What a mess at the October 30th meeting. Councilman Tom Moore did not receive e-mail notification of the meeting and has to depend on smoke signals he states. Anita does not have an e-mail so had to be noted by telephone and no one can state when she will have one. They have other names on the e-mail listing including Rhett Bullards and Spencer Lofton and keep Andrew Greenes because he is the assistant fire chief who needs to be fired but somehow we think Town Manager Jones may have to intervene so someone gets e-mails.
Unfortunately, we are in the process of questioning the Town’s assessment that Mr. Jones is a consultant as an independent contractor. Since the council has control over what Mr. Jones does including his hours and what he does and where he goes…by Florida Statute he is an employee….a contract Town Manager Employee and we’ve sent the information on to Ms. Logan.
The Volunteer Fire Department was discussed in so many ways and we are no further this evening than we were before except that Tommie Jones did speak to both Mr. David Preuter and Mr. Kevin Pittman. Preuter has a full time job and has to work. He only has Wednesdays off to man the Fire Department and couldn’t be at the meeting. Tommie Jones spoke to the chief Preuter as to how he felt about our bringing Kevin Pittman Back. It was stated that David Preuter was in the fire department for a very long time and came in when Andrew’s Wife made all the lies about the whole process. Preuter knew who all those on the roster are and he could have easily told Walter McKenzie the distance those on the roster would travel.
Our Town Manager advised that Mr. Perez stated that Kevin Pittman could definitely get off work to fight a fire. Councilman Walter McKenzie stated our relationship with the park was strained when Kevin Pittman was let go in five minutes and the other firefighters left.
Back and forth the conversation went of our Town Manager not wanting to do something behind David Preuter’s back and Walter expressed the same concerns at least six times which is ridiculous. We have known for two years that we have not had a real fire department and the only person who can fix it is Kevin Pittman. We do not want anyone else.
The question was raised; okay, so Preuter was working during the fire so the other municipalities Jasper and Genoa provided the services. Although he couldn’t respond, why couldn’t the rest of the 11 people on the roster respond?
Tom Brazil stated he offered Preuter his assistance but that Preuter never saw fit to call Brazil so that didn’t say a lot about him. Councilwoman Anita Rivers stated this new fire department has received more money than the $75 a month the old fire department received and they are doing far less than Kevin Pittman and his firefighters did. Andrew Greene is probably still being paid and hasn’t done a thing.
Tom Brazil stated he joined the Fire Department in 2006 when the Chief was someone from Georgia. Steve Stith then took over. Being a volunteer is difficult and Mr. Brazil stated that he is at work from 6:00 am to 4:00 PM and when he was a firefighter he went directly to the station to provide coverage for the Town. Under Kevin Pittman, there was always one or two firefighters at the station.
Then there was some skuttlebutt that David Preuter did not complete the computer information required by Hamilton County. Then there was a mention that all personnel files are locked in Stacy Tebo’s cabinet but that Kevin Pittman took all his firefighter’s files with him.
Walter McKenzie finally stated that our Town Manager needed to hire Kevin Pittman but make certain first that Mr. Pittman was certified and had all his coursework done because we do not want anyone firing him again.
It was mentioned by Councilwoman Rivers that Steve Stith was never available to respond to Councilman McKenzie about the distance those on the roster had to drive but that he could make it to a meeting when Preuter was introduced as the new Fire Chief.
Then it was stated that it is the Town Manager’s decision to hire and fire people and right now we have two Managers. Stacy Tebo is still here and even Councilman Tom Moore stated he is uncomfortable going against her hiring Preuter since she is still the actual Town Manager. Then someone said that perhaps Tommie Jones should talk to her, but Mr. Jones has had no luck in speaking with her and she will not provide him with all the passwords,contact information and information he needs relating to the town until the last day she is in White Springs. That’s the day he will get receive a packet from Tebo.
It was suggested that the Town just pay her and let her go. The Attorney said we can do it but it was decided that we will wait to do anything on the fire department until Stacy Tebo is gone. Our Town Manager then was told to talk to Preuter because Preuter’s services could also be used and they want Preuter in the loop.
Tom Brazil explained what a good fire Chief Kevin Pittman was and is and when their brotherhood were in charge they responded to 390 incidents out of 398 which is amazing. Final decision to be made in ten (10 ) days on the hiring per Councilman Tom Moore.
Please God Help us in the Meantime so there are no more fires
Karin for the blog