When the charter was formulated, the police department no one could terminate an officer’s employment unless the Council approved. Unfortunately the charter did not anticipate an unfair manager such as Stacy Tebo, who now under Tonja Brown wishes to give Stacy the full reign of hiring and firing under the charter. This is wrong, and by Ms. Tebo’s statements in the River’s case, she does not even know the officers in the police department. Although I do not have a lot of faith in our current Chief because of her fear of being terminated by Ms. Tebo if she does not lie on Tebo’s behalf, perhaps she would be better if she had full reign of the Police Department. It takes a lot of training to be a police officer and it is their livelihood that Stacy Tebo wishes to play with and that is WRONG.
As to the Fire Department, Ms. Tebo, by charter does not have any rights to Supervise the firefighters nor the former Chief Kevin Pittman. In the days of John Peeler, now deceased, he formulated a great department which was outside of the reigns of the Town of White Springs. As a separate entity, they held many money making events and had sufficient fire equipment, unlike today. Not only that but any money coming in from Hamilton County yearly of $17,000 and other payments for services went directly into the Fire Department’s bank account.
For those who were not here at the time, our prior town manager, Robert Clayton Townsend, like the current manager but not for legal bills, ran out of money. It was the time when the budget had not changed from the $800,000 per year. At that time the Town elected to take some $10,000 from the Fire Department Account and when Mr. Peeler fought against the Town doing so, his days as fire chief, was terminated. Joe Griffin tried to secure a meeting for Mr. Peeler to fight the issue since the Fire Department was a separate entity, but somehow the town placed pressure or fear on him and as a result, he did not wish to pursue the matter.
Since that time the Town took over the Fire Department and it became worse when Stacy Tebo became our Town Manager. She has no idea of what a firefighter experiences, placing his or her life on the line for the sake of saving people and property. Police officers likewise place their lives on the line every day and it does not matter that we are a small town because one never knows what will transpire. I do not believe Ms. Tebo is qualified to know what these wonderful heroes do and instead she believes in a slacker who will do anything including lie and tattle to place himself first.
We were so proud of our firefighters who volunteered their services. They are not paid to assist the citizens but did so even during hurricane Irma. One who considers me a friend really irritated me when she said that the fire department assisted her in cutting down the tree that blocked her driveway; then had the audacity to say that they did not move the tree parts so she could get out of her driveway. I lost confidence in her as a friend as a result. Here, the firefighters did not have to do anything, but did so with the kindness of their heart. We have the best group, some of which are police officers as well and even Detective Cecil Brownfield came back from Mayo to assist our firefighters until Kevin Pittman was fired and the rest of the firefighters quit because they felt Ms. Tebo would be no better to them than she was to Kevin Pittman..
They are a family of firefighters who have a dangerous job but volunteer and are committed to the community. How many of you would even consider doing their job for free?
It exacerbates me to know that each does not have adequate breathing equipment to assist in saving their lives and health. Supposedly Steve Stith received some breathing apparatus which he showed at the meeting but he has no firefighters to used them….basically he has an EMT operation for Century. For Andrew Green to consider that to have been frivolous, speaks for itself as to how green he is. Yes the Town is paying $5,000 as one of three payment for a pre-used fire truck, which means they should have $12,000 left out of the $17,000 Hamilton County provides to purchase additional necessary equipment. Yet because Stith did not find the truck himself he wishes to have it returned because it may cost $4-5,000 to fix…such a small amount for a great truck.
Kevin Pittman is considered the glue that holds the family together and to be told to give his resignation is beyond the pale. He has done so much for this community and deserves better. Yet as you reviewed former Chief Stith’s letter, you will see that if Stacy does not get her way, she will do anything to anyone that is not in her group. I am frankly ashamed of Rhett Bullard for not seeing through the Stacy Stith venture because he has hurt the public by removing Pittman and his firefighters and put in someone only to protect Greene. Could Rhett be that envious of a gogetter like Kevin Pittman and the fire fighters?
Karin for the blog