Home Contra Costa County Oakley’s Fire Board Appointees Miss on Average 30% of Boards Meetings

Oakley’s Fire Board Appointees Miss on Average 30% of Boards Meetings

by ECT

As the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District continues to find ways to become a self-sufficient District and re-open stations, board members have come under criticism since Monday’s meeting.

During Monday’s meetings, several members of the public have accused the fire board of grandstanding during a 2-hour discussion over whether or not to accept a Task Force Report. In the ended, they approved the report with a 6-2 vote while placing conditions on the City of Brentwood, City of Oakley and Contra Costa County who are looking to hand the District more than a million dollars. In December, should Brentwood, Oakley and the County approve a Memorandum of Understanding, the District will have final say on conditions and a 4th fire station may be opened.

The Board continues to state repeatedly they are doing everything in their power possible to keep the community safe while watching every penny that they spend.  One member of the community questioned their attendance.

We looked into that accusation and reviewed attendance records.

Over the past 24-months, the Board of Directors had 28-total monthly board meetings which included special meetings of the board. Here is the attendance records:

Brentwood Representatives

  • Joel Bryant missed 1 meeting (3%)
  • Greg Cooper missed 6 meetings (21%)
  • Steve Smith missed 1 meeting (3%)
  • Joe Young had perfect attendance

Contra Costa County Representatives

  • Robert Kenny missed 1 meeting (3%)
  • Cheryl Morgan missed 3 meetings (10%)

Oakley Representatives

  • Ron Johanson missed 11 meetings (39%)
  • Jonathan Michaelson missed 10 meetings (35.7%)
  • Randy Pope has had 17-total meetings, where he has missed 1 meeting (5%)

*Randy Pope volunteered to replace Kevin Bouillon, who resigned, on the fire Board in 2014. His first meeting was Sept. 8, 2014.

Sub-Committee Meetings

Between 2014-2015 to date, the Finance Committee had scheduled a total of 30 meetings. According to the District, 12 of those meetings were cancelled (40%). This committee consists of Stephen Smith (Chair), Joe Young and Greg Cooper.

Between 2014-2015 to date, the Outreach-Education Committee had scheduled a total of 21 meetings. According to the District, 5 of those meetings have been cancelled (23%). This committee consists of Cheryl Morgan (chair), Bob Kenny, Ron Johansen, Stephen Smith.

The fire Board does not offer a stipend for meetings attended and its an unpaid position where the City of Brentwood, City of Oakley and the County appoints members to serve.

Attendance Records can be found within the meeting agendas located here.

Correction: originally published that Director Pope had missed 3-meetings. That was due to the minutes showing he missed a Sept. 2 meeting–he had not been sworn to his seat until Sept. 8.  During a April 6, 2015 meeting, Director Pope showed up 3-minutes late after roll-call. Those were never adjusted in the minutes. In total, Director Pope missed just 1-meeting on June 1, 2015 due to a family member graduation.

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Oakley Old Timer Nov 4, 2015 - 1:26 pm

These guys sure have our back don’t they? Back in my day, when I committed to something, i followed through by showing up. Can the Oakley City Council replace these reps? Can Brentwood replace Cooper?

Attendance is surely not the reason for the Districts financial trouble, but it certainly doesn’t help fix it if they are not there putting in the time even as volunteers.

Jim Simmons 42 Nov 4, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Doesn’t look like the city councils don’t care now that they do not sit in these seats. If I was Oakley, I’d be embarrassed.

Julio Nov 4, 2015 - 1:46 pm

Proves what a joke this all is to those members. When you commit to something you do it 100% of the time.

Kim Nov 4, 2015 - 4:00 pm

Lets remember these members get no pay and volunteered for a thankless job. Certainly there is no excuse for not attending 39% of ones meeting, if they are removed, who would even want to serve on a district going down the drain?

Nico Nov 5, 2015 - 12:26 am

This is just another reason why we need these all to be elected positions! That’s what makes them accountable! These clowns sit as appointed seat warmers who’s performance reflects their commitment. D- work from people who just want to be relevant but don’t want to put in the time.

Kim, wake up honey, there are lots of thankless jobs where people excel. These stooges need to get out of the way. We need the A team, not the F team. Quit making excuses for these lemmings!!!!!!!!!

Louise Fonceca Nov 5, 2015 - 1:10 pm

You need to represent Oakley if you are in that position. Terrible attendance. Get out of the way if you aren’t serious.

Just Sayin Nov 5, 2015 - 7:42 pm

Of the low turnouts (pun intended) which ones are previous firefighters? The board has too many anyway. Weed out some. The time the district is going to waste money again, stop and put it towards something meaningful like an election for people who care.

Nice hit piece on Oakley.

Steve Smith Nov 7, 2015 - 8:27 am

Three of the Board members are active duty Firefighters (Menlo Park, San Ramon, and San Francisco) with work schedule conflicts. Also, I was late for Roll Call in February of this year, but Minutes show my arrival at 6:35 and having voted in all votes. I have not missed a meeting since being sworn.

Dim F Nov 7, 2015 - 12:31 pm

Steve, perhaps you are unaware that active firefighters serve in many elected and appointed positions on boards which meet MORE often than ECCFPD and their attendance is not compromised.

You need not look farther than the San Ramon Fire Protection District where several active firefighters have sat on the governing board for years. Orinda Moraga fire district also has firefighters serve and so has the County retirement board. Firefighters also sit on city councils all throughout the State and Nation and don’t exhibit the attendance shortfalls cited in this report. I know many firemen and am aware that their schedules can be adjusted to accommodate such things…if it is a priority for them. In this case ECT points out it isn’t.

I thank you for your attendance but please don’t make excuses for others.

WalkersPlanet Nov 7, 2015 - 4:39 pm

Adjust a firefighters schedule, who is working in Menlo Park or San Francisco, so they can attend a meeting in Brentwood? The only way you’re going to adjust a schedule like that is to have the firefighter burn through his vacation hours. Incidentally they are doing this on a volunteer basis. I’m sure all these gentlemen have prepared for these meetings, conferred with fellow board members and followed up on items post meeting.

Steve Smith Nov 7, 2015 - 5:20 pm

Not only that, but Director Johansen, even when he would normally be available for a meeting, was called out twice on a week-long Headquarters Strike Team on the Butte Fire.

Nico Nov 7, 2015 - 11:32 pm

@WalkersPlanet there are many wrong assumptions in your posting.

While I don’t care if the firemen work in Menlo Park or Timbuktu, I do care if they violate the Brown Act. You are sure they are conferring with fellow board members? Because if so then they would not only be guilty of missing way too many meetings but would also be in violation of open meeting laws.

In case you don’t know they cannot confer with multiple fellow board members. I ask if they can’t make a monthly meeting, do you really believe they chat with fellow members? They don’t care!

A helluva lot of boards do so without pay..these guys have such piss poor performance they owe us a refund! I’m not kidding.

Nico Nov 7, 2015 - 11:37 pm

@Smith so what you are saying is it was more important for Johansen to make two weeks of O.T. on a campaign fire, then to work on the needs of east contra costa fire? We are in crisis mode. Need I say more? You dudes just don’t get it do you?

Caha Ching Nov 8, 2015 - 10:30 am

It’s worse than that. Firefighters (including Johanson) have to sign up to work those big out of area fires.

No one forces them and it’s a huge paycheck. Every day they cash in on at least $1,000 of overtime, now multiply that by the 2 weeks and you see he was paid handsomely to the tune of $14,000. Be honest with us.

So He wasn’t actually called out. He saw a big paycheck. It’s how it works for them.

Dim F Nov 7, 2015 - 8:12 pm

“Steves” (BOTH Walker and Smith), it’s hard for me to believe neither of you are aware or “shift trades” which are routinely done in all fire departments. As I said there are firefighters past and present throughout contra costa that have no trouble attending board meetings. If they have a problem with this they should not have been considered for appointments to the fire board. Many districts have attendance standards for this very reason.

Enough excuses.

John Nov 8, 2015 - 2:37 pm

Speaking of attendance, where have Doug Hardcastle and Jim Frazier been? They are both politicians who claim concern and reside in Oakley. The same Oakley where the meetings are held. What the heck?

Comments are closed.