KIMBALL TOWNSHIP BOARD OF TRUSTEES
MUNICIPAL BUILDING, 2160 WADHAMS ROAD, KIMBALL, MI
SPECIAL MEETING: BOARD OF TRUSTEES & FIRE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD
AUGUST 20, 2013
Usakowski opened the special meeting with the Pledge Of Allegiance.
ROLL CALL OF OFFICERS:
PRESENT: Usakowski, Jackson, Hand, Kilroy, Ritter, Sturdevant, Grabowski, Rutkofske, Evans.
ABSENT: Wrubel, Cooley, Baker
I. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
II. ROLES OF BOARD REGARDING ADMINISTRATION OF FIRE DEPARTMENT
- Usakowski: Discussed the original resolution that created the Fire Administrative Board in 1964 and that there have been two adjusting resolutions since then. He wants to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Also talked about guidelines.
Grabowski: Clarification on resolutions.
Discussion about resolutions
Usakowski: Personnel related issues and how are they handled.
Grabowski: Clarified chain of command.
Damon: Should be chain of command
Usakowski: Discipline especially does not always have to be handled in public
before the board to help keep moral up. Concerned about the moral within the
Grabowski: Sees himself as a mediator between the Township Board and the
Usakowski: Firemen should be able to come to Usakowski, Hand or Jackson without going to a full meeting with concerns about their job. The person shouldn’t have to go to the board with a problem.
Jackson: Commented that it should be one on one between a fireman and Jackson, Hand or Usakowski then brought to the board. The person shouldn’t be named if he comes to the Supervisor.
Usakowski: Should honor the chain of command that is already there.
Jackson: You have your four or five steps you go through before you get to John (Chief Gorski), but someone like me could take it to John, no names mentioned to who brought it to me and then take it back down to the chain of command to be corrected just as a verbal way of doing it.
Gorski: I don’t even know what went on in that meeting and have never been told, but there is a chain of command that I think everyone needs to follow. If we start breaking that chain of command it throws all the officers right under the bus. If there is a problem, they need to come to me first.
Usakowski: I agree with that. If someone came to me, and they had a concern about something, my first question would be, “did you take it to the appropriate authority first?” If they haven’t, I’m going to redirect that person back to the appropriate person first. If at that point, they can’t get it resolved and you’ve exhausted those efforts and it’s still not working, then by all means come and talk to me. But until you’ve followed that chain of command, I’m going to send you back there. We want to honor all the leadership.
Kilroy: Do they have to go through like five different people if they have a problem, the firefighters?
Gorski: Suppose to take it to a Truant Officer. They’re supposed to start with your lowest officer in your station. Station One would be Lieutenant first, then the Lieutenant goes to the Battalion Chief and the Battalion Chief goes to the Assistant Chief and then up to me. Station Two goes to the Captain first, then to Battalion Chief, to the Assistant Chief and then to me. Basically it could be four steps and hopefully it gets resolved at the first step.
Kilroy: I can see somebody who has a problem that they’re afraid of ramification after if they say something about what’s going on or who did something.
Gorski: But they shouldn’t need to be afraid of any kind of ramification. I like to think that I’m here professionally in my business.
Kilroy: I don’t know about the chain of command but I think if they have a problem it should either go to the Chief or the Assistant Chief. And if they can’t solve it then they should just bring it to the board.
Ritter: Yes because there is two steps before the Fire Chief and Assistant Chief.
Kilroy: Yes I mean you’ve got to go through four different steps to have your situation resolved and maybe you can just have you and the Assistant Chief. And then if they can’t get it solved then they could come to the board here.
Ritter: Do all the firefighters have copies of the Fire Board Resolution?
Usakowski: I don’t know that. Do you guys have copies of those? Yes.
Usakowski: So we also have the 2003 Fire Administrative Board Policies and Procedures. Do you guys use that kind of as a guide for how you’re doing business? We just kind of went through ours for the township as a whole.
Grabowski: Most of this was inaudible. (Hard to hear)
Sturdevant: Let’s just say for instance, if Ed Gratz has a problem and he needed somewhere to go? Where’s he going to go?
Grabowski: To the Fire Board and the chain of command.
Sturdevant: Right. It goes to the chief. Maybe the problem could be with the chief and so now what is Ed going to do? He’s going to come to you guys and then these guys are going to have to pass it off to somebody.
Usakowski: Right, right. And that’s what I’m saying. I think once we reach that level I think it should come over here somewhere. I just think for functionality purpose and operational. First of all, we’re not going to get a meeting action, you meet once a month. And we’ve got people that are in here all the time that can help address those problems, and a lot of times if problems sit for a long time they tend to fester. And rather than let them sit I would prefer to get them taken care of. If it’s a situation where questions need to be asked, they tend to be a little bit fresher if we can get it closer to whatever it was that happened and the lines don’t get so blurred. That’s just my thought.
Jackson: That has always been for myself, the employee’s representative and that person. No other people were brought in, and nobody else knew what went on until it got to the point that somebody had to be let go. But with me it was never to let a person go, it was to instill in them at the time to become a better employee or whatever. If they want to go this route, that will happen. If they go this route other things happen. And that didn’t get out there to who was who. By the time you put it by four or five people it’s gonna go to four or five others. That’s the bad part.
Usakowski: All right we have another meeting that starts in three minutes so do you want to wrap up with anything? I think we will have to have some further discussion about it.
III. PUBLIC COMMENT (Brief Comments)
Usakowski motioned that they adjourn the joint meeting supported by Kilroy.
Meeting adjourned at 6:32 p.m.
Robert G. Hand, Clerk