South East Bexar County Community Awareness: March 24, 2011: Commissioner Rodriguez's "Inner Circle" Board to Meet

Nov. 3, 2011- ESD6 Agenda.Joe Hearn illegally appointed as District Fire Chief.
Nov. 3, 2011- ESD6 Agenda.Joe Hearn illegally appointed as District Fire Chief.
Mr. Hearn, was involved well before July  of 2010, putting together and approving documents for Ms. Mendelsohn and the ESD6.
Mr. Hearn, was involved well before July of 2010, putting together and approving documents for Ms. Mendelsohn and the ESD6.

FEBRUARY 22, 2011- Commissioner's Court Meeting


Approval of a request from Commissioner Sergio "Chico" Rodriguez, Precinct 1 to appoint Joe Clifton Hearn to the Emergency Services District Number 6 Board of Commissioners, for a term to begin upon appointment and expire on December 31, 2011.

Joe Hearn hired illegally as District Fire Chief

Transcript of Audio tape: Luisa Vargas and volunteer firefighters in reference to Joe Hearn. Nov. 6, 2010.

FF: Firefighter; Vargas- ESD6 Board Treasurer

FF: But you all advertised it in the newspaper though. Cause I really don't read the paper that much anymore.

Vargas: I don't remember doing that.

FF: Because people have asked, where was it posted because I have one guy come up and ask where was this posted because he wanted to apply for it...

Vargas: I don't really think it was put out.

FF: It was a word of mouth type thing?

Vargas: Yeah, in our circle out here.

FF: Oh, I got that, I know how that goes.

Vargas: That's why I asked Sylvia, why was he selected. Why couldn't..

FF: The only thing that upsets me about the whole thing is if they were gonna look for a District Fire Chief, David (South Bexar) knew about it, cause like you said, he wanted to apply for it and got really upset cause he didn't get it.

Vargas: uh, huh.

FF: Just to be fair, that a letter should have been sent to, just like you said, a letter was sent out to the inner circle. That a letter to AtaBexar should have been sent and that hey, whoever has these qualifications, you know if you want to apply for a District Chief position because this is what we're thinking about doing or this is what we're gonna do...

Vargas: Interrupts. I think that the animosity and the way, just think about how we were treated. ok. Wednesday night, would you want to give those people a job? You can not treat people like garbage.

Ms. Mendelsohn chose Joe Hearn from her inner circle for a position that was not posted and not voted on. A violation of the the Texas Open Meetings Act. They did not post the position, prior to his appointment and Ms. Mendelsohn did a televised news report in which she stated that she would be bringing the "idea" to the board, just prior to his appointment. This decision had been made long before his appointment.

Memorandum of Resignation from Joe Hearn. Nov. 10, 2011. pg. 1
Memorandum of Resignation from Joe Hearn. Nov. 10, 2011. pg. 1
Memorandum of Resignation: Joe Hearn, pg.2
Memorandum of Resignation: Joe Hearn, pg.2
Nov. 12, 2011,  ESD6 Agenda: Resignation of Joe Hearn
Nov. 12, 2011, ESD6 Agenda: Resignation of Joe Hearn

Southside ISD files lawsuit- Joe Hearn resigns

When the Southside ISD filed an injunction against the ESD6 and a possible investigation into their hiring practice of the District Fire Chief, Joe Hearn resigns his position. Appointed on Nov. 3, 2010 and resigned on Nov. 10, 2010.

Mr. Hearn made it clear in his resignation that he would not charge the district for any of the time that he had worked with the ESD6 and he would continue on as needed "pro bono". However, ESD6 financial records showed that Mr. Hearn was indeed paid $643.61 on November 18, 2010, for his work as a contract laborer. A request for his "contract" for labor was met with the reply from ESD6 attorney; that in fact there was no contract to be found.

Joe Hearn's history of resignations

LEAVING TOYOTA: Resignation, Aug 25, 2010.

Mr. Hearn, counting on the financial stability of the ESD6 (as he mentioned taking a $12K cut in pay and benefits from Toyota and was seeking better pay), turned in his resignation to Toyota on August 25, 2010, in which he so handsomely berated the Toyota fire department as being sub-par, not only on his behalf, but taking 18 firefighters in the department and including them in his resignation letter. As well as saying that the SES Chief and Asst. Chief "have no business holding the positions they hold for any Fire Department in the Country." Not a very professional thing to do. An interesting item mentioned by Mr. Hearn in his resignation letter was that "he" created ESD6's Standard Operating Procedures manual because they didn't have one. It's apparent that Mr. Hearn had a hand in the ESD6 Standard Operating Guide, months prior to his hiring as District Chief.

September 9, 2010: Last day on paid staff at Sandy Oaks VFD.

Resigns from the Sandy Oaks VFD, stating that if there is anything he can do "as a citizen" please don't hesitate to ask. Asst. Chief Retired.

So, at this point, if Mr. Hearn was no longer with Toyota, a $12K cut in pay not an issue any longer, the issue was now getting any pay at all. The Sandy Oaks VFD pay scale is minimal at best, and yet Mr. Hearn is heavily embroiled in the ESD6 activities such as the development of the community center and guides, which require much time, one can not survive on passion for what they are doing alone. Was the ESD6 paying Mr. Hearn and if so, how much?

Mr. Hearn has shown his loyalty to Ms. Mendelsohn and that he will stoop to the levels that she has to continue their agenda. A request of records lead to the fact that while Mr. Hearn was at Sandy Oaks VFD, he had a key to the office and before he turned in his resignation and left, he pulled his employee file out of the Sandy Oaks VFD office. This says much about his character as well as makes him a criminal, in that he took documents that belonged to the fire department. If he wanted a copy of these documents, he could have requested them, but in taking the entire file, he stole from the department.

2013: Joe Hearn gets the big paid promotion, leaving the ESD6 to become once again the Fire Chief overseeing the ESD2, which is now covering the ESD6 territory; after Ms. Mendelsohn, Mr. Hearn and the ESD6 board finally succeeded in shutting down the ESD6 volunteer fire departments within their district.

Politics before safety...Commissioner Rodriguez's way

Once again, Commissioner Rodriguez is playing politics with the safety and the lives of the South Bexar County Community. Sadly, if this was happening North of 410, this would be all over the media and public outrage would take front and center.

The people of South Bexar County deserve better than this.

Is there an "inner circle" within the ESD6?

See results without voting

Inner Circle comes full circle

The ESD6 "inner" circle board met on March 24, 2011; once again had Mr. Hearn sitting on a board that he was illegally appointed to. Mr. Hearn may well go down in the history of the ESD6 board as the only member to have been appointed to two positions, illegally. Once by Ms. Mendelsohn and once by the County Commissioner's themselves.

Fast forward to 2013 and you find that Joe Hearn has finally secured a Fire Chief position once again. This time with the ESD2. Quickly making recommendation on his "training" which is non existent in the field that he is in. Mr. Hearn in Aug 2013, approved of a building that has been called a "fire hazard" on Pleasanton Rd.; which actually did catch fire and would take a larger number of taxpayer dollars to refurbish. It would seem that while Mr. Hearn was busy approving buildings, he was also spending money that he didn't have to spend, taking funds from the north (ESD2) to give to the south (ESD6) to keep it operating.

He has been relieved of his duties and replaced by an interim fire chief.

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Comments 38 comments

Mad as Hell 6 years ago

Time to start hitting the Commissioner's Court again. I can't say that it would make a bit of difference since Chico has shown the South Bexar County community that without a doubt we are the very least of his concerns. Maybe we should flood his office in phone calls and e-mails ASAP- like RIGHT NOW!!! The last thing we need is Joe Hearne sitting on this board. Just another "yes" man for Sylvia. He's already shown his colors to the people in this area. He has no regard for the fire departments whatsoever and apparently none for the citizens of this community. I don't about the rest of you people, but as soon as I post this, I'm going to Commissioner's Court's website to post anything and everything I can think of. Join me, please.

jose Farinacci 6 years ago

WOW, Chico is showing us that re really does not give a crap about the county. I have seen some idiots in office but he beats them all by far. Joe Hearne is another of Sylvias cronies. You know, we need to check if he even owns property in the esd 6 boudaries.????????? We need to check with TOYOTA since rumors are that the man has no integrity and is a backstabing liar. Thats what I have been told. I believe that he tried to screw over one of his captains with lies and BS. Im going to make some phone calls tomorrow and unmask this guy to the media

Mad as Hell 6 years ago

I looked it up Bexar Appraisal and the Tax Office. Joe Hearn owns property on Labus Rd. and yes, the taxes are current. No idea of whether or not he is a registered voter, though. And don't know if the property he owns is within the ESD's area. Maybe someone else knows that. Maybe we need to find out whether he filled out an application and filed it with Chico's office. Or did his name just come up - kinda like what happened when he was suddenly "hired" to be the District Chief. Unbelievalbe! Out of all the applications that were submitted, we're left with this.

Just a question 6 years ago

When was the last time Sandy Oaks or Ata Bexar VFDs had an outside Audit of thier financial records? You guys are great at throwing mud but what are you doing to make the situation better? The trust problem in that part of the county is on both sides of the fence. Why dont you put down your swords and try to work together to protect the citizens? Joe Hearn is a good guy trying to make a difference. I dont know why you are so threatened by him. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones!

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 6 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Just a question, while I can agree with you that Mr. Hearn may be a good ole' boy type, I can also say that my mother once told me "Never judge a book by it's cover until you've ready the content." I have read the content on Mr. Hearn. It is this content and the comments from ESD6 Treasurer, Luisa Vargas that shed light on the moral character of Mr. Hearn, who endeared himself to the fire departments when Ms. Mendelsohn was appointed to the board. Coincidence? Not likely. His actions in collusion with Ms. Mendelsohn and the ESD6 board have put him in this light, and shame on you for trying to justify his actions by trying to discredit others. I have seen the audits from the other departments prior to Ms. Mendelsohn's arrival and they didn't have any problems. As a matter of fact. On Nov. 1, 2010, the first day that the South Bexar Fire & Rescue became the only fire department of record. Sandy Oaks was found to have a "clean" audit, by the auditor of Ms. Mendelsohn's choosing. It was also found that they only discrepancy for AtaBexar was how to file the bingo revenue and was being handled by Ms. Mendelsohn's auditors and the AtaBexar Dept. However, the South Bexar department had not complied with a single item since August of 2010 and was still allowed to remain open and given a new contract on Oct. 1, 2010 that had them falling under the District Fire Chief, that was not in existence until a month later.

This is not about throwing mud, all the items are factual and have documentation to back them up. And as for working together, Ms. Mendelsohn's desire to keep control has prompted lawsuits, a receivership and a monitor to try to settle the situation and still SHE continues to violate the orders. One cannot work with someone who refuses to, such as Ms. Mendelsohn.

Snacci 6 years ago

Threatened by Joe Hearn? That is a joke! He came to us claiming he had all the power to do what he wants when he wants when took the job as District Chief! What a joke... He is really that stupid because he believed what Silvia told him or is a liar like all the rest of them. Either way, no thanks! We have shown time and time again our records are clean!! We have brought all of our records to every meeting we go to and our records remain at our station with our staff for ANY person to see. We challenged Joe to sit and look over the records, statements and evidence we have on the ESD board. He decided against it. So I guess he will be just another puppet and put his head in the sand and raise his hand when he is told. I say let him on the board and he can show his true colors will he choose to ignore the obvious stealing of funds from the community or will he report it to authorities and not pocket the money like Silvia did and does ( did South Bexar have a gas card? No they bought all of their fuel from her her convenience store...CONFLICT).

I will just say that whomever chose to stay on that board or chooses to get on that board while she is on it will go down with the ship...Joe use your head for once in this situation,, I challenge you to come by and take a look at our documents before might rethink things, and maybe even save yourself from going to jail...your family deserves one educated decision. What do you have to lose??? These aren't our records, they are the ESD' joke!

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 6 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Very interesting. Is there documentation to prove that they purchased their fuel from her store? Which one, doesn't she have more than one?

Snacci...Shonda Farinacci 6 years ago

Yes, if the ESD has not lost the records. Sandy Oaks and Ata-Bexar were both instructed they had to get fuel cards to log the milage of the trucks and o log the driver filling up the truck. But South Bexar was either allowed or instructed to only fill up at her store/gas station Southwest Cafe. The driver only had to scribble on a note pad. And to answer your question in regards to the status of the store/gas it went out of business and now she is trying to sell it, but before they buy it, they have to pay the back taxes owed on it. In fact, maybe you should take a look a several properties that she owes back taxes on and then you can take a look at the different companies and people that have lawsuits filed against her...i know that one website you can look under is Bexar Co. Appraisal District and I think the other is Bexar Co. Civil Court. You just have to be sure and look under all the different names. Very ironic that she owes back taxes to the very board she is president on!!!!!!

JOSE FARINACCI 6 years ago

Well JUST A QUESTION: first of all, before you post idiotic comments, educate yourself better so that you dont like like a fool. Both departments have been audited, and clearly have shown no issues. That is a documented statement from the auditors that the ESD used to audit all three departments. BUT, only one department did not comply with the audit, also a documented statement by the auditors. NOw, i was not aware that stating facts and unmasking an organization of criminals is throwing mud. What we are doing is clearly to the benefit of the community, to protect their money, and to make sure that idiots like Chico and Sylvia are held accountable for their misuse of funds. Regarding Joe Hearn, he is Sylvia's little puppet and has clearly shown that he is just like them and has no consideration for the community. Now, you make some pretty strong statements, so grow some guts and back them up. WE have not hidden anything from anyone, unlike Chico and his clan of criminals. Now, you say that people in glass houses should not throw stones. What do you mean? You got something to say? Again grow some guts and say it. Actually I challenge you to identify yourself since you are so smart and so knowledgeable. You now know who i am. I have not and will not hide my identity. I want everyone to know who i am and what I have to say. WHY? CAUSE I HAVE FACTS. So don't go being a Monday morning quarterback and run your dumb mouth unless you have something valid to say. Obviously you do not know the difference between your head and your rear end. SO I challenge you to step up. Again, I am Jose Farinacci. Who are you?

current 6 years ago

we do stories that the mainstream media chooses not to carry for whatever reason. I know that all of the people that both read and write on these hub pages are very educated individuals. Just a small point..attack, attack, & attack have a place in our society but if you truly want to get your message heard and picked would go alot further if the rhetoric was toned down...anger, no matter the reason, at this point is useless. many of my colleagues believe that its more emotion and hype than actual criminal acts. The anger diminishes the message that your community is trying to get across. good luck

Jose Farinacci 6 years ago

I agree with you in the fact that sometimes we let the anger brought by the situation get the best of us. I do disagree with the statement that there is more emotion and hype than actual criminal acts. Criminal acts have been committed by this esd in many ways. It is hard to keep things toned down when the people that us as voters placed in office for our county fail to see what is happening and refuse to do anything about it. Myself, as well as many other have lost all confidence in commissioners court, for they have shown their true colors with their lack of action with the matter at hand.

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 6 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Thanks for the comment. This is more than just rhetoric for these people. They eat sleep and live every minute of their day trying to get some justice. I have seen the documentation that they have and understand how upset they are and sympathize. Even a reporter who was investigating commented that she was angry and she didn't even live near the area. Referencing the fact that the documents she was shown had discredited the comments made by Ms Mendelsiohn in her interview. I do agree that a couple of people get very angry and I will in the future approve only comments that are not offensive and state facts.

jose farinacci 6 years ago

Abecedarian, sorry If sometimes i let peoples comment get the best of me. I just have not patience nor tolerance for ignorance. I have given 15 years of my life to this community and have many times put my life on the line for these people, to include some of these commissioners. It drive me nuts to see how 5 people with lack of consideration for the community are trying to destroy what we have worked so hard for for many years. I will say this,, the worse decision we made was to follow Nelson wolf request to establish these esd's. I always thought that the ESD were going to serve the community and its citizens, not the politicians

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 6 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Mr. Farinacci, apology accepted. I can really understand your passion for this issue as I have found myself more attached to this myself, as I said even the reporter who'd only been on the story for a day was angry, I can understand the communities feelings because they've been living with this for several months and not getting solutions, so desperation and anger go hand in hand. However, sometimes it just takes a minute or two to take a deep breath and gather one's faculties.

To everyone fighting the fight for the Volunteer Fire Departments:

Martin Luther King said something to the fact that if you are not passionate about a cause that you are willing to give your life for, than you are simply existing. But he also said that cooler heads will prevail. The two must go hand in hand.

There are many risks of reprisal when you become openly involved in a political fight, it's not paranoia, it's a fact and not everyone is willing and or able to do so and so when we have people willing to put themselves on the line as many of you are, we have all got to be careful not to tip the apple cart and cut the fight short.

And with that said, tomorrow is the County Commissioners Court Meeting at 11:00, first floor. You can sign up to speak and let your voice be heard or you can just attend and lend support for those who do. These are the times to be passionate and support one another.

comment 6 years ago

My 83 year old aunt lives in the area serviced by ata-bexar and she and I have spoken about this situation. I could be black-balled and lose my job if I get actively involved. You have too many people sprouting half-truths. This includes the three fire departments and the ESD board, no one is innocent here. The money is gone and it is not going to reappear. We need to get over that. Stupidity is not criminal. Some of the USDA and homeland security grants required that plans be ready and that construction begin as soon as possible. Thats why a lot of grant submissions needed a big amount of money upfront. Should this ESD have done that, my answer is NO! Were there ulterior motives here involving all these politicians? Maybe but can it be proved beyond a doubt? No. The damage is done.

What can one do? There seems to be violations of the open meetings act witnessed by a lot of people. Focus on that.

If the president is in fact, delinquent with her "county taxes", focus on that. Item 4 of the county's board and commissions policy says that you cannot be in arrears. The county judge would have no choice but to see that the rules are enforced.

If the president does own a gas station and the fire department was filling up there, that can get her in trouble. She needed to have informed all about the situation and certain actions needed to have been followed.

These simple things are what can unravel a board so quickly.

Choose your mouthpiece more carefully. People screaming and yelling telling all that will listen how horrible things are actually cause you more harm. That individual claiming that he could run the board and get things fixed and how he had his application in hand ready to be turned in didnt do the community any good. For gods sake, he served on the Bexarmet board for five or so years and look at the mess they are in.

I am not trying to get into arguments with anyone here but i'm trying to show that it is the little things that will take care of the big things.

good luck once more.

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 6 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Current, misappropriation of funds is not "stupidity" it is definitely a crime, the last time I looked. And yes it can be proved. That is what open records and documentation is for. With this the Texas Rangers and the District Attorney's office CAN grant an investigation. While I appreciate your comment and your advise, it is exactly what they are working on. The board president has continued to show that she works outside the boundaries of the law. The one department that was allowed to sign for their fuel at her stores is her department, the one she kept open, so who is going to come up with those records? A member of the community requested records from them and they were not given a single item or a reply.

As for the BexarMet board member, that gentleman was elected to the board long after BexarMet got into trouble, as I had the opportunity to meet with him after the meeting and it was his opposition to Chico's requests that cost him his position. I looked into the gentleman's background and he is a retired serviceman with high moral standards and a respected man in his community. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the background activities of the ESD6 board members, with exception of Mr. Wood, who seems to have no background history.

Melissa Hammond profile image

Melissa Hammond 6 years ago from San Antonio

Just got word, Joe Hearn is on the board. If I hear right Chico statement that Joe was on the board for the last two week. It was only on the agenda for Commissioner's court today was just to put in on the books.

So if he was already on the board for two weeks and it wasn't on the agenda for Commissioner's court two weeks ago. Is it against Open Meetings Act??? I would think so, right?

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 6 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Yes that is correct. I will research this and post another hub. Thank you.

Mad as Hell 6 years ago

At this point, it really doesn't matter if Joe Hearn has been sitting illegally on this board for the past 2 weeks or 2 years. Let him sit. It gives him the opportunity to share in the blame when the time comes. I only hope that Chico made the statement of this appointment coming after Joe was already sitting on the board in the open forum of the meeting so that it is on the record that it actually took place and that he, Chico, knew about it. Poor thing! Seems like he really doesn't know much about anything any more, but if he made this statement, then he must have known that Mr. Hearn has been sitting on a board that he wasn't appointed to sit on til later. Unbelievable!

Out of all those applications to choose from, this is the best that Chico could come up with? What on earth is the Commissioner afraid of? That someone with a little integrity and intelligence might have gotten selected out of the application pool by accident?

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 6 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

I could not believe it when I heard it. Waiting on some info and will post an update. Don't lose faith. Rome wasn't built in a day.

JOSE FARINACCI 6 years ago

Im curious about the person namedm "comment" what half truths are you talking about. How are the three departments not inocent? What have they done? All they have done and been doing is fighting this fight for the community. So what is it that they are "half" about?????

comment 6 years ago

Mr. Farinacci, i appreciate all the hard work that everyone is doing, including yourself for the community. I was also a volunteer firefighter in Parker County for 21 years and responsible for training in swift water rescue. I am not attacking you nor anyone else reading or writing on this blog.

Commissioner Rodriguez did not give accurate information at todays meeting. Today was the first listing of Mr. Hearn's appointment. I went back through the agenda listings.

Half-truths? We saw the story that aired last week and either the assistant chief or fire chief of ata-bexar? stated that he needed $ 15k a month to run the fire department but had accepted 8k because that was all that was available. However, in past esd meetings that we have attended, it was shown that the esd also pays for the insurance and loans on behalf of each department. Are those figures included in the 8k?

I cannot recall which blog carried the story that the esd stopped two fire departments from responding to calls and also stopped ems calls from being answered. It stated that this was wrong since the esd did not pay for ems calls. I distinctly remember that the esd funding provides gas and vehicles so that the departments can respond to ems calls and furthermore, fire personnel at the esd meetings have stated at one time or another that ems calls are about 70 percent of the total calls. if that is correct, i can tell you that 8k a month is extremely high to be paying for fire calls only.

I have been down this road before elsewhere and we lost a campaign because we acted on our emotions and passions instead of remaining focused and calm. Our plant is telling us to stay out of this but i'm having such a hard time with my only aunt living in the area. I'm just as angry as everyone else but i'm trying to give some ideas, please accept them as constructive criticism versus attacks on the fine volunteers that are putting their name and livelihood on the line.

thank you

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 6 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Point well taken, Comment, however since I have seen most of the information/documentation, if not all that backs up these posts, you are correct in the fact that Commissioner Rodriguez (flustered and angered) gave out incorrect information and could easily have incriminated himself in the Open Meetings Act, but that's a whole other issue. The $8,000 that the two departments received were as per court order on Nov. 30. Because she refused to fund them, alternately, she couldn't fund them because she had spent all the money. The ESD had not paid the departments a single penny in two months, putting them behind financially because they exhausted their funds, remember she was also not making payments for items that the ESD had taken on to acquire more apparatus. I can say that there is record of items in excess of $80,000 that she purchased at the request of South Bexar Fire and Rescue, without board approval or without expendable income, simply relying on funding from a grant/loan that had not yet been received to date. As for the medical,I will let Mr. Faranacci answer that one at his leisure.

jose Farinacci 6 years ago

Thank you for your reply COMMENT. To answer your questions, you are correct, by contractual agreements the esd decide to take over the payments on the insurance and truck payments. And no, those figures are not included on the $8k a month allocation that the departments are receiving. In regard to the medical responses, the departments contract with the University Hospital for ems response as part of the fire related duties. The hospital district reimburses the departments a small amount of money to cover the expenses for medical supplies, which we all know are not cheap. We do not have a monthly allocation of funds from the medical district for those responses. The are merely piggy backing from the fire departments contracts with the county. Unfortunately the County fire marshall was in this all along and forgot the fact that the ESD has no regulatory authority over our ems assist responses but still removed our tones from the system and followed the esd's request to only dispatch SOuth bexar to all incidents. Now, regarding the $8 k a month, the monthly allocation that was given to the departments prior to this mess was to cover payroll, fuel, utilities, equipment, supplies, etc. Prior to this mess, we provided 2 paid firefighters weekdays during the day when the volunteers were at work, 1 paid staff at night augmented by volunteer staff, and one paid staff Saturday and Sunday, also augmented by volunteer staff. With that setup, we were able to maintain a low response time and managed to have certified staff as much as possible based on the funding received. The funds were not as we wanted for paid staff, but the tax revenue by the esd had to focused first on establishing a strong infrastructure, replacing old worn out equipment and replacing trucks. Once all that was to be accomplished, then more funding was to be allocated for additional paid personel. Those were the original plans when the esd was first established. A good plan that we all agreed upon in 2004 and one that had been working out perfectly. ALl three departments managed to slowly improve and constantly improving the quality of personnel and the amount of time that paid staff would be available. That was the promise made to the citizens when WE, the firefighters asked them to vote yes for the esd. Having said that, $8000 a month is not enough for fuel, paid staff and taxes, utilities and truck maintenance, equipment, supplies, etc. Now, due to that fact that the ESD is utilizing close to half of the tax revenue for legal fees and issues related to a community center, thus minimizing the funding to the department, it places a heavier burden on all three departments to provide the services this community deserves and pays for. That is the reason for this battle. ITs not about emotions, and who gets more money, its about that we made a promise to the community that we are unable to deliver due to the esd commissioners in place. THey were placed for one reason, to deliver Chicos agenda, which has nothing to do with the protection of life and property. How can a multi million community center provide safety for our community? Is that what the community voted to pay taxes for? Thats is where my anger comes in to play, the fact that those 5 guys in commissioners court are so inept and incompetent to see what is happening. Once again, the southside of this county gets screwed because of the corruption in this county. Look at the departments i other esd's,, they are moving forward, but us in the south end are going backwards. Its a shame that such worthless people are in place to decide the faith of our community.

jose farinacci 5 years ago

see i can be nice sometimes too. lol

comment 5 years ago

Mr. Farinacci, thank you for your reply which is very well thought out and makes a lot of sense. This is the message that the public needs to hear.

one suggestion and please do not get upset. Take out the "fire marshal being in" and drop all sentences beginning with "that is the reason for the battle." instead of your finish like its written, now write that the problem begins when the esd board decided to build a convention center or whatever they call it and how fire fighting funding went to prepare for this building in hopes of obtaining a grant. the grant was not approved and that loss of funds spend on preparing for the grant caused a drop of funding to the fire departments now and puts them at risk of not having enough funding to last through the end of the year and will put the community at risk. do not attack or call anyone worthless in your new letter. why? because this letter will need to be sent to the hispanic television networks here locally. people like to make their own decisions about a situation without being told how worthless or stupid someone is. you are sticking to the facts without interjecting your opinion. your opinion only makes it personal and that is not newsworthy.

we are in this together. chico's voting strength lies in the older hispanic, spanish speaking population. when you let it be known that they may not have fire protection , most don't know if they live in the city or county but when chico's name comes out, they will begin questioning. that is what will light a fire (no pun intended) in his butt.

the next letter that will follow a week later will be how the president owes back county taxes and does not meet the criteria to serve on this board. it has to be true, if you are not sure, do not put it out there. and it has to be a nice letter, no anger.

you feed them one point at a time. no mass complaints of how they do this or that or what dirty rascals they are. you are asking the hispanic media for their assistance in this issue since you do not know where to go or where to turn to. you need to act like that little bunny surrounded by wolves and the dudley do right reporter will save us.

you will be surprised at how far that could go. at this point, there is nothing to lose since no one seems to have really jumped on it. the most important thing is to not give anyone to much information at one time. it is information overload, and let's face it, many people still do not know what an esd is. they won't understand it in 5 minutes. 2 minutes is the most that a story will air for.

send a letter to the southside reporter but focus on the same thing.

keep trucking!

comment 5 years ago

Abecedarian, please do not get upset for all these questions that i am posting. i'm so very much concerned about all of this. i haven't been able to fall asleep worrying.

Mr. Farinacci, i read in this blog about the esd board being 100k over budget already. i dont have any reason not to believe that to be a true statement. if the departments are receiving 8k a month and have to adjust for that shortfall, my calculations would drop each department down to 5-5.5k a month, not including those loans and insurance paid by the esd. what else would have to go?

its obvious that these board members aren't going to go anywhere anytime soon, what would you recommend as a solution? what would anyone recommend as a solution? i know that i would demand that this taj majah be stopped and that no more funds go to that. but whats gone already isnt going to be replaced. i have not seen hide or hair of this so called monitor, unless they are monitoring undercover. i understand through this blog that they have not shown up at any esd meeting. has anyone heard a thing?

i know im beginning to get repetitive but i just can't sleep concerned about this.

let me know your thoughts. thanks to all and especially to those firefighters that through all of this continue to stand up to protect our citizens as best as they can with what little they have.

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 5 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Comment, no problem, that's what hubs are about, interaction and communication. I have heard that the monitor has met with Ms. Mendelshohn and the departments, one can only assume they would have because they have to be in court on March 1, 2011 as was stated at the Commissioners Court hearing this week.

Mad as Hell 5 years ago

To Comment, I fully understand how a lot of us could come off as a bunch of raving lunatics when it comes to this subject. Some of us have seen first hand what happens when a 911 call goes out because of an electrocution, but your closest fire dept. is closed down and the only fire dept that is allowed to respond is almost 20 minutes away from you. Yes, Comment, a lot of us are very upset and even scared. Things happen in the blink of an eye. You said you have fire fighting experience so you should know, seconds and minutes are the difference between life and death. And yes, our area out here has a high percentage of elderly residents, like your elderly aunt, who can need a first responder at any moment in time whether it be day or night. So here goes -

A member of the ESD board stated at the last board meeting that they are already $101K over budget for this year. I do not know if that takes into consideration the fact that several tens of thousands of dollars in debt is being carried over from last year. We know for a fact that HUGE sums of money have been spent for the purchase of equipment or payment for services (including legal fees) before the board has voted to approve such payment. We know for a fact that there are tens of thousands of dollars still owing in professional and other fees for work accomplished toward the community center (again, nothing to do with fire safety). Sooner or later, those bills will have to be paid and that's just that much more the fire departments will have to do without. We know for a fact that a large number of fire fighters were laid off from their jobs because there were no funds to pay them with.

As for the fire marshall, it baffles me how he could agree to stop ALL dispatches to these 2 fire dpts. at the request of the ESD board president when he knows full well that she has no authority over the emergency medical calls. It baffles me why the fire marshall has never stepped forward to deny the board president's story that it was the fire marshall that told her to shut the 2 fire stations down because both of the stations had stopped responding to calls that were being dispatched to them (an untrue statement). It makes me think that surely the fire marshall must have indeed told the board president this very thing. More importantly, why would the fire marshall's office need to delete so much information off of the EMS call for the man who was electrocuted? Were response times changed? What comments and notes were deleted from this report? And what happened to the tape recording of this call? A request to the fire marshall for the audio of this call has been denied, and last I heard, the tape was no longer in existence. Actions like these make a person wonder if the fire marshall is in collusion with the ESD.

Finally, you should know that an EMS call requires far less in the way of manpower, vehicles and fuel than does a fire call. One rescue or command vehicle responding with 1 or 2 people costs way less than the several vehicles required to respond to a major structure or brush fire. I don't recall ever hearing anyone say that 70% of all calls are EMS calls but that may be something for me to look at and research into. In the meantime, I look forward to meeting you at the next ESD meeting and comparing notes and ideas with you.

Kenneth Bouldin 5 years ago

I received a letter today from Sergio "Chico" Rodriguez, dated 24 Feb 2011. "Dear Mr. Bouldin, Thank you for your interest in serving on the Emergency Services District 6 Board of Commissioners. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to review your materials and commend your willingness to serve our community. It was a difficult decision, but I have selected another individual whose qualifications match the needs of ESD 6 at this time.

I thought everyone who is involved in this travesty going on in South Bexar County would appreciate the comical writing. I sure got a laught from it. So the drama continues, as we all know who was selected!!!

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 5 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Must have been a busy mail day.

JJS 5 years ago

Hey!! I put in an application to serve on the ESD board. Where's my denial letter?!? It's bad enough to get a rejection letter from Chico, but can you imagine the rejection I must feel? I was so rejected, I didn't even get a rejection letter!! Well, let's see what the mail brings on Monday. I'm gonna be very hurt if Chico doesn't reject me in writing.

OK. Everybody should have gotten a little laugh out of that. God knows, we need to laugh over this every now and again or we'll all go nuts.

Concerned 5 years ago

Has anyone bothered to ask the Fire Marshalls Office to "INTERPRET" the information that was posted on this forum in reference to the call in question?

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 5 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Yes.Initially, no returned response, until an open records request was sent. According the Chief Investigator Chris Lopez/Communications Program Manager, "The recorder is having issues, I can see the information I need to pull but it does not have any vocals to it" (audio of the incident)He goes on, "There may be a problem with retrieving the data from their server." Sounds some what suspicious.

Latuya 5 years ago

Mr. or Ms. Abecedarian, (I don't know whether you are male or female) Would you please explain how the latest board member was appointed illegally by Commissioners Court? It was on the county's agenda, properly posted and it was voted upon by the court.

Please correct your statement, because if you are basing your statement on what Mr. Rodriguez stated in commissioner's court about being a clerical error, he was wrong. That doesn't make this appointment illegal.

Abecedarian profile image

Abecedarian 5 years ago from These United States, Texas Author

Prefix doesn't matter. It's just Abecedarian. However, Latuya, anyone present or watching on streamline heard it clearly and watched when the commissioner said, "this is just a formality, he was approved 2 agendas ago." That IS a violation because on the agenda of Jan. 25th it was stated that the approval was for Mendelsohn, Vargas, Woods and Chavez. Joe Hearn WAS NOT on the agenda with the clerical error. If they discussed it at all or put him on prior to the agenda of his appointment, that in itself is another violation.

Jose Farinacci 5 years ago

I just got done reading the agenda for the next meeting and the truth is the time has come to get the signatures to disban the esd. They continue to destroy the integrity of that entity, those stupid 5 idiots in commissioners court have done nothing about it, these politicians that have come up stating their concerns have done nothing about it, the courts have done nothing about it. In the meantinme Sylvia and her lawyer continue to waste tax money. ALl i have seen is a lot of "spoken support" but here we are 5 months later and nothing has changed.

Mad as Hell 5 years ago

Jose, we had hoped Nelson Wolff would stand up - he didn't. We had hoped Little Wolff would question things - he didn't. The courts, well, they can only operate within the letter of the law of the issues brought before them. Personally, since I have not attended any of the court hearings, I cannot comment on any of the proceedings. As for some of these other politicians that have expressed interest, who knows how fast those wheels are able to grind. But this much I do know, there is something to be said about "spoken support" especially when it comes time to vote. That's when people need to put their money where their mouths have been and vote against Chico. That could be the only way we'll ever get Sylvia and her cohorts knocked off this board and replaced with people of integrity. As for the signatures, the only way to go with a new ESD is one that straddles the county line. That's gonna take a lot of work convincing Atascosa folks to pay an ESD tax. We all have our work cut out for us and it's going to take people all across S. Bexar County, not just the AtaBexar area. Are you ready?

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