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Sedona Fire Board Business Meeting Minutes

Dear Editor,

Of particular interest, read Joe Demme’s report to the Board and his appalling personal attack on Sedona “yellow shirts” and citizen Wendy Tanzer for her Red Rock News Letter to the Editor opinion. 

Visit the website www.SFDrecall.com for more information and to take action.

Concerned Citizen
Sedona, AZ


Station #1 – 2860 Southwest
Drive – West Sedona
– Multipurpose Room

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 / 6:00
PM Public Session



Board Present:

David Blauert – Chairman

Craig Dible, Phyllis Erick, and Ty Montgomery – Members

Board Absent: Charles Christensen – Clerk (Excused)

Others Present:

Terry Keller, Assistant Chief

Gary Johnson, Fire Marshal

Karen Daines, Business Director

Bill Whittington, Board Attorney

Sandi Schmidt, Finance Manager

Family and Friends of New Firefighters

On Duty Firefighters for Badge Pinning

Representatives from DHR Consultants

Approximately 32 Members of the Public

Tricia Greer, Recording Clerk

Mr. Blauert called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM and announced Board Clerk Charles Christensen is absent due to a friend’s surgery.


Mr. Blauert led the Pledge of Allegiance and Moment of Silence.


Fire Chief Terry Keller explained these were all replacements and not newly created positions and introduced the following new SFD Firefighters: Kai Kinchloe – Pinned by his wife, Megan; Jonathon Scaife – Pinned by his wife, Tessa; Gregory Eberlein – Pinned by his wife, Tracey; and Jeremy Lilly – Pinned by his wife, Megan.

Mr. Blauert welcomed and thanked them for their service.

Chief Keller then introduced Sedona Police Officer Bill Hunt, who was named by SFD employees as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year for 2010; Police Chief Ray Cota, Assistant Chief Ron Wheeler, and Sergeant Kevin
Ahern were present for the award.


Diane Schoen, Chapel AreaIn the past few months, this Board has appointed two committees, the Chiefs Selection Committee and the Chapel Station Committee, of which I am a member, but I am not speaking for the committee in this presentation. One of these, the Chapel Station Committee, was appointed properly and functioned in a democratic fashion. Members were solicited as volunteers from the community. All the volunteers were accepted and the committee met and elected a chairperson. Meetings were held where the public was allowed to speak, question, and contribute. The Chapel Station Committee is submitting their consensus report this evening. In contrast, the Fire Chief Selection Committee, did not ask for volunteers, would not fill vacant spaces when requests were made, although meetings were governed by the Open Meeting Laws, this committee did not choose to allow the public to speak, only submit comments in writing. The question to this Board is, what obligation and duty does a duly elected Board have to act in a democratic fashion? I submit that any elected official has a high obligation to listen to the public and to allow them to speak at open meetings. The core principles of democracy include the fundamental worth of each citizen, the equality of all people, and the valuing and respecting of individual freedom. This Board and its appointed committees stand at the beginning of each

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meeting, like we did tonight, to salute the American flag and take a moment to honor our service people. And yet, do not defend or uphold the Constitutional, democratic rights of the public. What about the Bill of Rights? Or the freedom of speech? Or the freedom of the press? Is this democracy?

Thank you.

Wendy Tanzer, VOC: Despite any misconceptions to the contrary, our recall effort is not personal, unless of course, you consider your own and the fire district citizens health and well-being personal. When there is a car accident on I-17, the Village of Oak Creek Station responds. If you live in the Village or surrounding areas during such a freeway response, and someone you love suffers a heart attack, your first response team must come from either Uptown or West Sedona. Have you driven Highway 179 from either of those locations recently in traffic? How long did it take?

The people residing in the midway area face this dilemma every day. Their first responders are from either Uptown, West Sedona, or the Village. That response time is always between 10 and 12 minutes. Exactly how long can a human brain go without oxygen before measurable loss of function occurs? Sure, you could die in that period of time, or be left in a constant, vegetative state where every need and job, responsibility for your care is left to someone else. How would your dignity hold up under such circumstances? Dave Blauert, Charles Christensen in absentia, and Phyllis Erick, you campaigned on a platform of fiscal responsibility. Good for you. I applaud your efforts to regain control of expenses. Thats prudent during difficult economic times. But, I refer you to one key word in that statement. Responsibility. When you were seated by election on this Governing Board, your responsibility included more than money. Much more. You became the keepers of the community, the protectors and defenders of district employees, the people to whom the public turn for fairness and equality in their level of protection in return for their equal tax dollars. Instead, you have and continue to raid the kitty, effectively eliminating the possibility of an essential midway station to wantonly spend public funds to further unexplained witch hunts, while attempting to divert responsibility for lack of timely ratifications thereof, and to diminish, not enhance, public safety. You have disappointed many people and betrayed the trust of more. I honestly dont know how you sleep at night. Your promise of responsibility was nothing more than a bloated, gaseous emission. You have failed us.

Gary Dawson, Uptown:  Im a 17 year resident in Sedona living in the Uptown area, and of course, a member of the fire district or a citizen of the fire district in that time. My comments are twofold. While Im facing you, they are more directed for the people behind me, I think, for their consumption. We got a very big civics lesson from the first lady who spoke. Mine will be quite brief and itll be described that we live in a democracy here, of course. But, its a representative democracy. We hold elections, we elect our leaders, or in this case our representatives to run our institutions and, hopefully, we will confer with them like ladies and gentlemen. We will debate, maybe, but civilly. We will not call them names, and we will, hopefully, get the job done. Unfortunately, theres a group in this city, many of whom are sitting behind me, and Im sure Ill hear from them, who choose rather to hurl abuse and insults, even going as far as a recall election, which of course isnt personal. But, then, the later comments did seem awfully personal. To me, it leads to my second point, related point. This vocal minority, and I believe they are quite a small minority. If there are 200 of them, that would represent 1% of our fire districts population. But, boy, do they make a lot of noise. And, sadly, everything they say is picked up and amplified by our one news media here, the Sedona Red Rock News, and I hope they are in attendance tonight. Its sad when you get one side of the story. If a charge is hurled, we never see that someone has gone to get the other side of the story. It gets printed as it is, as fact, and that happens over and over and over. I love the recent one, where one zealot from our group here, stood up, waved his arms, and asked whos packing? Did it just slide by as, well, its kind of a bizarre comment by someone? No, the Red Rock News printed a story and they chose to title it, if I can get it correct here, Residents worry about guns at SFD. We are not being well served by the local media. I dont think its the purpose of this Board to stand up and refute every charge that comes against them, but I would sure like to see the local news media treat things more fairly. So, thats my lesson for the Red Rock News, and to, what I call, the vocal minority. I might say that you are entitled to your opinion, but as the old adage says, you are not entitled to your own facts.

Thank you. 


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A. August 12, 2011 Special Meeting Minutes.

B. August 12, 2011 Executive Session Minutes.

C. August 24, 2011 Business Meeting Minutes.

D. August 24, 2011 Executive Session Minutes.

E. August 31, 2011 Special Meeting Minutes. 

Mr. Dible said he had a correction for the August 31st Minutes; Mr. Blauert then entertained a motion to approve A, B, C, and D of the Consent Agenda; Mr. Dible so moved, Mr. Montgomery seconded, and it was unanimously approved.

Mr. Dible then asked that language be added to the August 31st Minutes in Section IV.A., Ratification of Previous Board Actions, to indicate that even the Board’s Attorney, Bill Whittington, was apparently unaware of Board Policy #2000-06 for the guidelines of employment for legal assistance.

Mr. Dible then moved to approve those Minutes with that addition; Mrs. Erick seconded, and the motion unanimously passed at 4 to 0.


A. Sedona Fire District Chapel Station Study Committee Report to the Fire Board. (Committee Chairman James Evans and Committee Member John Sattler) 

Mr. Blauert entertained a motion to have Item VI. B2, concerning the Tyler Technologies contract moved to the bottom of the Agenda as Attorney Whittington suggested an Executive Session for A.3 legal advice regarding the item.

Mr. Dible so moved, Mr. Montgomery seconded, and the motion passed 4 to 0.

Lowell Johnson, Sedona: First, I want to say about this committee that was set up to explore building the Chapel Station should not have been brought up. Last Board voted it down, it was a dead issue, and when Mr. Blauert brought it up to a committee again, it created a lot of bad publicity in the paper. And I can see why. Because were leading people into believing its gonna get built. We dont have the votes on this Board to build it, so it shouldnt have been brought up. So, there is time wasted by people and bad publicity. When I came to Sedona in 1987, the budget was approximately $1 million with a volunteer fire department, we were all safe. The budget went to 2 million, we were all safe. It went to 3 million, we were all safe. 5 million, we were safe. 7 million, we were safe. 9 million, we were safe. Now we get to 10 million and were not safe. We have a division in the community. This windfall going up to 16 million dollars, dividing this money up amongst the fire district. Theyve got out of hand, and the election was held to do something about it. 16 million dollars. Chief Hazime, who everybody in back of me thinks walks on water, came from Dearborn, Michigan, with a population of a 100,000, whose budget was 14 million. Five times what ours is, six times what ours is. What is wrong with this picture? We have division in this community. Every week in the paper, Karen Daines gets her stories in the paper. Each week, the union is working to get two articles a week to the editor, which is against the Board. We run a Board… the people in back of us at the Chapel cant even pay their new sewage connections and are paying it monthly, and theyre talking about building a station thats gonna cost 2 million dollars a year to run. Forget about the money to build it. What is wrong with what were doing? You people on this Board are being criticized, criticized, criticized. As Board Chairman, Mr. Blauert, you should never allow anyone to come up and character assassination anybody including Mr. Montgomery. Thats all I have to say.

(Note: The entire Chapel Station Committee Report is attached, as well as the PowerPoint presentation.) 

Jim Evans, Chairman of the SFD “Chapel” Station Study Committee presented the following Report:

“Mr. Chairman, Members of the Board, and Members of the Public. This is the Report of the Chapel Station Study Committee. Although John Sattler and I are presenting the report, it represents the work of the entire Committee. Last April, Mr. Blauert asked for volunteers to explore the need, feasibility, design options, and financing for a possible station in the Chapel Area. 8 citizens responded and all were named to the Committee along with the Fire Chief. The members were: Cole Greenberg: a Chapel resident for 19 years; Dick Heguy: a Village resident for 1 year and a retired Fire Chief Officer with 28 years of

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service; Corrie Cooperman: a Chapel resident for 3 years and registered nurse; John Sattler: Chapel resident for 2 years; Terry Keller: Interim Fire Chief of SFD; Jim Evans: Chapel resident for 22 years and previous member of the SFD Board; Diane Schoen: Chapel resident for 9 years and President, Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley; Mike Wells: Chapel resident for 3 years and retired firefighter with 31 years of service; and Dick Fishel: Resident of West Sedona and a member of Christ Lutheran Church. Karen Daines is the Business Director for the district. She was not an official member of the Committee, but we asked her to attend a number of our meetings.

Mr. Blauert chaired the first meeting and offered a number of suggestions to help us reach our goals. Part way through the second meeting, the group chose its own Chairman. About the third meeting, one member commented that we seemed to have decided to build a station, and the only decisions left were how many bays and what color to paint the building. It then became apparent that we have lots of emotion, but no data to support any recommendation. Without data, youre just another person with an opinion. Thus, began our quest for facts and figures. One of the first things that came up for discussion was the Committee should have had a different name. The concern with the initial name was it sounded as if the potential station was just going to serve the Chapel area. The station would actually serve an area starting from Juniper Drive to Doodlebug, Poco Diablo, Casa Manana, Mystic Hills, Yavapino Estates, Sky Mountain, Back OBeyond, Indian Cliffs, and Chapel area, as well as being the back-up for about 12% of the calls in the Village of Oak Creek, which are now answered from Stations 4 or 1. Our preferred name for this station would be the „Midway Station; although, using the existing District procedures, it would be called Station #6.

We spent a lot of time with Chief Keller and Karen Daines learning about District operations and finances. We also had one meeting with the LEA Architectural firm to discuss the whys and wherefores of fire station design. In addition, we reviewed the Minutes of the Committee established by Chief Shobert that looked at the long-term capital needs of the district. We learned the district covers 168 square miles and is „Y shaped. The leg goes all the way to I-17 where the district often responds with mutual aid primarily for vehicular accidents. One arm of the Y goes out past the Sedona Sewer Plant, the other goes all the way to the top of the switchbacks. On this map, youll notice one part is a blue boundary and then, a red boundary beyond that. The blue boundary is where the fire department responds with fire vehicles, the red boundary shows how much more area is covered by EMS. Although Sedonas a small city, it is estimated the Fire District often has a daytime population of 50,000 to 60,000 when you include the Village, all residents, people who come here to work, day trippers who arrive by both private vehicles and buses, people in campgrounds and travel trailer parks, and those who occupy the 3,000+ motel, hotel, and timeshare rooms.

Response time was of interest to the group. The National Fire Protection Association recommends a maximum response time of 4 minutes to have a good chance of controlling fires and rescuing trapped victims, 4 to 6 minutes for saving cardiac and respiratory arrest victims, and 8 minutes for Advanced Life Support. The median response time to the Chapel area for Code 3 calls – which is any emergency requiring lights and siren – is 10 minutes 14 seconds, ranging from a low of 7 minutes 48 seconds to a maximum of 21 minutes 49 seconds. The average response time to the Village for the 12% of the calls is 16 minutes. These response times are from January 1st to March 31st of this year and, obviously, the roundabouts were in use. The District answers 3,300 to 3,900 9-1-1 calls each year. It is realized not all 9-1-1 calls are life-threatening emergencies, but if you are bleeding excessively, having a heart attack, having trouble breathing, or your house is on fire, you want help as soon as possible.

We compared the Sedona Fire District with other fire districts in the State. A direct comparison proved to be very difficult without knowing more about the size and shape of other districts, services provided, and charges levied. However, Sedona Fire District has the lowest mil levy in the State for comparable districts. There will be an attachment to the written report showing the mil levy rates for all Arizona Fire Districts. Chart 8 shows mil levies for 9 comparable districts and taxes paid on a house assessed at

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$350,000 using the appropriate mil levy, and you can see Sedona starts at $1.40 and it goes all the way up to$3.15. Chart 9 is similar, but shows mil levies for districts nearer to us with paid employees. And, again, Sedona is at $1.40and it goes on up. The place thats really in trouble is Mayer. Their mil levy is $3.25, State Law does not allow a mil levy to go any higher.

A few members of the Committee did not understand how SFD tax was calculated. Thus, we had a discussion of the relationship between mil levy, assessed valuation, and tax bill. This is shown on Chart 10. You see in the year 2007/2008, which is on the far left, the mil levy was $1.75, this particular house was assessed at $450,000 and fire tax was $787. The next year, the mil levy dropped but the County increased the assessed valuation, so fire tax increased. The following year, the mil levy dropped, the County assessment stayed the same, and the tax went down. The following year, the mil levy went down, assessment went down again, and so did the tax. In 2011/2012, the mil levy remains at $1.40, the County again reduced assessment, so now, tax dropped to $537. But, to show you how things are affected, in 2012/2013, the house that in 2007/2008 was assessed at $450,000 will now be assessed at $323,000. If you raise the mil levy all the way to $1.90, the tax jumps to $614, which is still less than it was in years 2010/2011. So, when people talk about mil levies and assessments, you have to pay attention to what the numbers are actually doing.

No attempt was made to compare the SFD with municipal fire departments since some do not provide ambulance service and many of their expenses, such as legal, accounting, billing, human resources, maintenance, and utilities are combined with similar expenses from other municipal departments.

The Committee decided not to conduct a survey of the residents of the greater Chapel Area since the time required for residents to learn about the district and to fully understand the need for a station would be greater than most would like to spend. It took the Committee about 4 meetings to really understand the situation. The decision by taxpayers should not be made based on rumors or lack of understanding.

We looked into the recommendations of the Shobert committee, which was assembled in March 2007. This group of residents was picked by the Chief to review his proposed list of capital projects to be completed over the next 10 to 15 years. These projects are shown on Chart 12. The Committee met at least six times in March to May and consisted of 9 citizens, only one of whom was from the Chapel area, Chief Shobert, one or two Board Members, one to three staff personnel, and often, Attorney Whittington. The group was given a list of potential projects and asked to prioritize them. The list included an Airport station, a Canyon station, a new Station 4, a new 9-1-1 facility, a Chapel station, a Loop station, modifications to Station 1, and a vehicle maintenance facility. Financing was to have been done, initially, by one bond issue, but was later decided construction cost could be paid from tax revenue as only one or two projects would be done at a time. By the end of the last meeting, the list had been prioritized. The Airport station had been eliminated, and the Chapel station was given first priority. The entire Committee agreed with the ranking. The Committee never issued a final report. The Chairman and one Committee Member wrote separate reports that were never sent to or approved by the rest of the Committee.

Our Committee had one meeting with Larry and Lance Enyart, owners of the LEA Architectural firm that designed the Chapel Station to discuss the original design, modifying the original, or creating a totally new design. This firm has designed more than 150 fire stations and other public buildings over the years with many repeat customers in Arizona. They understand what features are both needed and legally required in a fire station. The square footage of a station can vary significantly and can have many shapes and exterior appearances, but they all have pretty much the same basic features. LEA would be willing to generate a new design or modify the existing design, but based on vehicle and staff requirements, the shape of the existing building site, and specific requirements of the station, the cost would probably not change significantly. As a detail, this design won a National award for its appearance, choice of materials, and functionality. For those who thought the proposed building was too high, fire vehicle doors have to be a minimum of 14 feet. Several Committee Members looked at other

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sources trying to find an existing plan that could be used. There are a number of other fire station plans available from firms. However, they would all need significant modifications to fit the existing site, the districts specific requirements, and to provide an acceptable visual appearance to the area.

With help from Karen Daines, we all took a course called Financing Fire Districts 101. It was not an easy course. We learned the budget and mil levy are set by the Board after reviewing the staff-recommended budget. Assessed valuations are established separately by the two Counties. Most income is from real estate taxes, although about $2.6 million comes from billing for ambulance transport, 9-1-1 dispatching, and other sources. The reserve is a fund established years ago by previous Boards to pay operating expenses between bi-annual tax payments from the counties. It has also been used to accumulate funds for capital expenses, such as ambulances, engines, fire stations, etc. For the last two years, the Board chose to use reserves to pay for the deficit between budget and income in order to reduce property taxes. This action was possible because the reserve funds had never been appropriated by any Board for specific uses.

Since 08/09, the mil levy has been lowered most years by the Board, while starting in 10/11, assessed valuations were reduced by both Counties. The net result has been a lower tax bill for property owners, lower revenue for the district, and a dwindling reserve. If no changes are made, the present mil levy will not generate enough income to operate the district and the reserve fund will have been depleted. Chart 15 summarizes whats happened. The top curve which is both red and yellow, shows the budget and also income for the first three years on the chart. From the fourth year on, you can see the income has dropped for two different reasons, and the bottom curve shows the reserve.

Now, in those years, particularly the first three, all of the funds appropriated in the budget were not spent, so surplus was put in reserves, which is why the reserve kept building up. In calculating these numbers for next year, the budget and mil levy were assumed to be the same as this year.

At a Board meeting last June, Mr. Dible asked Mr. Blauert if this Committee would look at the possibility of converting Station 8 into a staffed station to provide better service to the Red Rock Loop area. The request was accepted. Station 8 was built as a volunteer station in the days when SFD was mainly volunteer. Other volunteer stations were considered by the Chief at that time for the Chapel and Soldier Pass areas, but were never built. The existing Station 8 has one large room, a kitchen, showers, toilets, and one bay. Considerable changes would have to be made to house an engine, an ambulance, and a minimum crew of three. Unfortunately, the station is not in the best location to provide service to the growing Loop area.

This committee made no attempt to determine what the construction costs would be to make necessary modifications – a second bay, dorm rooms, etc. There is no doubt better service is needed in the Loop area, as well as in the Canyon and Chapel areas. Since the Committee was not asked to study the Canyon area, no effort was made to compare the three. Information we do have has led us to the opinion the Chapel area has a greater need than the Loop at this time and for the foreseeable future. The Loop has approximately 400 houses including Sedona Shadows plus Red Rock State Park, Red Rock Crossing, the travel trailer park, and part of 89A.

The Chapel area has approximately 600 houses, three churches, a synagogue, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Poco Diablo Resort, part of 179, and would be the primary back-up for about 12% of Village calls that now must be answered from either Stations 4 or 1. Compared to stations in either the Loop or Canyon, the Chapel station would provide the greatest level of utility because of the larger numbers of residents and buildings and would be the only station that could provide service in either direction to provide back-up to other stations. Further study would be needed to determine whether the Loop or Canyon stations should come next.

The Committee recommends a station be built in the Chapel area for the reasons just mentioned and because the median response times to the Chapel area and to 12% of the calls to the Village for Code 3 calls is significantly longer than recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. The present response times will not be reduced until either the Earth shrinks or the Chapel Station is built. The station of choice is the initial LEA design with two bays instead of three. This reduces the building height at the

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south end by approximately 3 feet. Over an expected life of 50 to 75 years, a three bay station would make more sense. Therefore, in changing the design from three bays to two, it is recommended redesign allow for a third bay to be added in the future, if needed, and the two bay station be placed on the site to allow for possible expansion. Eliminating the middle bay reduces the cost by $70,000 to $80,000 but would incur a redesign cost of $20,000 to $30,000. It should be noted that a middle bay is the cheapest space in the entire building – a section of roof, a chunk of floor, and two doors. The Committee recommends that bids be obtained as both labor and material costs have dropped in the past few years. This design uses common construction materials selected both for low initial costs and minimum maintenance. The solar electrical and water features and water
re-charging portion could all be eliminated to reduce initial costs, but would create higher operating expenses and reduction in its green image.

The Committee did discuss other building options. One was to use a totally new design; however, when you consider that any station needs the same basic facility and about the same minimum space, that idea was dropped. Also, about $230,000 has already been spent to obtain the existing design. We looked at using existing designs from other firms. In all cases, the structures would have to be significantly modified to provide a suitable appearance between the church and synagogue, as well as to meet the specific needs of the district. A relatively cheap and quick alternative would be to put a manufactured home and a prefabricated garage on
the site. This was rejected for a number of reasons.

This station would house both an engine and an ambulance. We did not consider having just one or the other as providing the maximum long-term benefit. Both vehicles would come from the existing fleet. Initially, there would be a staff of three taken from existing personnel, although the finished building would allow expansion to six. The annual operating costs are estimated to be $22,000. There is no minority report as all 8 members agreed with the final recommendation after spending many hours gathering data and discussing the various issues.

There are only a few ways to pay for the station. Saving money over a period of years was tried, but the money was spent to reduce taxes. Selling bonds is another method, but related bond-issuing expenses make that impractical for this small amount of money. The recommended way would be to borrow money for 15 to 20 years. Although this is not the cheapest method, it spreads the financial burden over future residents and does
not drastically affect the mil levy rate. The Committee recommends that financing bids be obtained. The initial estimate for the station was $2.8 million. Considering not all the living quarters have to be completed now, the construction costs have probably dropped, and that $600,000 is available in reserve funds, the maximum amount to be borrowed would probably not exceed $2 million.

Chart 19 shows how much residential taxes would have to be increased per year for the money borrowed for either 15 or 20 years on a house assessed at $350,000 and you can see the annual costs, assuming the $2 million, would range from a low of $8.75 a year extra on a house assessed at $350,000 and would jump all the way up to $14.00 a year on the same assessed house. Another way to look at it is the mil levy would only rise by 3.3 cents at an interest rate of 4 ½% to borrow $2 million for 20 years.

We do have some conclusions. There is a demonstrated need for a station in the greater Chapel area to provide quality service to the area and to provide better backup to the Village. Present response times do not meet national standards due to the location of the other stations. The LEA design uses low-cost and minimal maintenance materials and is pretty much paid for. Financing this station by borrowing spreads the cost to
future residents and helps to keep the mil levy down. The Sedona Fire District mil levy is already the lowest in the State while providing exceptional service to both residents and tourists. And, revenue levels must be increased whether the station is built or not in order to continue providing the present level of safety and service to the District.”

Mr. Evans acknowledged David Blauert; Terry Keller; Carla Dufort; Tricia Greer; and Karen Daines, who helped the Committee. He then requested the Chapel Station’s recommendation be put on the October Fire Board Agenda for discussion and possible action. 


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Mr. Blauert thanked the Committee for its hard work and detailed report.

Mr. Montgomery moved to add this to the October Agenda; motion died for lack of a second.

After a brief discussion, Mr. Montgomery again moved to add this item to the October Agenda, Mr. Dible provided a second, and the motion passed with Mr. Blauert, Mr. Dible, and Mr. Montgomery voting in favor, and Mrs. Erick abstaining. 

B. Items from SFD Staff:

1. Update: Retirement/Pension Options for Administrative and Support Employees. (Business Director Karen Daines) 

Ms. Daines said at the last Board meeting, Mr. Montgomery directed her to query non-operational staff regarding the existing 401A plan versus Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) as retirement options. Ms. Daines facilitated meetings with staff, discussing pros and cons of both options. Out of 27 currently affected employees, 18 wanted ASRS; however, some felt the 15% reduction to take-home pay would be difficult right now. Most had a cost increase for health insurance, some had wages reduced over the last years, and none received a cost of living adjustment or merit increase for several years. Since in 1995, when SFD transitioned to the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System for firefighters, the District invested over $900,000 to buy back firefighters’ time into that system, she proposed SFD look at options for a cost-offset for employees to transition to ASRS, if that is what the Board decides, i.e., reinstituting COLAs or merit increases to allow employees an easier transition into a 15% pay cut. She also suggested that McGladrey opine on the best recommendation for a retirement plan as part of its management study of comparing SFD’s benefit package (including retirement) to other public sector agencies.

Mrs. Erick agreed with Ms. Daines regarding a recommendation from McGladrey.

Mr. Montgomery stated he understands employees not wanting a 15% pay cut, and suggested there could be a transition plan. He asked if SFD would have to wait until the next budget year to implement a change.

Ms. Daines said, not necessarily, as the Board could take action regarding this at any time; however, it would probably take six months for Social Security to approve the necessary Section 218 agreement; once the Section 218 is signed and delivered to ASRS, it would only be a matter of having the plan approved by the Board.

Mr. Dible said he understands ASRS requires all employees have the same plan.

Mr. Blauert noted for the 15% contribution to PSPRS, the firefighters contribute half and SFD pays the other half;

Ms. Daines said SFD’s contribution into PSPRS is 16.09%, and firefighters contribute 7.6% in addition to that; for ASRS, it is a contribution of Social Security and pension at about 16% for the employer and 15.6% for employees.

Mr. Montgomery reminded the Board if SFD joined ASRS, it would only cost the district a few thousand dollars more annually and the bulk of cost would be on employees.

Mrs. Erick asked what Ms. Daines’ findings were after contacting other districts and departments about this matter.

Ms. Daines said districts, departments, towns, school districts, colleges, and state universities at least SFD’s size or larger participate in ASRS and in fact, about 90% of public agencies do.

Mrs. Erick asked if Central Yavapai Fire District in Prescott participated in ASRS, as she was told they had a 401A at a 5% employer contribution and 5% from employees; Ms. Daines said she would check.

Mrs. Erick disagreed with the 90% ASRS participation rate; Ms. Daines guessed it is at least 90% of governmental entities in the State.

Mrs. Erick said she knows school districts participate, but is referring to fire districts and departments.

Ms. Daines said regarding SFD’s benchmark agencies, to her knowledge, only SFD is not an ASRS member.

Mr. Blauert asked if McGladrey was performing a retirement report; Ms. Daines said she has not seen the plan, but her understanding is as part of a managerial study, benchmarking of salaries and benefits would be done with comparable organizations;

Mr. Blauert said if a comparison of retirement plans is not included in McGladrey’s proposal, he would make sure it is added. He said it is important for non-operational employees to have some equalization with firefighters.

2. Discussion/Possible Action:

Agreement with Tyler Technologies for Enterprise Resource Management Software and Implementation Services. (Business Dir. Daines

This item was moved to the end of the meeting. 

  DRAFT ~ 9/21/11 SFD Board Business Minutes / Page 9

3. Discussion/Possible Action: DHR Services Agreement. (Fire Chief Terry Keller) 

Chief Keller said an agreement with DHR was approved by the Board pending modifications; SFD has come to terms with DHR about what “legal advice” means to this contract. The Board was provided a copy. Chief Keller said with the changes made, it is appropriate for the Board to approve this version.

Mr. Dible asked about the section regarding business in Iran and Sudan;

Mr. Whittington said when the Statute was modified a few years ago, it requires anyone contracting to do business with government give assurances they are not investing in Iran or Sudan; DHR is not.

Mr. Montgomery moved to approve the DHR Services Agreement; Mr. Dible seconded. Mrs. Erick stated she had not seen this version, and asked if any other changes were made; Mr. Whittington replied the changes made are redlined in the copy attached to his firm’s Memo sent today which make it clear that legal advice will not be provided by DHR.

Mr. Blauert then called for the vote which passed unanimously with a vote of four to zero.

C. Items from Board Member Phyllis Erick:

1. Update: Progress of Fire Chief Search Committee (Committee Chair Joe Demme). 

Mr. Blauert called on Fire Chief Search Committee Chairman Joe Demme to give an update on the Committee’s progress; he reported the Committee is comprised of six individuals, divided into three sub-committees
responsible for job description, advertising/web design, and selection process and the Committee has developed these documents and processes.

Mr. Demme reported advertisements would begin to run on fire websites this week and the SFD website posted the job description, SFD overview, and application packet.

The timeline is: September 25 – October 31, Committee to evaluate applications in subgroups of two members to determine if applicants meet job qualifications as presented in the job description; October 31 is the postmark deadline for applications; October 15 – 31, Skype interviews to be scheduled for candidates whose applications are initially approved; November 1 – 9, Committee will check references, job history, and prepare for assessment center; November 10 and 11, final candidates the Committee selects will be invited to a two-day assessment center where skills will be evaluated by other Fire Chiefs to determine proficiency.

Mr. Demme stated Fire Chief Simon Davis from Green Valley Fire District will do the technical assessment with a team of Fire Chiefs he selects. The Selection Committee will assess applications with regard to business experience and financial/budget background; the subcommittee in charge of detailed hiring and assessment is still working on the process; November 11, 3 candidates to be recommended to SFD Board for final decision and job offer; and November 15, the final 3 candidates will be presented to the Board for final selection. He said the Committee fully expects to meet this timeline and have a new SFD Fire Chief prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Mr. Demme said directly related to the Committee, he wants to address important issues regarding an opinion article written by Wendy Tanzer entitled “Fire Chief Selection Committee Bombs” and stated: Lets start by saying the only one that bombs here is Wendy Tanzer who shows her ignorance as to the work being done by the Committee, Open Meeting Laws, and the right of the public to
speak at Committee meetings.

Over various meetings, the Committee has had Wendy Tanzer and her yellow shirt friends during several meetings sit in our Committee and joke and laugh among themselves. They obviously feel the process is not a serious endeavor to provide the best possible individual as a new Fire Chief. So, how can anyone take Wendy Tanzer and her friends seriously? Wendy Tanzer claims that I do not feel the public should have any input into the selection process. As usual, Wendy Tanzer has provided the public spin, lies, and misinformation as to what has taken place. We did not stop any open call…

The audience indicated displeasure with using Ms. Tanzer’s name.

Mr. Demme then stated:  Im sorry, but Mrs. Wendy Tanzer has assassinated everybody on the Committee.

Ms. Tanzer replied: In a public forum in the Sedona Red Rock News? Why cant you do the same, sir?

Mr. Blauert called for order.

Attorney Whittington informed the Chairman he has authority to request Mr. Demme quit speaking.

Mr. Montgomery commented the Board was to hear Mr. Demme’s update on the Selection Committee, not his opinion on a citizen.

Mr. Blauert asked Mr. Demme to limit his comments to the Selection Committee.

Mr. Demme said: These points relate directly to the Selection Committee because Wendy Tanzer has stated we are not allowing a public call in our committee. Well, the reason for this dissertation is because

~ DRAFT ~ 9/21/11 SFD Board Business Minutes / Page 10

I would like to explain why. And if the public would like to know why there isnt a public call here, I would be more than happy to continue. But, if you dont think its important, Id be happy to fold up my three-ring binder and we can go on as we have.

Mr. Blauert asked Mr. Demme to continue, but not use name-calling.

Mr. Demme began: Mrs. Wendy Tanzer…

The audience again stated he should not use her name.

Mr. Demme said: It is the option of the Chair of this Committee to have open call to the public or not. We originally decided we would have open call to the public and during the committee meeting of August 23rd, this individual came forward to the Committee to provide her comments. It was after these comments, I decided to stop the open call to the public for the following reasons. This individual claimed I stated the public should not attend these meetings, which I felt was a very arrogant and untrue statement because that was not what was stated. This individual stated that we did not provide public with committee working documents. I would like this individual to provide our Committee with any part of the Open Meeting Laws or other regulations that requires this procedure. This individual then goes on to say that the Committee does not have the authority to change the job description for a new Chief, or for that matter, any other document. This was an incorrect statement and I would please ask this individual to provide me and our Committee any regulation or authority that would prevent these changes. The job description that SFD used in the last Chiefs search was nothing but a contest of personalities with little substance qualification. The result
was choosing an under qualified individual for Chief.

Upon the audience’s expressions of displeasure, Mr. Blauert called for order.

Mr. Demme then said: The last item I would like to address is the individual that spoke in front of our committee made the following statement. „I am one person who believes there is skullduggery, a not-so-hidden agenda, and a power play in process. Upon hearing these comments by this individual, I decided our Committee does not need to listen to this nonsense and I decided not to have a public call any further. And it will stand as long as I am Chairman of the Committee, there will be no public call and for those people who complain about it, you can thank the individual that
brought these…

The audience again made comments, and Mr. Demme continued: It just goes to show that the people behind us are quite ignorant as to what has taken place. Thank you very much.

Mr. Montgomery then asked Mr. Demme questions about the process including if the information for the process had a legal review;

Mr. Demme replied, “No, it has not been reviewed by legal because we don’t think the documentation that is being put on the website are legal documents.”

Mr. Montgomery asked if an application for employment was not a legal document;

Mr. Demme replied, “No, it’s not a legal document that needs to be approved by legal since the document we are using pretty much mirrors the document that’s been used by SFD before.”

Mr. Montgomery then said his concern is the Board has not been privy to the documents constructed by the Committee.

Mr. Demme replied all documents are now on the SFD website.

Mr. Montgomery then said there are Equal Employment Opportunity issues in the documents that must be resolved before release.

Mr. Demme asked Mr. Montgomery if he had seen the documents;

Mr. Montgomery said, “no”,  but an employment law service attorney saw it and created a list of problems with the documents, such as starting interviewing candidates prior to submission deadline, the interviewing process needs to provide sufficient time for postal service to deliver applications, and initial interview process cannot be provided only by Skype.

Mr. Demme said these items are explained on the website and Skype is not the only interview process.

Mr. Montgomery commented he believes documents created by the Committee expose the district to liability by not having legal review and does not understand why Committee recommendations were not brought to the Board before starting the process.

Mr. Demme said he was advised by the Board that the Committee had a free hand in developing documents and could put forth the program without coming to the Board for approval;

Mr. Montgomery asked who told him that;

Mr. Demme replied, “It was a general statement by the Board at one of the last meetings.”

Mr. Montgomery stated he does not believe Board action was taken to that effect and the Chapel Station Study Committee did not get a loan for the department, but rather, brought its recommendations back to the Board; but, the Fire Chief Search Committee already put documents on the SFD website.

 Mr. Demme replied, again, these documents are

~ DRAFT ~ 9/21/11 SFD Board Business Minutes / Page 11

not required to be reviewed by legal.

Mr. Montgomery stated: This just goes back to the whole point that you guys are running your own… are running your own agenda. Youre running your own department. Youre running your own,
just the way you want to. It is obvious there is collusion going on.”

Mrs. Erick asked if Attorney Whittington could address this issue.

Mr. Demme stated: You want to talk about character assassination. You are talking about collusion here.

Mr. Blauert called for order.

Mr. Demme commented: Lets not go there, Mr. Montgomery.

Mrs. Erick asked if Attorney Whittington could address the issue of whether an application has to be legally reviewed if it follows basic standards of what was put out before.

Mr. Demme stated there were changes made according to applications used by other fire departments and he saw no purpose for a simple job application to be reviewed by legal.

Mr. Demme asked: Are we going to say that we cant ask certain information on the application?

Mr. Montgomery replied: Yes. Thats the law.

 Mr. Demme replied it is a very general application asking questions such as “What is your name?  Where do you live?”

Mr. Montgomery said the point is it has already been posted and not reviewed by legal or brought back to the Board as a recommendation.

Mrs. Erick asked Mr. Demme if he added any questions or were they all taken from other applications;

Mr. Demme said these were, basically, all taken from applications from SFD or other fire districts.

Mr. Blauert asked Mr. Whittington to address the issue.

Mr. Whittington stated he is at a disadvantage because he has not seen the documents, but in general terms, documents may be created for this without legal review if the individuals know what they are doing; however, there is an obligation to make sure the documents meet certain legal requirements and that illegal questions are not accidentally asked; he does not know if these particular documents do so, but his firm frequently reviews these documents and frequently modify them to make sure they are legal; he said if they are the same documents used by SFD in the past, those have been legally vetted, but if language was taken from other districts’ documents, he has no way of knowing how well they were done.

Mr. Demme stated much of the information was taken from SFD and Central Yavapai Fire District because they had an excellent application.

Mr. Montgomery asked if the application requested a Social Security number or a driver’s license number and Mr. Demme replied it does; to which Mr. Montgomery replied, that is not legal, and asked if the application contains a standard EEO statement and Mr. Demme replied, “No”, and Mr. Montgomery said he does not believe that is legal.

Mr. Demme said respondents do not have to include their Social Security number;

Mr. Montgomery said it could allow discrimination and his original statement that recommendation should have been brought to the Board stands and they should not have been released without legal approval.

Mrs. Erick then moved that the documents be submitted to Mr. Whittington for review; Mr. Montgomery seconded and the motion unanimously passed at four to zero.

Mr. Blauert commented he has been attending some Committee meetings and the Committee is assembled of good people doing a good job and the documents will be legally reviewed; if corrections are needed, the Committee will be informed as quickly as possible and a Special Board meeting will be called.

Mr. Demme stated as the documents are not difficult to review, changes should be able to be made on the website within 48 hours.

Mr. Whittington asked if anyone was involved in the Committee process with a Human Resources background;

Mr. Demme replied, “Yes” and it was Committee Member Tom Purcel, who has a Masters degree in Public Administration.

Mr. Blauert asked all to be respectful of each other.

Mr. Demme agreed and said one of his Committee Members, Gary Dawson, said you have a chaotic “mess” when a small group of people that do not know how to address a problem by discussing it comment and, unfortunately, “We have this small group of people that don’t know quite how to behave in a situation like this.”

Fire Marshal Johnson asked Mr. Blauert if the documents should be removed from the SFD website.

Mr. Blauert asked Mr. Whittington, who stated, “If it were up to me, I’d take it off just in case,” which would require Board action or consensus.

Mr. Blauert then moved that he could take the action to replace the documents on the website if Mr. Whittington approves them; Mrs. Erick seconded.

Mr. Montgomery commented this is yet another action taken outside Board authorization and his opinion is that is not

 ~ DRAFT ~  9/21/11 SFD Board Business Minutes / Page 12

following Open Meeting Laws because this Committee should have given the Board recommendations and the Board, as a group, should have voted; he said, “obviously, that did not happen or the legal problems would have been caught”.

Mr. Blauert commented he would debate that because the Board asked to have a Search Committee for a new Fire Chief and that has been followed.

Mr. Montgomery commented the Board authorized the Committee, but did not authorize action.

Mrs. Erick added that the Committee thought they had authority to put out the advertisement.

Upon an audience reaction to this comment, Mrs. Erick asked them to keep order or to leave.

Mr. Blauert agreed.

Mrs. Erick stated she took offense to Mr. Montgomery’s statements, particularly about collusion.

After discussion about the verbiage of the previous motion, Mr. Whittington suggested the motion be limited to removing the items from the SFD website for his legal review and then, bifurcate the motions to have the items re-posted to the website, either through the Chairman’s authority or a Special Board meeting.

Mr. Blauert asked that his previous motion be removed and Mrs. Erick asked her second to also be withdrawn.

Mr. Whittington said to clear up the record, have the first motion withdrawn and then, re-state the motion in another way.

Ms. Greer then read aloud the original motion, as follows: To take the action to replace the items on the SFD website after Mr. Whittington’s review.

Mr. Whittington said if that is the motion, there would be no reason to withdraw it.

Mr. Dible asked if this should not be bifurcated, but just have one motion to cover both items.

Mr. Whittington said this motion is simply to remove it from the website until legal review is complete.

Mr. Dible said the other part of the motion, however, was to put the items back on the website.

Mr. Whittington agreed and said he recommends it be bifurcated; therefore, he asked the Board to withdraw the first motion and start over.

Mr. Blauert withdrew his motion, as presented, and Mrs. Erick withdrew her second.

After clarification with Mr. Whittington and a brief Board discussion, Mr. Whittington suggested the motion be to remove the application from the SFD website and direct it to legal counsel for review; Mr. Dible so moved; Mrs. Erick seconded; the Board then unanimously voted to approve the motion at four to zero.

Mr. Whittington asked if this job description was one the District already had or was it generated by the Committee; Mrs. Erick replied she believes although the Committee did not start with the SFD job description, they then went back to it.

Mr. Whittington said if this was a different job description, he believes the Board by action approved a particular job description for Fire Chief the last time it was presented, and they should be concerned the job description has inadvertently been changed from what was approved and that new action would be needed for the new job description.

Ms. Daines pointed out the wage scale for Fire Chief was also changed.

Mr. Whittington said if in the next motion, the Board authorized someone to post it simply if it passed legal muster, they might be posting a job description that has not been approved.

Mr. Dible commented his opinion is to stop at this point and take it off the website subject to legal review; Mr. Whittington agreed.

Mr. Blauert also agreed and said in fairness to the Committee’s work, once the documents have been legally reviewed and approved, at that time, to have a Special Board meeting. Mr. Montgomery then moved that all documents that were created by the Committee be removed from any public domain, be submitted to Mr. Whittington for legal review, and subject to Board approval, be re-posted after the Special Board meeting.

Mrs. Erick asked if Mr. Whittington could complete the review within the week, and if not, the Board check with other attorneys to get it done sooner.

Upon the audience reaction and Mr. Blauert calling for order, Mrs. Erick asked, “What is wrong with you people?” and requested the audience act civil.

Mr. Whittington stated he does not see a problem with getting the legal review done within a week. Mr. Dible provided the second to Mr. Montgomery’s previous motion, and upon vote, the motion was unanimously

2. Discussion/Possible Action:

 Structure of Public Forum with Board Member’s Ability to Respond after Being Addressed by the Public.

Mrs. Erick passed on this item.

Fire Marshal Johnson said a citizen wished to speak on this, as follows:

Caroline Johnson, Chapel area: I am a 12 year resident of the Chapel. Could we all just take a deep breath first and maybe even smile for a second? That would be nice. Thank you. If the Board were going

 ~ DRAFT ~ 9/21/11 SFD Board Business Minutes / Page 13

to discuss this tonight, I was going to ask two questions. First of all, Im assuming that this only addresses the Public Forum before the meeting starts, and that it wouldnt refer also to what
m doing right now, talking. If thats not the case, if there is discussion that would need to be addressed. And, then, if the Board were to look at it, how would it work? Would I speak, perhaps, at Public Forum and then, someone on the Board answer me, and I get to answer them, and they get to answer me, etc., etc., or would the Board Member have the last word?

Thank  you.

D. Items from Board Member Ty Montgomery:

1. Update: Current Fees to Date for Legal Services Provided to SFD.

Mr. Montgomery stated the budget for legal fees this year was $40,000; he said, currently, the Board has spent $60,000, and based on the last five months’ usage, a line item projection for the year would be $145,000. Mr. Montgomery stated SFD is currently using four law firms.

Mr. Blauert commented there have been unusual circumstances and one of the firms saved the District a tremendous amount of money.

Mr. Montgomery stated that is a matter of opinion, and although he understands Mr. Blauert’s opinion, he does not agree.

Mrs. Erick asked if money was put in contingency for legal; Ms. Daines replied money was earmarked in contingency for legal fees if a lawsuit was made by the public for reduction of services.

Mr. Blauert agreed the cost of legal fees has been ridiculous and believes policy for legal assistance should be reviewed on who can request legal expenditures. He thanked Mr. Montgomery for bringing it to the
Board’s attention; he said he believes some of the legal services had to be done at the time.

E. Items from Board Chairman David Blauert:

1. Discussion/Possible Action: Memorandum of Understanding between City of Sedona and Sedona Fire District for Police Services. (Tabled from 8/24/11 Business Meeting.)

Chief Keller said this is an Intergovernmental Agreement between SFD and Sedona Police Department to provide special security to Board meetings.

Mr. Whittington reviewed the agreement and recommended changes, which were sent to PD, who referred it to their legal counsel; Police Chief Cota told Chief Keller he is still waiting to hear from the City Attorney. This item will be tabled until the October Board meeting.


A. Monthly Staff Report – Fire Chief Terry Keller.

Chief Keller reported: There were 299 calls for service since the last Board meeting including 13 fire-related, 61 special duty, 173 EMS (including 9 motor vehicle accidents and 2 special operations), and 52 interfacility transports. Mr. Montgomery helped with a cardiac call yesterday on one of Kachina Point Healthcare’s employees, who was successfully resuscitated by an AED and quick response from Station 3.

SFD submitted a grant application to FEMA for a $232,000 grant, and if awarded, cost to SFD would be $23,000 to support ongoing Swiftwater technician level training for all responders.

He thanked staff, Regional Communications Center, and public who attended the 9/11 memorial ceremony held at each stations’ flag poles. He also acknowledged staff and Mr. Blauert for attending SFD’s 2010 Awards Picnic held on September 11th at Chavez Crossing campground. Award honorees were Kirk Riddell for Firefighter of the Year; Officer of the Year was Tim Lefler; Administrative Employee of the Year was Sandi Schmidt; Unit Citation went to the EMS Committee; Customer Service Award went to Bob Motz; Telecommunicator of the Year was Beverly Petska; Citizen of the Year was Police Officer Bill Hunt; and the Bronze Boot went to Bill Maxwell.

McGladrey representatives have arrived, and staff is happy to spend time with them; they are courteous and polite gentlemen named Ron Epperson and Larry Schaedel; a kick-off meeting with the Executive staff, Mr.
Blauert and Mr. Dible was held on the 9th; Mr. Epperson and Mr. Schaedel met with Ms. Daines and himself on the 15
th to discuss SFD issues; Chief Keller gave them a 4-hour tour of the district showing the variety of terrain, road infrastructure, and challenges. They also briefly met with our staff and we are committed to provide all documentation requested. Mr. Blauert commented that McGladrey complimented staff on their cooperation and establishing a good working relationship.

~ DRAFT ~ 9/21/11 SFD Board Business Minutes / Page 14

In response to Mrs. Erick’s earlier request regarding Central Yavapai Fire District’s retirement plan, Ms. Daines received telephone confirmation that Central Yavapai is an ASRS employer, and if they do have a 401, it is in addition to the state pension and Social Security.

B. August Financial Report.

There were no questions or comments by the Board regarding the Financial Report.

C. Fire Marshal’s Safety Message.

Fire Marshal Johnson added that the swiftwater rescue training grant would help SFD be ready when heavy rains and snow melt cause flooding in Oak Creek; for example, SFD was called to assist Verde Valley Fire
this week when a motorist tried to cross a flooded creek in his vehicle; this is one area we do not need very often, but when it happens, the ability to quickly rescue is critical.

He also announced the Lookout wildland fire south of Prescott which was caused by lightning; although it is late in the fire season, wildland fires are still possible.

Fire Marshal Johnson said burn permits will be issued beginning on the 26th and that is a good opportunity for property owners to assess the fire safety of their homes and to keep up with trimming. He offered
input or ideas to make homes more fire safe and said residents could call him for options.

Mr. Blauert announced an “Old-Timers” Reunion will be held on 10/15/11 at the Elks Lodge for anyone who has lived in Sedona for awhile or those that used to live here in the “good old days”. This is the second reunion held and will be limited to 300 people. He thanked Fire Marshal Johnson for providing old photographs from the early days of the fire department for viewing at the reunion.

Mr. Dible then moved to go into Executive Session pursuant to ARS §38-431.03(A)(3) for legal advice with the Fire District Attorney regarding item VI.B.2, the Tyler Technologies contract; Mr. Montgomery seconded, and the motion was unanimously approved.


After the Executive Session, the Board re-entered Public Session at 8:40 PM.

Mr. Blauert said they were advised by Mr. Whittington of some difficulties in negotiations with Tyler Technologies and entertained a motion.

Mr. Dible moved to authorize legal counsel to continue negotiations with Tyler consistent with recommendations made by legal counsel in Executive Session; Mr. Montgomery provided a second.

Mr. Blauert called for the vote which passed with Mr. Blauert, Mr. Dible, and Mr. Montgomery voting in favor and Mrs. Erick voting against.

A discussion ensued about staff convening with counsel regarding some of the negotiations, as part of the process.

Mr. Dible asked if a second motion was needed to include staff involvement and for Chief Keller to compare other governmental entities’ contracts for subscription-based service with Tyler Technologies.

Mr. Whittington said this could be done through Board consensus, which was provided.

Mr. Blauert said as he has been heavily involved in negotiations on this contract, he asked to be kept apprised of Chief Keller’s research and findings; he also asked Mr. Whittington to keep him in the contract

The meeting was then adjourned at 8:50 PM.

Charles Christensen, Clerk of the Board

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  1. Jordan Baker says:

    My name is Jordan Baker and I am the President of the Sedona-Verde Valley Firefighters Charities 501(c)(3). We are hosting our annual Police vs. Fire charity basketball game and would like to have it displayed on your local media outlet. I have included the details of the event below, as well as attaching the flyer being distributed throughout the community. If you should have any questions or concerns regarding the event or our charity organization, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.

    Thank you once again for your assistance and support.


    Jordan Baker – President
    Sedona-Verde Valley Firefighters Charities

    WHAT: Police vs. Fire Charity Basketball Game

    WHEN: October 29th, 2011 @ 4 p.m.

    Where: Mingus Union High School Gymnasium / Cottonwood, Arizona

  2. Ellen says:

    You denigrate Mr. Hazime’s reputation with your viscious lies and personal vendetta, Joe Demme.

    I encourage Mr. Hazime to hire a lawyer and investigate bringing charges against you for defamation of character or what might be appropriate.

    Resign immediately.

    You shame us all.

  3. Concerned SFD Tax Payer says:

    Since when does a committee, whose role is to be strictly advisory to the SFD board, make decisions (including the salary range for the new Chief) without prior board review and approval? Unless, of course,… they already had tacit approval from the majority of the board and were trying to bypass the system’s check and balances.Thanks to SFD board member Montgomery, this attempt failed…

    Concerned SFD Taxpayer
    Sedona, AZ


  4. Irish says:


    AZ Republic headline story about 9.1.1. ambulance service company out of business. And these SFD elected dopes want to lower our service to PRIVATE AMBULANCES? Take it from this former Chi town resident, you could wait hours for private ambulances but the city contracted ambulances had a response time to meet. And they met it or were raked over the coals and shaped up!

    Private companies aren’t answerable to tax payers. They are answerable to their owners bottom lines so maintenance, response times, quality of personnel training, quantity of ambulances (tourist in Oak Creek falls from bridge, resident in VOC collapses in outlets with heart attack, car caccident on Red Rock Loop road so who gets on first?).

  5. Concerned SFD Tax Payer says:

    See for yourself how how our tax money is being spent by the majority of the SFD Board:

    Monthly Update:
    Current Fees to Date for Legal Services Provided to Sedona Fire District as of 9/30/11

    Boyle, Pecharich, Cline & Whittington
    Jennings, Strouss & Salmon
    Ridenour, Hienton & Lewis
    Charles W Whetstine

    April 2011 $5,710.52
    May 2011 $4,732.62 $4,955.33 $3,312.00
    June 2011 $3,013.93 $476.65 $7,187.50
    July 2011 $5,921.45 $1,604.35 $2,969.19 $1,820.00
    August 2011 $14,367.22 $1,007.25 $3,342.25 $1,020.00
    Sept 2011 $7,702.50 $1,245.00
    Total Paid
    $41,448.24 $8,043.58 $18,055.94 $2,840.00

    Total Legal Fees April 2011-Present

  6. Anonymous says:

    Corrie Cooperman is a registered nurse with a B.S. from San Francisco State University. Over her lifelong career in nursing, she has held management positions and specialized in physical rehabilitation, psychiatric nursing, and, since 2007, she has maintained a private practice in wellness education. In 2011, she was a member of the Chapel Fire Station Study Committee commissioned by the SFD Governing Board. An avid hiker, Ms. Cooperman resides in the Chapel area with her husband and three dogs. (deleted by editor)

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