1. #1
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    Default Fire chief defends grant

    By ROBIN LORD
    STAFF WRITER

    BREWSTER - Fire Chief Roy Jones thought he was doing the town a favor when he applied for and received a $570,000 federal Homeland Security grant this summer to pay for a new ladder truck.

    But, selectmen say the strings attached to it may be too costly and they question whether Jones overstepped his bounds in applying for the grant in the first place.

    Selectmen will meet with Jones about the issue at their meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at town hall.

    The grant originally called for the town to pay $30,000 to make up the difference between the grant and the total price of the truck equipped with a 100-foot ladder. But, the price has gone up since Jones applied for the grant, and the town now needs to kick in $100,000.

    The request is scheduled to go before voters at the Nov. 14 special town meeting, but selectmen chairman James Foley said his board is not convinced it is the right thing to do.

    ''There are all sorts of vagaries and problems we have with this,'' Foley said Wednesday.

    Foley said he has two basic problems with the grant issue. First, he wonders why Jones did not run it past the board before applying. Secondly, he thinks there is some misleading information in the grant itself and therefore the town may have acquired the grant under false pretenses.

    Jones claimed all information on the application was correct, and he said there is no town policy that requires him to have selectmen sign off on grant applications. He said the town's capital outlay plan calls for the current 25-year-old ladder truck to be replaced in 2007.

    ''It's not like we're buying something that wasn't in the plan. We figured OK, let's give it a shot,'' he said. ''

    Foley said the application for the Homeland Security funds said the town's fire department annual budget is $3 million, when it is actually $1 million. The application also says the ladder is needed for 4-story buildings in town, when the tallest in town is only three stories, Foley said. He also questioned whether the truck would be too big to fit into the Brewster station.

    Jones said he lumped three years of the fire budget together, because it is a grant that will span three years. He added that the truck will be the same length as the current ladder truck.

    Foley said the application also claimed the town does not have the ability to buy the truck on their own, when the town collects $800,000 in ambulance receipts each year.

    'It's a difficult concept to tell someone we have no money, but there's $800,000 a year,'' he said.

    But Jones claimed the annual receipts total $684,000, not $800,000, and are used for everything in the department other than general salaries. He questioned why selectmen would not want to save taxpayers $570,000 regardless of whether the town had the money in another fund.

    http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/firechief21.htm

    You got to be kidding me.

    FTM-PTB

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    Brewster Fire, If I am not mistaken has an enterprise fund or revolving account that keeps the money collected from running the ambulance/EMS in the account to pay for new ambulances, equipment, supplies and training.

    Brewster is a half hour code 3 drive away from the nearest hospital (Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis). The other hospital on the Cape is in Falmouth, at least another 20 minutes further than CCH.

    Politicians can't think outside of the box. There may very well be construction that will be 4.5 stories in height that are in the plans review stage, and don't forget setbacks.

    And the $800K? Trust me...the school department and Town hall would love to take that money for their own pet pork projects!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    1981 (1993) American LaFrance 2 door Cab Forward Aerial Ladder Truck
    Originally owned by Belleville, NJ FD
    Refurbished by Fire Resources in 1993
    Replaced Brewster's first aerial, a 1952 Maxim open cab 75' Aerial
    purchased in 1986 from the Fairhaven, MA Fire Dept

    I think with the money thats in Brewster they can afford matching funds for a new rig.
    Last edited by CaptainS; 10-21-2005 at 04:12 PM.

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    thats just sad .............how dare the Chief be more diligent in his spending ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Someone who doesn't want to do something can sure find a way to stir up a hornets nest. This chief may or may not have misleading info in his application, but let's say he doesn't, a politician can bring up a half lie of his own, and a fairly large percentage of people will believe it just because it has been said. This comment by the selectman is typical of some of the things I've heard here. I really feel for the chief, his department, and the taxpayer. If he did lie, shame on him, but I'd like to know how telling DHS that he has three times the money that he actually has would make a positive impact on his grant request. A properly written grant request can be successful even if you have loads of money, but all things considered, I would think, in the eyes of the grant review board, less money in your budget would be one more thing in your favor.
    There goes the neighborhood.

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    this unit was due to be replaced in 2007, while a little early it is hardly a sheeny deal.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainS
    By ROBIN LORD
    STAFF WRITER

    BREWSTER - Fire Chief Roy Jones thought he was doing the town a favor when he applied for and received a $570,000 federal Homeland Security grant this summer to pay for a new ladder truck.

    But, selectmen say the strings attached to it may be too costly and they question whether Jones overstepped his bounds in applying for the grant in the first place.

    Selectmen will meet with Jones about the issue at their meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at town hall.

    The grant originally called for the town to pay $30,000 to make up the difference between the grant and the total price of the truck equipped with a 100-foot ladder. But, the price has gone up since Jones applied for the grant, and the town now needs to kick in $100,000.

    The request is scheduled to go before voters at the Nov. 14 special town meeting, but selectmen chairman James Foley said his board is not convinced it is the right thing to do.

    ''There are all sorts of vagaries and problems we have with this,'' Foley said Wednesday.

    Foley said he has two basic problems with the grant issue. First, he wonders why Jones did not run it past the board before applying. Secondly, he thinks there is some misleading information in the grant itself and therefore the town may have acquired the grant under false pretenses.

    Jones claimed all information on the application was correct, and he said there is no town policy that requires him to have selectmen sign off on grant applications. He said the town's capital outlay plan calls for the current 25-year-old ladder truck to be replaced in 2007.

    ''It's not like we're buying something that wasn't in the plan. We figured OK, let's give it a shot,'' he said. ''

    Foley said the application for the Homeland Security funds said the town's fire department annual budget is $3 million, when it is actually $1 million. The application also says the ladder is needed for 4-story buildings in town, when the tallest in town is only three stories, Foley said. He also questioned whether the truck would be too big to fit into the Brewster station.

    Jones said he lumped three years of the fire budget together, because it is a grant that will span three years. He added that the truck will be the same length as the current ladder truck.

    Foley said the application also claimed the town does not have the ability to buy the truck on their own, when the town collects $800,000 in ambulance receipts each year.

    'It's a difficult concept to tell someone we have no money, but there's $800,000 a year,'' he said.

    But Jones claimed the annual receipts total $684,000, not $800,000, and are used for everything in the department other than general salaries. He questioned why selectmen would not want to save taxpayers $570,000 regardless of whether the town had the money in another fund.

    http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/firechief21.htm

    You got to be kidding me.

    FTM-PTB
    Regardless: they are getting a brand new aerial for $100,000 and they're COMPLAINING?
    What a bunch of crap.
    Chief; don't do your selectmen any more favors. It could cost you your job.
    Let them borrow $700,000 for a new rig. That should make them and the taxpayers happy.
    You have some nerve saving the taxpayers money.
    CR
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    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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    Sounds to me like another case of "It wasn't our idea, so we're not gonna play!"

    I hope they get this straightened out before they lose the grant and the public suffers for the sake of some idiot politician's media time AGAIN!


    And on a different note regarding Captains' post, I sure hope they kept that 52 open cab aerial for restoration. What sweet parade piece that will be.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    Me thinks that you are going to see issues like this more and more...especially with the SAFER grants. It is, as has been stated, often a case where the politicos have been upstaged and don't like it. They can't use it as a campaign issue.

    We had a PD in Morris County get a grant to hire two officers as School Resources Officers. The Chief did all the work and secured funding for salary and benefits for two years. His thanks? Some members of the council wanted to reprimand him because he didn't talk to them about it (he had the blessings of the previous admin., when he submitted the app) and that he didn't include them in the annoucement. They threatened not to accept the grant because it was only for two years and who would pay for it after that? (Logic was that they would have to hire about 5 officers in the next two years to compensate for retirements, but logic was not an issue here).

    The next council meeting, there was a large public turnout of support for the the Chief and the town council acted like they never said what they said the previous meeting. They accepted the money unanimously.

    The moral of the story is go get the support of the public (read: voters) and you will generally get what you need.

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    What is more easlily bruised.. a banana or a politician's ego?

    The problem with many politicios is that they have a "vision problem" ... they cannot see past the next election!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    I am sure it works different around the nation, but in our area the county commission (the big cheeses) dont have any say or knowledge or realy responsibility or what have you in regards to applying for grants.

    Was this an AFG grant?

    Is this a dedicated fire district board or a bunch of town hall "fathers of the city" mutt types?

    A dedicated fire board would NEVER have a fit about being handed a new ladder truck for only 100K. If they did they need to be sent to the funny farm.

    I cant believe some people. These guys are complete morons.

    I have a solution, I will humble step forward and accept the reward for this grant since these short sited incompetant egomanica retards will not.

    Good job chief, way to go above and beyond. To bad you get kicked in the stones for it.

    Mad as Hell!
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    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Is this a dedicated fire district board or a bunch of town hall "fathers of the city" mutt types?
    I vote for the latter who are against the Ladder!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Well let's face it, the commisioners, or selectman, or some politician (known as the politicians from this point forward) is eventually in charge of the FD money. The chief doesn't raise his own money. So if the politicians aren't aware of what the chief is doing then they cannot properly prepare or budget for such an expense. If the politicians haven't put the $100,000 in this years tax levy then they don't have the money for the truck. Of course, you could lay off 3 firefighters to make up the difference.

    Imagine if you came home and your spouse told you she had purchased a new car without your knowledge.

    It isn't about power or bruised egos at all. It'a all about proper planning and execution.

    Of course, in appling for the grant the chief was supposed to identify his source of the matching funds. Another caveat of the grants is that your budget is to remain the same. So is it the selctmans fault that the chief failed in his administrtative duties and didn't properly plan?
    I love the powerful analogies that you use.
    So you want the chief spanked because you believe that he didn't inform the board who is ultimately in charge of the city's finances, but yet you blame the chief because he is in charge of his budget? Which way is it? Whichever way supports your very weak argument?
    Jones claimed all information on the application was correct, and he said there is no town policy that requires him to have selectmen sign off on grant applications. He said the town's capital outlay plan calls for the current 25-year-old ladder truck to be replaced in 2007.
    So; if they were planning to get a new ladder truck anyway, then why is there surprise that it will cost them less money with the grant? I mean; if there is money in the budget, then with the grant, they can now plan to put the surplus somewhere else.
    And even if he didn't lead the selectmen by the hand and tell them SPECIFICALLY what the process involves, you can bet that my *** would be at the bank BORROWING the match if it means saving $500,000.
    It's all about egos. Your's included. With your thinking, you will make some village a fine hatchetman someday.
    I think you have a problem with ANY firefighter officer who out ranks you.
    Had this story played out differently and the town didn't get the grant, you would be de-crying the chief as inept, a poor leader, unqualified for the job and someone that you are smarter than.
    Wake up and smell the dead horse.
    CR
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    again Art you convey my thoughts better than I could have ...........
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1
    again Art you convey my thoughts better than I could have ...........
    Yeah; great minds think...























    differently than TrojanHorse!
    CR
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    Very true!

    You hit it right on the head CR. He has contempt for everyone that outranks him because he thinks he is smarter than them.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
    Well let's face it, the commisioners, or selectman, or some politician (known as the politicians from this point forward) is eventually in charge of the FD money. The chief doesn't raise his own money. So if the politicians aren't aware of what the chief is doing then they cannot properly prepare or budget for such an expense. If the politicians haven't put the $100,000 in this years tax levy then they don't have the money for the truck. Of course, you could lay off 3 firefighters to make up the difference.

    Imagine if you came home and your spouse told you she had purchased a new car without your knowledge.

    It isn't about power or bruised egos at all. It'a all about proper planning and execution.

    Of course, in appling for the grant the chief was supposed to identify his source of the matching funds. Another caveat of the grants is that your budget is to remain the same. So is it the selctmans fault that the chief failed in his administrtative duties and didn't properly plan?
    This is what my city did to buy 3 new trucks. But they had to layoff 4.

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    I read this as the chief was planning for a new truck in 2007 (or about 3 years from the time he was writting the grant) so it seems reasonable that the city was setting aside $500,000-750,000 (about average for a truck these days), so divided by 3 roughly $175,000-250,000, so what is the problem with $30,000 or even $100,000 in matching funds now? There should still be close to $100,000 sitting in that accout after getting the new truck, or maybe the council was just going to put the new truck on the cities VISA card.

    I can understand the town council being upset that they were left out of the loop but that conversation belongs behind closed doors "Hey, Chief nice job saving money and all but next time how about giving us a courtesy heads up filling us in about it", the fact that some members of the council are publicly bashing the chief looks like somebody never grew out of their terrible twos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
    .
    Imagine if you came home and your spouse told you she had purchased a new car without your knowledge.
    If my wife came home with a $30,000 car and told me she paid $3000 for it, I'd be pretty happy!

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    Exclamation 2007 ???

    I guess the City would have been really caught off guard in 2007. If the Ladder was in the budget for 2007 why cant they come up with $100,000?
    How would they have come up with the whole thing a year from now ??


    Give em the Ladder...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
    Of course if you had planned on spending that $3,000 on your mortgage then you would have a new car and no house..
    As someone once told me, "You can crib in your ride, but you can't ride in your crib".

    I think I could get a $3000 loan pretty easily for a $30,000 car-especially if I had been putting money aside to replace it within a couple of years anyway. Not to mention I could get a few bucks selling the car it would replace.

    If the town could afford $670,000 in 2 years, they can afford $100,000 now. That's why municipalties have bond ratings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
    OK, but a municipality can't just go out and borrow money. They need voter approval. Also, this year we will repace the aging snow plow, next year we replace our garbage truck, next year we do the fire truck.
    That may the way they do it in your little town... in many cities the mayors, town managers, councilors, selectmen and aldermen vote on bond issues all the time.

    If you had to go to the voters to approve every single purchase...

    Agenda item 2..purchasing of toilet paper for city buildings...

    disgruntled taxpayer: "why are they specing out two ply toilet paper? I use one ply at home, and if it's good enough for me, it's good enough for them.

    another disgruntled taxpayer: "how many roll they want to buy? in my house, we go through a roll a week... why should we have to buy a case now for $100 when we are due to purchase a case of tp in 2007? We have budgeted $700 for tp in 07, we should stick to that commitment"

    yet another disgruntled taxpayer: never mind the TP! they will need water to flush it down with, and a plunger to maintain the toilet.. let them use a two holer behind the station and use leaves! Look at the money we will save!

    note to forum readers: for those of you who are unfamiliar with this, it is called sarcasm. it is also known as the breakfast of champions at the firehouse!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
    OK, but a municipality can't just go out and borrow money. They need voter approval. Also, this year we will repace the aging snow plow, next year we replace our garbage truck, next year we do the fire truck.
    If next year someone offers to pay 90% of the cost of the garbage truck, you put off the snowplow for one more year-and use the money you saved to buy a better plow.

    You're assuming every other municipality runs their budget the same as you. They don't. Nowhere does it say they have to put it before voters-the article states that it has to be voted on at a "special town meeting" which means the council/selectmen are voting on it. Evidently, they have the authority to approve it.

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    CAVE People

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    Troj, ok, it may have been considerate of him to talk about it first, I don't think anyone is argueing that point. If he had, do you suppose that they would have said no? No way chief, don't do that, not untill 2007.
    Grants are not planned on, they are hoped for.
    The point has been made, and seconded that they should say," gee we wish we would have known", and then move on with that task at hand, which is getting that money. Making a public issue of this is not going to be productive in any way.

    At this time, by the time he takes deivery of the erial, it will be 2007 anyways. And furthermore, if the town was going to replace the truck in 07, they should have already been appropriating funds. If they appropriate the funds in 07, they will likely get the truck in 2008, or maybe 2009, depending on when their committee or residents do their voting.
    There goes the neighborhood.

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