Cotuit Fire District
Board of Fire Commissioners
January 23, 2015 Meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners
Attendance: Fire Commissioner Mycock, Fire Commissioner Hadley, Fire Commissioner Nailer, and Chief Christopher Olsen
Barbara Trainor Tessier recording
Minutes from last meeting reviewed and approved.
No public comment
Chief Christopher Olsen gave the Fire report- 68 runs in December ending with 802 calls for the year. December was a slow month for inspections. In the past meetings spoke about increasing the ambulance allowable rate with Comstar as Cotuit FD hasn’t changed its rates since 2007, which was then a 28% increase. Federally run insurance companies such as Medicare and Medicaid are similar to HMO insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield as they will cover an ambulance run at an allowable rate of $368.13 which they pay our service our current rate of 28% higher than that and The difference between the two amounts is what we charge the person. And if the individual has a hardship we cover that and write it off. Chief looked into a 40% increase as the numbers will be higher.
Commissioner Hadley suggested going higher than 40% such as 60-65% as Cotuit is further from hospital and the district area coverage is more scattered. Commissioner Mycock asked if someone has insurance and the insurance pays, should policy be to pursue the difference or accept what we get paid for by insurance and t hat number could be different. Commissioner Mycock has no issue getting all can from insurance company, but has concerns that if someone doesn’t have the money that they won’t call.
Commissioner Nailor feels uncomfortable about not writing off most of the call. Doesn’t want residents to hesitate calling if need assistance, as that is what they are paying for as taxpayers and that an increase to 60% is a big jump
Commissioner Mycock asked how the board feels about write-offs, can’t write off one, and bill another. The district has three types of people within it- taxpayers, residents, and businesses.
Commissioner Hadley made a motion to increase the ambulance rate to 60% and Mycock second the motion all in favor though Commissioner Nailor agreed to approve only if to continue with the same current policy regarding write-offs- all agreed. Commissioner Mycock feels it is not about residents paying the fee, but more about the insurance coverage. Since like a high increase, but haven’t increased rate since 2007.
Chief Olsen looked into Three companies to lease new Engine and will present at truck meeting would like to meet this coming month with committee-Hadley said anytime in Feb
The budget is currently at 54% as of January 22. Some line items are over budget-Commissioner Mycock asked if anything significant was up in the budget-Chief responded that sick time is at 99%, dispatch 90%, insurance close to 100%, office supplies are up. The fire apparatus is not taken out of service, but will need work to be do-no questions were asked
Commissioner Nailor asked about the new ambulance. Chief said it will be in MA on Feb 9 and he will go to take a look at it. Then goes to Maine for final inspection and less than a week later can bring it back to the station
Would like to rehab 263 with the $18,000 in budget
Have two interns from Barnstable High School and one other will intern during the summer
Discussion and vote regarding the settlement with Jane Pierce and David Pierce. In November a settlement occurred just before the trial began and it has been pending approval with a vote by this Board on the districts behalf regarding the settlement. The districts part of the settlement was we would pay $21,920 for wages-plus would give her additional time on the force which would enable her to get to a different level in retirement. That number would be less any of the normal tax deductions, retirement deductions anything normally taken out of an employees paycheck. No other benefits would accrue. In return all pending cases that Jane Pierce and David Pierce against the district, as the plaintiff would be resolved. In addition, we would need to vote on that and it would be the sole cost of the district. Will need to vote on a non-disparaging agreement-the result will be public information and that neither party has admitted to any wrong doing and may not speak badly of one another. Commissioners agreed they understand the agreement- Commissioner Mycock made a motion to accept the settlement on all related legal issue with Jane Pierce and David Pierce. Commissioner Hadley made the second motion-Commissioner Mycock called a role call on acceptance of agreement all three Commissioners agreed.
Commissioner Mycock made a motion that the district agree to a mutual non-disparagement provisions as part of the agreement this is binning on parties to the settlement agreement it is not a confidentiality agreement and the chairman be authorized to sign on behalf of the district—Hadley second the motion–role call on agreement all Commissioners agreed. This vote ends many years of litigation with this vote this will now be turned over and the various paperwork will be completed
Next, this Board has been asked by a Plaintiff Counsel to participate in litigation regarding Joan Geggatt on March 16, 2015 at the offices of Gargiulo/Rudnick. The insurance company has agreed to participate, and this Board needs to place a vote regarding attendance. Commissioner Mycock made a motion to ask The Fire Commissioner’s Board to enter mediation with Joan Geggatt and appoint the Boards Chairman to represent the Board at said litigation. Commissioner Hadley made a second motion-all in favor.
Next, at the Special Meeting which most attended we have to ask for additional funding of $25,000 to pay for the negotiation with the Union. We are going to mediation with them through a state agency and will need an attorney. Commissioner Mycock talked to two difference counsels Mark Beudrow and Gargiulo/Rudnick both felt we needed to look for someone who specializes in union mediation. The mediation group in Boston is patiently awaiting our decision, and Commissioner Mycock would like to vote on whom to hire. There is a firm in Boston that Mycock briefly spoke to, they charge about $350 an hour. Commissioner Hadley asked if we have to sign a contract or if can pay hour by hour as needed. Commissioner Mycock said no contract-can fire if needed. Commissioner Hadley suggested voting to allow Commissioner Mycock to further inquire about this Boston Firm. Commissioner Mycock made a motion for the Board of Fire Commissioners Chairman be authorized to interview potential legal counsel for mediation and to return with a recommendation. Commissioner Hadley seconds the motion, all in favor.
Chief Olsen-The Firefights Unions sent out an email that they would like to start a new Safety Committee-would like to ask if one of the Board members would like to be part of the Safety Committee. Commissioner Mycock stated he did not get an email from the President of the Union asking to be a part of this Safety Committee, nor an invitation to participate. Commissioner Hadley would like to know what this would encompass i.e. manpower, equipment, etc. Chief stated that they would like to have a conversation with the board about some safety issues we may have within the Fire Department. Chief thinks it is a great idea and supports them knowing that safety is paramount for our district.
Next Meeting: , February 19, 2015 at 13:00 hours
Public Sections not listed on Agenda-no comments
Motion Made by Commissioner Mycock to adjourn the meeting, was seconded to end the meeting