Exeter District Ambulance swears in third member at first meeting in two months
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
EXETER – The Exeter District Ambulance (EDA) Board resumed meetings late last month after a two-month hiatus due to a lack of quorum. The public ambulance district was able to hold its regular meeting on Aug. 24 after the recent appointment of Adam Pfenning to fill one of three vacancies on the board.
Pfenning was appointed to fill the vacancy by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 8 because the five-seat EDA board was unable to vote on his appointment or even hold a meeting without a third member. Pfinning is familiar with EDA as the former captain of the Exeter Fire Station.
At the Aug. 24 meeting, the three board members voted to post the two remaining vacant position on the board after the board officially accepted the resignations of Alan Sherer and Rob Hubbard. Sherer and Hubbard filed their resignations with Exeter District Ambulance office on June 26, 2017 and June 27, 2017, respectively, but the board has been unable to meet due to a lack of quorum since its June 22 meeting when it accepted the resignation of Stacy Walter, who stepped down from the board on May 8.
Applicants must be a registered voter, over the age of 18 and live within the boundaries of the Exeter District Ambulance. Applications may be picked up at the Exeter District Ambulance office, 302 E. Palm Ave., Exeter, CA 93221 and must be returned no later than 5 p.m. on Sept. 15.
The board received two months worth of financial reports as well as the year-end report for the 2016-17 fiscal year which ended in June. According to the profit and loss statement for that year, revenue was up 56% from FY 2015-16 but expenses increased by 63%, mostly due to additional employee costs such as payroll, payroll taxes and pensions which outpaced revenue from service on calls by about $40,000. Overall, the district finished the year with a net income of about $2,000. The district is also looking to hire a new auditing firm, legal firm, district manager and an office clerk.
A 2017-18 budget report also showed the district proposing to repay $83,000 to the Local Agency Investment Fund (LAIF) before the end of the current fiscal year next June. Commonly referred to as a “reserve” or “rainy day” fund, LAIF accounts allow a safe place for public entities to invest their money into an interest bearing account. In order to cover a $230,000 loss in revenue between FY 2014-15 and 2015-16, the board voted to withdrawal $150,000 on Aug. 2, 2016 and another $100,000 on Aug 3, 2016. That left the district with $279,000. Then on Nov. 17, 2016 the district withdrew another $100,000 to cover $16,000 in investigation costs and a lump sum payment of more than $74,000 in backpay to the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) following concessions made in its agreement with the Teamsters Union.
This was in violation of the public ambulance district’s policy which states that the difference between the balance and a $250,000 threshold must be replaced before additional funds are withdrawn.
The board also voted to add billing clerk Linda Miller to the list of people authorized to deposit or withdrawal money from the LAIF in addition to the board president and district manager.
During a special meeting on Aug. 31, the three board members only had three closed session items on the agenda. One was a discussion of anticipated litigation, a lawsuit filed by former field supervisor Jennifer Rios, and another was labor negotiations with Teamsters Local 517. The third was the consideration of a full-time EMT returning to duty. The board did not take action on any of the items according to Fischer.
The EDA board meets on the fourth Thursday of each month. Its next meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28 at the district office, 302 E. Palm St. in Exeter.