The Fort Myers Beach Fire Department Board of Commissioners held a brief meeting Wednesday morning at the Beach Library, hearing a summary of the budget preparation timeline and discussing how they plan to review Board Policies. Present were: Chair Larry Wood, Vice-Chair Ron Fleming, John Bennett and Jacki Liszak. Bob Raymond was absent.
Battalion Chief Jake Lamb reported that District 15 and the department had reached tentative agreement on a Collective Bargaining Agreement; it was in attorney review and would be brought to the board for approval after union members voted on it.
Noting that Commissioner Raymond had an 3rd unexcused, consecutive absence, the Chair asked that a board opening be placed on the next agenda. The Board Policy Manual provides for up to four excused absences and three unexcused. Raymond has not attended a Fire Board meeting since September 2019.
Fire Chief Matt Love reported that auditors were doing a scheduled review of district finances this week. He also reminded the board that the department’s budget process was underway. “In January the Capital Sustainment Plan was reviewed as every item within 3 years of scheduled replacement is evaluated to determine if it will last longer or need replacement sooner than planned.” He expects to present the capital budget to the board in June and the full budget in July once final property valuations are determined.
Love also announced that he has been accepted into Harvard’s Kennedy School of Executive Education, designed for senior executives in state and local government to “help seasoned public officials better address the concerns of their constituents and communities.”
Due diligence continues, Love reported. “Everything is on track, with testing coming back looking pretty good. As soon as we complete due diligence, we’ll get into the RFQ *Request for Quotation” for building planning, which is governed by state statute.” As for a possible ground breaking date, Love said, “I have no answer for that yet.” Vice Chair Ron Fleming said he’s heard complaints about the Fire Dept. allowing parking on the site, “It’s not ours yet!”
Love encouraged the board to share information about the March 25 Board Meeting when there will be promotional and diploma ceremonies along with a Life Safety presentation.
The next Fire Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 26 at 6pm at Town Hall.