Peninsula Township Town Board
April 18, 2016
Open Session of Meeting called to order at 9:50 a.m. from previous closed meeting.
Present: Hofffman, Chair; Avery; Weatherholt; Witkop; Byron; Rosi. Also present Mary Ann Abbott, Recording Secretary
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1. Conference Call with Attorney – to discuss labor negotiation and attorney opinion – Closed Session
Return to open session of meeting
Hoffman announced that the Board would be combining Business items #2, #3 and #4 into one and for the purpose of planning they would like to collect information but would not be making a decision. This Board would like to have a public hearing in the future concerning these issues. The Fire Department voted last week to form a union.
Weatherholt We can address the Fire Board, but we are not going to make a decision until we get a permanent chief in place.
Byron With the fire Board we will wait to discuss until we get a permanent chief which could be anywhere from two weeks to 6 months. We can collect information but we are not going to make a decision. We have to have a signed contract before we proceed on these issues. On the Fire Department ALS/Staffing/Buildings we can continue to discuss with the previous appointed committee which was David, Pete and Wendy (who may have a conflict). With the Safe Boat we are not going to decide on keeping or selling until we have the replacement chief in place.
Hoffman Through the Standard Operating Procedures we already have the Acting Chief, who is Randy Rittenhouse who has been our acting chief for many years.
MOTION: Weatherholt/Byron that Randy Rittenhouse will be the Acting Fire Chief at this time.
Roll Call Vote: Hofffman -Yes; Avery-Yes; Weatherholt-Yes; Witkop-Abstain; Byron-Yes; Rosi-Yes
MOTION PASSES 5/1 ABSTAIN
Weatherholt The people in the audience should know that the Fire Department voted to go Union and that process, according to our Attorney, can take 6 months to a year. Our hands are tied a little as far as what we can decide for the Fire Department right now.
2. Fire Board
3. Fire Department ALS/Staffing/Buildings
4. Safe Boat
5. Ambulance Chassis
Randy Rittenhouse, Acting Fire Chief stated that the Ambulance Chassis was put up for sale for a minimum bid of $14,700. There were no offers at that price. He asks that the Fire Department be allowed to reduce the minimum bid to $10,000. They will advertise it in the Record Eagle, Craig’s List as well as move the Chassis to Station 2 where it may be more visible.
MOTION: Weatherholt/Rosi to allow Randy Rittenhouse, Acting Fire Chief, to use his discretion to make a minimum bid for the ambulance chassis (sealed bid).
Nikki Sobkowski, no address given, commented on Trustee Avery’s comments at the last meeting with a statement on political power within government. She stated that is what our democracy is; a system where power is vested in the people through a system of elected representatives chosen by the majority of its members to represent them.
Randy Rittenhouse, Acting Fire Chief would like to say that we have always had great support from the Town Board. Would like to take a moment to thank everyone from the local community and the Town Board for the support.
John Snow, Bluff Road had been a volunteer firefighter and EMT for Peninsula Township for 9 years. A few years ago there was a decision made that they did not feel the chief could run the department. The Fire Board was then appointed. The Fire Chief was let go and eliminate the volunteer firefighters. Our coverage is weak. Would like to see it go back to a volunteer fire department composed of our citizens serving our neighbors. The alternatives are expensive. Would like to see Rich VanderMay to come back as Chief.
Ann Griffiths,14548 Bluff dismayed at the fact that we are not going to do anything until the union issue is decided. Can we not deal with the ALS question or the building issue? Why do we have to call a halt to these important issues? We need to continue to move forward. We as a community need services.
David Taft, Neatawanta Road, Thank you for being open to listen to us today and talk about the Fire Board issues. Would like to have made available the 2015 Fiscal year and the Fiscal 2016 Budget and actual expenses so we can educate ourselves. Another item to mention is that it is important that you might want to appoint some citizen volunteer as many of us have had experience with hiring people and are pretty effective as interviewers or evaluators. You will get a good chief if you bring a lot of people into being involved in hiring that person, as they will see a concerned community.
Margaret Achorn, 11284 Peninsula Drive would like to let people in the room know that now on the website for the township under Agenda there is a “packet” where you can find additional information that the town board uses in their deliberation,k not only the budget information but all the correspondence that will help educate you further.
Nancy Heller, 3091 Blue Water Road, attempts to attend all board meetings. Does her heart good to see all the people today, as normally there are only 2-6 people. Meeting tonight at 5:30 for the Peninsula Township Zoning Ordinance draft. Would really like to see you turn out. The Planning Commission and the Town Board are making every effort to get citizen involvement. In order to include residents you need to attend these meetings. There is a lot of information on the website. Please pass the word and come out to these meetings.
Byron We can continue to work on the Fire Department but has been suggested that we do not put them in place until the Chief is selected as it would not be fair to the new person. There is a committee to continue to work on that. There is another Committee of Monica, David and Jill to work on the new contract with the Fire Fighters and the Attorney.
Witkop asked for clarification from David Taft on what he was not finding on the website.
Hoffman Audit is not scheduled until third week in May. Just stop into office and she will get you what you need.
Weatherholt Since last Fire Chief left, we normally have 4 full time people. Can we add another Full Time person? We need to talk about that in the future.
Rosi Now we have two members of the community that sit on the Fire Board. We heard from the Township attorney that they cannot make any decisions since there is not a quorum. So that is hanging out there also. Do we leave as is and not appoint. Hoffman told to leave it as is.
Hoffman At the next Town Board meeting we will schedule a public hearing. I know that some of the audience have emailed us, so please continue to do that.
MOTION: Avery/Witkop to adjourn at 10:19 a.m.
Respectfully Submitted by Mary Ann Abbott, Recording Secretary