Citizens served by Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department (CFVFD) need to get involved FAST. There is a major conflict brewing between the Fire Department Governing Board and the Emergency Services District (ESD) #9 Board over the Fire Chief’s contract.
The citizens elect ESD board members who set the tax rate for funds needed to provide emergency services in our area. The board then contracts with entities to provide those services. The current contract is with CFVFD .
CFVFD members elect the Fire Department Governing Board by station as well as a President and VP to represent them at the ESD board meetings. They select their Fire Chief.
Summary of the issues:
The Fire Department Board voted 10/2 not to renew the Fire Chief’s contract.
The ESC 9 Board does not like the process the fire department used.
The Fire Department claims the ESD 9 Board has no authority over its personnel issues, and has already extended the Chief’s contract at the request of the ESD and is not willing to do it again.
The ESD 9 Board claims that if the Fire Department Board doesn’t do what the ESD 9 Board wants, the ESD can CANCEL its contract with CFVFD all together, or renegotiate its contract with CFVFD and hire the Fire Chief on its own.
The two could not agree on a compromise at the ESD 9 meeting held 4/4/13, so the ESD 9 Board tabled the issue.
(There are other issues, but I am trying to summarize the main conflict addressed at this meeting.)
To see the stalemate for yourself, you can view a segment of the meeting here:
Why should you care?
Cy-fair is served by a VOLUNTEER fire department. Some members are paid, but we save tons of tax dollars because dedicated men and women volunteer their time and energy to come to our aide when we need them.
The conflict between the ESD 9 Board and the CFVFD Board has been going on for months. Conflict lowers morale. The longer morale stays low, the less time people want to volunteer. More paid employees must be hired to make up the difference. Thus the cost of the service goes up for everyone.
And then there is the THREAT by the ESD 9 Board to TERMINATE the contract with CFVFD. That would mean a new fire department would provide our service at a much higher cost to the taxpayer, or even worse, being annexed by the city of Houston to provide emergency services. NOBODY wants that.
What can we do?
If we want to keep a volunteer fire department in Cy-fair, we need to get involved and help these two groups come to an agreement. We need to help them stop the blame game and find a solution – FAST.
Remember, we elected the ESD board members. They represent US.
Then we need to work to improve the morale inside our Volunteer Fire Department. We need to help them now, or they may not be here to help us when we need them.
The Fire Chief’s contract expires at the end of April, so the next meeting of each board needs to be highly productive.
CFVFD Board Meeting - April 15, 2013 7:30pm
ESD 9 Board Meeting – April 18, 2013 7:30pm
Both are held at the same location:
9630 Telge Road
Houston, TX 77095
Map and directions.
Did you know ESD 9 is holding an election May 11, 2013 to adopt a 1% local sales tax?
Most voters still know nothing about it.
You can find out more here or attend the ESD 9 Board Meeting meeting April 18 to get more detailed information.