Ambulance Board argues over signatures on checks

Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:12 pm

During the April 21 CCAD meeting, Board Member Sue Rice brought it up that, contrary to the board by-laws, the bank is processing some checks which have only one signature on them.

Chairman Dennis Winston said he does that because there is not time to get two signatures and still get the utility bill paid to the City of El Dorado Springs before the deadline which would add about $50 to the bill. He said it was a board decision whether to pay that penalty.

Board Members James Reynolds and John Wilson thought it was OK to give Winston authority to put only his signature on some checks, at his discretion. Rice and Kenny Turner opposed that as setting a bad precedent.

The board then discussed ways to avoid that penalty. One suggestion was to pay the city about $500 from which the city could draw the payment if the check arrived late. Then the check would replenish the deposit.

Winston said the city would not let the ambulance district do that.

The Sun called El Dorado Springs City Manager Bruce Rogers who said they already have one company which keeps a balance with the city which is used to pay the bill when the check arrives late. The ambulance district could use that same feature, he said. Rogers said the only problem would occur if the balance on the city’s books was not enough to pay the utility bill, then the penalty would apply.

Winston asked Rice to look into the matter and report back to the board next month.

After the newly elected board members were installed, Winston thanked Robert Matney for his six years on the board. Board members present were Dennis Winston, John Wilson, Don Fugate, Kenny Turner, Sue Rice and James Reynolds.

Matney took a seat in the audience and proceeded to hold his own meeting with fairly loud conversations with Jerry Davis and Mrs. Walt Meeker and her daughter which were distracting to people trying to hear the conversation at the head table. Chairman Winton made no effort to keep order in the meeting.

Later in the meeting when Winston said there was only one check with one signature each month Phillip Davis from the audience reminded Winston that Winston had said earlier in the meeting that he didn’t know how many checks “were floating around out there” with only his one signature on them. Matney asked Davis, “Do you live in Cedar County?” When Davis said he did, Matney asked, “Where?”

Davis said, “It’s none of your business.” That’s when the fight almost started. Winston glared only at Davis and hollered, “Shut up.” He never acknowledged that Matney was the instigator.

The district received notice from the Cedar County Collector Joan Haines that her office had overpaid the ambulance district in state surtax funds. She asked the CCAD to repay $5043.16, which it did.

Winston announced that he had made an agreement for a company to repair the Stockton garage door adding safety sensors at a cost of $1,537. It was news to several members of the board. Board Member James Reynolds said the Jerico Springs Fire Department had the same work done by the same company at a cost of $1,100. Board Member John Wilson said they couldn’t do anything about it because the work had already started. The board took no action to approve the expenditure by Winston of $1,537.

Rice brought up the assertion by James Reynolds at the March meeting that board funds did not have to be insured because for tax funds that regulation does not apply. She and Dennis Winston checked with the bank and both were told that coverage is not automatic although Liberty Bank had agreed to insure the funds which are in excess of the $250,000 FDIC limit. That extra security must be in writing. Liberty has now provided that document.

Rice brought up an e-mail from the board’s attorney, Frank Foster, about making board by-laws into ordinances which would have the force of law and can be enforced by the prosecutor.

Winston opposed that procedure saying it would be too hard to change a by-law. Reynolds complained that Rice was not authorized to contact the board’s attorney.

New managef for ambulance disreict 2 cc

NEW MANAGER FOR AMBULANCE DISTRICT – During the April 21 meeting of the Cedar County Ambulance District board of directors, Citizens Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer Jeff Miller, who has attended the meetings for several months, introduced the new CMH manager for the Cedar County Ambulance District operations, Tom Ryan, formerly of Lamar. Ryan showed the board a LifePack 15. The board voted to buy four of the units for about $32,000 each so all four ambulances will have identical equipment simplifying training. The trade-in on the four LifePack 12 units will be $4,000 to $4,500.

Ambulance directors instsalled 2 cc

AMBULANCE BOARD INSTALLS  – At the beginning of the April 21 meeting of the Cedar County Ambulance Board, Cedar County Clerk Peggy Kenney administered the oath of office to the two newly elected members, Sue Rice and Kenny Turner. Then the board, with no opposition, re-elected Dennis Winston as chairman and John Wilson as vice chairman.