I sent the a letter to Washington State Auditor Brian Sonntag.

Apparently they condone this statement put out by the fire district. And follow the public agency practice of simply ignoring the taxpayer.

Crickets….

Comments No Comments »

Playing Politics

 

 

The district is delaying release of potentially embarrassing and damaging information until after the election.

 

Over a week has passed since the last board meeting. On Monday, I sent an email asking for the minutes to be posted.

 

The minutes of three previous meetings were approved by the board, with notable opposition, but the district sees fit to not post them on their website in the day or two it usually does.

 

Could have something to do with the No vote on approval and the comments that Commissioner Freitas did “not want to discuss in an open public meeting.”

 

And a Public Records Act request for a copy of the Budget/Finance/Audit Committee report, an internally produced document,  is withheld because the district estimates “that it will take up to 15 days to notify affected third parties”

 

Since the document requested was prepared by an internal committee, and contain information from another public agency, there is no justification for seeking a delay to “notify affected third parties.”


This is your Open and accessible government agency at work, folks.

 

Both of the withheld and delayed documents contain items of possible embarrassment to the district. Other documents are included in the delayed category, but I do not know what they are, yet.

 

And the district has decided to use tactics, possibly illegal, to delay the release  of information.

 

We are getting a raw deal from the administration, the existing Commissioners and their legal counsel, proven wrong an many previous occasions, some chronicled on this website.

 

Integrity is in question as Commissioners Gates and Fossos both try to blame the State Auditor for disparaging comments that appeared in a report prepared by the committee they are on.

 

Integrity is in question when the Police Chief sends an email to the  SKF&R Board of Commissioners, but only two commissioners ever receive a copy of the email.

Board Chairman Bill Gates decides to withhold the report from other board members, saying “It wasn’t addressed to you” even though the email was specifically sent to and intended for ALL board members.

 

Silence, delay and ignore all seem to be accepted practices in an agency that gives lip service to being open and accessible but instead works hard at hiding.

 

 

###

October 31, 2011

To:              Mr. Jerry Galland

From:           Lauri Perry

Executive Assistant

______________________________________________________________________________

We have received your email dated October 25, 2011.  In your email, you made three (3) separate requests, each of which is addressed below.

 

1.    All documents included in the ‘Commissioners Packet’ which was provided for the commissioners at the board meeting October 25th 2011.

 

There are two (2) sets of information that meet this request, one(1) will be available for you to pick-up on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm and the other we estimate that it will take up to 15 days to notify affected third parties.  Information relevant to the second set of information will be available to pick-up on Monday, November 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm.

 

2.    If not included in the ‘Commissioners Packet’, I am requesting a complete copy of the revised Form 178 commissioners meeting and expense reimbursement form that was mentioned at the meeting today.

 

We will have this information ready for you to pick-up on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at 3:30 pm.

 

3.    Copy of the audio recording for the October 25th regular board of commissioners meeting.

 

We will have this information ready for you to pick-up on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at 3:30 pm.

 

 

 

 

From: Jerry Galland [mailto]
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 4:22 PM
To: Perry, Lauri
Subject: PRA records – Commissioners packet – claims form for commissioners 178?

 

Ms. Perry,

Public Records Request for copies of these documents:

 

-All documents included in the ‘Commissioners Packet’ which was provided for the commissioners at the board meeting October 25th 2011

-If not included in the ‘Commissioners Packet’, I am requesting a complete copy of the revised Form 178 commissioners meeting and expense reimbursement form that was mentioned at the meeting today.

-Copy of the audio recording for the October 25th regular board of commissioners meeting.

 

 

Should any of these records be withheld, please identify the specific exemption or other law which justifies the denial and explain how that exemption applies to this request.

 

Respectfully,

 

Jerry Galland

 

 

Comments No Comments »

When Chief Allen Church and his long experienced team of administrators presented for approval the 2012 budget with future amendments, the entire team blatantly expressed NO Confidence in the existing board to provide any relief next year.

 

It looks like Chief Church has lost confidence in Commissioners James Fossos and Mark Thompson.

 

Instead, he hangs his last desperate hope for better times on a completely new board. One made up of objective members with clear problem solving abilities.

 

Commissioners Fossos and Thompson have challengers for their seats in the election next month.

 

And one challenger continues to receive ‘backdoor’ endorsements. One from the Federal Way Mirror, another from political contributor Bob Roegner and another clearly from Chief Church himself.

For the positive change that everyone wants, fill in the box for Jerry Galland

 

Why not a final budget?

 

All the signs are there for predictable revenues declines. While the exact numbers are not clear, they only represent a difference of a few thousand dollars.

 

The 2011 budget, passed in October of 2010, shows the same thing, declining revenues.

http://www.southkingfire.org/media/uploaded/Doc-16.pdf

 

Your King County Assessor sent you the 2012 property valuation in July of 2011 showing a definitive number from which to estimate revenues in 2012.

 

So then why is it, with all of the high priced talent, self-proclaimed expertise and experience within SKF&R, does the Chief and his administrative team present a waffled 2012 budget pending “amendments” to be announced next year?

 

He clearly has no confidence in the existing board to bail him out.

 

He is waiting until after the election, hoping for a better board to present his Amended Budget.

 

‘Backdoor endorsements’

 

The Federal Way Mirror-

On October 19 the Federal Way Mirror Editorial Board questions existing SKF&R board members for their “objectivity to balance their advocacy for firefighters and the community they serve”.

And states that “the public deserves more scrutiny of fire district expenditures in these tight economic times”.

Not wanting to leave the question unanswered, the editorial board goes on to praise Jerry Galland with this assessment:

“Jerry Galland, is among the few community activists willing to challenge this sacred cow. Admittedly, Galland walks the line between instigator and problem solver. At the very least, Galland raises the issue of whether the board needs candidates who bring more objectivity, especially with taxpayer dollars at stake. That is truly in the public’s best interest.”

 

Bob Roegner-

 

Wrote for the October 26th edition of the Mirror:

“Galland does represent a view within the community: that an additional person outside the firefighting world may be needed on the board to provide more of a check and balance.”

“Is Galland the right person to provide that balance?”

 

And finally, Chief Church-

Chief Church offered up the third backdoor endorsement for change in the board at the regular board meeting October 25 where he asked for budget approval.

When his passionate plea at the October 13th Special meeting for this board to “find some way to improve revenues” went unanswered, by his action, Chief Church essentially told this board on October 25th that he no longer has confidence in its ability to provide needed revenues.

 

Instead, Chief Church held back his final budget until after the election, apparently expressing some glimmer of hope for much needed change and improvement.

 

Are you going to ignore 3 ‘backdoor’ endorsements?

All of these people have shown by words or actions their desire to have Jerry Galland elected to the board of commissioners.

Can that many learned and diverse opinions be wrong?

I ask you to consider this when you get your ballot.

For better service, you need to vote out the incumbents.

For the positive change that everyone wants, fill in the boxes for Jerry Galland and Timolin Abrom

 

 

Comments No Comments »

You have to wonder what he is trying to hide.

When Chairman Bill Gates sent this letter to the Federal Way Mirror, and in light of him and his associates on the board ratifying certain crisis by ignoring a cap on revenues, Chairman Gates doffs his commissioner hat to speak in support of the cabal of three; Gates, Fossos and Thompson.

 

Accolades

This tight-knit trio has engineered the greatest revenue deficit in the 60 year history of the district. And with the help of their beloved hired chief, continues to shift blame for their mis-handling of this district to the citizens.

He lauds Thompson and Fossos for their integrity and leadership, blindly ignoring that they sorely lack both.

At the public hearing for the budget, at every opportunity, Chief Church relentlessly shift responsibility away from the board and toward one citizen. If there was an increase in any budget item it was Jerry Galland’s fault. If there was a decrease in revenues, it was again Jerry Galland’s fault.

Much hand wringing and emotional plea for a reprieve from the board fell on deaf ears as everyone focused their demise onto one citizen. All ails are the responsibility of Jerry Galland.

 

Enough already.

Jerry only pointed out the obvious, and tried to give the board a viable alternative. But, because it came from Jerry, it was ignored and dismissed.

This blatant arrogance by the board has come at a solemn price to the citizens of this district.

At no time has there been a budget deficit this severe.

 

Crisis

And at no time has there been a greater need for the board to reflect onto itself for an answer.

It is long past the time for this board to admit that an outside and independent opinion is better than their collective minds could conjure.

Albeit late in coming, since long before the defeat of the ill advised Prop 1 was voted on, considering and accepting the generous ceiliing of $23 million per year in revenues is long overdue.

 

History repeats itself

Unfortunately, this board is so locked into self-serving platitudes, it is impossible to right itself.

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is futile.

Sadly, this board is bound a determined to repeat itself.

Without a major shake-up this district is headed for ruin.

 

A chance for renewal

I have done everything possible to break up this triad but without your support and vote it will solidly march the district into repeated and serious deficit.

 

Elect Jerry Galland to the board for a fresh perspective.

Comments No Comments »

First there was an excellent demonstration from the Thomas Jefferson High School Emergency Response & Health Careers Program.

As available on the Federal Way Mirror website for June 23 this past April their team came home state champions.

I hope to post a link to some video showing their presentation soon.

 

 

 

 

More videos you may find of interest

 

Here are two videos of note from the board of commissioners meeting today. Commissioner Fossos appears very upset that a constituent would share a report from the police department with another commissioner.

(by the way, the district has decided to stop video recording their meetings. So you will only see this here, and on YouTube)

 

First video:

You will need to turn the volume up.
In this clip, one commissioner asks about a communication sent to the fire district from the police department and the police chief.
Since it concerned a policy procedure regarding personnel getting paid for in-district travel, which I believe not to be covered by Resolution 320, the question is should all of the commissioners have been informed of the report filed with the police department.

 

http://youtu.be/TBu5kdQT0NA

 

 

Second video:

How do you stifle public participation at an Open Public Meeting? Easy.

 

Have a long standing precedence and publish an agenda that includes two Public Comment sections. One near the beginning of the meeting and one at the end of the meeting. Just be certain to make sure the first one is before you talk about any agenda items.

 

This way most people will wait to see what agenda items of interest arise in the meeting that they may wish to comment on.

 

Then, after the first session passes without comment, just make a motion that starting immediately there will be only one public comment session at all meetings starting with this one.

 

See? Easy.

 

This is how your elected officials make sure they are not asked anything and all public input is nicely avoided.

 

The part that I especially like is where the attorney asks “How much comment do you want” or not want?

 

This public entity decided that NONE is the right answer.

 

http://youtu.be/gw1qUGK_H04

 

 

 

 

 

Comments No Comments »

Update 8/26/11: The State Auditors Office has agreed to review this. And a potential fraud and perjury report naming these two district personnel has been filed with the Federal Way Police Department.

Does this rise to the level of perjury?

 

The intent and language of Resolution 320 is to reimburse district personnel mileage and meals (per diem) for travel requiring personnel to leave the district.

 

In reading Resolution 320, the first whereas clearly states “it is sometimes necessary for District Personnel to leave the District for periods of time while conducting District business”

 

This is a plain language statement clearly identifying travel to conduct district business which takes place outside the district.

 

The second whereas re-iterates the intent by stating “during such travel the individual will incur expenses for meals and, if required to use their own vehicle, mileage expense”

Again, plain language is used to identify that Resolution 320, by use of the phrase “during such travel” applies only to outside district travel as defined in the first whereas, unequivocally and absolutely excluding any mileage or per diem allowance inside the district.

The third whereas again uses plain language to reaffirm the intent of Resolution 320 to identify outside the district travel by use of the term “such personnel” to identify only those District Personnel that leave the District for travel to meetings, district business of educational classes as mentioned in the first whereas.

 

Resolution 320 is so clear and simple that an attorney is not needed to understand the intent. This directive applies exclusively to travel used to conduct district business out of district. There is no other interpretation of the intent of the resolution.

 

“under penalty of perjury”

 

SKF&R Form 178, is a multi-page form used by SK&F on which some district personnel submit and get reimbursement for meetings, authorized expenses and mileage. This form has at the bottom of each page a signature box.

 

Directly above the signature box on every page of Form 178 is clearly printed the following statement:

 

“CERTIFICATION:

I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that this is a true and correct claim for necessary expenses incurred by me for Departmental business serving a public purpose, and that no payment has been received by me on account thereof.”

 

Here seems to be the district interpretation

It has been revealed that on several occasions in the past two years, (actually, almost every single month) two of the South King Fire & Rescue District Personnel, in direct violation to the long standing and often voted on and approved text in Resolution 320, have repeatedly submitted Form 178 for, and have been paid, reimbursement for mileage which occurred inside the district.

 

We should actually be grateful, I guess, because these personnel, using their own reasoning, could believe that they are further entitled to get paid for every meal they eat. If for some reason they should get hungry after the meeting and stop by a restaurant before arriving back home, why not submit for per diem also?

The same logic would apply. After all, if one reads Resolution 320 and concludes that one deserves mileage for in-district travel, then one deserves per diem also.

 

 

The remedy

This information has been reported to oversight agencies and I hope it will warrant inclusion in the audit scheduled for this fall. Moreover, in this case, I believe the action to be such that more immediate action will be taken to avoid continued abuse.

We are only a week away from another Form 178 being submitted and another potential case of personnel certifying, in direct opposition to Resolution 320, and under threat of perjury as stated on Form 178,  that they deserve in-district mileage pay.

 

The real shame

This district has had two bad years in a row. Revenues are down almost 20% from their 2009 levels. The boots on the ground firefighters that dedicate their lives to saving yours recognized this and voluntarily took a wage freeze!

In January of 2011, IAFF 2024 presented a memorandum of understanding forfeiting their negotiated rights to receive any pay increase for this year, saving the department $246,621.00 for 2011.

 

Of special note are the commissioner comments. These two really stand out.

“Commissioner Fossos commended the Local for their outstanding call to duty by taking care of our citizens and by putting the needs of the department above their own needs. He thanked the Local for making the sacrifice and willingness to sit down and come to a conclusion that benefits our citizens.”

“Commissioner Rickert thanked the Local for making the concession in their wage package.  It just goes to show that as long we stay together and work together we can resolve a lot of our problems. Our leadership, the Board of Commissioners and the Local have always worked together, it makes a fine team and its better for the citizens in the community.”

Obviously these two commissioners were quite moved and deeply appreciative of the personal sacrifice your firefighters made. Commissioner Fossos commenting on the willingness of the local union to put the citizens and the needs of the department above their own, and Commissioner Rickert lauding the concessions granted as well as how well everyone works as a team.

 

 Pulled directly from the minutes of the January 6, 2011 meeting:

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH IAFF LOCAL #2024

Chief Church noted that we have been working with Labor (Local 2024) the last several months on a Memorandum of Understanding.  He added how proud he is of our organization, our employees and the leadership of Local 2024 as well as our Commissioners for supporting this.  This effects our department as well as our community.  With the overwhelming support of Local 2024 we have reached an agreement which with the Boards approval it will lead to a salary concession in 2011.  Chief Church read three (3) sentences which are in the MOU; it really explains the rationale for Labors support.

1.  The Employer and the Union recognize that the citizens in the South King Fire & Rescue service area are currently dealing with a severe recession, the likes of which have not been seen since the 1930’s.

2.  The Employer and the Union value our citizen’s needs, and place a high premium on ensuring that they receive the quickest emergency response times, emergency services, and fire department programs as dictated by our Mission Statement.

3.  In recognition of the difficult economic times our citizens are facing the Union agrees to modify Article 16 of the CBA permanently conceding the 2% COLA (cost of living adjustment) in 2011 as specified in the current collective bargaining agreement.

 

This salary concession will save the department $246,621.00 for 2011; Chief Church applauds the Local for the concession.  President Herrera added that Local 2024 has a good understanding of what our citizens are going through with the recession.  He believes this is the right thing to do in these economic times.

 

Commissioner Fossos commended the Local for their outstanding call to duty by taking care of our citizens and by putting the needs of the department above their own needs. He thanked the Local for making the sacrifice and willingness to sit down and come to a conclusion that benefits our citizens.

 

Commissioner Rickert thanked the Local for making the concession in their wage package.  It just goes to show that as long we stay together and work together we can resolve a lot of our problems. Our leadership, the Board of Commissioners and the Local have always worked together, it makes a fine team and its better for the citizens in the community. Commissioner Rickert made a Motion to approve the Memorandum of Understanding.

Commissioner Freitas noted these economic times are really tough times out there, we are all in this together, hopefully this helps provide and maintain services in the community.

 

Commissioner Thompson noted this involved a lot of hard work by everyone, this isn’t easy to vote to give up funds for your family, but a lot of people are doing it and some  people aren’t receiving any raises or cost of living raises.  He added that this is a good move on everybody’s part and a win win for everybody.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

***

Complete and accurate text of the mileage and per diem resolution:

SOUTH KING FIRE & RESCUE

KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON

RESOLUTION NO. 320

A RESOLUTION of the Board of Commissioners of

South King Fire & Rescue, King County, Washington,

Establishing Meal Per Diem and Mileage Expenses

For District Personnel

WHEREAS, it is sometimes necessary for District Personnel to leave the District for periods of time while conducting District business, attending meetings or attending educational classes, and

WHEREAS, during such travel the individual will incur expenses for meals and, if required to use their own vehicle, mileage expense, and

WHEREAS, the District has an obligation to reimburse such personnel for reasonable expenses incurred while acting on behalf of the District.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that a reasonable sum to be allowed personnel for mileage and per diem allowances has been established by the District (in accordance with IRS guidelines) and is set forth on the attached schedule, the schedule is updated per the IRS recommended per diem and mileage reimbursement on a yearly basis or a special adjustment.

ADOPTED by the Board of Fire Commissioners of South King Fire & Rescue, King County, Washington, at a regular meeting this 26th day of July 2011.

 

 

***

 

 What is your interpretation?

Comments No Comments »

Remember back in July of 2010 when we were threatened with impending disaster if Proposition One failed?

Chief Church was using scare tactics like increase in response times, then estimated to be between 4 and 6 minutes. (quite a margin, actually)

And risking our excellent and coveted Class 2 rating.

Or how about the certitude promise of an adverse impact in emergency staffing?

 

A tale of two meetings and how they play today

Let’s revisit two public board of commissioners meetings from last year and see what surfaces.

 

First was the July 30th 2010 Special Board Meeting

Several  musings were aired but two were of particular note. Chief Church was upset with statements in the voters pamphlet:  “The Assistant Fire Chief states that Emergency Response WILL NOT BE REDUCED!! The budget will be met with no loss of safety services.”

 

In the July meeting, there is some confusion about which ‘hat’ Chief Church is wearing. He carefully waits until the Public Comments session to speak ‘as a member of the public’. Seconds later though, he identifies Ed Plumlee as his assistant chief. Private citizens don’t have assistant chiefs, so the hat must have slipped back on.

On the recording, the Chief Church can be clearly heard forcefully saying “My assistant chief was misquoted by an individual that quite frankly was an absolute liar in what he stated”.

 

(When he identified Ed Pumlee as “my assistant chief”, by inference he must have been calling himself the chief. Ergo, he was speaking in his capacity of chief. Otherwise he would have said “my friend” or something similar)

Of course, the individual he was referring to is Jerry Galland.

 

 Commissioner Gates thinks (not) highly of the voter

Also, without taking off his commissioners hat, and without bothering to pretend that he is speaking as a member of the public, (or even if as a member of the public, not very supportive of his fellow citizens) here is what Chairman Bill Gates thinks about the voters of this district making an informed decision based on the facts presented:

“If people are dumb enough to vote against the benefit charge, hey, they’re gonna get what they voted for. They are gonna get reductions in personnel, in the number of pieces of apparatus out there, they’re gonna get reductions in programs. The only thing they’re gonna see an increase in is response times.”

(We know that, while some could disagree, these statements were from commissioners and the chief, not pretend members of the public. There was even some advice given, but not taken, that speaking frankly should not be done.)

Then, right in the middle of the supposed public comment period where one doffed his hat, Commissioner Fossos returns to commissioner business with a motion to write a letter to the editor from all of the commissioners to convince the voters that the district is right and can be trusted. Business that is highly irregular during a Public Comment session and about a letter that was never written.)

 

August 19, 2010 Regular Meeting

 

Then at the August regular board meeting of the fire commissioners, in the wake of the failure of Proposition One, a sobering yet very revealing discussion transpired.

Chief Church said the failure of Prop One was because of a lot of “mis-information” and that “the public voted against a concept that they didn’t understand”.

In response to a question from Commissioner Fossos about where “they came up with the 66%”, Chief Church states that “it came from the RCW which is a mathematical equation that if you maximize every single penny you could potentially take with the benefit charge it could equate to that”

 

This clip is but one of several that conclusively Proves the board and Chief Church were completely and strangely aware of, understood and agreed that the supposed  ‘mis-information’ they kept talking about was actually irrefutable facts.

 

 

Zip forward a year

Interesting what a little time will do, isn’t it?

 

One year later and guess what?

  • NO reported increase, in response time.
  • NO change in the Class 2 insurance rating.
  • NO layoffs of emergency personnel.

 

All this with absolutely NO increase in your taxes!

A savings of $5,000,000

 

Despite all of the scare tactics, the district found a way to keep services and still collect millions less in revenue.

 

Amazing what some pressure and incentive will bring about.

 

But who is the Liar here?

Let’s review some Facts about Proposition One from Chief Church’s Perspective.

 

Chief Church said passage of Prop One was crucial to keeping response times between 4 and 6 minutes. Prop One failed and response times are……..not reported change, still between 4 and 6 minutes. Does that make Chief Church a LIAR?

 

Chief Church said passage of Prop One was crucial to keeping our Class 2 rating. Prop One failed and we still maintain a Class what? YES we still have a Class 2 rating. Does that make Chief Church a LIAR?

 

Chief Church said that failure of Prop One could adversely impact emergency staffing. Prop One failed and not even one firefighter (emergency staff) has been laid off. Indeed, has anyone been laid off as a result of budget?  Does that make Chief Church a LIAR?

 

Flashback

What about the conversation at the meeting? Where is the liar in the room now? The Assistant Fire Chief was correct when he said that “Emergency Response WILL NOT BE REDUCED!! The budget will be met with no loss of safety services.”

 

These words have borne fruit, and it looks like the assistant fire chief was right on the mark, so no liar there.

 

Further, Jerry was correct when he supplied this information in the voter pamphlet. So no Liar there, either.

 

So, where is the Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire?

 

 And about Commissioner Gates high regard for his constituents

 While one could interpret this as a threat to punish the voters for their wise fiscal decision, I think it is really just some more ‘mis-information’ from another elected official.

Let’s parse it out:

“They are gonna get reductions in personnel” (NO reduction in firefighters)”, in the number of pieces of apparatus out there “(NO reduction in usable equipment)”, they’re gonna get reductions in programs”(Tell me what was reduced?)”. The only thing they’re gonna see an increase in is response times.”(Wrong, again. still 4 to 6 minutes.)

Is it possible that I was wrong? That there is actually more than one person in the district intent on spewing mis-information to the public and hoping you never wise up?

 

Prop One Failure

What with all of these unfounded scare tactics the district was using, no wonder that Prop One failed so miserably.

 

 

Full recording of the July 30, 2010 and August 18, 2010 meetings can be heard by simply clicking on the date.

 

Add a few more

 

Last fall at a public meeting, did the the $200 an hour district attorney lie to you when he said that video recording was not allowed in an open public meeting?  It took public awareness, pressure and an article in the Federal Way Mirror to almost bring the policy into compliance .

 

When in February 2011 Chief Church attempted to deny your rights to you that members of the public carrying weapons were not allowed on district property, was that a lie? .(even put up signs saying that)

And at the next meeting, when the $200 an hour attorney cited bad case law to reinforced the position that Chief Church told about members of the public carrying weapons, was he lying then?

Consider that it took another show of public support and another article in the Federal Way Mirror to get this brought into legal compliance.

 

(Why is it that common sense and readily available laws are not enough to get this board and administration to do the legal and proper act? Must it always be a public outcry?)

 

 

 

 

Did you get good value from your real estate purchase?

 I want to discuss the overpriced and ill-advised timing on the real estate deal these commissioners got you into, but will save that for another day. I hope to get around to it before the district sells it. After all, for the next 5 years, we will pay $233,000 for the dirt and then it goes up to $490,000 per year after that.

Can you tell me if the decision to promote Prop One had anything to do with covering the costs for this irresponsible decision?

____________

Does any of this have anything to do with the nice fat $339,000 severance package that Commissioner Gates presented to Chief Church at the November meeting?

 

Nah, that’s just a conspiracy theory.

 

 

*In order to provide accurate and complete information that is not taken out of context, click here to listen to the entire audio of the July 30, 2010 and August 19, 2010 meetings.

Comments No Comments »

Here is a district that gives public input and involvement a lot of meaningless lip service.

 

The dates and times for all regular meeting of your elected officials are determined in December and posted on the website. This allows the public to clearly see, and plan for attending, a meeting if desired.

And gives notice that a day or two before the regular meeting there will be an agenda so you can review it to see if an item sparks your interest.

 

But, in the interest of keeping the public out of Special Meetings, the board policy specifically requires that only a 24 hour notice be posted on the website.

So, if you don’t check it EVERY day, you will not know when such items as gun control, special favors for outgoing water district directors or political pitches to your elected officials in Olympia are being made, at your expense.

 

On several occasions I have requested to be informed by email of the date and time for these Special Meetings. Since all of the commissioners have to be notified anyway, adding any interested parties email address to the list is simple.

 

The response has been the commissioners guidelines says they do not have to. Indeed, there is no provision for any reasonable notification at all to anyone. Even the media needs to make a specific and direct request to be notified.

 

So, why is it them that on at least two open public meetings the commissioners ignored the request from one member of the public and actually sent out targeted invitations to several people that otherwise had no interest is the affairs of the district?

 

According to public records requests, the January 6, 2011 Special Board Meeting prompted invites to Representative Miloscia (attended), Representative Orwall (attended) and Representative Asay Not attended).

The records, although specifically requested, are missing any indication of how Senator Eide (attended) heard about the meeting but she was there.

 

And then there is the March 17th Special meeting. In this one we have two issues. The first is an invitation to have an officer or two ‘drop by’ in a “keep the peace presence” at the Special Board Meeting and the second is a blatant cover-up and attempt to keep the public unaware and out of the process.

 

In an email 1 week BEFORE the meeting, Deputy Chief Ed Plumlee actually wrote in an email “I’d appreciate if you would keep this to a very small circle please. “

A side note on this email is the lack of follow up with this line “I’ll be networking with media and special interest groups”. The district was clearly aware of who the Special Interest Group was but made NO attempt to actually contact them.

 

I am sure that informal invitations also occur as there have been a variety of non-district attendees at other Special Meetings. But just try to get the district to actually tell an interested member of the public of a Special Meeting date and time.

 

But I do have a solution. I know how it will be mandatory for the district to notify me of Special Meetings of the Board of Commissioners.

 

Elect Jerry

 

I will even invite people who want to be notified of any commissioner meeting to let me know an I will gladly share meeting notices with all of you. After all, these are Open and public meetings

 

 

###

From: Plumlee, Ed
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2011 2:46 PM
To: Brian Wilson
Subject: Meeting

Brian, I fairly certain that we’ll be making a policy change on a special meeting of the commissioners Thursday March 17th at 1700. We’ll be announcing the meeting, mostly an executive session, on Tuesday or Wednesday. Can you help us by having an officer or two drop by at meeting time? I don’t expect there will be a big showing of activists but I’d like to have a “keep the peace presence. “ If we can get the change in place I’ll be networking with media and special interest groups, explaining why we changed, prior to our March 22nd meeting to minimize any potential issues on the 22nd. I’d appreciate if you would keep this to a very small circle please.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Regards,

Ed

###

Exactly as written but Email address and phone number deleted

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Last week I picked up a thick packet of information on the Deputy Chief Patrick Kettenring case.

 

If the documents are to be believed, he is solely responsible for providing the fire district with a slew of operating procedures and guidelines that never existed before. The greatest focus was made on the high rise procedures, which appear to have been a copy/paste version available almost anywhere in the country. Just updated to replace the district name in appropriate places. Something that even the most basic computer literate person could accomplish in an afternoon.

 

Or, the district decided to offer hundreds of pages of existing documents and dared me to prove that Deputy Chief Patrick Kettenring was not the one responsible for their creation.

 

However, another request will soon follow that should clear most of this up.

 

 

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Missing this year from the flag day ceremonies last Saturday, has anyone seen the SKF&R Honor Guard?

 

Ever since I questioned Chief Church about the gross misrepresentation of the all ‘Volunteer’ member Honor Guard, advertised as “all firefighters who volunteer their time and financial support”, but instead actually pocketed $1,000’s of dollars in overtime in each of these past few years, they have suddenly stopped appearing anywhere.

 

One can reasonably conclude that, indeed, honor was for sale, as without the overtime pay, travel and free meals, interest has sadly waned.

 

I would appreciate report of any known sightings of this suddenly elusive group of dedicated firefighters.

 

 

 

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