Dennis Winston, who ran unopposed in the April 2 election for the District 3 (Caplinger) seat on the Cedar County Ambulance District Board, was elected chairman after he and Wes Spinks, who won the District 6 seat, took the oath of office.
Board members present were Robert Matney, John Wilson, Dennis Winston, Don Fugate, Sue Rice and Wes Spinks.
The new board elected John Wilson as vice chair.
Wilson immediately made a motion, which passed, to split the secretary and treasurer positions.
Then the board elected Spinks as treasurer.
Wilson said they should hire a person to perform the duties of secretary. Spinks said that if they did that, the board should have a detailed, written job description.
Then Wilson made a motion, seconded by Winston to repeal the vote on splitting the secretary and treasurer positions.
The board then passed a motion to hire a clerk.
On a motion by Wilson, second by Robert Matney, the board elected Spinks to the secretary/treasurer position.
The board then had a discussion about bonding three board members to sign checks. Wilson, who had been part of a similar discussion a year ago, wants to bond the position and not the person.
Cedar County Clerk Peggy Kenney, who attended the meeting to administer the oath of office to the newly elected board members, said, “The position is bonded but you must have a person’s name.”
Board Member Sue Rice asked Wilson, “Are you going to call State Farm?”
Wilson said, “I haven’t.”
Rice said, “Are you going to just not use them?”
Wilson said, “I’ll call them, but they only bond individuals.”
The board had a discussion of how much the bonds should be. A $150,000 figure was mentioned. Kenney said the sheriff’s bond is only $5,000.
On a motion by Wilson, second by Matney, the board voted to get bids on bonds for three board members in the amount of $5,000, $25,000 and $50,000.
The board approved the minutes for February and March.
The board decided to dispense with having Chris Loderhose, the district manager for Citizens Memorial Hospital ambulance service in Cedar County, read his report line by line. He will mail his report to the board members a week before the meeting.
Lodershose reported that there is “a lot going on behind the scenes.” He said that CMH gives Cedar County money for 2 1⁄2 dispatchers. He indicated that is not being done. He said there had been meetings between CMH officials, the Cedar County Commissioners and Ambulance Board members.
He said, “There are no answers tonight, but there’s a heck of a lot going on behind the scenes.”
Spinks said that at the February meeting he was “corrected by the sheriff” on how the phone system works in the dispatch center relative to 911 calls from cell phones. He said, “I couldn’t believe I got it that wrong. I went back up there. It was like I said.”
Peggy Kenney said that situation with the phones got fixed in a recent Cedar County Commission meeting.
The board accepted a proposal from Davis, Lynn and Moots to do the ambulance district audit for the next three years.
Spinks made a motion, seconded by Matney to take $225,000 from Liberty Bank and put it in a five year CD in the highest rate we can find in a bank where it will be insured.
Winston wanted to table the matter until the next meeting.
Rice said, “I object leaving at risk. We board members are liable.” She said that a motion at the February meeting was not followed to take enough money out of Liberty bank to get the total below the $250,000 FDIC insurance maximum.
Winston said they would research the matter and csome back at the next meeting.
Rice said, “I want it set up the way it was voted on in February. I want to be on record objecting to leaving the money uninsured.” She said that over $107,000 is in Liberty Bank uninsured.
The board took action to dispose of excess property. They voted to let Caplinger Mills Volunteer Fire Department buy five pagers at $10 each, Olympia Volunteer Rural Fire Department buy six and the First Responders buy six. On mobile radios, which go in a vehicle, the board voted to sell two to Jerico Springs Volunteer Fire Department and the First Responders three. The board voted to sell seven hand held radios to the First Responders and five to Caplinger Mills. The board also voted to include chargers and batteries with the purchases.
At the close of the meeting, Dennis Winston made a statement, “I just want to clear a few things up. First of all, I just wanted to let everybody know, as I stated while ago, that I’m all for transparency. This board has been put here by the people of this county to answer to the people of this county and to respond to the people of this county with an answer to what ever their concerns are. I intend to see that that is done. I intend to see that the public is treated in a respectful manner. And that’s the way it is. Sue, in answer to your comment while ago about am I going to overturn everything that you’ve done, No. although you went and overturned everything that was done in the last 20 years, so I don’t see the difference. No, I’m not going to overturn everything that you’ve done. The board, if there is anything overturned, will overturn what ever gets overturned. I’m not here to go back five years, 10 years, or whatever. I’m here to serve this board. Contrary to what a lot of people think, I’m not here to run CMH out of this county. I’m an employee of Mercy. You all know that. I am not a rival of CMH. And I’m not here to run them out of the county. The decision was made to go with another vendor. The county went with another vendor. We have to work with that vendor. If we don’t like the way that vendor operates, or if they don’t listen to our concerns, then we deal with that. I just want that to be straight to everybody. I am not here to kick anybody out of the county. I do not have an agenda to get rid of them.”
“I can assure you I’m not here to undo everything you have done. There are a lot of things I don’t agree with and I’ll voice my opinion. If I feel I need to make a motion, I will. If the rest of the board agrees with it, then we will do that. But I am not here to overturn everything that has been done. I’ve been outspoken for the last year. I’ve spent 21 years on this ambulance serving the people in this county to give them the best possible ambulance service that they could get for their money. I am no longer a part of that. The decision was made to go with somebody else. That’s fine. I’m OK with that. But I’m not going to stand by and watch everything that I helped with my employees and with the previous board, I’m not going to see that get torn down because somebody has a personal agenda. And that’s all I have to say.”