New Assistant Fire Chief Sworn In
Photo Caption: New members of the Fort Myers Beach Fire District were sworn in at the Tuesday Fire board meeting. They are, from left, Firefighter Paramedics Jeff Lundy and Benjamin Glenn, Assistant Fire Chief Tom May and Fire Chief Darren White. Not shown is Firefighter Paramedic Daniel Battista.
The Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District welcomed new Assistant Fire Chief Tom May at their March meeting held on Tuesday night. Two Firefighter Paramedics, Jeff Lundy and Benjamin Glenn, were also sworn in at the meeting. A third, Daniel Battista, was unable to attend the meeting.
Assistant Chief May comes to the district from the East Lake Tarpon Fire Control District in Pinellas County where he has served since 1981, most recently as Assistant Fire Chief before retiring in 2012. A Navy veteran, he holds a B.A. in Applied Behavioral Science as well as multiple state and national fire-related certifications.
The board also approved the hiring of a receptionist/administrative support person to assist Tammy Peacock with the administrative duties of the district. Chief Darren White informed the board that this is the staff position he mentioned to them in December and reminded them that there are funds in the personnel budget to cover this full-time position, which should cost the district less than $50,000 including the cost of benefits.
After discussing the replacement of self-contained breathing apparatus for firefighters over the last several months, the Fire board voted to approve the purchase of air-pac’s, air cylinders and masks for a total of $177,602.26 using equipment reserve funds.
Completing some financial housekeeping, the board also voted to write-off $414 in uncollected fire prevention invoices, left over from a period when the district would issue a special event permit and then invoice the applicant. The district now requires payment before the permit is issued. They also waive special event permit fees for 501c3 organizations.
The board approved the financing of a 10-year loan not to exceed $1.7 million from BB&T at a rate of 2.08%. This will allow payment of a previous 15-year loan with a higher interest rate that was part of financing for a new station.
Board Attorney Richard Pringle discussed the ongoing litigation filed by former Chief Mike Becker reporting that the lawsuit is "proceeding through the normal process.”
Bylaws remain on the agenda as the board was presented with yet another draft of revised bylaws on Tuesday night. Pringle asked the board to review the most recent version and discuss at their April workshop, so they can hopefully vote on them at the April board meeting.
Fire Commissioner Carol Morris reminded the board that she wanted to see something done with the bylaws that would address board resolutions.
"I find our resolutions extremely confusing and rather tedious. We have all these resolutions all over the place. I thought we were going to look at that. How do we make that more user friendly?”
Chief White reminded board members that board resolutions are kept in a single binder in the district office.
Morris objected to the effort required to view them in the office.
"I can’t go through them online and I won’t take the time to go sit in the office and look through them all.”
District Administrative Assistant Tammy Peacock noted that the resolutions could be scanned and emailed to board members.
The next Board meeting is Tuesday, April 16that 7pm. The next Board workshop will be Tuesday, April 2 at 10am.