Act­ing Fire Chief Tapped For SCFPD

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE -

The Stanis­laus Con­sol­i­dated Fire Pro­tec­tion District (SCFPD) Board of Di­rec­tors held a meet­ing on Thurs­day, Nov. 9 that ul­ti­mately saw Michael Wap­nowski se­lected as act­ing chief.

The ses­sion was at­tended by Di­rec­tor Steve Green (Water­ford), Board Vice Pres­i­dent Michelle Guz­man (River­bank), and Board Pres­i­dent Su­san Zanker. Di­rec­tor Dave Woods (Em­pire) was not in at­ten­dance. The fifth seat on the board is va­cant.

Also in­cluded in the meet­ing was time for pub­lic com­ment, dur­ing which River­bank res­i­dent Charles Neal of­fered com­ments about his con­cern re­gard­ing the SCFPD bud­get.

“I am very con­cerned about this Con­sol­i­dated Fire Depart­ment and the way you guys have spent money,” stated Neal. “It looks like you got rid of a whole lot of money real fast. I think to go from al­most 10 mil­lion dol­lars in re­serves down to prob­a­bly $650,000 in re­serves in such a short length of time; it re­ally has me con­cerned and I am sure it would have other peo­ple con­cerned.”

The meet­ing also saw the board ap­prove the con­sent items, hear a con­struc­tion up­date on Sta­tion 24 in Water­ford, and in­cluded some di­rec­tor com­ments. A sched­uled closed ses­sion had the item, ‘pub­lic em­ployee ap­point­ment’ of the Act­ing Fire Chief on the agenda as well as ‘pub­lic em­ploy­ment’ in­volv­ing the fire chief.

Dur­ing the Di­rec­tor Com­ments

prior to the closed ses­sion, Pres­i­dent Zanker ac­knowl­edged the com­ments made by Neal re­gard­ing the bud­get and con­curred that “the board is very con­cerned about the bud­get.” She had ex­pressed that it is not their

role dur­ing pub­lic com­ment to re­spond or take ac­tion on non-agen­dized items. Zanker stated that some of the pro­jec­tions and changes from an ear­lier bud­get ses­sion in May were cause for con­cern and said that every­one is in­vited to the next bud­get study ses­sion.

Ac­tion re­ported out of the closed ses­sion in­di­cated the board voted 3-0 to ap­point Deputy Chief Michael Wap­nowski as the Act­ing Fire Chief. It was also re­ported that at the pre­vi­ous special meet­ing on Oct. 25, the board voted 3-1 with Di­rec­tor Green as the “no” vote to ter­mi­nate the con­tract with Chief Rick Weigele. He was also given the op­tion to re­sign prior to ter­mi­na­tion.

VIR­GINIA STILL/THE NEWS

The Fire Board was miss­ing Di­rec­tor Dave Woods at last week’s meet­ing which ap­pointed Deputy Chief Michael Wap­nowski as the Act­ing Fire Chief dur­ing closed ses­sion.

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