Inter-Canyon Fire board president Michael Reddy was talked out of resigning Saturday by fellow board members in the wake of the district’s financial difficulties.
Reddy started the board meeting by offering to step down amid criticism over five years of overspending and the disappearance of $643,000 in district funds.
“I see … reasons for stepping down,” Reddy said. “It has to do with the fact that this local newspaper seems to want me to resign. … It’d be my opinion that this local paper might back off if I were to resign from the board.”
Reddy was referring to an editorial and news stories in recent issues of Evergreen Newspapers’ publications.
Reddy asked for reaction from board members and staff.
“It would be easy to give up,” said board member Leslie Caimi. “We need to show the community that we’re a strong board now.”
“I believe, as this case is resolved, the information will be revealed and the community will be able to see what occurred through the resolution of the criminal case,” said Daniel Hatlestad, Inter-Canyon firefighter and paramedic.
Former Inter-Canyon fire chief David MacBean is charged with six counts of theft and embezzlement related to the $643,000 in missing funds. His trial is scheduled for July.
“I see nothing but good people doing good things (here),” board treasurer Karl Firor said Saturday. “Look at the meetings — who shows up? Nobody. Nobody really pays any attention. To have any of you quit would be wrong.”
“When (the criminal case) is done, I think it will be very clear what happened,” said Skip Shirlaw, one of Inter-Canyon’s two deputy chiefs.
Reddy appeared to be reassured by the statements.
“I wanted to make sure,” Reddy said. “I had no intention of leaving unless I felt there wasn’t support from (the board). It helps me to know I’ve at least given everybody an opportunity to say, ‘Do you want me to stay on or not?’
“Let’s move forward. Let’s talk about five years down the road and where (Inter-Canyon) is going.”
The board’s meeting on Saturday morning at the Mountain Resource Center was scheduled as a strategic planning session.