To the residents of the Sherwood Forest Estates Fire District – The Last 30 Days
In the last 30 days we have seen the arrival and spread of a deadly pandemic disease, significant changes for the Fire District, the hiring of our new Fire Chief, and changes in the way the Fire Board shall publicly operate.
New Fire Chief Selected
On March 17th the Fire Board interviewed two candidates for the position of Fire Chief. The decision as to which candidate was not easy as the board found both professional firefighters very qualified and had to weigh several factors. The unanimous decision, made in the best interest of the District, was to hire John Moede. John is an extremely experienced professional firefighter with extensive management experience and training. John joined the District on April 1st and began his duties as Interim Fire Chief working alongside Chief Marx. With John as Chief and then his teaming with Assistant Chiefs Matthew McDowell and Deirdre McLaughlin puts us in a great position as we meet the demands of today and as we progress into the future and its growing challenges. Like Fire Agencies nationwide our service demands have changed over the years and this will require improvements, new methods, and updated equipment to keep our fire, rescue, and emergency medical services capable of meeting our evolving public safety missions.
Chief Moede has prepared an introductory greeting which will be posted here and also distributed to the residents of the Fire District. He has also provided his resume for review.
Finally, we would be remiss if we failed to acknowledge the many years of service provided by Chief Marx to the Fire District during our most formative years. On May 16th Chief Marx will revert to an advisory capacity to Chief Moede. We wish him well on his retirement which begins July 1st.
COVID-19 Pandemic, SFEFD Response, Funding
On March 25th the Fire Board took several actions. First, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the fire board acted to enable the SFEFD to meet its increased public safety obligations, institute additional procedures to keep our firefighters and EMS personnel safe, and acquire the necessary supplies and equipment to address the COVID-19 Pandemic National Emergency as it confronts our communities.
Next, to support this effort we are hereby advising the residents of the SFE Fire District that we have withdrawn our much discussed and prior stated intent to freeze and rollover $17,000 in funding as a remedy for an error in the FY 2019/2020 budget calculations. This action not only is permitted but is directly in response to the National Emergency Declaration. Further the potential of this action was known and came with the oft stated forewarning that we would not proceed with this action ‘in the case of emergency or other unusual circumstances’ – that today being the COVID-19 Pandemic. In reality the “budget calculation error” has proven to be a most fortuitous albeit unintended benefit as it will now fulfill a critical life safety benefit to the communities.
Lastly, Fire Board approved the following directives –
1. The $17,000 in frozen funding is now released and specifically allocated for the Fire Chief to acquire appropriate supplies and equipment for the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency,
2. The Fire Chief shall create appropriate COVID-19 procedures to keep our personnel safe and the communities protected,
3. The Fire Chief shall institute a public information campaign to keep our Fire District’s residents informed,
4. The Fire Chief shall identify and reach out to those residents of our Fire District considered the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic and institute an appropriate monitoring and assistance effort.
Official Mandates change the way SFEFD operates
On March 31st the Fire Board approved SFEFD Resolution 2020-2 which mandates the SFEFD follow Governor Doug Ducey Executive Orders 2020-18 and 2020-12 effective March 31, 2020 which is essence state –
Arizonans shall limit their time away from their place of residence or property, except
To conduct or participate in essential activities, and/or;
For employment, to volunteer or participate in essential functions.
The Executive order mandates –
The SFEFD via resolution 2020-2 shall limit gatherings to 10 persons or less – Page 1 per CDC and AZHS
The SFEFD via resolution 2020-2 shall institute a policy for social distancing (6’ separation) – Page 2 Section 1
The SFEFD shall continue to meet Page 4 Section 11 B “Essential Functions conducted by governmental entities shall remain open.”
On April 14th the Fire Board enacted the following procedure in regard to public meetings and the establishment of alternative methods to receive comments from the public.
Public Notice of Public Meeting Changes–
The Sherwood Forest Estates Fire Board, during this time of Nation Emergency due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Arizona Governor’s Executive Orders 2020-12 & 2020-18 effective March 31, 2020, is under official mandate to enact social distancing and restrict attendance at public meetings.
As a consequence, public attendance at all meetings is restricted to just 3 members of the general public, first come first serve at the door, no reservations.
In the interest of open government and to maximize public participation via alternative methods in the governance of the District the following procedure has been approved by the Fire Board.
The public may comment on any agenda item or topic via email. For the comment to be accepted the public is required to openly identify themselves by name and address. The email will be received as “Correspondence” and then read into the official SFEFD Fire Board meeting minutes during the “Public Comments” session. The Fire Board may, as appropriate, respond to the comment or direct Staff to do so. The Fire Boards’ / Staffs’ response, if any, will become part of the official SFEFD Fire Board meeting minutes available for public review via the SFEFD website. The public is requested to write in the Subject box “Public Comment for SFEFD Agenda Meeting date ______”. This process will remain in effect until the Arizona Governor’s Executive Orders 2020-12 & 2020-18, effective March 31, 2020, have been rescinded and that no other public gathering restrictions have subsequently been enacted and are concurrently in effect.
Comments may be submitted via SFEFDBoard@sherwoodforestestatesfiredistrict.com
For your Safety
Our Fire Department personnel have been provided personal protective equipment to deal with the potential for COVID-19 exposure when responding to emergency calls for service. The Fire Board and Fire Staff encourage everyone to shelter in place and follow the government guidelines for social distancing and hygiene. If at any time you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to visit the Sherwood Forest Estates Fire District Website for access to excellent information on the current status of the pandemic and self and family care.
Bruce Speirs, Chair
Sue Hamilton, Treasurer
Pamela Weir, Secretary (pro tem)
Three new coronavirus updates have been shared by Matt Ryan’s Office. Please see the updated flyer that announces COVID-19 testing site hours for this week. Please note there is only one site which is at Coconino Community College East Campus on 4th Street. Also the hours are different than last week: 10am to 3pm. The collection site will be open while supplies last.
The agenda notice for the Saturday, March 28th Budget committee meeting is attached. Public participation and assistance is requested.
As the SFEFD is a tax funded public safety agency, we welcome the involvement of the public. Increasing the public’s understanding of the SFEFD’s ongoing needs to properly perform their vital public safety mission will greatly assist the SFE Fire District in the creation of an appropriate budget.
Sue Hamilton shall serve as the Committee Chair.
The meeting shall be conducted with the proper decorum.
No sidebar discussions will be permitted.
Please bring your personal planners to assist in the scheduling of follow-up meetings.
Sherwood Forest Estates Fire District
New Fire Chief Sought
The Sherwood Forest Estates Fire District is announcing an employment opportunity for a Fire Chief to lead our volunteer fire district. Interested candidates may find application and further information at www.Sherwoodforestestatesfiredistrict.com. Applications will be accepted until February 29, 2020. Hiring interviews are set for the period of March 16 to March 27, 2020. Appointment is scheduled for April 1, 2020.
How and where do I turn the application in?
· You may send it via US Mail to –
SFEFD Fire Board Secretary
877 S Appaloosa Trail
Williams, AZ 86046
· Hand deliver it to any Fire Board member.
When is the last day to submit an application? – February 29, 2020
What’s is the position’s pay and benefits? $2,000 month, take home Fire Chief’s vehicle, cellular phone expenses, disability insurance, FD Credit Card for defined expenses, on-going AFDA professional training.
What is the selection process? – The SFEFD Fire Board reserves the right to screen applications to determine who shall advance to the interview process on the basis of the qualifications, experience, and training as outlined in the submitted application. The Fire Board may waive certain requirements as based on the candidate’s similar but comparable experience and training. The interviews will be conducted by the SFEFD Fire Board and set for the period of March 16 to March 27, 2020. The exact date will be determined by the availability of all applicants and the Fire Board to meet.
COME ON OUT AND TALK TO US WE’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! !
COCONINO COUNTY COMMUNITY MEETINGS
Saturday March 28, 2020
9: 30AM IN PARKS AT MAINE CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL
1: 30PM IN REDLAKE AT THE JUNIPINE FIRE STATION
We are hoping to have Assessor Armando Ruiz, Recorder Patty Hansen, Sheriff Jim Driscoll, Treasurer Sarah Benatar, Community Development/Environmental Health, Health and Human Services, Public Works, Emergency Management and a Federal Representative
from Veterans Affairs.
Matt Ryan’s Office
Sherwood Forest Estates Fire District
450 Little John Road, Williams, AZ 86046-8579
Date: December 11, 2019
To: ALL MEMBERS of the SFEFD
From: Fire Board
Subject: Interim Fire Chief / Transition of Command
The Board of Directors of the Sherwood Forest Fire District has officially accepted the retirement of Wayne Marx as our Fire Chief effective June 30, 2020. A formal Transfer of Command ceremony will be performed at that time.
Additionally a public recognition and celebration of Wayne’s lengthy service period to our department and the community will be held.
To facilitate the command transition the Fire Board shall appoint an Interim Fire Chief in the near future. It is the duty and responsibility of all members of the SFEFD to ensure the Fire District maintains an effective fire, rescue, and EMS capability during this command transition period. The residents of our Fire District and the tax payers deserve no less. Therefore to facilitate a professional transfer of leadership you are directed to work with, assist, and fully cooperate with the Interim Fire Chief throughout this period.
Your individual supportive efforts during this period will not only enable ongoing improvements to our Fire Department but will serve as a public example of your personal professionalism, dedication to the fire service, and commitment to those residents of the communities we serve.
Bruce Speirs, Chairman
Susan Hamilton, Secretary / Treasurer
Sunday, December 8th
Williams Elementary School Cafeteria
Santa visits with kids (bring your camera)
Each child receives a gift (while supplies last)
EVERYONE IS WELCOME!
Sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Williams
In cooperation with WEMS, Lions, and many community volunteers.
Sherwood Forest Estates Fire District
450 Little John Road, Williams, AZ 86046
Phone: (928) 635-9837 Fax:(928) 635-9618
To the Property Owners of the Sherwood Forest Estates Fire District,
We are writing to advise you of an error earlier this spring when the Sherwood Forest Estates Fire District (SFEFD) set the Fire District’s Fiscal Year (FY) funding request to Coconino County for this year’s upcoming property tax billing cycle. This error has affected every property in both the Mountain Rose Ranch Estates and the Sherwood Forest Estates subdivisions to varying degrees. In admittedly vary basic terms your tax contribution to the SFEFD for this fiscal year, which comprises only about 30% of your total property tax bill, was increased by about 18 cents on the dollar.
The SFEFD funding request error increased the tax mill rate from our historical 2.88 to 3.25 which resulted in an approximate overage of $17,000 in total revenues collected. Please note that this most inadvertent error only impacted the annual tax revenue contribution as generated by this specific fire district fund, identified on your tax billing as Jurisdiction 11249 FD SHERWOOD FOREST EST.
To correct this error the Fire Board directed the Fire Chief to freeze $17,000 out of this FY’s budget. Next, to provide the corrective reduction (the ‘pay back’ for the overage you paid), the Fire Department’s budget request for next FY’s will be based at the 2.88 mill rate AND the funding request will be further reduced by $17,000. Finally the $17,000 now frozen will rollover to backfill next FY’s funding reduction/corrective action, thereby leveling out the budget. Once again the funding of our SFEFD’s vital public safety missions will be determined and guided by our self-imposed 2.88 mill rate limitation. This action will return balance to our historical budgeting requests as generally practical and barring unforeseen significant or unusual circumstances.
Please note that the SFEFD remains as one of the very few fire districts historically charging less than the maximum tax rate permitted by law.
Bruce Speirs, Chairman
Susan Hamilton, Secretary / Treasurer