January 27, 2016

CALL TO ORDER @ 7:00 pm

ROLL CALL           x Mr. Anderson                        x Mr. Takacs                      x Chief Lutz

x Mr. Donaldson                   x Mr. Vest                         x Ms. Clapp                                        x Mr. Gauntner                       – Mr. Wayman (OOT)    x Ms. Dame                                                                                      



Minutes of 12/16/15 Budget Review Workshop

Motion to approve as presented by: Mr. Anderson                  Seconded by: Mr. Gauntner ROLL CALL: (4) ayes; 1 abstain (Donaldson)

Minutes of 12/16/15 Regular Session

Motion to approve as presented by: Mr. Anderson                  Seconded by: Mr. Takacs ROLL CALL: (4) ayes; 1 abstain (Donaldson)

Minutes of 01/06/16 Reorganization Meeting

Motion to approve as presented by: Mr. Donaldson                Seconded by: Mr. Gauntner ROLL CALL: All ayes

BILLS & PAYROLL (December 11th , 2015January 15th, 2016:

Bills ($114,730.42) and payroll ($258,907.91) totaling $373,638.33 are motioned for acceptance and payment. Joanne Clapp detailed various payments.

Motion to approve bills and payroll as presented by: Mr. Gauntner

Seconded by: Mr. Anderson                                                                     ROLL CALL: All ayes


VFIS DISTRICT INSURANCE – Full Time and Part Time Sickness & Accident:

Mike Gehring detailed the 3-year VFIS Full Time and Part Time Sickness & Accident insurance renewals (2/1/16 – 2/1/19) which are only slightly higher than the last coverage ($40 total for both policies). The policy also covers the District Clerk, Chief Fiscal Officer, Fire Board members and any volunteer organizations working with the District. Darlene Kimble with VFIS will attend a Fire Board meeting in the near future to answer any questions that the Board may have regarding additional Disability Coverage, if desired.

OPENING PUBLIC PORTION:Firefighter Dennis Myers, Fisherman’s Trail, Madison Township, spoke of putting the levy back on the November, 2016 ballot and suggested that the Firefighter organizations and the Administration make an effort to mend fences and present a united front in conveying the District’s needs to the community. He stated that he gets the impression that the Board members do not know the personnel very well which is an injustice to everyone concerned. FF Myers read all names listed on the current roster and reported each person’s years of service with the District, as well as other positions that each holds outside the District. He reported that the top 20 in seniority average 22 years of experience and it would be remiss for the Board not to take advantage of the untapped talents and resources of the valued men and women of the Madison Fire District.  Mr. Vest thanked FF Myers for the overview and the staff for their service.

Lt. Tod Baker, Local 3141, reported that, 30 years ago this date, FF Al Dingle died in the line of duty and requested that the Board observe a moment of silence in memory of his service.


Full Time and Part Time Labor Management Committees: Chief Lutz reported that he is waiting for availability confirmation from both the Full and Part Time Unions and the Full Time and Part Time Labor Management Committees for separate meetings tentatively scheduled for Feb. 2nd beginning @ 9:30 am.


Mr. Takacs reminded the Board that the District is still running on a temporary appropriations budget (expires 03/31/16) and requested that Joanne Clapp detail the status of the 2016 Operating Budget. Joanne reported that she has completed the budget update and has forwarded it to Chief Lutz for his review and approval. She stated that the final appropriations budget should be available to the Board by the February meeting which will allow them enough time to approve the final budget before April 1, 2016.  She further commented that she and Chief Lutz are working on Capital Expenditures, and that the Year-End report will be submitted to the State by February 5th, 2016.

Mr. Gauntner reminded the Board that last summer there had been some discussion about selling the two properties on Burns Road and asked if they were still interested in considering it this year. Chief Lutz stated that he has not yet gotten appraisal cost estimates which is necessary to move forward with the project, and he committed to completing this phase in the next couple of months.


Resolution #16-03 – Appointment of Special Legal Counsel:

This resolution authorizes the hiring of Jack L. Petronelli as Special Legal Counsel for the purpose of handling both Full Time and Part Time union collective bargaining negotiations. Said services shall not exceed $5,000 without additional authority from the Board.

Motion by: Mr. Gauntner            Seconded by: Mr. Takacs            ROLL CALL: All ayes

CHIEF’S REPORT:                                                                                                          01-27-16                                                                  

1)      Inspection Report: In Board Folder.

2)     Call Updates: Chief Lutz reported that the house at 1112 Elm Street has been completed and that the demo funds have been returned to Cincinnati Insurance.   Chief Lutz also reported that the total number of calls in 2015 was 4,296 which is slightly higher than the 4,173 runs in 2014.

3)     Squad Refurbishing/Replacement: Chief Lutz reported that it will be necessary to refurbish or replace either squad #2122 or #2132 in the near future and he will have estimates for Board consideration by the next meeting.

4)     Thank You: Chief Lutz thanked the Board for their generosity in allowing him extended time off to handle out-of-state family medical issues.


Craig Winkleman, 444 Oak Hollow, stated he has recently read all the Fire Board minutes since 2009 and has a few comments/questions:

1)      In January, 2011, the Board stated that St. #3 would be built using funds from the 2006 Levy. On July 21, 2015, and numerous other times, Chief Lutz and various Board members stated that the funds to build St. #3 are, and have always been, taken from EMS and Transfer revenue. Given that the State Auditor does not allow EMS funds to be used to pay for the construction of facilities, and given that the Board has approved cutting back hours for the Transfer Program, is it still necessary to put a Levy on the ballot for the previously stated purpose of hiring people?

2)     With respect to recent requests that the current Board take responsibility for decisions and “mistakes” made by previous Boards, and Mr. Gauntner’s subsequent refusal to do so because the decisions in question were made before he was appointed, Mr. Winkleman asked if, in the last two years, the Board in general, and Mr. Gauntner in particular, feel they have responsibility for the levy not passing, the issues with the recent audit and the financials being the way they are.

3)     Mr. Winkleman also asked if the Madison Township Trustees have waived all legal claims against the Fire District in regards to issues with old St. #3 on Ross Road.

Mr. Gauntner replied that he takes partial ownership for the levy not passing because he ultimately agreed to put it on the ballot. He explained that he was one of the descending votes when the Chief originally approached the Board for a 5 mil levy. Once additional financial information was made available to the Board, however, he reluctantly agreed to put a 4.5 mil levy on the ballot in an effort to “be a team player”, because there was, and still is, a need to hire additional Full Time personnel. Mr. Gauntner commented that, for some unknown reason, he did not see a lot of public levy education and/or support from the firefighters and paramedics last fall, and he is still not convinced that we can pass a 4.0 or 4.5 mil levy in this poor community especially if the people who are going to benefit from the levy do not support it and/or promote it.

In response to Mr. Winkleman’s question about possible active claims by the Madison Township with respect to old St. #3, Mr. Gauntner stated that he was not a Board member when the Ross Road fire station was turned over to the Township, but has been involved with discussions in the last couple of years about the Township’s request that the Fire District share the cost of $11,000 in roof repairs, which the District declined to do. As a matter of recent record, Mr. Gauntner reported that on January 26, 2016, the Township Trustees directed their Township counsel to explore the possibility of selling the property (minimum bid $50,000). Per Mr. Gauntner, a Leroy company showed interest in the property, but recently declined to pursue the matter further because of additional costs that would be required to remedy septic system problems. Mr. Gauntner stated that, as far as he is concerned or is aware, there is no more liability between the Fire District and the Madison Township regarding the old St. #3 building.


Motion to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss Personnel Employment/Discipline @7:43 pm by: Mr. Anderson           Seconded by: Mr. Gauntner         ROLL CALL: All ayes

There may be business to follow.

Regular Session Reconvened by Chairman @ 8:28 pm.

Motion to adjourn Regular Session without further business @ 8:29 by Mr. Anderson

Seconded by: Mr. Gauntner                                                                     ROLL CALL: All ayes

_______________________                           _______________________

Mr. Mark V. Vest, Chairman                                 Nila Brass, District Clerk