When the magic fingers of Chief Churches hired accountant touches the calculator.


 

Fascinating math again put out by the high priced administration of your fire department.

Since I have been following the finances of the district, several money issues have been shown to be questionable or possibly out-right deceitful.

The Honor Guard, listed as “Volunteer” but in fact are paid thousand$ each year in overtime; the 60th Anniversary yearbook that the commissioners agreed would not cost the taxpayer one dime instead costing over $700 (and not being produced at all!) in one commissioners salary.

We pay a good salary for our Chief Financial Officer as well as the other top administration staff, you would think one or two of them would apply a bit of logic, common sense and education to their position. Maybe that was not a requirement when Chief Church hired them.

However, once this story breaks, there is one person who we can depend on.
Whoever maintains the website, at the direction of Chief Church, will hastily re-write it. So, I include a screen shot of their official page as presented over one week after the press release was posted. Press Release posted on April 11


 

$5,000+ radios


Consider that roughly $5,482 each is a stiff price to pay for radios, with spare batteries and chargers (Motorola gave the district a “a spectacular deal on the radios” [we are probably only getting this outrageous gouging and “spectacular deal” because they are being purchased with taxpayer dollars]) but that is not the main issue with this bundle of misleading information.
(For example, from the private sector, a major user of Motorola radios like the kind being bought by the fire department, and indeed in use in their company fire department services, pays a mere $2,500 max for each of their top-of-the line Motorola brand radios. Just another fine example of price gouging the public. I’ll be asking if they even put it out for competitive bidding)

 

 

But back to the money massaging aspects of the Press Release.


Not until you get to the fourth paragraph in the press release do you discover that the number in the first paragraph is an outright lie, confirmed in the very same article. .

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grants award for 2010 is $385,933, not the $482,416 declared in the first paragraph.

This represents that 70% of the total committed for radios came from the FEMA grant tax money. The remaining $96,483 of intra-district tax money. This is covered on page 5 of the 2011 Operating Budget where they allow $155,000 for radios.

Which leads to the next logical question; Are the numbers mentioned for the other grants in paragraph five accurate?

Nope!  Same bundle of deceit.

How about if I told you that ALL of the numbers are lies and none of them is even close to the amount we received from FEMA AFG?

Takes only a few minutes of research to shine light on the truth.

Here are the facts and this is what paragraph five the “Press Release” should have read to be anywhere near accurate:

SKF&R has received three previous FEMA AFG grants. In 2002, the district was awarded $475,950 (70%) on the 2002 AFG award list for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus which allows firefighters to breathe while fighting fires; in 2004 SKF&R was awarded $143,752 (70%) on 10/24/2003 for the Wellness/Fitness Initiative to ensure the health and well being of all personnel; and in 2005, the district received  $325,660 (70%) for telecommunication technology which allowed SKF&R to meet federal mandates by providing training inside the fire stations, which kept fire crews in their “first due” area and available to respond more quickly.

 

Ignoring the mandatory 30% district contribution is abhorrent and disrespectful at best and outright deceit at worst. Then to lump it all together and make it look like all the money was manna from heaven makes it truly onerous.

 

Something is still missing

 

While it was easy to locate the capital expense of $155,000 from reserves, I have yet to see where in the budget the $385, 933 is put into the budget so it can be accounted for. I am still looking.

 

Using the SKF&R logic elsewhere

 

Using the logic promulgated by SKF&R, the City of Federal Way wetlands ‘grant’ we read about recently is $800,000, not the $400,000 in this article

 

 

###

 

Community Press Release
Contact: Kendra Kay 253.946.7247

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/11/2011

_____

Fire Department Recieves Grant

In November 2010, South King Fire & Rescue was awarded a grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) for $482,416.00 in order to purchase portable radios firefighters use to communicate with dispatchers as well as with each other. They will be used in all first line apparatus, and on-call emergency personnel such as safety officers and fire investigators.

This grant couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only has the fire district seen a reduction in revenue due to declining property values, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is requiring all non-Federal public safety licensees to comply with narrow banding regulations by January 1, 2013. Agencies that do not meet the deadline will face the loss of communications capabilities in those spectrums. South King Fire & Rescue sought to comply with the FCC requirement and meet Washington State recommendations prior to the deadline so as to not jeopardize mission dependent communication capabilities.

The grant will purchase 88 radios, as well as spare batteries and charges for the radios. Motorola provided South King Fire & Rescue a spectacular deal on the radios, allowing the department to purchase three additional radios, which will be funded through the matching funds and be purchased on a separate purchase order, not to compromise the terms of the grant.

The fire district has one year to complete the terms of the grant. The federal share of the grant is $385,933, with SKF&R contributing $96,483.00 in matching funds. The portable radios must be purchased, distributed, and all personnel trained in the new technology by November, 2011. Upon completion of the project, there will be an audit conducted by an AFG representative and the Washington State Auditor’s Office.

SKF&R has received three previous AFG grants. In 2003, the district was awarded $679,928.00 for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus which allows firefighters to breathe while fighting fires; in 2004 SKF&R was awarded $205,359.00 for the Wellness/Fitness Initiative to ensure the health and well being of all personnel; and in 2005, the district received $493,800.00 for telecommunication technology which allowed SKF&R to meet federal mandates by providing training inside the fire stations, which kept fire crews in their “first due” area and available to respond more quickly.

http://www.southkingfire.org/News.asp?Page=PressRelease&piID=96

 

BTW as to the spelling error, repeat after me: I before E except after C

 

UPDATE

May 2nd

 

I visited the webpage and see that the spelling of the word ‘receive’ has been made but the numbers remain adamantly unchanged.

 

So I ask again, when does a $385k grant become a $482k ‘grant?

When the magic fingers of Chief Churches hired accountant touches the calculator.


Where is the accountability?

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