    Meadview has had a FANTASTIC nurse and her husband running a full-time operation a number of years ago. Sadly, they couldn’t make it due to the extraordinary paperwork to get paid by insurance and they pay so little. Since then we had various nurses with one day a week or so office hours, paid for by the Kingman hospital. They just closed again.

    There’s lots of info about LMRFD at https://forum.highdesertdirt.com/mohave/?group=7

    I spent 5 hours Saturday night researching alternative programs:
    https://forum.highdesertdirt.com/mohave/arizona-community-paramedicine/

    It’s great to see paramedics actually doing home visits for followup care, chronically ill, etc.

    However, I would like to see local nurses involved too.

    At this time NONE of the paid people are from Meadview. They don’t know our roads and our people. I’ve heard that some actually work for other fire districts and are making a huge amount of money, working a 48 hour shift here AND for other fire districts. These people are NOT part of our community and never will be.

    How do you get professionals to LIVE here? We’d have to get rid of the Meadview cliques (COM, MCA, Chamber, et al). People would have to step up CARE.

    We also need to separate from Dolan. Most Meadview residents don’t like Dolan because Dolan is a lot poorer. And the same goes for Dolanites, they call Meadview “Beverly Hills.”

    Most of Meadview is not in the fire district. That includes myself and I’ll do whatever I can to NOT be forcibly annexed. Sadly, the entire board is ONLY working on annexation, which is extremely unlikely to happen as long as I can type. We’re talking about a 25% increase in property tax. Which I’ll gladly pay for a properly run district with MEDICAL services.

    Thing is, we’ve never had a qualified board member from Meadview and I doubt there will ever be 5 people from Meadview with the skills to successfully run a fire / medical district.

    Right now we have 3 board seats to be filled in November. We need to get rid of chairwoman Cass.

    And that will be another post here, hopefully soon.

    Unfortunately I’m NOT retired unlike most people here. I have so many board meeting videos to edit and splice together and then UPLOAD.

    Yesterday I tried to order higher speed internet, from 6 to 12 Mbps, but TWO Frontier people told me 12 is not available. WHY are they putting ads for 12 Mbps in my bills?

    And that is how it goes around here.

    If after reading all this you’re still interested in helping, I’m going to prepare a flier with my recommended candidates and it needs to be distributed WIDELY in Dolan and Meadview.

    And I could obviously use help with the video editing and uploading, research, VIEWING meeting videos and keeping track of the times when important things happens such as here:

    https://forum.highdesertdirt.com/mohave/2018-july/2018-7-23-video/

    The Cass refusal to appoint a member isn’t the only important event in that video, but I just don’t have the time.

    There is so much legal research to do.

    WHY, WHY, WHY does it take THOUSANDS of dollars in legal fees to determine the eligibility requirements for a board member?

    After TWO years and appointing numerous members …

    • A lot of valid points, Christine. I want to comment on just one aspect of the entire FD issue. Funding. Currently Dolan Springs residents are 100% IN the FD, paying their taxes to support the Fire and EMS service. Only 1/3 of Meadview properties are currently IN district and paying to support the FD. NONE of the properties between Dolan and Meadview or on Hwy 93 (except 1) are paying to support the FD. Yet, the 2 man crew that the taxpayers of Dolan Springs and 1/3 of Meadview taxpayers support, cover an entire 2200 sq. mile area for fire and EMS services. If ALL of the properties in that 2200 sq. mile area were paying to support the LMRFD, with the costs spread more equitably among many more taxpayers, it could reduce the $$ amount each would have to pay while providing more $$ to fund more equipment and personnel to more adequately cover the area. The structure of the FD is already in place. It is not feasible to destroy it and build from scratch in today’s climate of excessive regulations and cost. Let’s re-model/ build from what we already have.

  8. Ellen, you could give LMRFD TWO million and it would still suck exactly they way it sucks today.

    There is no need to destroy anything, but you cannot ignore the fact that many of the people of Dolan and Meadview do not like each other.

    We need to take a hard look at Northern AZ Consolidated — they’re having the SAME problems:|

    The residents are NOT engaged. Constant turmoil. Same in Golden Valley.

    And that’s especially devastating during times of MUCH needed change from fire to medical services.

    Have you looked at the articles at https://forum.highdesertdirt.com/mohave/arizona-community-paramedicine/ ?

    We are the ass of Arizona and only shit comes out of Mohave County!

    It’s the Mohave County mediocreness.

    We must be one of the most underserved rural communities in the nation.

    We apparently also have the most apathetic population. Nobody cares.

    And I try not to be political here, but it is what it is.

    Conservatives believe that people make their choices and if they haven’t made the choice to become rich, it’s their own fault if they can’t pay for medical care.

    The people here VOTE for their demise.

    • Many people in a lot of places don’t like each other. Many people in Dolan Springs do not like people in Dolan Springs. There are also a lot of people who DO like and DO wish to cooperate with each other in the communities of Dolan Springs and Meadview. There will always be the shit stirrers who cannot get along with anyone. Those of us not in that category absolutely MUST pull together in order to nourish our small rural communities or we will cease to exist as such.

  9. Ellen, I have lived in small towns my entire life. I have NEVER seen ONE fire department covering TWO towns. NEVER.

    “Those of us not in that category absolutely MUST pull together in order to nourish our small rural communities or we will cease to exist as such.”

    What, 10 people are supposed to nourish our small rural communities?

    Did you notice that nobody in Meadview gave a rat’s ass about the fact that our fire station was CLOSED for 3 or 4 years?

    NOBODY.

    Most people are 100% removed from our community — they live here, but they could not care less what goes on here as long as THEIR stuff doesn’t get stolen and nobody bothers them so they can get drunk at the VFW or watch TV.

    BTW, the VFW is ANOTHER roadblock, doing absolutely NOTHING for the community. Another good for nothing clique, collecting money to send it OUT of our communities.

    • Actually, Christine, Meadview residents were the ONLY ones who showed up to meetings before and after the LMRFD collapsed. There were 5-6 regular attendees, and a few others who came periodically, between March 2013 and late 2015. Then when consolidation with NACFD was being considered, suddenly a host of Dolanites showed up to squash the plan because they wanted “their” fire district back. Notice how interested they have been since?

      • So why did all those Meadview residents stop coming?

        The Meadview people were FOR the consolidation with NACFD, I remember the big meeting at the MCA.

        Probably wrote about it here. Yup. Oh yeah, Flynn was pushing for consolidation too. Can’t stand that guy.

        • John Flynn didn’t “push” for the consolidation until he had been queried about it repeatedly and finally firmly requested to pursue that option by the people regularly attending meetings. Those people were well informed during the 2 1/2 years of recovery from insolvency as to what the options were and what each of them entailed. Nobody else showed up or showed any interest during that entire period.

          • “John Flynn didn’t “push” for the consolidation until he had been queried about it repeatedly and finally firmly requested to pursue that option by the people regularly attending meetings.”

            WOW!

            That’s not what the minutes say. Of course he lied when he opened his mouth, so maybe you’re right.

            https://highdesertdirt.com/blog/2015/08/24/8-17-15-fire-department-minutes-austerity-in-america/

            Interesting comments too!

            Back then I was FOR annexing all of Meadview. Not knowing what a nightmare this would turn into.

            In a way I wished I had been for consolidation too, couldn’t be worse than now for Meadview and I wouldn’t have wasted all that time.

            Chloride is JUST FINE.

            For those who don’t know, Chloride chose to consolidate with NACFD and now they have absolutely NOTHING.

            • Quote from those minutes supports what I said, that for 2 1/2 years people attending the meetings were informed of the options and they chose consolidation: “Mr. Flynn reported that for the last 30 months, at every monthly meeting, options for the LMRFD going forward have been discussed, and that among those have been consolidation with a larger Fire District. (Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District being the nearest). The option of consolidation into NACFD has come to be considered by those attending the meetings, to be the best option for long term viability of the Fire District.”

              • And Flynn said: “He stated that he has been in the fire service 40 years, as a Fire Chief and a Firefighter, and agrees that the current level of service the LMRFD can provide is not acceptable. He said that if the area gets any fire service at all, or more importantly, keeps the ambulance service here, what we have is what we get. He reiterated that, based on his extensive experience, he believes consolidation into the NACFD is the best option for the LMRFD to ensure financial viability and continuing services on any level.”

                  • Difference is, level of service is based on tax revenue. Chloride does not have sufficient tax revenue to pay for even one person on duty after paying utilities, etc. Meadview would have been subsidized, as it is now, by the taxpayers in Dolan Springs. The tax base that supports services is shrinking, while costs continue to escalate. We cannot have more than we can pay for. Why is that so difficult for people to comprehend? We need to pursue other avenues of revenue than taxes!

          • Ellen I will talk to you when we get back. For now if i read another comment by Christine Baker I am going to throw up.

            I have already started making phone calls to people out there about installing meeting rules for the commission. That being only residents paying for the district services can attend. It seems there is just to much distraction from those who don’t pay but feel they can bitch day after day about something they don’t even belong to. Wish me luck with calls to the current board members and hopefully future members.

            • Randy, appreciate your position. It is a sad commentary when one of the few people to show up regularly, who voluntarily records our meetings and provides this forum where the gossip can be argued with facts and data, is not even in the FD. Without Christine’s participation, we would not have ANY documentation of what goes on in our FB meetings..most of the time until WEEKS afterward. That is an issue I will personally address if I am elected to the Board. I have the knowledge, training and background to post agendas, take minutes and maintain an email list of people who want to receive their information direct. As a Board member I will have the authority to do so…that is, if Eric Terrill is also re-elected so we can get a positive vote for a change. Many of us do appreciate Christine’s video recordings, which it is doubtful the LMRFD will be able to provide, regardless of minutes otherwise posted as required by law.

              • Agree but at price..she has to be the most negative I have ever seen. The sky could be raining gold coins and she would botch about no sun. People move to the high desert to get away from the big city BS and she brings it right to us.

                New commission new house rules I HOPE

    • Before you get in trouble you better fact check what the VFW does for Meadview. As proud member of the Meadview VFW and American Legion Post the number of activities and services provided to the community by us are to many to list here.

  10. Randy, can you give me a link to those VFW activities?

    Lived here for 18 years and never seen anything.

    You didn’t identify yourself as representing the VFW at the meetings or here. Who attends the fire board meetings on behalf of the VFW?

    What does the VFW do for the community?

    The food provided to the public is so toxic I wouldn’t touch it and it is totally UNFAIR competition to the restaurants in town. I’d totally support it if it was organic, but it’s just a money maker for the VFW.

    What has the VFW done for healthcare?

    Or anything in our community?

    All I know is that they abandoned Joanne like a rabid dog. And she was one of their own.

    • I was not representing the VFW, I was a concerned resident. You can pickup a monthly calendar of activities at the VFW. A large number of the Meadview Volunteer fire department and EMS are VFW and American Legion including a former chief. To this day they still they were stabbed in the back and could care less about the current fire district. Enough I don’t have to defend my post(s) to you with your mind set about them

  11. See, Randy, I forgot to mention that so many guys are at the VFW and NONE volunteer — you made my point, thank you.

    It’s ALL about the cliques.

    Also, in your previous post you wrote “Before you get in trouble you better fact check what the VFW does for Meadview.”

    Not sure how to interpret that.

    What kind of trouble am I going to be in?

    ???

    There was a time when I always knew exactly what was going on around me, I was ready to be run off the road, shot at, whatever.

    Even today I won’t go NEAR the VFW.

    There is a big difference between the organization and the members. Monica is THE best! She hauled the cat shit in giant garbage bags out of Joanne’s house by herself. Just like you, she represented only herself and I seriously doubt she got any recognition from the VFW for that.

    I stand by what I said. Meadview would be a much better place without the COM, without the VFW and without the MCA.

    We’d have a chance at being a community with a community center, parties, activities, and a fire department. Just like thousands of other small towns.

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