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  • slackjawedyokel
    replied
    Do your job to the best of your ability - do right by your men -- and let the chips fall where they may.

    Leave a comment:


  • HuntPA
    replied
    Before you do as FWD states you may want to consider a couple small details. I agree that an official letter to the council requesting that they cease discussions of relieving you of your duty. In PA, the borough must supply adequate fire and health safety protection to the citizens of their municipality. This is part of the Township Code. Attached to that is the fact that the municipal authorities may, with just cause, give the department officers a vote of "no confidence". That would relieve them of their current contract. They would then have to contract with another agency to supply the mandated coverage.

    Knowing this, does your department have a contract with another municipality? If not, do your by-laws state that you can exist as an independent organization, or does the department then have to dissolve leaving the equipment to XXXXX ? Is XXXXX going to immediately contract with the borough?

    This whole process is going to cost them a lot in legal fees and destroy any hopes they may have in terms of re-election (unless you are truely incompetent and have messed things up to the point that the general population agrees with the AC). As far as being removed, the elections appear to be held in December. Assuming a 1 year term, the AC should have the opportunity to come in and run against you in a couple months.

    Now here are my questions for you:
    1 - Have you been to a council meeting to address the issue in person?
    2 - Have you been officially contacted by the council that they are looking at this type of action?
    3 - Are you giving them reason, as chief or in your interaction with the council, that will make them want to go down this road?

    If you answer all of the preceding as "No", then I must assume that you are giving into rumors and innuendo. Doing so will only bolster the opposing party's stance. My recommendation to you is to go to the meeting, dress well, do your homework on the laws and the regulations, and address the issue directly as a professional by leaving emotion at home. Assuming that you are a tax payer of the borough, you have every right to call to question the actions of AC in terms of conflict of interest.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    Originally posted by resq992 View Post
    To answer a few questions
    Yes we are in Pennsylvania and are incorporated operation, independent of the Bourough Council
    Asst Chief elected by the membership
    I did nothing wrong but run for Fire Chief.The guys and girls who voted for me are the ones running in to the fire's.The retired Fire Chief and 2nd Asst Chief voted for me.The life time members voted for him.
    My past department voted for it's chief, however the lifetime members were not allowed to vote, just for this reason.

    Actually, they did not have a vote on any issue, but they were allowed input in the discussion.

    Leave a comment:


  • FWDbuff
    replied
    Originally posted by resq992 View Post
    To answer a few questions
    Yes we are in Pennsylvania and are incorporated operation, independent of the Bourough Council
    Asst Chief elected by the membership
    I did nothing wrong but run for Fire Chief.The guys and girls who voted for me are the ones running in to the fire's.The retired Fire Chief and 2nd Asst Chief voted for me.The life time members voted for him.
    Ok then, from one Pennsylvania "Borough" person to another, here's what I would do-

    1. Send the Borough Secretary a letter by registered mail (return receipt requested) asking that it be read into the next business meeting of Borough Council. Explain that you feel as if you have been the recipient of unfair treatment from Council Member SoandSo, whom also happens to be the Assistant Fire Chief. Explain exactly what has happened, and that you feel he is trying to use his power as a council member to rally the rest of the council members into some sort of vendetta against you.

    Cite the applicable code/oridnance sections that separate the Borough from the Fire Department, and gives them no power over the Fire Department.

    Close the letter by respectfully requesting that since Borough Council has no control over the Fire Department, that you feel there should be no further discussion by them over this particular matter, and that any further discussion or action regarding this topic may result in legal action.

    Then, bring Council Member/*** Chief into your office and close the door. Tell him you are speaking to him as the *** Chief. Let him know that you dont care if he hates your guts or not, but that if he keeps stirring the pot, you will not be able to trust him. And thats when the suspension for "conduct unbecoming" starts.




    In the letter, cite the Code or Ordinance Section that gives the Borough no authority over, and separates the Fire Department from the Borough. Then

    Leave a comment:


  • tree68
    replied
    Originally posted by Blulakr View Post
    Or is it merely sour grapes on their part for losing the election?
    DING! I believe we have a winner.

    I've had certain members show up at our meetings on election night (when I've been in the running for a white hat) just so they can point out some insignificant error of judgement they feel I've committed (like not refueling a vehicle after a call). I still haven't figured out what said members don't like about me. One member opined they were jealous, but again, I'm not sure of what.

    Small town / fire department politics. You gotta love 'em.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blulakr
    replied
    Sounds like unless you are grossly negligent in your duties then they will have to wait until the next election to vote you out.

    Have they given a reason as to why they want you out?? Is there a particuliar policy in dispute? If so maybe you can comprimise. Or is it merely sour grapes on their part for losing the election?

    I assume the term Bourough is the same as what we call a district? If the Bourough has no juristiction over your department then who does? Do you have a board of supervisors or???

    In our area the fire protection district works independantly of the city and has it's own governing board and geographical area. Removal of our chief would either have to be by a regular vote of the membership or an order by the fire district board of supervisors.
    Last edited by Blulakr; 07-15-2010, 01:40 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • resq992
    replied
    To answer a few questions
    Yes we are in Pennsylvania and are incorporated operation, independent of the Bourough Council
    Asst Chief elected by the membership
    I did nothing wrong but run for Fire Chief.The guys and girls who voted for me are the ones running in to the fire's.The retired Fire Chief and 2nd Asst Chief voted for me.The life time members voted for him.

    Leave a comment:


  • resq992
    replied
    Went to to Borough Today and got a copy of the contract here is what its says.
    Waiver of Jurisdiction

    The signing of this contract, and or paying of the fire protection fee by the SECOND PARTY, (Borough) does not in any way give the SECOND PARTY (Borough) the right,power, or authority to govern, regulate, or control the Fire Department or the Fire Department officers and firefighters of the FIRST PARTY (FIRE DEPARTMENT ). The SECOND PARTY (Borough) does hereby waive all such jurisdiction over the FIRST PARTY (FIRE DEPARTMENT) by executing this contract.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blulakr
    replied
    Originally posted by resq992 View Post
    Iam new to being a Fire Chief i won in December by 1 vote. The Assistant Chief has been a thorn in my side ever since he was the one who lost.And now with my luck he is a member of the Borough Council and with there help are trying to remove me of Chief.We do recive tax money from the Borough I guess my question is is it legal for them to do this? any help would be great thank you so much
    Since you were voted in wouldn't you need to be voted out at the next election??

    To remove you they must have reasonable cause, do they?

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    Get a lawyer and ask him your possible moves in this situation. If he responds in a way that makes it sound like you may win then go to the next Borough meeting and let them know you have retained counsel and he is investigating conflict of interest and the illegal attempt to remove you from office.

    Shove it right back at them and let your AC know that you know exactly what he is doing.

    Of course the reality is it is a volunteer position with most likely little or no compensation...so how much is a battle really worth to you?

    Leave a comment:


  • FWDbuff
    replied
    As others have stated, there simply is not enough information on here to render solid opinions. First and foremost, what are the policies, procedures and bylaws that administer your organization and handle situations like this?

    Next thing I would want to know, is exactly how much power does Borough Council have over control of the Fire Department? Just because they give you money does not mean that they have any say whatsoever in your operations or administration. You mention "Borough." Are you in Pennsylvania by any chance? If you are an incorporated operation, independent of the Bourough Council (which I suspect you are) they have zilch control over you, other than hanging money over your head, which he would have some serious explaining to do if he tried.

    Is the Asst Chief elected by the membership or appointed by you? If he is causing that much trouble, and making life miserable, he is guilty of "Conduct Unbecoming" and in my opinion should be made aware that his actions are causing discontent among the troops. If I were the Boss, and he were against me to the point that he is causing disruptions in the operation, I would promptly show him the door. He doesn't have to like me, he just has to go along with me.

    Leave a comment:


  • HAFD112
    replied
    [QUOTE=LVFD301;1189257]Of course, one could look at the election of Chief as being something that maybe should be changed - make it no longer a popularity contest as many are, and promote the most qualified person?



    Very true, But to change the by-laws you need a popular vote of all members. A battle I'm facing right now. Wish me luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • LVFD301
    replied
    Of course, one could look at the election of Chief as being something that maybe should be changed - make it no longer a popularity contest as many are, and promote the most qualified person?


    Whats that line from the song... "Lets get it started in here"

    Leave a comment:


  • tree68
    replied
    Originally posted by HAFD112 View Post
    The question I have is how can someone be a board member and a fire officer, sounds like conflict of interest. Here it is illegal two hold both positions. The assistant chief should give up one position.
    In NY it's illegal for a person to be both a fire chief and a member of the board of fire commissioners that governs the fire department, but there is no prohibition that I know of against someone being on a town or village board or any other level of elected office.

    This situation is not a whole lot different than going against the "clique." You may have won the election, but it's gonna be a war from here on out. Been there, done that.

    Leave a comment:


  • HAFD112
    replied
    The question I have is how can someone be a board member and a fire officer, sounds like conflict of interest. Here it is illegal two hold both positions. The assistant chief should give up one possition.

    Leave a comment:

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