Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Where's the public benefit in contracts for "volunteer" firefighters?


Volunteer firefighter CONTRACTS? Now I have heard it all!

Greenwood will hold a special meeting on Friday, Jan. 29, at 10 a.m. to deliberate and possibly vote on contracts for several Greenwood Township positions, Planning Director, Fire Chief, Asst. Fire Chief, Safety /Training Officer, 911 Coordinator, and FD Administrator.

These part-time position contracts are to be three-years in length, contain a separation clause, guaranteed annual increases, PERA contributions, and an $1,800 a year firefighter pension to boot. This is for a volunteer fire department with no full-time positions. The firefighters in Greenwood are referred to as volunteers although there are no activities for which they are not paid. To pay folks is not a bad thing, just call it what it is, a paid fire department. The Assistant Chief, Pat Trancheff, just received $4,240 in paid on-call dollars above his salary.

Let’s look at the 911 Coordinator job description: Assign fire numbers to new properties/cabins, report same to the county, make changes and updates as necessary, and assign the maintenance person to produce and install the signs. According to the annual reports issued by the planning director, the workload would be equal to approximately twelve new requests each year. This job pays more than $6,500 per year, has a three-year contract, and will contribute to PERA. The G.I.S. specialist from St. Louis County that does this work for the county reports that each address assignment takes a total of five to fifteen minutes. Our current 911 Coordinator, Ms. Trancheff, stated at a recent board meeting she spent 34 hours each month. This, in my opinion, is just another example of the Greenwood Board gone wild.

What is the public benefit of the contracts? Too many of these government contracts provide protections and benefits for the part-time employees with little or no upside for those who pay the bill. If you did not believe it was time for change, maybe you will now.

It may be said that these folks are seeking protection from the wishes of the public to end local Planning and Zoning. Or, might it be that those in the cross hairs of forthcoming Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and OSHA decisions are seeking a shield to hide behind as those cases move forward.

Volunteers with contracts. Really, I did not see that in Webster’s.

Jeff Maus

Firefighter and EMR

Greenwood Twp., Minn.


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You are right on with your letter and you hit the center of the target at the end when you talked about the reasons this is happening!! People in Greenwoid need to know what is going on behind closed (and locked) doors and who is behind the deception and wrong doing!! Good for you for standing up to the evil and praise as well to Mr Bassing--it must be awful to always face criticism and secrecy in dealing with the folks behind all the lies and under the table dealings. I have a saying I live by: Stand up for what is right even though you stand alone!!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Many small and medium sized towns (much larger than Greenwood) are ELIMINATING their 'employed', union, benefited etc.. fire departments, and switching to 100% 'paid on call' VOLUNTEERS. They are also merging to save money. Volunteer? It seems Greenwood is going backwards. A volunteer in an appointed position, that is usually temporary, does not, nor should they receive an employment contract, a PERA pension or a 'separation agreement'! What on earth is in the water in Greenwood? This proposal is insane and should not even be considered. Great letter Jeff Maus. We need people to show up on Friday at 10 a.m. to try and stop this madness.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Some areas in the State are actually having Law Enforcement officials carry firefighting equipment in their vechile and now respond to fires.

Good idea or bad idea,I don't know myself?

Monday, February 1, 2016

How many volunteer fire departments, (with most members over 50 years old) do not require physicals or drug tests? How many departments only require that their members attend training/drills and only have to go out on ONE CALL A YEAR to get a generous pension? Not many I imagine .

Saturday, February 6, 2016