Pine-Strawberry Fire Board Recall A Matter Of Liability

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Editor:

On Feb. 13, the Payson Roundup reported the misgivings Forrest McCoy had with the recall of fellow fire board member, Ross Gooder. At the time, McCoy said the "accusations" are "unsupported claims" and lack "specific examples." Finally, after questioning the validity of such a recall, he concludes that the recall effort is a "farce" and labels the Pine-Strawberry Fire District (PSFD) employees as "a group of disgruntled fire district employees who have aroused the local voters to ask for this recall."

The recall petitions stated the following: Malfeasance, unprofessionalism, inappropriate and derogatory remarks in public meetings, violations of agenda protocol, Robert's Rules of Order, Open Meeting Law, and the fire board's own bylaws.

Most people would agree this validates the recall of an elected official. One only needs to listen to the audio recordings of Gooder's inappropriate conduct in public fire board meetings over the past few years to obtain the "specific examples" to support such claims. Upon hearing, one would indeed walk away with an accurate understanding of the term "farce."

Gooder's recall is about blatant, disgraceful, unbecoming conduct of an elected official. Many who attend the public meetings are bewildered and embarrassed by his lack of proper conduct and self-discipline. Many who signed the recall petitions acknowledge this and are exercising their right to put the issue to the voters of Pine-Strawberry. Mr. McCoy might know that concept as "democracy."

Frankly, Gooder's behavior in public meetings is an embarrassment, and an obvious liability to the board and the fire district. Why was Gooder removed as Board Chairman by board vote in May 2006?

The board voted and decided enough was enough. This was hardly the action of "disgruntled fire district employees." It is noteworthy that Mr. McCoy conveniently omitted this particular action by the board in his complaint, as it was stated quite clearly on the recall petitions the local citizens signed.

The fire board exercised prudence by voting and rescinding Gooder's position as Chairman for the aforementioned reasons.

However, his behavior as a board member remains unchanged and constitutes a liability. May the voting citizens of Pine-Strawberry exercise prudence in also saying "enough is enough."

Pine-Strawberry can do better than Gooder. Please vote for Robert Senita.

Robert McCormick, Pine

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