Exempt Volunteer Fire Departments From Procurement Policies - And Response (2)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Hamilton County Commission just grouped a bunch of departments together in an attempt to reign in the CVB. I haven't spoken to any commissioners, but I truly believe it was unknowingly.

By mandating that all non profits that receive 25 percent of their revenue follow county procurement policies, they might as well have padlocked all local volunteer fire departments. We expect a volunteer fire department to follow these procedures?  You're going to need paid accountants to keep that straight. Who is paying for that? Nobody is paying for that, that's who.

While the CVB has an team of accountants, that get to eat at Hennen's, volunteer departments dine on smoked spam. Take Mowbray Fire Department for example. Mowbray gets a little over $20,000 a year because of some Claude Ramsey formula that funnels more money to departments in his former district. Out of that $20,000 a year, Mowbray has to pay bills. Equipment isn't cheap. This equipment they have to use when somebody gets hurt in the Pocket Wilderness.

That doesn't leave much left, but wait there's more....I wrote an article a few months ago about how Mowbray is in a severely outdated, mold infested, metal building. If you know about metal buildings, then you know it takes a lottery winner to afford to heat and cool the thing, when they're not exposed to mold.  

County commissioners, please exempt local volunteer fire departments and rescue squads who fall under the criteria you set today from your procurement guidelines. Other than that, with the exception of Commissioner Boyd, county commissioners will need to attend all board meetings. He doesn't have any volunteer departments in his district.  

James Berry
Mowbray VFD Board Member

* * *

What I get from the above comment is that there are other entities that are funded with taxpayer dollars that are not accountable to the public.

Please understand that I am in no way against the fire service but I have to wonder what procurement policies are they following?  Do they have procurement policies?  I see that the original poster identifies himself as a Board Member. Is he elected by the people or appointed by someone who is?

I want the fire service and all public safety to be as well funded as I'm sure everyone does.  In fact, I'm not opposed to any good use of my tax money for essential services.  This post however makes me wonder how many other places get my money but are not publicly accountable for what happens to it.  Maybe the fire department would be in better shape financially if they did follow some uniform purchasing policy or all got together and purchased in bulk at government prices.

I realize the original post was trying to make an exception but for me it just raises more questions and frankly makes me a little concerned about fire protection.

Jay Smithers

* * *

The Mayor's staff and the County Finance Department had over a week to study Resolution 617-35 to determine how many organizations the resolution might affect.  They could not determine the number of organizations effected because the non-profits benefiting from over $14 million of County Tax dollars are not required to submit budgets to the Finance Office to receive their money.
To my knowledge the Mayor has never required the non-profits receiving County tax dollars to submit copies of their budgets.  This may be the reason Mr. Kiser could not answer Commissioner Martin's question concerning the number of organizations to be effected by Resolution 617-35.

Last week I requested copies of the Humane Educational Society (HES), the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce (CCC), and Convention and Visitor's Bureau (CVB) FY2018 budgets. HES and CCC submitted copies to the Commission Office this past Monday. The CVB has yet to provide the Commission with a copy of their $8.2 million FY2018 Budget.

Any organization asking if the Resolution 617-35 affects them obviously has no budget or they would know.  After all, it is pretty simple math to figure out if their organization will receive 25% or more revenue from the County based on their operating budget.  All organizations asking for and receiving tax dollars should be held to the same accountability standards as every County Department, every Constitutional Officer, every Elected Official and the Sheriff's Department.

If the Volunteer Fire Departments are worried they will be affected, my question is; Why have they not got operational policies in place conforming to Hamilton County policies?  Every fire department within a Hamilton County municipality must submit operating budgets and comply with their respective city government's policies.  Therefore the Volunteer Fire Departments in unincorporated areas of the County should be following and complying with Hamilton County policies. This all seems pretty simple and basic to me. 

Well run non-profits have good operating policies, good boards members, and good operating procedures in place.  The "Unintended Consequence" of Resolution 617-35 will be making non-profits receiving significant revenue from the County operate better and more responsibly.  I think is a good unintended consequence.

County Commissioner Tim Boyd 

Roy Exum: My Best Breakfast Ever

Alex George Firing Is Shameful - And Response

Roy Exum: We're Torturing Millions

As I have grown older, I have grown more peculiar. I love having so many wonderful friends who I’ll see out in the mornings, all hail and hardy, but most of the time I enjoy having breakfast ... (click for more)

My prayers go out to Alex George. It is disgusting and shameful for her to be fired like this, probably illegal as well. I am amazed that a corporation depending on their public persona would ... (click for more)

I’ll admit it – I would rather hurt than take an opioid pain pill. Hydrocodone and its cousins scare the willies out of me because once when I was ‘drug sick,’ it was the worst sickness I have ... (click for more)


Roy Exum: My Best Breakfast Ever

As I have grown older, I have grown more peculiar. I love having so many wonderful friends who I’ll see out in the mornings, all hail and hardy, but most of the time I enjoy having breakfast by myself. Hear me out: whether it is the Cracker Barrel, the Bluegrass Café or any number of other places I enjoy, most often there are delightful people who invite me to share their table ... (click for more)

Alex George Firing Is Shameful - And Response

My prayers go out to Alex George. It is disgusting and shameful for her to be fired like this, probably illegal as well. I am amazed that a corporation depending on their public persona would behave like this, beyond the pale, unfeeling actions. It’s probably not too late for them to reverse this decision, apologize to her, and begin helping her. Jim Folkner * * * ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Chattanooga Police Sergeant Facing Criminal Charge After Arrest In Prostitution Sting

The Chattanooga Police Department has opened an internal investigation of a sergeant in CPD's Investigations Bureau on Thursday after he was taken into custody for solicitation of prostitution. The arrest came during a joint enforcement operation between the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Chattanooga Police Department's Vice Unit. Sgt. Peter Turk was off duty and ... (click for more)

Local Boy Scout Council Says It Is Financially Sound Despite Woes At National Level

The Cherokee Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which serves 11 counties in Tennessee and northwest Georgia, has informed its executive board, donors, supporters, and volunteers that the local organization remains financially strong in light of recent national news stories concerning consideration of bankruptcy at the national level of the organization. Officials said, ... (click for more)


UTC Men Lose In Shootout At Georgia State 95-88

The Chattanooga Mocs got into a shootout tonight in the GSU Sports Arena falling 95-88 at Georgia State. The 183 combined points in regulation are the most in a UTC game since the 125-85 Southern Conference win over The Citadel (210 pts) on Feb. 1, 2016. Five Mocs reach double figures led by David Jean-Baptiste’s career-high-tying 19. Jonathan Scott also set a new high with ... (click for more)

Hurricanes Rally To Beat Previously Unbeaten Mustangs, 63-58, In Overtime

In a District 5-3A basketball slugfest between what may be the two best teams in the league, East Hamilton got the go-ahead points on a steal-and-drive by Darwin Randolph in overtime and the Hurricanes defeated Walker Valley, 63-58, Tuesday night and handed the Mustangs their first loss of the season. “We had to keep playing a smart basketball because Walker Valley is a very ... (click for more)