The Nevada County Consolidated Fire District Board of Directors has issued a response to a scathing Nevada County Grand Jury report , basically disagreeing with almost all of the Grand Jury’s findings. The Grand Jury looked at the district as far back as 2011, after receiving three citizen complaints in 2012.
In the 23 page report the Grand Jury called the Consolidated Board of Directors dysfunctional, and wracked by discord, acrimony, backbiting, and mistrust among themselves. Board Chair, Warren Knox, who helped draft the response to the grand jury with fellow board member Tom Carrington and new Fire Chief Zubia, says he disagrees.
The Grand Jury also said the Board violated Open Meeting laws. On that, Chairman Knox has some agreement.
Some of the other recommendations from the Grand Jury included that “all members of the Board should actively seek out and attend training regarding the roles and responsibilities of board members in special districts.” Knox says the Board is now working more closely with legal council.
In the response, the Board does acknowledge that a lack of leadership existed when in February 2012 Local 3800 of the Nevada County Professional Firefighters Union submitted a “No Confidence” vote to the District Board of Directors against its then chief. That was followed by the departure of the entire senior management team, including the fire chief, two battalion chiefs, a division chief, the human resources director and the board secretary within a two year period. The Board response says “The leadership vacuum left was difficult to fill.”
Meanwhile, the process to attempt to recall Nevada County Consolidated Fire Board member Keith Greuneberg is moving forward. The leader of the recall effort, former Nevada County Consolidated Fire District Human Resources Director, Lisa LaBarbara, says they have gathered about two thirds of the signatures needed to qualify the recall for an election.