Chief Love Gets First Evaluation


The Board of Commissioners of the Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District met Tuesday evening to honor two recent retirees and evaluate Fire Chief Matthew Love as part of a short agenda.

Assistant Fire Chief Tom May who served with the Fort Myers Beach district since March 2013 retired with a total of 33 years of fire service. Captain JP Duncan was honored for 26 years of service to the beach district.

CERT Team leader Ed Milde recognized several CERT members who have received letters from Governor Scott thanking them for their service after Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, when Fort Myers Beach CERT teams assisted in other parts of the state.

Fire chief evaluation, Captain JP Duncan, CERT
Retired Captain JP Duncan with Chief Love. Photos by Missy Layfield.

Governor Scott’s letter read in part, “When disaster strikes, we all have a role to play in helping our neighbors recover and get back on their feet. Thank you for the role you had in our state’s recovery efforts.”

CERT members recognized were: Bobbi & Jerry Kemp, Sharon Eldred, Mark Himelick, Catherine Wallace, Randa Veach, Ceel Spuhler, Penny Sharp, John Horner, Mary Ganem, Tanya Podley and Ed Milde. Milde also thanked Battalion Chief Mike Coennen for his work maintaining the team’s equipment.

Board members evaluated Fire Chief Matt Love’s job performance after 11 months with the district. Chair Carol Morris explained that the contract calls for the evaluation process at this time, with a discussion on pay next month.

Each board member was asked to rate Love in ten different areas on a scale of 1 to 5. Ron Fleming repeated that he did not like the form and urged the board to develop a new process for next year.

Love’s total rating was 3.9 out of 5.

Commissioners had the opportunity to comment and all five noted that they were pleased with his performance, with some noting that there was room to improve in some areas.

“The Chief has done a very good job, especially looking at where he started from. It’s been a great first year,” said Secretary-Treasurer Bob Raymond.

“I’m impressed as well. We have room to grow and improve,” added Vice-Chair Ted Schindler. “The board has got the department heading in the right direction and this man is a big part of that.”

In other business the board agreed to surplus capital assets, with some of them being donated to the Fire Academy. A discussion of residential Knox boxes was tabled for a future meeting.

The next meeting of the Fire Board will be Tuesday, March 7 at 10am at Station 31, 3043 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach.


Missy Layfield