Adjust story text size:
Why wait? That’s the feeling I had as I set for several hours at a Rye Fire District Meeting last Wednesday. Why wait to appoint Steve Bennett as Fire Chief. What is there left to find out?
I know the completely new board is just finding their wings. I know that they are determined to avoid some of the land mines that other boards may have stepped on in the past. I know that they want to do a good job.
If there is a criticism of Bennett I think it would revolve around a lack of delegation ability. The amount of time he is spending at the fire station has been the subject of several meetings. I guess I understand part of that. Everybody and their brother have been “investigating” the department.
And when he took over, the department was understaffed. Depending where you got your information, they were grossly understaffed or barely understaffed, but they were understaffed.
One thing I hope it isn’t is a syndrome called “the grass is always greener.” I’ve been with too many companies who ignored the great people they had in their organization and looked elsewhere for leaders. One of the former board members seemed bound and determined to hire someone from somewhere else.
Is Bennett the perfect choice for the job? I don't know – but who is? What he has done is taken a department in complete chaos, under a microscope, and with enough negative feelings to destroy most people and now has it staffed well, is busier than last year month after month, and answers questions thoroughly and truthfully. Why wait?
The Colorado City Metro District is facing their own decision-what to do with the West Nine. The Monday night meeting was interesting and I have an idea or two to share in that regard as well.
My high school government teacher had a favorite saying – “Majority rule, minority rights.” The obvious way to solve the problem is to put the decision on a ballot and let the public decide. Short of that possibility I would pick five members of the community to form an ad hoc committee. If your desire is for a solution, here is what I would do:
1. Pick people you don’t agree with. Don’t be afraid of the differences-embrace them-that’s the best way to come up with the best decision.
2. Don’t pick anyone who talked while others were talking, said things like “I don’t believe that”, or made faces while others were speaking.
3. I wouldn’t select anyone who hadn’t attended at least five meetings in the last year, but then you wouldn’t have many to pick from. It’s hard to know what’s going on when you only show up once a year.
4. I’d only pick people who actually brought an idea to the hearing. Whiners don’t care about solutions.
5. Finally, give the committee access to any numbers or data they want.