The chief was somewhat cognizant of the proper use of public funds in his May 22, 2010 email to the commissioners.

Speaking of the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighters annual gathering, Chief Church writes “We will be sending a contingent down to the memorial consisting of Honor Guard members, Union Executive Board members, the Waller family (paid for by Local #2024 due to gift of public funds issues if we paid for them), myself, and any interested Commissioners. Commissioner Fossos has already indicated his desire to attend. Are there any other Commissioners, such as Commissioner John who worked with Doug, that would like to attend?”

Chief Church, by identifying not paying for the Waller family expenses “due to gift of public funds issues”, apparently was aware that the funds for sending people are tax payers money, but did not hesitate to round up any and all desired attendees from the ranks, even if, by interpretation, they did not work with Doug Waller. Commissioner John did, according to the email, but no mention of Commissioner Fossos having done so.

Note that nowhere in the email, nor anywhere else for that matter, does Chief Church identify that the department is sending personnel on training, classes, seminars or any other authorized activity. By using the description to say “sending a contingent down to the memorial”, he clearly identifies no training will occur. Yet, he pays for this all expense paid trip with your tax dollars taken from the various training budgets.   Explain to me how this is different from “gift of public funds issues”?

So we end up paying over $8600 for 11 people to travel to Colorado Springs, at taxpayer expense, while the Chief publicly states the department is going to have to cut services if Proposition 1 fails. Say what?

If you think that this is proper use of your tax payer money, read how much more the chief plans to spend, this year alone.

How many times will YOU unknowingly pay to honor Fire Fighter Waller?

How about another trip, this time to Maryland?

The same email reveals this information.Chief Church writes that “there is a possibility that Doug will be memorialized in October at the National Fire Academy’s Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial. This normally occurs during fire prevention week. A/C Plumlee and D/C Knorr plan to attend if this occurs, and it is also open to any Commissioners that might be interested.” … “Any Commissioners interested in the NFA Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland in October should let Lauri know so we can plan accordingly.”

A public Records Request has been submitted for any taxpayer money from the cash strapped fire district that might have been spent on this trip.

Further independent investigation from this e-newspaper editor reveals that Fire Fighter Doug Waller may not, yet anyway, be on the National Fire Academy’s Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial. Apparently, there is some issue of whether this fallen firefighter meets the established criteria to be honored there.

I am actually truly amazed at how much travel seems to be authorized by the Chief that has nothing whatsoever to do with the core functions of keeping and maintaining a fully trained work force and up-to-date equipment for saving lives and buildings.

Again, new information warrants new requests. I will keep you informed.

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