The entire Star Fire District board of commissioners has resigned today in the midst of a tangled financial web that is bound to rival that of the Nampa School District mess, although over fewer dollars.
Here is the official press release:
Commissioners Gunnar Howarth, John Miller and Jeff Sedivec of the Star Fire Joint Protection District—an independent jurisdiction comprised of commissioners elected by residents in Northwest Ada County and Northeast Canyon County—have respectfully submitted their resignations, effective March 8, 2013. Their resignations are an acknowledgement of the district’s need for State of Idaho intervention as prescribed by state law.
The Star Fire District suffers from budgeting errors, overspending, a lack of oversight, revenue shortfalls, and failure to comply with adopted policy. The commissioners’ resignations will trigger a provision in Idaho State Code which will require the Governor to appoint a new Commission for the Star Fire District.
Since June 2012, the fire district has been operating under a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with the Eagle Fire Protection District. Both parties have agreed to abandon the JPA due to the complexity of Star Fire District’s issues. The Eagle Fire District will provide provisional fire services for the next 180 days during which a new commission will be appointed by the Governor.
Howarth, Miller and Sedivec accept responsibility for not addressing the District’s current and complex issues. All three former commissioners remain committed to the District and will fully cooperate with the Governor’s office to ensure a timely resolution of the District’s issues.
The GUARDIAN will have more later, but when we began reporting yesterday, it was clear the commishes had violated the Idaho Constitution Article VIII, Sec. 3 prohibition against long term debt without voter approval.
Meanwhile HOUSE BILL 244 passed the Idaho legislature with unanimous approval yesterday and awaits action in the Senate. That measure, pushed through by Majority Leader Mike Moyle–a Star resident–is intended to allow for consolidation (with the Eagle District) of fire districts and all assets to become property of the new district. The purchases of a fire engine and station without voter approval will undoubtedly pose additional problems for the new district.
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