Not true, yet. Remove the question marks and this headline is the expected result of the sudden and secretive contract change that took place in November.

Time for an exit strategy?

In order to form the groundwork for a sweetheart termination deal, just 2 years into his 6 year contract, Chief Allen Church and Commissioner Bill Gates craft a new and improved one.  After making the unexpected deal, Commissioner James Fossos and Commissioner Mark Thompson stumble over themselves to help Gates get it passed. Again, ignoring budget crisis, reason, caution and prudence when presented by Commissioners John Rickert and Mark Freitas, Gates and company march on. If not for the severity of the consequences, this action would be laughable.

I think the 8 year term is a sham. Based on the timing and present economic conditions, look for this headline to appear as reality a lot sooner than that. There must be some reason for this change and I bet we will never know. After all, the conditions say termination will be without cause. Any whim will do and we get screwed, again.

2 years of severance pay

Why suddenly make this staggering but easily passed over change? Instead of 12 months severance pay (section 7b)(excessive already) these two concoct a 24 month severance package (section 7b).

So after 32 years with the district, one could expect getting a nice bonus for being let go without cause might be reason enough to just take early retirement. After all, why stay? With this and his retirement pay, he will likely be making more after he is fired than he is now.

Does anyone else think that the days are numbered for Chief Church? Any bets on the outcome of the soon to be completed, and required, performance appraisal?

Who’s Watching the Budget

After the failure of Prop 1 this year, the district was supposedly looking for ways to reduce the budget, but not Gates and Church. In true good-ole-boy style, these two strike a deal to take an extra big bite from the taxpayers pocket.

Remedy?

Not likely. After all, with an environment of highly suspicious deals in other districts and past internal problems, like with Grant Gaspard, former South King Fire and Rescue assistant fire chief, we can add this one to the list.

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