David Preuter our Current Fire Chief attended the Town Council Meeting dated November 12th. He indicated that he responded to two calls in less than 10 minutes. Mr. Preuter indicated he has been the one to respond most of the time and did not secure the information as to the distance each firefighter must come to fight a fire in White Springs.
Mr. Preuter stated he received an application from one volunteer but he has stopped trying to secure addresses of the firefighters because he was told by our Town Manager Tommie Jones to pull his Application and resign. Mr. Preuter stated that “My Position is not wanted” by Mr. Jones.
Even though that is not what Mr. Jones told us at the prior Special Meeting, he was quick to deny Mr. Preuter’s accusations. Of course our wonderful African American Manager can do no wrong and seriously could he really have just told Mr. Preuter to pull his application and resign when he told the Public and the Council he did not wish to hurt Mr. Preuter?
Councilman McKenzie came to the rescue and stated that it was difficult at the time because we had an interim Town Manager and a Prior Town Manager who had hired Mr. Preuter. He said the matter was confusing and now Mr. Jones is responsible. He said that our council recognizes that people served a long time as others would not. There was the letter of No Confidence against Andrew and Dominique Greene and former Chief Stith. Now Stith is back. We want all the people back which Councilwoman Rivers stated would come back and that would solve White Spring’s problem. White Springs needs to have a functioning fire department.
McKenzie also stated he did not wish addresses only the time in which they could respond. Chief Preuter will do nothing until he has a discussion privately with Manager Tommie Jone. Tommie Jones said he would contact Preuter so they could talk.
Councilman McKenzie then advised it is up to Tommie Jones to hire and fire those under his supervision (per the Charter) and therefore it will be up To Mr. Jones to secure the right chief and fire department for the Town of White Springs. The can has been kicked down the road again and hopefully someday this lack of a viable volunteer fire department will be resolved.
I cannot give an opinion as to who may be fabricating their stories because I know Tommie Jones has the propensity to lie and I do not know Mr. Preuter but he seems like a nice person and I am certain would not just throw a random statement out for no reason, but I do not know. As difficult as it is to get volunteers, we should not be treating any volunteers badly and it probably could have been handled more politically correct with a meeting of both Pittman and Preuter. But of course we have a new council that knows best.
Karin for the blog