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Sylvia Mendelsohn Worked to Shut Down ESD#6 Fire Departments Again

Updated on February 26, 2021
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When someone in you own community can play their neighbors like pawns for power, it's a shame.

Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn
Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn

ESD#6 Board Held a Meeting on November 29, 2012 To Further Their Agenda

The ESD#6 Board (Emergency Service District), held a meeting on November 29, 2012 with the sole purpose of furthering their agenda. To shut down the existing fire departments.

Ms. Mendelsohn was the President of this board since County Commissioner Chico Rodriguez appointed her and her cronies to oversee the taxpayers money for fire protection over two years ago. Within the first six months, money disappeared and prior to the end of the budget year, the ESD#6 was broke and with no funds. She then shut down the Sandy Oaks Volunteer Fire Department, stopped paying the other fire departments, AtaBexar and SouthBexar Fire & Rescue. She then used breach of contract to justify her actions and was sued by the Southside Independent School District for putting their students in danger.

A monitor was put in place to handle contract negotiations with the fire departments and after a year and a half of stalling and blocking by Ms. Mendelsohn and her attorney Louis T. Rosenberg; an agreement was reached. Since then, it had been a struggle to get the ESD#6 to comply with the contract, continuously cutting funding and limiting the funds for repairs,etc.

All the while the ESD#6 had been trying and succeeded in acquiring the rights to some of the equipment and vehicles that belonged to the Volunteer Fire Departments. As well as pushing forward with plans for the ESD#6 Fire & Rescue fire department that would be built and run by Ms. Mendelsohn and the board. Ms. Mendelsohn and the ESD#6 board voted themselves as board members of that fire department as well as sitting on the board of the ESD#6.

All of the gerrymandering by Ms. Mendelsohn has squandered taxpayer funds to the point that Ms. Mendelsohn and the ESD#6 took out a "pay day" loan two years in a row to meet budget needs. The ESD#6 receives over $450,000 a year in tax revenue and have nothing to show for it, except for fire protection that had to be brought in from ESD#2 because she shut down the three volunteer fire departments in the Southeast Bexar County area and tried to acquire their equipment and structures.

Ms. Mendelsohn Tipped her hand at her intended actions

Ms. Mendelsohn's history shows that she likes to put feelers out when she does things and she tipped her hand to her actions, not only by the board agenda, but by having her colleague in the ESD circle, Gil Perez , Chico Rodriguez supporter and newly appointed President of ESD#2 (now removed from all ESD activity) attend a Southside ISD board meeting the night before the ESD#6 meeting to let the district know that ESD#2 would be on call and ready to help the community if it needed to.

This action fell in line with past actions of Ms. Mendelsohn, the meeting on the 29th of November being just a formality because as before, the board had already made the decisions to close down the departments prior to the meeting and were trying to put out a fire before it began.

An early morning conversation with several members of the community brought to light the fact that Ms. Mendelsohn, made her decision on hearsay and closed the AtaBexar and Sandy Oaks Volunteer Fire Departments. At the end after being pressed for a name, she named a member of the community and a supporter of the fire fighters Mr. Kenneth Bouldin as having put something on Facebook that got her to believe that AtaBexar would not be responding to calls. Such was not the case, but enough to help Ms. Mendelsohn further her cause. Yet, one thing that Ms. Mendelsohn did not count on was the fact that AtaBexar Volunteer Fire Department can not be disbanded without community approval. It would take a petition from the area to include Atascosa County to do such a thing.

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The Fat Lady Has Sung for ESD#6 Fire Departments

The agenda said it all in one simple paragraph:

"They would be voting on approval to enter into inter-local agreements with other ESD's and other providers in the event that any or all current providers are unable or unwilling to fulfill their contractual obligations."

ESD#6 Shuts down the Sandy Oaks Volunteer Fire Department. The fire department would no be able to respond to fires, however, their EMS (Medical) calls were separate as well as the hazmat service that Sandy Oaks provided and had intended to continue to provide. However, Commissioner Rodriguez made a phone call and had the EMS service contract canceled as well. Without insurance, all vehicles at the Sandy Oaks Volunteer Fire Department are on hold. Leaving the taxpayers of the Sandy Oaks VFD area paying taxes that are not being used to utilize fire safety in their area. According to Ms. Mendelsohn, it is nepotism that caused a breach of contract with the Department. For over 30 years of existence for the Sandy Oaks VFD it had family members as their volunteers.

South Bexar Fire & Rescue like Sandy Oaks VFD also a group of families that had been the main source of Volunteers in that department had their contracts canceled as well.

Ms. Mendelsohn's explanation of nepotism, was having a board member related to a paid firefighter. However, when families work together, it is hard not to find a family member that does not qualify for the position. Under ESD guidelines, there is to be funding for paid fire fighters during the daytime hours, when most of the volunteers are working--there is nothing stating that it cannot be a family member.

One could say the same for Ms. Mendelsohn's own board. Her former board member, Joe Hearn, was appointed Fire Chief for ESD#2, a paid position and left the non-paying position on the ESD#6 board, which voted on Nov. 29, 2012, to approve payment to other providers to cover the EDS#6 area when their fire departments are shut down. Amazingly, ESD#2 came to the rescue and their fire fighters covering the ESD#6 area. Can this be construed as nepotism on Ms. Mendelsohn's or Joe Hearns' part or could this be seen as a criminal or illegal act on part of the ESD#6 and the ESD#2 which was run by President and friend of Ms. Mendelsohn, Gil Perez, with last known address in the ESD#6 area? By insuring fire safety to ESD#6, Mr. Perez insures fire safety to his own property. What Mr. Perez nor Ms. Mendelsohn have failed to tell the media or the South side community is that ESD#2 is located in the northwest region and quite a distance from the community it will be getting paid to protect.

ESD#6 Gave the deadline of Dec. 31, 2012 To AtaBexar and South Bexar Fire & Rescue to Comply with their Demands and Terminated South Bexar Fire & Rescue.

Sandy Oaks Volunteer Fire Department took legal action and was tied in litigation, by the time it was all over. Ms. Mendelsohn got them to the date of expiration of the contract they held and can simply chose not to renew.


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