Fire Board Swears in Three
At the first Fort Myers Beach Fire District Board of Commissioners meeting since the November 4th election, three members of the board took their oath of office – Ted Schindler, Jr., Carol Morris and Bob Raymond. Schindler and Morris were re-elected to their seats, while Raymond is a new member of the board.
The board then addressed the election of officers at Morris’ request. Commissioner John Scanlon stated that he thought the board should table the election to provide Commissioner Betty Goodacre, who was absent, the opportunity to participate. He pointed out that previously, Morris had made a similar request when Schindler was not present and the board postponed officer selection. He also preferred to have the board attorney present. Attorney Richard Pringle was not at the meeting due to a scheduling conflict.
Morris disagreed stating that the attorney does not have anything to do with the selection of officers and she didn’t recall ever asking for the postponement of officer selection. Schindler and Raymond agreed to have the election Tuesday. Scanlon then nominated Raymond while Schindler nominated Morris. Morris was elected with the votes of Schindler, Raymond and herself. Scanlon voted against. Other officers elected were Schindler as Vice Chair and Goodacre as Secretary/Treasurer, dependent on her accepting the position.
(In the November 22,2013 Sand Paper, a story on the Nov. 19, 2013 Fire Board meeting stated, "The election of officers was deferred, as Commissioners Ted Schindler and John Scanlon were not in attendance.” Reporter notes from that meeting indicate Commissioner Morris proposed the postponement saying the board had 60 days in which to elect officers.)
The board then discussed whether to trade or sell the two ambulances that will be replaced next year. Chief White stated that the vendor has offered $12,000 per ambulance but needs to know now whether the district will trade them in next year or sell them themselves. The three new ambulances are expected to be delivered by May 2015.
After a discussion including the market for used ambulances and negotiating the sales price, Scanlon made a motion to sell the two ambulances to the vendor for $12,000 each, but it died for lack of a second.
Chief White indicated that he would ask the vendor for another month or two for the board to decide whether to trade or sell the two ambulances.
The board was then asked to make a decision on whether to repair or replace the HVAC unit at Station 33 that has required extensive repair. At past meetings, the board has asked for the potential costs to keep the current unit running for the next few years ($21,300). At last month’s meeting, the board asked for more information on replacing the HVAC unit.
The cost of a new unit would be approximately $36,000 as per a June 5, 2014 bid from J & D Heating & A/C. That includes a 5-year warranty on parts with a 1-year warranty on labor and the compressor.
After White explained that three companies were asked to bid and it was decided to go with J & D as they were the ones who installed the original unit and bids were very similar, Assistant Chief Tom May explained that the commercial HVAC market is not very competitive, and then offered to bring more information to the board in December, as the board then tabled the purchase decision.
During Public Comment, George Repetti congratulated the three members who were sworn in and urged the board to drop the 3-minute limit on public comments.
"The only Chair of any meeting that limits someone to 3-minutes is someone afraid to hear what they have to say.”
The Fire Board will meet for a workshop on Dec. 2 at 10am and a Board Meeting on Dec. 16 at 6pm. Both meetings will be at Town Hall.
Missy LayfieldCaption: Fire Chief Darren White administers the Oath of Office to Fire Board Commissioners Bob Raymond, Carol Morris and Ted Schindler, Jr. at Tuesday night’s Fire Board meeting.