On Aug. 12, I took a course of action to correct a grave injustice of rogue elements in our organization. Through Roberts Rules of Order and parliamentary procedure, I went through a series of motions to change first the president of our three-member board from Linda Kidd to Daniel C. Depung and, second, moving that we suspend Fire Chief Jeffery S. Jewell and District Manager Monte Olsen until consulting with Paul Campo, our fire protection district’s attorney regarding these gentlemen’s termination.
I want to reassure members of my community that their public safety is in good hands with their board of commissioners. I further want to let them know that the decisions that were made were done so by a two-to-one vote in the majority rule regarding governmental entities. The decision that was made was not done so lightly. While Chief Jeffery S. Jewell and District Manager Monte Olsen have been employed by Inter City Fire Protection District in Blue Summit much has happened both good and ill.
I think it fair to all I am addressing by this letter to review some of my issues of concern. Though there are many I list a mere few that have been amassing over a long course and period of time. The chief and district manager as employees of our district act as advisers to our board, among their many other duties. There have been growing concerns of the two individuals’ political savvy in them being crafty political manipulators of our board in their need and greed for power. These power-hungry individuals collaborated, and conspired against our elected board, pitting one board member against another, causing undue rifts and dissension among the ranks between me and my colleagues and our board.
The effects of this have been an unhealthy work environment that has impeded progress and hindered public safety. Our chief and district manager have worked together for a long time to reverse policies and procedures in their favor to the point that they now act as though they are the three-member board’s bosses instead of employees.
Just to review the original purpose and assignment of our board in their chain of command: We are their bosses, and they are our employees. Not vice versa.
The fire chief and district manager have impeded the original assignment of members of this board in their duties to act a checks and balances in governing our volunteer fire department. I can not nor will I allow this type of insubordination to continue. I and my colleagues in unity must rise to the occasion in being dedicated and committed to restoring order to our district’s environment, regarding its peace, harmony, and tranquility in our coordinated efforts for a determined resolve in our peaceful working relations.
Jeffery A. Emrick is an Inter City Fire Protection District commissioner.