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Constitution, bylaws for Presque Isle Fire Department go to town attorney

February 11, 2020 by Brian Jopek

The Presque Isle Town Board, meeting in special session Saturday, Feb. 8, sent the constitution and bylaws for the town’s fire department to the town attorney. 
They’re items that have been in the works for several months, town supervisor Cathy Logan Weber acting as the town board’s liaison with the fire department and working with its personnel to get the constitution and bylaws put together. 
The matter was on the agenda for the Feb. 6 town board meeting. 
However, when the town board got to that point on the agenda, and with members of the fire department and town’s emergency medical services in attendance, town chairman Marshall Reckard said he’d gotten home from Eagle River just a couple of hours prior to the meeting and hadn’t had an opportunity to read the changes. 
“I would like the ability to sit down and read ‘em before we move it out,” he said.
“What if we either give you a minute to read — there’s one paragraph — or you move it to the end of the agenda and you have time to read it over,” Weber said. “Because it’s another month and these people have been working on this.”
“I realize that,” Reckard said.
“We’ve got other things to do,” Weber continued. “The fire department has other things to do.”
“Unfortunately, I’d like to read ‘em, OK?” Reckard said. “Take some time and analyze ‘em.”
A flustered Weber told Reckard he’s had the time. 
“You’ve been doing it for like, three months,” she said. 
“But the changes ... I want to see what they say,” Reckard said. 
“There’s one change,” Weber said. 
Reckard acknowledged that, but went on to the next agenda item. 
There was also a discussion later in the meeting about emergency medical technician staffing and briefly, recruiting and retention for the fire department.
Just a couple minutes before the meeting concluded and during a brief exchange between Reckard and town supervisor Carl Wolter about the new town logos on its trucks, Weber mentioned the fire department constitution and bylaws had been moved to the end of the meeting. 
“Let’s not forget,” she said, under the impression discussion about them and a possible vote would still happen before the meeting, which was nearing the 90 minute mark by this time, was adjourned.
Reckard had other ideas.
“I’m not gonna read ‘em tonight,” he said. “I’m just too beat, OK, just too tired.”
Weber wasn’t pleased and referred to the town fire department and EMS personnel waiting at the back of the room.
“So, you’re gonna make them wait another month to read a paragraph,” she said.
The special meeting for Saturday, Feb. 8 had already been set earlier to address another matter. 
Fire chief Doug Wolter asked if the constitution and bylaws could be addressed at the special meeting.
“Well, if it was on the agenda,” Weber said. 
“I have the discretion, OK?” Reckard said. 
“If it was on the agenda for the special meeting on Saturday, we could do it,” Weber said. 
“We can do it then,” Reckard said, and then apparently thinking the next day was going to be Saturday, he said he’d be wide awake the next morning. 
“Sorry everybody that came to talk about that,” Weber said to the fire department and EMS members at the back of the room. 
Saturday, Reckard said the constitution and bylaws for the fire department looked good. 
“The motion was to forward them to the town attorney to make sure there’s not a problem,” he said. “I don’t think there is but I think it’s a step that should be done.”
Brian Jopek may be reached via email at [email protected].

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