Dec202017

December 20, 2017

Posted by: mfd2104

CALL TO ORDER @ 7:00 pm

ROLL CALL x Mr. Anderson x Mr. Takacs x Chief Baker
x Mr. Donaldson x Mr. Vest x Joanne Clapp
x Mr. Gauntner x Mr. Wayman x Stacy Dame

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Minutes of 11/15/17 Regular Session
Minutes of 11/15/17 Records Retention Committee Meeting

Motion to approve 11/15/17 Regular Session minutes as presented by: Mr. Vest
Seconded by: Mr. Donaldson ROLL CALL: (5) Ayes;
Abstain – Takacs

Motion to approve 11/15/17 Records Retention Committee Minutes as presented
by: Mr. Donaldson Seconded by: Mr. Gauntner
ROLL CALL: All ayes (Gauntner, Donaldson, Baker, Clapp, Brass)

BILLS & PAYROLL (November 2017):
Bills ($40,015.12) and payroll ($126,967.16) totaling $166,982.28 are motioned for acceptance and payment.

Ms. Clapp commented that Chief Baker has been very cautiously monitoring expenditures.

Motion to approve bills and payroll as presented by: Mr. Wayman
Seconded by: Mr. Donaldson ROLL CALL: All ayes
November 2017 Financial Report: Joanne Clapp, Fiscal Officer, summarized the November Revenue and Expenses and commented that the District is under budget year-to-date (Fire 81%/EMS 95% spent) and she anticipates about $1,900,000 carryover to 2018.

Ms. Clapp reported that she received a packet in the mail containing numerous
letters from the Lake County Auditor’s Office that were sent to P.O. Box 33 and North Lake Street (St. #1). The oldest of said letters was postmarked August of 2016. Mr. Gauntner asked if she has contacted the County Auditor to ensure that the correct address will be used in the future and Ms. Clapp stated that she has done her best to advise various County Departments.
12-20-17

OPENING PUBLIC PORTION: Mr. Jim English of Pheasant Court, Madison, Ohio asked for clarification of the October Expenses figure. He also inquired whether the issue with the high Village water bills has been resolved. Mr. Vest answered that the bills will go down by about $11.00 a month.

LEGAL COUNSEL ISSUES: Ms. Dame reported that she has two issues to discuss with the Board in Executive Session (pending litigation/employee compensation).

COMMITTEE REPORTS: None to report.

OLD BUSINESS:

Resolution #17-44 Workers Compensation Random Drug Testing Policy:
Stacy Dame commented that she still recommends that the Board wait until the January meeting to take further action to ensure that this year’s Workers Comp refund is not potentially affected by the board changing our drug testing policy before the end of the year (2017). Ms. Dame committed to emailing amended copies of the resolution to Board members before the January 17, 2018 meeting.

Motion to table the drug test policy for discussion at a later date by: Mr. Vest
Seconded by: Mr. Wayman ROLL CALL: All ayes

Resolution #17-46 – Surplus Sales Agreement for (1) AED for Madison Township:
Life Pak LP-1000 – Serial Number 38398650 – Sale Price $50

This resolution was tabled for discussion at a later date at the November 15, 2017 Regular meeting and will remain tabled until further notice.

Resolution #17-47 – Surplus Sales Agreement for (1) AED for Madison Village:
Life Pak LP-1000 – Serial Number 38398648 – Sale Price $50

This resolution was tabled for discussion at a later date at the November 15, 2017 Regular meeting and will remain tabled until further notice.

Resolution #17-48 – Surplus Sales Agreement for (1) AED for Madison Senior Center:
Life Pak LP-1000 – Serial Number 39711774 – Sale Price $50

This resolution was tabled for discussion at a later date at the November 15, 2017 Regular meeting and will remain tabled. Stacy Dame reported that she needs to discuss the Senior Center AED with Village Legal Counsel Joesph Szeman, and will contact him before the January Fire Board Meeting. Ms. Dame advised that all three AED resolutions will be done at one time.

NEW BUSINESS: 12-20-17 Resolution #17-49 – Harding/Williams Donation:

This resolution accepts an undesignated gift from Julia Harding in memory of Tracy Williams in the amount of Fifty Dollars to be received by the District into the general fund and accounted for by the Fiscal Officer.

Motion to approve Resolution #17-49 as presented by: Mr. Vest
Seconded by: Mr. Wayman ROLL CALL: All Ayes

Resolution #17-50 – Funds Transfer:

This resolution authorizes the Fiscal Officer to transfer funds from the General Fund (1000) to General (Bond)(Note) Retirement Fund (3101) and declaring an emergency.

These funds are to be used to pay the interest on the bonds (St. #3).

Motion to approve Resolution #17-50 as presented by: Mr. Takacs
Seconded by: Mr. Donaldson ROLL CALL: All Ayes

Resolution #17-51 – 2017 Amended Certificate of Estimated Resources:

This resolution authorizes the Fiscal Officer to amend the Certificate of Estimated Resources for the year 2017 and declaring an emergency.

Motion to approve Resolution #17-51 as presented by: Mr. Vest
Seconded by: Mr. Wayman ROLL CALL: All Ayes

Resolution #17-52 – 2017 Amended Annual Appropriations:

This resolution amends Resolution #17-033 to provide for current expenses and other expenditures during the period ending December 31 2017.

Motion to approve Resolution #17-52 as presented by: Mr. Donaldson
Seconded by: Mr. Wayman ROLL CALL: All Ayes

Resolution #17-53 – 2018 Temporary Appropriations:

This resolution authorizes the Fiscal Officer to take all necessary steps to create temporary appropriations for the tax year 2018.

Mr. Gauntner and Mr. Vest suggested that the Board schedule a work session to discuss 2018 final appropriations once the 2017 year end has been finalized.

Motion to approve Resolution #17-53 as presented by: Mr. Vest
Seconded by: Mr. Wayman ROLL CALL: All Ayes
NEW BUSINESS (cont.): 12-20-17

Resolution #17-54 – District Investment Policy:

Resolution #17-54 amends Resolution #09-27 and adopting an investment policy for the Madison Fire District.

Mr. Gauntner reported that he and legal counsel have recommended changes to the draft policy that was emailed to the Board and Ms. Clapp stated that all recommended changes have been incorporated in the final resolution. Mr. Takacs stated that Section 2 of the investment policy should reflect six (6) active funds and currently only specifies three (3). Ms. Clapp committed to listing all funds in Section 2 of the proposed policy that may be used in the future, whether or not there are currently any monies held therein.

Mr. Donaldson commented that several years ago the state auditors informed everyone that the State Treasury Reserve Account was not insured or collateralized and did not recommend that we have our accounts with them. Ms. Clapp stated that she would soon be looking at investment options, including current STAR Ohio regulations, but that she will not make any changes without the expressed direction of the Board.

Motion to table Resolution #17-54 until January 2018 for further editing and research
by: Mr. Anderson Seconded by: Mr. Vest ROLL CALL: All Ayes

Mr. Takacs also requested that the investment policy include requirements that local banking institutions be given the opportunity to bid periodically for managing the District’s public depository/accounts.

Resolution #17-55 – 2018 District Medical Insurance:

This resolution accepts and authorizes the 2018 District Medical Insurance plan as recommended by the Health Insurance Committee and Full Time Bargaining representatives; and authorizing payment of said plan.

Chief Baker reported that only two bids were received for consideration this year which were Medical Mutual with a 11.2% increase to our existing plan and Aetna which, although it offered minimal savings for the upcoming year, will permanently remove the District from the group rating. Our health insurance broker, Assured Partners Group, stated that switching for short term savings and losing our group rating posed a greater risk of long term costs and strongly suggested that we stay where we are for 2018.
Mr. Takacs commented that years ago the District received six or seven bids from medical insurance companies each year for the Health Insurance Committee and Boards consideration, but in the last few years, however, we have had virtually 100% usage of our premiums and essentially the insurance companies are losing money on us which has resulted in fewer bids and fewer options. Mr. Takacs agreed with Chief Baker that losing the group rating would not be beneficial over the long haul and projected that the District may only receive one bid next year which will put us at the mercy of that one single service provider, and whatever they are asking. In his opinion, the District needs to explore

Resolution #17-55 –Medical Insurance (cont.): 12-20-17

different modes for insurability of the fire service since police and firefighters usually have major injuries at significant costs. Mr. Takacs stated that the challenge looking forward is health insurance and it can get very costly quickly down the road.

Mr. Gauntner commented that the Township is facing similar challenges and suggested that the Township, Fire District and Village again look into the advantages of joining together as a larger group which may allow for a better premium option.

Motion to approve Resolution #17-55 as presented by: Mr. Anderson
Seconded by: Mr. Takacs ROLL CALL: All Ayes

Resolution #17-56 – St. #2 Penguin 2018 Maintenance Contract:

This resolution authorizes the Fire Chief to enter into a contract with Penguin Mechanical, Inc. at the same rate as last year for semi-annual air conditioning, furnace, (2) Reznor heaters and hot water tank maintenance services at Station #2 from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018; and authorizing payment provided therein.

Chief Baker commented that these contracts are for the calendar year 2018 and will allow for better planning, scheduling, budgeting and fiscal reporting.

Motion to approve Resolution #17-56 as presented by: Mr. Vest
Seconded by: Mr. Wayman ROLL CALL: All Ayes

Resolution #17-57 – St. #3 Penguin 2018 Maintenance Contract:

This resolution authorizes the Fire Chief to enter into a contract with Penguin Mechanical, Inc. at the same rate as last year for semi-annual air conditioning, furnace and hot water tank maintenance services at Station #3 from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018; and authorizing payment provided therein.

Motion to approve Resolution #17-56 as presented by: Mr. Donaldson
Seconded by: Mr. Vest ROLL CALL: All Ayes

Madison Fire District 2015-2016 State Audit:

Mr. Gauntner reported that he has had many discussions with the State Auditor’s Office since October 2017 about the District’s 2015-2016 Audit. He reported that he has spent a great deal of time researching and talking to State Auditors and others about his concerns with the Representation Letter written by the State Auditor on Fire District letterhead at the end of the audit which he, as Chairman of the Board, is required to sign or the Auditor’s Office will issue a modified audit report which may negatively affect our overall financial status.

12-20-17
2015-2016 State Audit (cont.):

Mr. Gauntner presented the board with a copy of this year’s Representation Letter and pointed out numerous statements of accounting terminology and GASB Code sections in which he has no idea what those statements mean:

Terms like “non-audit services” and “GASB Codification Sections”
Page 2 – Item #4 – “We have no knowledge of any events subsequent to the date of the financial statements and for which the Special Purpose Framework requires adjustment (i.e. recognized per GASB Cod. 2250) or disclosure”.
Page 4 – item #20 – “We are not aware of any pending or threatened litigation, claims, and assessments whose effects should be considered when preparing the financial statements and we have not consulted legal counsel concerning litigation, claims, or assessments”. This statement is categorically not true. We do have ongoing litigation which has been ruled on and appealed, but has in no way been settled. It is currently before the 11th District Court of Appeals and the final outcome could have a negative effect on Fire District finances.
Page 3 – item #17 – “We have no knowledge of any fraud or suspected fraud affecting the entity involving management, employees who have significant roles in internal control or others where fraud could materially affect the financial statements”. Mr. Gauntner objected to signing off on a statement that he cannot either confirm or deny. He commented, “We don’t know what we don’t know”.

Mr. Gauntner stated that he will not sign a letter written by someone else. He finds it unethical for the State Auditor’s Office to demand that he put his name to this 6-page Representation Letter they wrote (on District letterhead), that is comprised of information and statements that are incomprehensible to those being forced to sign. It is his opinion that the Representation Letter written by the State Auditor is written to excuse the auditor of any responsibility if he/she misses something in the audit. It then allows the State Auditor’s Office to “go after”, and hold responsible for the statements attested to in the Representation Letter. Mr. Gaunter stated that he is not a CPA, Fiscal Officer, nor does he hold a degree in government finance. His job as a Fire Board member is to run the District in a fiscally responsible manner. He is not required to understand or know what GASB Cod. 2250 says or requires.

Mr. Gauntner asked the Senior Audit Manager to tell him what section of the Ohio Revised Code states that he has to sign the Auditors written and issued Representation Letter. The Senior Audit Managers response was to send him a 5-page email with fifty pages of attachments from the Assistant Chief Auditor for the Northeast Region of the Auditor of State’s Office. The Assistant Chief Auditor replied that, “There is not a specific Ohio Revised Code section or associated Ohio Administrative Code rule we can point directly to on the requirement…”. The fifty-pages of attachments addresses the Ohio Administrative Code, and AICPA standards which tells the State Auditor how to conduct an audit of governmental entities. It doesn’t require that Fire District representatives sign the State Auditor written Representation Letter.
12-20-17
2015-2016 State Audit (cont.):

The Assistant Chief Auditor further stated, “Failure to receive appropriate representations from management would not prevent the audit report from being released, but after reasonable attempts to rectify, would rather be released with either a disclaimer of opinion (issue with no opinion at all) or best case a further modified opinion (worse opinion issued).

In an effort to remedy the problem, and set in motion a compromise that would finalize the audit process and allow the District to obtain a final audit report. Mr. Gauntner stated that he prepared and sent his own Representation Letter to the State Auditor. His Representation Letter included statements, word for word, from the original Representation Letter that he (Mr. Gauntner) was comfortable stating, and attesting to. The State Auditor’s Office replied that his version of the Representation Letter was not acceptable. Mr. Gauntner respectfully stated that he would not be coerced into signing the Auditors version of the Representation Letter when he was not comfortable with many of the statements he was being required to attest to.

Mr. Vest asked Stacy Dame, District Legal Counsel, her recommendation on how to proceed. Ms. Dame reported that she has reviewed all pertinent information and understands Mr. Gauntner’s position. In her opinion, if the Board desires to receive a “clean audit” then perhaps one of the other Board members would sign instead.

Mr. Takacs asked what ramifications could arise with respect to the Districts financial situation regarding loans and especially federal funding if a modified audit is issued. Ms. Dame and Joanne Clapp committed to collaborate and research the Board’s question and report their findings at the January meeting.

Mr. Takacs commented that typically the Auditor is asking management to state that the information given to them is true and complete. Unfortunately, they expect Executives and Board members to know the technical accounting language and many don’t.

CHIEF’S REPORT- December, 2017 – Chief Tod Baker:
(Full Report in Board Folder)

Staff Recognition: Lt. Brian Faulhammer 17 years of service
FF. Dennis Myers 28 years of service
FF. Michael Brush 1 year of service

Computer Network: Chief Baker notified Ken Pintar with the Lake County I.T. Department that the District has decided to change directions with regards to our I.T. services and computer system. The transition and separation will occur on or about January 8, 2018. The districts new I.T. company CMH is in the process of migrating our data to the Cloud and some of the new computers have arrived and will be set up beginning the week of January 1, 2018 to facilitate some of the initial training.
CHIEF’S REPORT- December, 2017 (cont.): 12-20-17

Emergency Reporting System: Migration of data from the old Firehouse reporting system to the new ERS reporting system has begun. Staff are entering runs in both systems during December so that 2017 data will be completed in Firehouse and the ERS system can be verified, especially for Medicount billing, and ready for use on January 1, 2018. EMS reporting through the State has been verified.

Vehicle Maintenance: Chief Baker reported that all engines and squads have been through preventative maintenance inspections. Some recent minor repairs have been taken care of and we are concentrating on normal maintenance.

Staffing: Chief Baker reported that there have been limited overtime hours required to maintain minimum staffing given that we currently have (1) open Full-Time position, (1) Full Time employee on medical leave until the first of January and (1) Part Time employee on medical leave until the end of February. He commended Captain Sopko and the firefighters for covering the schedule in a way that does not require scheduled overtime.

Full Time Hire Process: Per Chief Baker, (6) candidates completed the Full-Time interview process (knowledge exam, internal and external officer interviews). He will advise the Board of the results in Executive Session for their consideration.

Fuel Tanks: The fuel storage tank projects at St. #2 and #3 are completed for a combined cost of $7,300.

Medicare Revalidation: The Medicare revalidation process (every 5 years) has been completed which allows the District to continue to bill and receive Medicare payments.

December 2017 Officer’s Meeting: Chief Baker reported on topics discussed:
Firefighter Physicals are due in 2018. Due to Lake Health’s decision to modify and limit local facility access, Chief Baker has reached out to University Hospitals for a quote to administer the required blood testing (blood draw at the District) and physicals (Geneva Memorial Hospital). Additional quotes have been requested from the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Sailors office, but no response has been received yet.
Lake Health has agreed to review the issue of requiring staff to travel outside Madison for extended periods of time for blood testing and physical and will advise the District soon if other arrangements can be approved that will not require staff to travel to Chardon or Mentor.
Occupational Health issues and available programs have been discussed recently, specifically cancer screening. Because cancer is a real risk for firefighters, Chief Baker would like to alternate years for physicals and cancer screenings (or other wellness programs) to help keep staff safe. It is his intention to speak with our Medical Insurance Broker, Aggie Jedlicka, in January 2018 regarding our Medical Mutual health care plan, and what Wellness Programs are available and covered.

CHIEF’S REPORT- December Officers Meeting (cont.): 12-20-17

State of Ohio Continuing Education Site Renewal: Madison Fire District’s Continuing Education Site Renewal is now due which ensures that District documentation meets with State’s expectations and allows us to provide Con-Ed training onsite.

Medical Direction: Chief Baker reported that he is reevaluating our association with Lake Health with respect to in-house training because he does not feel they have met expectations to provide a consistent education that improves the service we provide to the community. University Hospitals has shown an interest in providing community health training and District Firefighters are interested and willing to form a committee again to review the guidelines, protocols and education UH would provide. Per Chief Baker, without continuing education, we’re not going to get better. In 8 years, we have had a Lake Health physician attend training only three times, and Chief Baker is looking for a more interactive program to develop better communications between Medical and Fire District staff. In addition, Drug Box exchanges continue to be a problem and he is looking at other sources to improve this issue. He committed to keeping the Board informed.

Monthly Call Activity: Chief Baker reported that the District has responded to just under 2,700 calls January through November, 2017.

Vehicle Replacement: Chief Baker commented that it is time to begin discussions about the District vehicle replacement plan and identify when and how much to capitalize for these necessary purchases.

Questions:

Mr. Takacs asked if the water pressure situation at St. #3 has been resolved. Chief Baker answered that it is better and only now happens occasionally.

Mr. Vest asked for an update on the new Holiday Inn Express Hotel low water pressure issue discussed at the November meeting. Lt. Sopko stated that, due to a miscommunication between contractors which has since been corrected, the issue resolved itself.

Chief Baker reported that he will be taking photos and archiving the building process of the Holiday Inn Express Hotel for future needs and concerns.

Closing Public Portion: None to report.

Closing Board Comments: 12-20-17
Mr. Vest thanked Mr. Donaldson for his time, expertise and input as Board Member for the past two years.

Mr. Takacs thanked Mr. Donaldson for his contributions to both the Madison Fire Board and Village Council.

Mr. Donaldson stated that he has enjoyed his time on the Fire Board and Village Council and has gained a whole new level of respect for the uniformed services in the Township, Village and Fire District.

Mr. Anderson thanked Mr. Donaldson and Mr. Takacs for their contribution throughout the years. He thanked the entire Board for their efforts to work with Chief Baker and for seeing the Captain promotions, as well as the Full Time and Part Time Union Contracts to a successful conclusion. He wished everyone a happy holiday.

Mr. Vest commented that no one before has brought as much hands-on experience and knowledge to the board as Mr. Takacs has and he thanked him for his service.

Mr. Takacs stated that he has definitely appreciated his ten years of experience on the Fire Board, but it is time to move on and he believes that he leaves the District in a much better position than he found it. In his opinion, the District has grown and the buildings, equipment and policies have changed, but it is clear that everyone associated with the District has always had the best interest of the community in mind. He offered his support to the Fire District as needed in the future and wished everyone the best of luck.

Mr. Wayman thanked Mr. Takacs and Mr. Donaldson for their input and service. He wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season. Mr. Wayman then excused himself due to illness @ 8:35 pm.

Mr. Gauntner thanked Mr. Takacs and Mr. Donaldson for their service and for all the excellent information and experience that they brought to the table.

Mr. Gauntner also commented that this meeting would be his last as Chairman of the Board and he has found it to be an interesting year. He thanked everyone on the Board
for the enormous amount of time spent in meetings and executive session and for the changes that have been made in the District. He thanked Chief Baker, Captain Sopko, Captain Meister and the Office staff for their input and efforts to make the changes a successful reality. He thanked Stacy Dame for being tirelessly available throughout the year. In Mr. Gauntner opinion, the District is going in the right direction.

Executive Session: (Mr. Wayman went home ill prior to Executive Session.)

Motion to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss Personnel Hiring, Pending Litigation and Employee Compensation @ 8:36 pm, with business to follow in Regular Session
by: Mr. Donaldson Seconded by: Mr. Takacs ROLL CALL: (5) Ayes

REGULAR SESSION: 12-20-17

Mr. Gauntner reconvened Regular Session @ 9:55 pm.

Resolution #17-59 Madison Seminary:

This resolution authorizes the Chairman of the Madison Fire District to enter into an agreement on behalf of the Madison Fire District with the defendant Adam Kimmell to partially lift and modify the restraining order that is currently in effect in the pending litigation involving the Madison Seminary.

Motion to approve Resolution #17-59 by: Mr. Vest
Seconded by: Mr. Takacs ROLL CALL: All Ayes

Resolution #17-58 – 2017 Longevity Pay:

This resolution authorizes additional compensation to Nila Brass, District Clerk, to resolve the dispute concerning Longevity pay and authorizing payment provided herein.

Mr. Gauntner stated that this payment ($800) will be the last Longevity payment made to Ms. Brass because the Ohio Revised Code does not recognize Longevity.

Ms. Brass thanked the Board for their consideration.

Motion to approve Resolution #17-58 by: Mr. Takacs
Seconded by: Mr. Donaldson ROLL CALL: All Ayes

Motion to Adjourn Regular Session @ 10:00 pm by: Mr. Donaldson
Seconded by: Mr. Anderson ROLL CALL: All ayes

__________________________ _______________________
Kenneth R. Gauntner, Jr., Chairman Nila Brass, District Clerk

Category: 2017, Board Meeting Minutes