Letter: What is really going on at Grand Lake Fire?
January 30, 2014
To the Editor:
I owe a lot to the Grand Lake Fire Protection District (GLFPD). In 1974 I joined as a volunteer firefighter. Later I applied to a large front-range metropolitan fire department and retired after 29 years of service. Could Grand Lake Fire use another volunteer? I learned that a board seat was open. I applied and was appointed. Being on the Board opened my eyes to issues I believe district residents should be made aware of.
Why are three of the five sitting Board members appointed? How did the Fire chief and the board manage to appoint replacements instead of voters fairly electing replacements?
Why does the fire chief and two board members try to convince us that there is too little community interest in volunteering for the board, when there are currently four individuals interested in running in a May 2014 open and free election?
Why did we just lose all four of our full-time paid staff? Was it due to "internal conflicts" as claimed by the chief, or was it due to lack of leadership? These are dedicated, well trained professionals. We have invested considerable resources in these folks. Did the Board intervene? Listen to employee issues? Give the Chief direction?
Why has the Board authorized the Chief's base salary of $103,596? Now 15 percent of GLFPD's annual operating budget is going into his pocket and when his entire benefit package is included he takes almost $1 out of every $5 from the District each year.
Why did the Board buy the Chief yet another brand new truck (complete with camper shell)? Is the 2009 Ford truck worn out already? Why do all district-owned vehicles have GLFPD markings except the one driven solely by the Grand Lake Fire Chief?
Why have we never seen a board vacancy notice or an election notice posted in a reasonable public place like the Post Office, Town Hall or Library?
Why the big push to repeal board term limits only to cancel the election at the last minute?
All is not well in the Kingdom. How about some leadership here at home? Duty must trump "The Good Old Boy's" club. The dynasty is over.
Lastly, some good news! The Broncos are going to Super Bowl. They have a winning team on the field, a winning coach and winning management. To be a winning organization everything must work in close concert.
Thankfully, all our firefighters provide GLFPD with a winning team on the field. Our management and coach? We deserve a Super Bowl caliber Fire District. It is unfortunate that it has come to this but we have grown weary of 4th and Long.