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Here’s The Scoop 1/27/08 Commission Meeting cont. 1/28/09 Mc-Commissioner Comments/Ethics Commission…part 2…Hosed..

January 30, 2009 by Barbara

HOSED….

http://www.rffd.org/rffd.org/3onhose.jpg

#2-Commissioner Comments-VM McIntee……BC-commentary …Fire Department…Ethics Commission…etc…

From the meeting….1/28/09….

VM- “Regarding the fire department. Going after people fro communicating on a cell phone when going to a call , the pickup truck does not have a vehicle based radio. It has portable radios. If the person they’re referring to is going down the street with a siren he has something to his mouth. It’s probably the portable fire radio going to command and saying utility 12 responding. There are a hundred reasons.”

BC- Reliable sources have reported observing the VM-Deputy Chief in many “compromising” acts  when driving the small  white VFD-SUV…including repeatedly running the stop signs at Washingtonia to turn left onto Bougainvilla to go the the firehouse…..turning on the sire and lights to bypass congestion at Sea Ranch Center on A1A….driving with cellphone…no seat belt…with and without lights on…on call and not on call….

There are also sightings of Chief Perkins using his light to pass stop signs when no emergency is going on. …parking wherever he pleases in the SR Center…all making residents who report these sightings uncomfortable….

VM- “The other question about the uniform of the Chief, the equipment , the cost, those are all questions Commissioner Dodd could walk into the Chief’s office and ask him if he wasn’t satisfied with the answers then he could bring it up to the dais.”

BC- Commissioner Dodd did just that…he inquired about the flip flops/shorts on the truck and did not receive the results of  his instruction to the Chief to investigate. (Just insubordinate behavior in violation of VFD-SOPs at the podium)…Comm. Dodd inquired about the ATV after being told the damage was a result of negligent behavior and in need of repair. He inquired with the Town Manager who did not know. The Chief told the Manager it was a maintenance repair…which was not the case. The Commissioner then asked the Chief at the podium and the Chief said it just died, it was not under warranty and there was nothing to it…HMMM……

VM- “I think it’s really blatantly an attack on the whole department to go after little things like that. I don’t understand those things. I mean the three trucks over there are the town property. The utilities, the ATVs are town property. Every time one of these trucks goes in for repair  and the last one was probably 1500 -2000 dollars. The town doesn’t pay for those repairs . The volunteer fire department pays for those repairs. Their budget from the town money that was sent to them to keep that stuff up to snuff. An oil change is 500 dollars in a diesel. All the trucks need their oil changed every few months.When that SUV or ATV went into the shop it wasn’t the town that was gonna pay for it. It was out the pocket of money distributed from the volunteers to run their equipment that was part of our budget. So things break down.”

BC- The town paid the VFD an extra large check over 10 grand to pay for repairs just before they ended their transition in September…Note to the VM …either way…the taxpayers pay for the repairs…

VM- “Why would you go after for a vehicle breaking down. There’s no hot rodding on the beaches. We got printouts of anybody going over 20 miles a hour. That vehicle was near the water . It went down into the dirt and it went down before the multiple wheel drive stopped working and it wouldn’t run through the gook. But to pick little items like that and attack the fire chief, I don’t know where you’re going with tat. Just don’t understand it.”

BC- HMMMM….going after the Mayor…attacking over little things, I just don’t understand it….etc…etc…etc….

VM-“Let’s clear up the Deputy Chief thing once and for all. When I decided to run for Deputy Chief, I was asked by the department by a vast majority to run. I said well we know what’s going to happen, there’s gonna be certain people on the dais who’s gonna scream, certain people out there are gonna scream. So they called for a board of directors meeting. The board of directors sat down. I presented my position. They voted to allow me to run. They then called a special meeting of the whole department and they voted. I won’t give you the vote but it was 2 against and the rest were in favor for me running because I am not a corporate officer. I’m a line officer, I tell guys where to squirt the water and they wanted my vast years of experience in the field with them, leading them because I’m the best leader there for that. It was done by the rules of the department and done properly.”

BC- first the Vice Mayor  should have never entertained returning to an officer role. Article 2 section 9 of the Bylaws does not say”corporate officer”, it says “No officer shall hold a publicly elected office in town”…this  must be how he Chief is rationalizing ignoring the SOP and his response to Comm. Clottey  that the SOPs are “open to interpretation”…The VM should have declined or stepped down as VM…This writer was told that many were unhappy with this decision, including some old-timers. Many are afraid of the VM…as described in the Pointu resignation letter, fearing he has and will destroy the VFD from the dais if he is challenged…thus the reason he is the most qualified, he throws out anyone more qualified than he….

VM-“Now I’ve got another, Commissioner Dodd asking the Town Manager about an ethics situation. How can I be Deputy Chief and where’s the paperwork on it. How would she know?”

BC-Commissioner Dodd sent in questions to the Manager on 1/25/09…including the following…

Fifth- ‘ Under public information request- Can I obtain copies of the Vice Mayor’s letters to the Ethics commission concerning the conflict between Commissioner and Deputy Chief. I understand he has sent two letters recently. In the past the answer from the Ethics commission has been slanted because the question was only a “political truth’ and did not fully explain the facts. I would like to find out exactly what was asked and how much supporting information was added.’

Response from the Manager: ‘I have no knowledge of letters being referred to above.’

Seventh-‘ I would like a legal opinion on Article 2 Section 9 (page 80) of LBTS-VFD “No officer shall hold any publicly elected office in town…” What options are open to ensure the VFD follow their bylaws, SOPs’

Response from the Manager-‘They are contractors of the Town. Compliance with standard operating procedures of organization is a responsibility of the board, command staff and its members.’

Eight-‘ Article 5 page 83 Board of Directors with no voting power. Is the Town Manager in breach of her duties to the town/vfd by not enforcing, discussing or even bringing up to the dais the LBTS-VFD Constitution/sops from 2004 are being broken with the Vice mayor accepting the position of Deputy Chief. I don’t believe the commission should have to rely on the blogs to get the information of this magnitude.’

Response from the Manager: ‘ They are contractors for the Town. Compliance with the by-laws of an organization is the responsibility of the board and its members.’

BC- The Town Manager assured the town she would be the “oversight” for the VFD…The Town Manager was a party to the 2008 VFD contract that removed the portion of the previous contract that made it a part of the contract for the VFD to observe their constitution/by-laws/SOPs…The Town Manager in Article 5  …Board of Directors…as the Commissioner included in his questions is listed as a “Citizen Advisor…to the VFD-Board…section 7. ” The Town Manager shall be an ex-officio member of the department with no voting power. The Town Manager in this writer’s opinion is not fulfilling  her duties to the Town…..

VM- ” I sent a letter to Tallahassee laying out what my position was on plain paper, not the Town’s paper and gt a letter back saying YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO. Now Judy Vik the reporter for the Pompano Pelican back there. She did her homework. She called Tallahassee and got exactly the information I just gave. Commissioner Dodd could have done that too. It’s public information. So there’s nothing being hidden here. I mean pickayu stuff.”

BC-the link to the Sept. 2008 letter and answers (previously posted )...http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/Opinions/08/CEO%2008-022.htm and now the Dec.2008…rec’d 12/8/08

‘Dear Mr. Claypool,

I would like the Ethics opinion of this writer holding the position of Deputy Chief of the Lauderdale By The Sea Volunteer Fire Department.

I would like you to consider the following information before you render a Ethics decision.

A. The Lauderdale By The Sea Fire Department is the sole provider of Fire protection in the town of Lauderdale By The Sea.

B. This writer receives absolutely no compensation for service provided to the Volunteer fire department and if in the position of Deputy Chief I would still receive zero compensation from this department.

C. The LBTS VFD is a Florida corporation with corporate officers and company business officers. The Deputy Chief does not sit or act in any of these capacities under the corporate by-laws.

D. The Deputy Chief duties supervise  and direct fire operations at active scenes and makes sure all training demands are met by the department members. The Deputy Chief has nothing to do with Corporate decisions or company policies, or spending funds of the department. It should be clear that the Deputy chief position is a line officer position only dealing with firefighting activities. E. I am the most experienced fire fighter in the department and have over 45 years of experience.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Respectfully, Vice Mayor Jerome S McIntee’

The Response…12/19/08…

Re: Request for opinion,conflict of interest

‘Dear Mr. McIntee:

I have been asked to respond to your request for an opinion on the issue of whether a conflict of interest would be created by your serving as Deputy Chief of the Lauderdale By The Sea Volunteer Fire Department while also serving as a member of the LBTS Town Commission

You advise that the VD is the sole provider of fire suppression services in the Town, that you would receive no compensation for your services, that the VFD is a corporate entity and the Deputy Chief is neither a director nor officer of the corporation, and that the position on Deputy Chief is a “line officer position,” having nothing to do with budgetary or policy decisions of the corporation. The Code of Ethics for Public Officers or Contractual Relationship- No public officer or employee of an agency shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity or any agency which is subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, an agency of which he or she is an officer or employee, excluding those organizations and their officers who, when acting in their official capacity, enter into or negotiate a collective bargaining contract with the state or any municipality, county or other political subdivision of the state; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interests and the performance of his or her public duties or would impede the full and faithful discharge of his or her public duties {Section 112.313(7)(a), Florida Statutes.}

The Commission has already dealt with the issue in CEO 08-22, an opinion you requested. There, it was observed that Section 112.313(7) to be implicated, there must first exist an employment or contractual relationship. The Commission said:

It must then be determined whether you have a “contractual or employment relationship” with the VFD, since in the absence of such a relationship, there can be no violation. Although you relate that you were paid $160 in “training funds” for the months of March and April, you state that as of May 1, you have specifically declined any compensation from the Department. In CEO 00-23 we stated our view that refusal to accept compensation, given in advance and in writing, coupled with actual refusal of said compensation, would negate the element of employment, and therefore the potential of a prohibited conflict.

In the materials you provided in requesting that opinion, you indicated you received no compensation from the VFD and “have no intention of receiving any compensation from the LBTSVFD in the future.” Unless something changed in that respect, the previous opinion would still be applicable.

Sincerely,

Virlindia Doss

Deputy Executive Director’

BC- LBTS-VFD -Article 3 The Line Branch Section 3. Deputy Chief

1. In the event the Fire Chief is unable, for any reason to perform his or her duties, or in the absence of, the Deputy Chief will assume the authority the position of Fire Chief.

2. Shall assist the Fire Chief at his or her request. Shall follow the Standard Operating  Procedures of office.

3. Other duties and responsibilities are outline in the LBTS-VFD Standard Operating Procedures.

The Vice Mayor is not following the SOPS…and using the “line Branch” to pull the wool over the Ethics commission eyes…previously posted McIntee has been involved in purchasing …and funding …

VM- “Let’s move on lets leave the town to do their business, lets keep on going. I mean somebody’s talking about stubby plumbing there was no plumbing ever discussed. I wracked my brain out looked at meetings regarding the pavilion. People are making that stuff up.”

BC- Commissioner Clottey took exception to this comment when she had her comments, as she was one who heard about walls, storage, and plumbing being “stubbed out” from the Town Administration, and along with this writer at the initial bid meeting in Jarvis Hall.

VM-” It’s off the wall. Look after the big problem, let the little problems work on a head to head basis.Work it over with the individual and if you aren’t happy then take the next step.”

BC- One more time kiddies….Greenfest…BSO…and why would the VM think that Commissioner Dodd hadn’t done just this…he did.

VM-” At least give the Fire Department Chief the courtesy ,can I ask you about this and if you arebn’t satisfied then take the next step or the AMR Chief or the Police Chief. I had a problem with the Police Chief about notifying residents about the burglary. Did I come and talk to you Chief? I didn’t make up all these things telling him how he should do it. I had my suggestions I mean but I never take the step of trying to micro manage something I know very little about.”

BC- the readers may now pick themselves off the floor after “fits” of laughter….

VM-” They have people going to fire scenes taking pictures of the Chief to see the way he’s dressed. What for? To cause trouble. That’s all, I yield”

BC- If by chance the VM is speaking of the fire call at SRC C last week, this writer took no pictures, and arrived to see what was going on after Commissioner Clottey called to ask what was going on as she saw the trucks as she drove by. I live in SR Club ….. Commissioner Dodd made it clear that it was his opinion that the Chief should be in uniform in his leadership role and the chance that he may need to assist.”

It seems to this writer, the Plantation model of a professional Chief/Deputy Chief should be discussed for the VFD going forth. The Fire Chief is insubordinate. The SOPs are not being followed. The Deputy Chief should not be an elected official. The Town Manager is not doing any oversight. Public records requests are being ignored. This is not the VFD we were promised, where the 2 Commissioners would be members only, there would be transparency and a department that was to be beyond reproach in their professionalism.

From the Town site…..

Chapter 8 Fire Protection and prevention….

http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=14431&sid=9

The Code…Sec. 8-22.  Chief.
The Town Manager shall hire or contract for the services of a Fire Chief, whose duties shall be set forth in either a professional services agreement between the Fire Chief and the Town Manager, or through a contract with a governmental entity, a private entity or a not-for-profit organization.
(Ord. No. 2004-16, § 2, 10-26-04)

Sec. 8-23.  Suspension.
All members of the Fire Department, including the Fire Chief, are subject to suspension or discharge because of incompetency, general inefficiency, neglect of duty, immorality, drunkenness, failure to obey orders given by proper authority, or for any other just or reasonable cause, in the manner provided for by Town personnel rules or the provision of contract, whichever is applicable.
(Ord. No. 2004-16, § 2, 10-26-04)

more to come….

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