BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MINUTES FROM JANUARY 10TH, 2006
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
Commissioner Schweers opened the meeting at 6:03 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Commissioner Levy, Commissioner Sassano, Commissioner Schweers, Commissioner Morris and Commissioner Akins, all presented and accounted for.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS
No public comments were made.
ITEMS TO BE PULLED FOR DISCUSSION
No items to be pulled for discussion.
Commissioner Levy made a motion to approve Consent Agenda items 1, 2, & 3 as is. Commissioner Sassano seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
- APPOINT THE FIRE CHIEF OR HIS/HER DESIGNEE AS THE REPRESENTATIVE TO THE SOUTHWEST FLORIDA URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM GOVERNING BOARD. Interim Fire Chief Jeff Lindsey provided an explanation. Commissioner Sassano made a motion to approve Administrative Agenda Item 1. Commissioner Akins seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
- APPROVE THE PROPOSAL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONS?LTING SERVICES FOR THE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING AT THE COST NOT TO EXCEED $7,000 PLUS A 10% CONTINGENCY; AUTHORIZE THE CHAIRMAN TO SIGN NECESSARY DOCUMENTS. Interim Fire Chief Jeff Lindsey asked that this administrative item be pulled and provided the explanation that it had been brought to his attention that this item is not needed at this time, but that it would however need to be brought before the board prior to construction of the administration building. Commissioner Akins made a motion to table Administrative Agenda Item 2 until the time the Interim Fire Chief brings it before the board. Commissioner Morris seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
- DESIGNATE THREE UNIVERSAL FITNESS EQUIPMENT SETS AS SURPLUS. After discussion, Commissioner Sassano made a motion to approve Administrative Agenda Item 3. Commissioner Morris seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
- DESIGNATE THE 1999 FORD XLT EXPEDITION AS SURPLUS AND AUTHORIZE EFR TO DISPOSE OF THE VEHICLE. After discussion, Commissioner Sassano made a motion to approve Administrative Agenda Item 4. Commissioner Morris seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
- APPROVE THE BENEFIT POLICIES FOR THE CHIEF OFFICERS OF ESTERO FIRE RESCUE AND AUTHORIZE INTERIM FIRE CHIEF TO WAIVE THE PAID PERSONAL LEAVE CAP AS STATED IN SOG 228A FOR THE CHIEF OFFICERS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2005. After much discussion, the board asked counsel to research and provide them with Cobra information. After further discussion, Commissioner Levy made a motion to approve Administrative Agenda Item 5, and that any employee that is below the minimum of the new salary range effective October 1, 2005 be brought up to the base salary range in 2 equal increments, � the increase effective October 1, 2005, and the other � effective March 1, 2006 getting the employee to the new base salary minimum. Commissioner Akins seconded. After further discussion, Commissioner Levy amended his motion to change the benefit to include the word �term� life insurance. A vote was then taken, with Commissioners Levy, Akins and Schweers in favor. Commissioners Morris and Sassano opposed. Motion carried by a vote of 3-2.
- APPROVE SOG 228 � GENERAL EMPLOYEES� BENEFITS AND AUTHORIZE INTERIM FIRE CHIEF TO WAIVE THE PAID PERSONAL LEAVE CAP AS STATED IN SOG228 FOR THE GENERAL EMPLOYEES FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2005 . After discussion it was proposed to amend the benefit to include the word �term� life insurance to be consistent with Administrative Agenda Item 5. Commissioner Akins then proposed to change the PPL cap from 500 hours to a maximum of 200 hours, with EFR buying back the excess hours over 200 hours from the employee at the end of the calendar year at their current rate of pay. After further discussion, Commissioner Akins made a motion to approve Administrative Agenda Item 6, including the proposed changes stated above. Commissioner Levy seconded, motion carried by a vote of 4-1, Commissioner Morris opposed.
- SALARY ADJUSTMENT FOR INTERIM FIRE CHIEF JEFF LINDSEY DURING THE INTERIM POSITION . Commissioner Levy made a motion to leave Interim Fire Chief Jeff Lindsey at his current salary for Operations Chief and his paramedic incentive with an increase of $1,420 per month while holding this position, retro to December 1, 2005 . Commissioner Morris seconded. After brief discussion, a vote was taken, all were in favor, motion carried.
WALK ON ITEMS
- ADOPT RESOLUTION 2006-01 AMENDING THE ESTERO FIRE RESCUE FIREFIGHTERS RETIREMENT PLAN, ADOPTED PURSUANT TO RESOLUTION NO. 2004-03, AS AMENDED; TO AMEND SECTION 1, DEFINITIONS, BY AMENDING THE DEFINITION OF �AVERAGE FINAL COMPENSATION�; REPEALING ALL RESOLUTIONS IN CONFLICT HEREWITH AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. After explanation by Interim Fire Chief Lindsey, Commissioner Levy made a motion to adopt Walk On Item 1. Commissioner Sassano seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
No public comments were made.
Commissioner Morris expressed his concerns over the sequence of events leading up to the resignation of former Fire Chief Dennis Merrifield and a possible violation of the Sunshine Law. General Counsel Charles Schoech explained the timeline and the sequence of events and stated that to the best of his knowledge there was no violation of the Sunshine Law. Commissioner Morris still expressed his concerns over the process and the legality of the agreement and the cause for the resignation.
Commissioner Sassano presented the question of the process for a new full-time, permanent, fire chief. Commissioner Akins also questioned what the process should be and asked for advice from counsel. It was suggested by counsel that the board should review the job description of fire chief and prepare a contract/agreement to give to applicants before the hiring/interview process, which would be in the best interest of the board. Counsel also stated that legally there is no obligation to advertise the position especially if the board feels they have viable candidates from within EFR. The board asked to be provided with the job description of the fire chief. Commissioner Morris made a motion to retain Jeff Lindsey in the Interim Fire Chief position with an evaluation period not to exceed 6 months, and at that time a decision would be made by the board to offer the permanent position to Jeff Lindsey or to advertise the position and begin a search process. Commissioner Akins requested counsel to prepare a draft agreement/contract and defer this decision to next month. Counsel requested to have some individual discussions with each of the commissioners to get their input and suggestions regarding the agreement. In light of the discussion, Commissioner Morris withdrew his motion at this time.
INTERIM FIRE CHIEF REPORT
- Commissioner Akins had suggested we look into the possibility of using Estero Park for monthly board meetings. After inquiring about this, we were told it shouldn�t be a problem and as of now, we may be able to move our meetings beginning in October, if the board so chooses.
- Celebrate Estero � February 11. EFR is participating and the Explorers will be coordinating the chili cook-off contest and a portion of the proceeds will be going to a San Carlos FF with a serious medical condition.
- There is now a phone at station 2 which puts us in compliance with the fire alarm and we do have network connection. However, there are still some issues with the 911 phone and we are working on this.
- February 1 we are scheduled at the hearing examiner office for the zoning of the administration building. I would encourage you, if you are available, to attend this session.
- The fire at the Coastal Village Apartments yesterday, January 10, was apparently started by a college student who had spilled paint and was using gasoline. The fumes ignited resulting in the fire. The sprinkler system extinguished the fire prior to our crews� arrival and there was an estimated $15,000 damage. If we look at this event without the sprinkler system, Fire Marshal Cato estimates that we could have had in excess of $500,000. So, as you can see, the efforts that are being made by Prevention are paying off in instances such as these.
Commissioner Levy made a motion to adjourn, Commissioner Sassano seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
Meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.