Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Trouble Brewing in Cy-Fair

cfvfd photo 1

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:

Segment of ESD 9 Board Meeting 4/4/13.

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.

Added Note:

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.


Anonymous said...

To even suggest that Houston will annex CyFair VFD or that the cost of services will be out of bounds is unreasonable and totally meant to scare people

Anonymous said...

Jeremy martinson for esd 2014

texastrashtalk said...

Dear Anonymous,

I think you are correct. I think the ESD President brought up the option of terminating the contract with CFVFD as a tactic meant to scare the fire department into doing whatever it is the ESD wants.

So what do you think would happen if ESD 9 follows through on its threat to terminate the CFVFD contract and our area was left without an emergency services provider? Do you think a new fire department will just appear overnight and cost less or the same as our current volunteer fire department?

Colleen Vera

Anonymous said...

It may not be Houston that comes in but they will have to provide the service without volunteers. Thus hiring paid firefighters. That's not free.

Anonymous said...

I mean no disrespect by this comment, but when you go to the store to buy something, do you want to buy a good product or do you buy the generic?
Perferimg volunteers over paid personnel makes no sense in any way. Average response times by volunteers is 15 minutes average. Response time by paid personnel is under 3 minutes. So you are saying that you don't want taxes to go up, because you want your life and property to be in danger?
Use common sense, if you want quality, it comes at a price. Volunteering is admirable, but leave the life and property saving to the professionals, especially in an area as large as CyFair.
Put yourself in the rest of the citizens shoes, if you needed the Fire Department's services, who do you want to show up? Leave your ego aside and do what's best for the community that I live in.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the The board member who asked permission to talk specifically stated that what the ESD was doing was against the contract by being so involved and they simply ignored that statement. Wake Up ESD Commissioners, why are you being so stubborn about this issue? Get out of the Fire Departments business and let them continue doing the superb job they have been doing for years. The last I saw, a contract works both ways and as your attorney so nicely stated, as much as could be heard, if you (or them) do(es) away with the contract, you won't have any fire department personnel responding to emergencies. That doesn't appear to be very responsible, does it. I think the department has more class than the belligerent ESD and won't do this, but what if they say, fine, cancel the contract and we will close business. Be careful how you proceed ESD, it just might back fire on you, and for what, protecting a person? Lastly, if a Fire Chief is doing a good job for the organization, he or she won't need protecting. An organization doesn't have this much animosity unless there are real issues in the organization. Again, WAKE UP ESD and mind your own business!

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