Harvard Fire Protection District Meeting Minutes
Held June 12, 2018
President Condon called the regular meeting of the Harvard Fire Protection District Board of Trustees to order at 7:05 PM in the meeting room of the Fire Station at 502 S. Eastman St. Present were Trustees Condon, Carbonetti, and Clarke. Also in attendance were Chief Harter, D/C Davidson, Roger Hugg, Josh Keinhofer, FF Bough, FF Gerrish, FF Mackie, FF Liepnitz, FF Czerwiec, FF Perkins, Lt. Pierce, and Lt. Veronese.
Audience Participation: District 6 representative Mary McCann spoke of zoning on a proposed rehab facility on Dunham road.
Approval of Minutes:
Motion made by Clarke and seconded by Carbonetti to approve the minutes of the May 8, 2018 meeting. Voice vote; all ayes. Motion approved 3-0.
Swearing in of newly appointed Trustees:
President Condon administered the oath of office to Roger Hugg and Josh Keinhofer for the positions of Trustees on the Harvard Fire Protection District Board of Trustees.
Motion to go to convene a Closed Session:
A motion was made by Clarke and seconded by Condon to enter a Closed Session of the meeting to discuss issues covered under the Illinois Compiled Statutes, General Provisions, Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120/2/c/1. Regarding a complaint lodged against an employee. Roll call: Keinhofer- yes, Hugg-yes, Clarke-yes Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes. Motion approved 5-0.
Reconvene to Open Session:
A motion was made by Clarke to return to Open Session of the meeting, seconded by Hugg. Roll call Keinhofer- yes, Hugg-yes, Clarke-yes Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes.
Election of Board Officers:
Motion made by Carbonetti to reappoint T. Condon as President, J. Carbonetti as Treasurer, and J. Clarke as Secretary. J. Clarke requested an open election. Carbonetti nominates Condon for President. Trustee Condon accepts. Clarke nominates Carbonetti for President. Carbonetti declines. Roll call to vote Condon as President – Keinhofer- yes, Hugg-yes, Clarke-yes Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes. Motion approved 5-0.
Clarke asks for nominees for Treasurer. Condon nominates Carbonetti. Carbonetti accepts. Roll call to vote Carbonetti as Treasurer – Keinhofer- yes, Hugg-yes, Clarke-yes Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes. Motion approved 5-0.
Clarke asks for nominees for Secretary. Carbonetti nominates Clarke. Clarke accepts with condition that he no longer writes the minutes for Trustees Meetings. Roll call to vote Clarke as Secretary – Keinhofer- yes, Hugg-yes, Clarke-yes Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes. Motion approved 5-0.
Motion made by Condon to move forward with Senior Officer’s promotion process to select Lieutenants. Carbonetti seconds. Clarke questions Chiefs on the written portion of the exam that is required by policy. Paused to find the policy. DC Davidson finds policy and asks to amend that policy.
Clarke asks Chief Harter his credentials under the State Fire Marshall as being a certified Fire Officer.
Clarke says, “Are you a Firefighter Officer I, Firefighter Officer II, or Firefighter Officer III?”
Chief Harter “No, I am not a Fire Officer I… I have taken some but I haven’t…”
Clarke “so you have not taken any…”
Condon “Mr. Clarke where are you going with this?”
Clarke “I’m asking questions.”
Harter “What does this have to do what we are talking about right now?”
Clarke “It has to do with, I am a board member representing the public and I’m trying to determine the people that you are advocating that is going to select future officers of this department, whether they are qualified for it, or not. I understand and I recognize that there has been a past practice and past method of the way things have been done around here but, I am not necessarily endorsing those ideas.”
Harter “That is your opinion.”
Clarke “Correct, and I have the right to make those questions.”
Harter “Everyone has a right to an opinion.”
Clarke “Any college education? In fire service management or fire science technology?”
Harter ”I have a little bit of college.”
Clarke “Okay. National Fire Academy?”
Harter “No, I haven’t been to the National Fire Academy.”
Clarke “Um, the Illinois Fire Chiefs in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal?”
Harter “Where are you going with attacking me with this?”
Clarke “I have a duty to see that the Harvard fire Protection takes the necessary steps to provide the best quality officers to handle emergency scenes within the District.”
Harter “Have you seen us operate at emergency scenes?”
Clarke:” No, I have not.”
Davidson “We are taking the necessary steps.”
Clarke “In your opinion.”
Harter “Have you seen us operate in emergency scenes?”
Clarke “Over the years, yes I have. I try not to get involved in the on-scene management.” I try to do my job as a public official.”
Harter “I don’t feel that this is appropriate to be attacking me on this at all.”
Clarke “You are asking!”
Hugg “Point of order. What is the relevance to what the motion is?”
Clarke “He is asking for himself and his officers to make the choice of future officers of this department when they themselves don’t have the credentials to be the officers in the first place. In my opinion.”
Condon “You’re entitled to your opinion but, they are the senior officers and that is the motion on the floor and it’s been seconded. Do you have any other pertinent questions other than their qualifications-education?”
Clarke”And that they are desiring to have no written examination that would determine a person’s competency. I understand the Deputy Chiefs statement on that and with that in mind I would like to offer a substitute motion.”
Carbonetti “We have a motion on the floor. You can amend a motion but you can’t offer a substitute motion.”
Clarke “Yes, you can. Under Robert’s rules of order…”
Carbonetti “Well, then I call question.”
Clarke “You can’t do that until a person (inaudible)…I am allowed to have a substitute motion and then that has to be seconded and that has to be voted on. If it fails to get enough votes then it goes back to the main motion and the main motion moves. Um, where did it go?”
Hugg “I believe that you can amend the motion but the “sub”, I have never heard of it.”
Clarke “You have the book!”
Hugg “I don’t have it with me. I didn’t think that I would need it.”
Condon “Make your substitute motion.”
Clarke “Okay, thank you. Uh, I uh move to uh approve this examination process that will create a… (Dispatch goes on over speaker) (Papers shuffling) I will go over this verbally-you are welcome to read this word for word. I suppose before we go any further, because it may not be necessary to go any further, there needs to be a second for my motion in order to place this on the table for consideration. “
Hugg “Which motion.”
Clarke “The President needs to make the request for a second.”
Condon “Is there a second for this substitute motion that Joe put forward?”
Hugg “I’ll second it.”
Clarke “Uh okay, I’ll call your attention. It starts with, we’re not appointing people specifically at this time we are creating an eligibility list which will last for three years.
Carbonetti “We won’t have people last three years.”
Clarke “Hear me out. It will last for three years, that way it doesn’t have to be revisited every year. Um, the uh board can select people from the eligibility list as positions become available. If we decide to amend the budget and create additional positions, we can select from the list for those. If somebody moves out of District, somebody uh retires. Uh, um, if there’s multiple promotion steps that take place uh, we can go to this list um, uh without having to redo the whole process. Um, it also is an avenue by which the department may use us people to fill as an acting position. The document contains a job description of what a Lieutenant in the Harvard Fire Protection District will be expected to do and have, uh specifically I’d like to call your attention to category E. Um, after being selected to be a Lieutenant the uh candidates or the Lieutenants will have up to two years to finish the uh Fire Officer I or Basic Company Officer Certification Program. If they fail to do that within the two year period the uh, the board will have the option to uh, reassign that Lieutenant’s position to another party.
Harter “Can I bring something on that?
Clarke “Go Ahead”
Harter “Finishing that in two years, on a part-time gig, when people have full-time positions, it’s almost impossible.”
Clarke “Um, I disagree.” There are programs that are very accommodating to uh work schedules.’
Harter “On a part-time when people have families and full-time jobs, that going to be very very difficult to do in a two year period. That’s all I’m telling ya. That’s just my opinion.’
Condon “Let him finish his motion.”
Clarke “Many departments make that a one-year requirement.”
Harter “Yes, in a full-time municipality department, yeah.
Clarke “And part-time.”
Harter “What department, where?”
Clarke Uh, I don’t know. I’m not going to answer that.”
Condon “Can we move forward, please?”
Clarke “The department in your presentation a couple months ago wanted a commitment of, from whoever the Officers are that they would work eight shifts a month.
Davidson “That was misrepresented. That was an estimate. As I stated in my presentation, there is no way of putting down a dollar for dollar figure. So, assuming that an officer would work eight shifts and do this much, that’s how much an additional Lieutenant would cost. With the fluid and flexibility that we have with our schedule, it would be impossible for me to say that they are going to work weight shifts a month. If you look back it does say “an example” and this is a representation of the cost.
Clarke “So you don’t want that in there? I interpreted it that way.
Davidson “I know that you did, it was in the minutes that way. Which brings me to a question. Can I correct the minutes?
Clarke “Yes you can.
Davidson “Because there are a lot of things in the minutes that are stated wrong. I understand that you are writing and it’s difficult to keep track. As a non-board member, I don’t know if I have the right to raise up my hand and say that this is incorrect.
Clarke “If you were present, you have to be present to object to the minutes.”
Condon “In the interest of time, Joe can you move on with your point?
Clarke “I put that in there because that’s what I perceived you guys wanted.
(More banter between Clarke, Davidson, and Harter about misinterpreting the Officers presentation.)
Clarke “The prerequisites to take the tests. A candidate must take FF II or basic FF certification for at least one year. Must have an EMT certification for at least one year and must be a member of the department for at least two years before they are eligible to take the exam. There will be a written exam, it will be between 50-100 questions. Um, identifying the competency of the person to uh, um, to perform the job duties of a fire lieutenant. The written exam with be administered at the Illinois Fire Chief’s Association. There will be a 60 day study period in advance of the examination so that the candidate can prepare for the materials that will be asked on the exam. The materials that are listed for review is um, uh a manual called the one minute manager, the manual for fire protection officer and the Harvard Fire Protection Standard Operating Guidelines.”
Condon “Joe, we’ve got his. Can we give this to these people? There’s a motion and second on the board. Why do you have to read the whole thing?”
Clarke “I was just identifying some of the things..”
Condon “Yes, I understood. We’ve got a motion, we’ve got a second. Let’s vote on it and if it goes through then they can all have a copy and abide by it.”
Clarke “Okay, no further questions.”
Hugg “What are we voting on?”
Clarke “adopting this substitute motion”
Carbonetti explains Roberts’s rules regarding substitute motion voting.
Hugg “ I would like to recommend that he change that he withdraw his substitute motion and amend the original motion to include the examination as he has discussed. Yet still allow for the original motion to (inaudible) In other words, allow the testing to go through as currently has been done and then from this point forward that we adopt the new process.”
Clarke “My intent is not to allow or not to have us appoint members to the position of Lieutenant unless they have been proved competent through the testing process. Roger is asking me to revise it and I am reluctant to do that because that basically puts us back into an appointed position there is no numerical score no knowledge competency test there is no assessment of skills that is being proposed here. This needs to be done because these are the next officers who will move up through the chain of command when these officers retire. Um, some are approaching the mandatory retirement age. There is going to be movement in the uh, uh, uh, chain of command, in our department and we need to make sure that our officers are capable of uh, handling an emergency scene, know the requirements of uh, what a fire load is, what the…”
Condon “I think that we clearly understand what you’re saying, Joe. So, you’re reluctant to reconsider that. So, we are at the point now that your substitute motion has been seconded. We can do a roll call vote. Trustee Hugg.
Hugg “First of all, I want to retract my second. I think that it’s reasonable this department has been around for 150 years old and it has lasted this long.”
Condon “So, you’re withdrawing your second?”
Hugg “I am withdrawing my second. Compromise is very important to the growth of this department and whether”
Clarke “May I ask, what is your compromise?”
Hugg “My compromise is to allow them, that they have already completed a process that has been acceptable in this department for 150 years. I’m not saying that its right, the process but, it has been accepted for 150 years and yes, I agree that the department is in a transitional stage and it will be growing exponentially from here.”
Clarke “The difference being, in the past it was a volunteer department. It was a community service organization. The public didn’t have much investment into um, um, the assignment of duties. Today it is, everybody is compensated and they are compensated at different pay rates for their skills. The public has an expectation that when they pay their property tax and that tax is going to be paid in salaries to the personnel who are going to respond to their emergencies at their homes whether it be fire or ems that the person who is calling the instructions is competent. Has been tested competent. It’s not based on in the past it’s based on who you know, now it is based on what you know.”
Condon “Well, that’s kind of an insult, Joe. Let’s move forward, here. He withdrew his second so you don’t have any second for your amended motion. So we have to go back to the original motion.”
Clarke “You have to ask if anyone wants to second that motion.”
Condon “Would anybody else like to second the motion?”
Keinhofer “I was under the impression that everyone completed FFI. “
Trustees explained the difference between FFI and FF Officer I to new Trustee Keinhofer.
Hugg ” I think that the (inaudible) stance should be, you know if we resolve this issue tonight by compromising and allowing this to be completed as originally started and focus on what needs to be done to get these people certified.”
Clarke “Based on what you’re saying, you are endorsing allowing non credentialed officers, they are Officers but they don’t have any credentials to select people of their choice without any um…”
Condon “Joe, we can’t correct the fact that our Chief Officers, I mean, you are a far reach to say that they are not qualified they’re not certified. That is the way we have run for all these years.”
Clarke “When you look at this it allows as a written examination it, does acknowledge competency. It has an assessment program that identifies skills and it has the opportunity for the Fire Chief and his staff to offer an evaluation. It is a three component examination, it’s not a one component examination. It’s not taking all the cards and putting them into one hand.”
Condon “I understand, we have talked about it. We have talked about it at great lengths here. Your substitute motion, there was a compromise that you rejected. What we are talking about now is that is there anybody who will second his substitute motion?”
Keinhofer “For a compromise?”
Condon “No, not for a compromise.”
Clarke “No, to replace an appointment by the Chief with an examination process. That is what the second is for.”
Keinhofer “Well, I can understand but…”
Clarke “It’s either a yes or a no!”
Condon “We’ve got to move on, we can’t be here all night.”
Clarke “Okay, it dies. Back to the main motion Mr. President.”
Condon “We’ve had a motion, we’ve has a second. We will take a roll call vote. That the Officer’s..”
Clarke “Okay, uh back on the main motion, who was the seconder?
Hugg “I was.”
Clarke “You were the seconder on both, okay. Okay, go ahead for your roll call.”
Condon “Okay, roll call vote. Roger-yes, Jim Carbonetti-yes, Josh-yes, Joe-no, Condon-yes. Motion passed.
Approve the 2018-2019 Budget and Appropriation Ordinance
Motion made by Carbonetti and seconded by Condon to approve Budget and Appropriation Ordinance 18-005. Hugg-yes, Carbonetti-yes; Condon-yes, Keinhofer-yes, Clarke, yes. Motion approved 5-0.
Approve 2018 Prevailing Wage Ordinance
Motion made by Carbonetti and seconded by Condon to approve Prevailing Wage Ordinance 18-006. Roll call vote Hugg-yes, Carbonetti-yes; Condon-yes, Keinhofer-yes, Clarke, yes. Motion approved 5-0.
Approve IPRF Pooling Agreement
Motion made by Clarke to approve IPRF Pooling Agreement and seconded by Carbonetti. Roll call vote Clarke-yes, Keinhofer-yes, Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes, Hugg-yes. Motion approved 5-0.
Approve Agreement with NCI
Motion made by Carbonetti to approve NCI Agreement Roll call Clarke-yes, Keinhofer-yes, Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes, and Hugg-yes. Motion approved 5-0.
Approve Agreement with CSI
Motion made by Clarke and seconded by Carbonetti. Roll call vote Clarke-yes, Keinhofer-yes, Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes, and Hugg-yes. Motion approved 5-0.
Motion to amend: Personnel Policies and Procedures Section 1. Item B:
Clarke states that this policy has already been amended in May 2017 Board meeting.
Clarke states that the July 2017 version of the Policies and Procedures Manual was tabled because it was incomplete.
Carbonetti motions to table and seconded by Condon.
Approve hiring introductory employees, Noah Evans and Andrew Pierce
Clarke makes a motion to appoint Noah Evans and Andrew Pierce as introductory employees to the Harvard Fire Protection District and seconded by Hugg. Roll call vote Clarke-yes, Keinhofer-yes, Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes, and Hugg-yes. Motion approved 5-0.
Public Education Accomplishments
Lieutenant Pierce speaks to the volunteer work that HFPD is involved with and presents a video.
Approval Payment of Bills:
Motion made by Carbonetti and seconded by Condon to approve payment of invoices for service and materials totaling $37,959.89. Roll Call Vote Hugg-yes, Condon-yes, Keinhofer-yes, Clarke-yes, and Carbonetti-yes.
- Chief Harter: Reports on Milk Days and a major accident on Rt. 173 and Marengo Rd. Total incidents were down from previous years. Reports on successful repairs to Engine 741. Discussion on the options for obtaining new fire vehicle.
- B/C Davidson: Discussion about educating the eight new introductory employees and their progress. Discussion on the restrictions of volunteering at the HFPD.
- Fire Rescue Association: Reports on Harvard Milk Days Tee Shirt Sales.
- Treasurer’s Report: Budget and Asset report submitted.
Old Business: None
New Business: None
Secretary Clarke asks for the floor.
Clarke “As you remember, last month when you guys were trying to reappoint the Fire Chief, I made action to hire a full-time Fire Chief. That was unsuccessful and Chief Harter was reappointed. Um, since that time I’ve heard from no less than three Trustees that have been approached by Officer’s on this Department and personnel on this Department informing us, and we are public officials, that if there was a departure of Chief Harter there would be a mass resignation of personnel of about, I heard as many as 50 people would, would, would resign. Um, first in my comment to that when I uh, endorsed the idea of hiring a full-time fire chief, I never said that Chief Harter could not apply for that position and be considered as an applicant for that position. I also never said anything about him departing as a member of this department. Uh, if another Fire Chief was brought in, a full-time Fire Chief, I’m certain that there would be a roll for uh, Steve Harter in the Department. If he chose to leave that would be a choice for him to make. That was not something that was intended on my part. In regards to the comments that are being made by the employees, and you are public employees on payroll by the taxpayers for most of the work that you do here. Yes, I do agree and acknowledge with Lt. Pierce that many of our members put forth their own personal time for many projects in this department but, basically, you are on the public payroll as paid part-time personnel. When comments are made like that, that can be considered as a job action. Whether you are informing the public officials or whether you are suggesting, whether you are threatening, however, you want to determine the message that is being sent. It can be interpreted as a job action. Politicians, judges and the public do not like job actions. They frown upon it and generally speaking it does not go very well. But, who likes job actions? Who likes the comments of potential job actions, is the media. And if you want media focusing in on the Harvard Fire Protection District, keep making those comments and eventually, it will get to their attention and you can ask the people in Algonquin Township,(inaudible), Nunda Township. You can ask the Fire Chief in Huntley how it turned out for them when the media comes in and starts with their Freedom of Information requests. So, I want to just stress the importance of not…being careless with making those comments. That’s all I have to say.”
Condon “Understand what you’re talking about Joe, 50 people. There were some people that said some things. I’m just going to say that from my perspective, they’re just supporting their Chief. The walkout thing, I’m sure that people said that. I would say that they were disturbed and befuddled by the action of that evening. But, your point is well taken, got that. I think it was more emotional than it was anything else. I think that we are smart enough to know that the last thing that we want is the Northwest Herald circling the building for some kind of job action. It was an emotional thing and we are over it so let’s move on from that but, I do understand what you’re saying. “
Motion made by Condon and seconded by Clarke to adjourn the meeting. Roll Call Vote 5-0.
Joseph Clarke, Sec.
Date approved _________________________________