New vehicles for the Fire Dept. sends them over budget

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As councilor Paul Christian pointed out at council tonight, going new as opposed to leasing vehicles for the fire department has already sent them over budget.

The fire department bought 4 new vehicles instead of leasing 5 vehicles at at cheaper rate.

The fire chief said the plan was to buy pre-owned originally but he said there was no value on the market currently to do that.

Councilor Christian was struggling with the fire chief’s math during his explanation as he said they could only get 3 years out of a used vehicle and possibly 12 out of a new one.

The chief again had an answer that if properly maintained by them a new vehicle would last that long.

These vehicles are used for business in and outside of the community.

They are pooled to the force.

Councilor Sandra Hollingsworth asked why can’t a car allowance be given to use personal vehicles?

The chief had an answer for that too. The vehicles need to retrofitted for large presentation cases.

Hollingsworth asked that there be leeway because the city is down in tax revenue and the chief said there was no room for leeway.

Hollingsworth said there must be other solutions looked at.

Councilor Marchy Bruni pointed out that they got by with less vehicles and now for some reason need more.

Councilor Joe Krmpotich asked if any of the maintenance is going to be logged. The cheif said it would. Krmpotich then asked if the chief was going to be using any of them and he responded “yes. All of them.”

The fire chief did say that he uses these vehicles for his travels back and forth to his out of town residence.

“I don’t understand what is difficult of putting a box in the back of a vehicle,” said councillor Ross Romano.

The chief got rather annoyed with the comment and it went back and forth between the two.

“I think we need to look more into this,” Romano said.

Two of the people using these new vehicles could not even be talked about in open council because of grievances within the fire department!

“I don’t think this is a good time… it doesn’t sit well with me chief,” said councilor Judy Hupponen.

Councilor Hollingsworth questioned the CAO what he is doing to save money.

The matter was pulled from the consent agenda and a recorded vote was asked for.

The motion was passed.

12 COMMENTS

  1. WHY is the Fire Chief living in Thessalon? Council should make the Fire Chief live in the Sault and pay the highest property taxes in Ontario like the rest of us.Why are we letting the Fire Chief use fire dept vehicles to go to Thessalon and back each day.Its not the taxpayers position to be supplying a ride for the Fire Chief .The Chief should be using his own vehicle to from work like the rest of us.
    Who hired this guy? The Mayor and council need to start doing their job and stop this nonsense of the Fire Chief using city vehicles for his own personal use.This again another violation of section 224 of the Municipal Act
    (d.1)look it up.Why is the CAO LETTING the Fire Chief use fire dept vehicles for his own personal use.Why is the CAO not ensuring that the Fire Chief reside in the City. Living in Thessalon and using Fire Dept vehicles for personal use is not right .What next taking a fire truck to Thessalon Because he wants to water his lawn.Taxpayers should be upset about this abuse of the Position and pushing the envelope.

    • Actually, I have been corrected, the chief apparently lives in IRON BRIDGE, that much further away.
      He was supposed to only be there temporarily to “tie up some loose ends” and was then supposed to move up to the Sault, but this obviously never happened and he continues to take advantage of a free vehicle, maintenance, insurance, and fuel for his 200 mile per day commuting.
      Just imagine how these costs add up over a year.
      Yes, it needs to stop, and stop now.

  2. Somehow this lunatic chief has managed to bamboozle our elected officials and finance into this outrageous purchase. To boot, he lied through the teeth when questioned about a vehicle for personal usage.
    To Christopher Shoust, I ask that you fact check the hell out of the chief’s statement, and you will find that he is assigned his own recently purchased full size SUV to drive back and forth from his residence in Iron Bridge EVERY DAY. Also fact check into the ratio of day shift staff to vehicles, and you should find a one to one ratio not the fabricated numbers put out by the con artist and supported by his band of puppets. WTF is the matter with our mayor, council and CAO? Do they all have lockjaw? Open your eyes, read, ask questions, find out the truth. You’re all as guilty as the perpetrator of this fraud, and can all he held accountable when justice is served. Read Millroy’s articles in Northern Hoot about the salary increases the con has given to certain members of his senior supervisors. Unbelievable corruption, fraud, and throw in downright deceit. It’s all there in our own backyard. Maybe a group of protesters in front of City Hall and the fire hall would draw regional, provincial or even national media attention at this mess.

  3. The chief should be driving HIS own personal vehicle to and from work…vehicles won’t last racking up the kilometres..

  4. It’s time to skid this former big city “Thessalon fire chief” and get someone who is not arrogant and doesn’t always have their nose up in the air, he is really not a good fit for Sault Ste. Marie.
    He believes he is always right even if he is wrong.
    He should also be paying for his own vehicle, maintenance and fuel if he chooses to live out of town (which should not be allowed, and was only supposed to be a temporary thing until he “got his affairs in order” and was then supposed to move here.

  5. Can we get the recorded vote for this farce? We’re already on the hook for a 4.34% tax levy increase before any tax write-offs (we know who I’m talking about) which will put us on the hook for more next year. We want to know who the specific ones hell bent on wasting our money are. Okay, it’s all of them but we want to know the names of these seven.

    The worst part is that you most of them (especially Romano and Krmpotich) talking tough about taxes now but where were they in the fall? The property tax increase is OVER THREE TIMES the rate of inflation! But Council says that’s fine. The fire dept asking for more money? Hell no! What a bogus double-standard.

    Every single person on this council should be voted out in the next election. We need ten new councillors and a new mayor to right this ship.

  6. Costs of vehicles are a drop in the bucket. Why are there so many salaries in the entire fire department so high? These people are paid by the taxpayers of SSMarie. Their salary should reflect that. Most of them are over $100k annually. That is a crime, given the average salary of the average taxpayer in SSMarie is well below $100k annually. Since when did the taxpayer start working for the service providers? These gov’t service providers should be more respectful of where their meals are coming from. Simply, a crime…When Essar closes and the tax based dwindles even further, where is the money going to come from to support these criminal gov’t pay scales?

    • BURN-E. Right now the city is rolling along and getting by without $20+ million owed to them by Essar. You/your Chief once again brought something to council and like sheep they just rolled it on through without looking into it. What the hell are all these vehicles needed for? I bet they just sit at the stations and rust. Except for your/his car. The highway salt is destroying it. At least some of our councillors are beginning to see through the Bovine feces that is spewed from your/his mouth. As far as salaries, you/he have slashed a number of jobs and then rewarded your/his followers who you/he promoted and hired without huge salaries to do jobs that were already being performed by the previous employees. Instead of raising the salaries of people already doing those jobs, you/he added to the payroll. Cutting firefighters from the compliment has only resulted in many more hitting the $100k list due to the overtime that I hear is going through the roof. Get ready to see many more on the list. They will be the exhausted ones who continue to dedicate their lives to the Citizens of Sault Ste Marie. When will our city council ALL wake up?
      Also, in light of the recent Millroy articles that have appeared on Northern Hoo(http://northernhoot.com), I noticed that Mr Horsman was very quiet during last nights council meeting.

  7. They are going to have 12 vehicles for just over that number of personnel. You mean to tell me that all those vehicles are going to be used at the same time. Everyone on the force is going to require one at the same time, I don’t think so.
    To add to this discussion: The recorded vote was 7-6 in favour of purchasing the vehicles. To me, that means that council is not liking the fire chief as much as they did when he came up with the restructuring plan last fall. They were almost unanimous in his favour back then. Should I say, “Bye Bye Chief. I hope so.

  8. The fire chief stated:
    The fire chief did say that he uses these vehicles for his travels back and forth to his out of town residence.

    Why are tax payers on the hook for a vehicle when he could live here in this city? What is that costing us per year? Lets make sure we hire a local resident next time..this is ridiculous.

    • According to the fire chief he was only supposed to live out of town temporarily “to get his affairs in order” then move to the Sault. Well, that didn’t happen and we continue to pay for the use, maintenance and fuel for a vehicle that he should not be driving, 100 miles per day (just to get back and forth to work), bathing it in salt and wearing it out on the taxpayers dime.

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