Elected board members of the Superstition Fire and Medical District are allowed to ride its fire trucks or ambulances in parades, a review of district policies has determined.
The legality — or the appearance of — promoting one or more board members during a parade was researched by fire district staff members and the findings were brought to the Governing Board at its April 20 meeting.
“Staff did a review of the Governing Board bylaws, as well as the [Arizona Revised Statutes] related to this,” Fire Chief John Whitney said to the Governing Board. “We are not recommending any changes.”
The fire district’s legal representative was also consulted, he said.
“The bylaws and the ARS clearly define what the parameters are for when and where someone can and cannot ride a district apparatus, so we feel confident — and it’s all been discussed with legal — we feel confident with the way the information is laid out now that it clarifies it,” Whitney said.
Board Chair Kathleen Chamberlain had brought the issue up at the March 16 meeting during discussion on new business and future agenda items.
“There was some concern that was brought to my attention about fire board members riding in parades in apparatus — or ambulances, I guess. And my feeling is that those are to showcase the actual employees that are doing the work — not the board members — and the apparatus that the taxpayers are paying for,” she said. “I request on behalf of the people who brought this to my attention that we look at the bylaws, we look at policies that we might have or maybe Mr. [Legal Counsel William] Whittington can help us if there is anything legal that says that we can or can’t do this.”
The SFMD Board of Directors is made up of five members who are elected to four-year terms, but not on Nov. 3, 2020. The election was not held for 42 school and special taxing districts where the number of candidates equaled or was fewer than the number of positions. All three running for SFMD Board of Directors instead were appointed in a 4-0 Sept. 9, 2020, vote by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors.
SFMD Board meetings are generally held at 5:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month at the SFMD Administrative Office, 565 N. Idaho Road in Apache Junction. Anyone can listen by phone. The meeting call-in number is 480-646-1864 and the access pin code is 1234. Agendas are at sfmd.az.gov.
Superstition Fire and Medical District provides fire suppression, fire prevention, wildland protection, advanced life support, rescue, extrication and medical transportation services out of five fire stations in Apache Junction and Gold Canyon.
Under the SFMD governing board’s direction, the district has a budget of $23.7 million through four divisions: emergency services operations, which includes transport; planning and logistics; administrative services; and financial services.
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