Fighting Fire with Fire
It was the first day to file to run for a seat on the board. Critics say the board works for Chief Steve Paulsell, instead of the other way around. One critic, Shelly Dometrorch, says her candidacy will rekindle the debate over how the three board members operate.
"They haven't been very responsive to the public in the midst of all of this," Dometrorch says.
She referred to allegations this summer that Paulsell had an affair with his assistant and his $200,000 salary is too high.
"I believe it needs to be looked into," Dometrorch added. "I think there needs to be a study."
Dometrorch is running for the seat held by Myrtle Rapp, who's not sure she'll run again. But, Rapp says she is sure the board responds to the public.
"I have never, ever refused to discuss fire district issues with any volunteer or any residents that chose to contact me," she says.
Rapp's proud of the board and says it's improved response times and equipment.
"I think we've made the important changes," Rapp says. "We let go of a couple of individuals."
Rapp wouldn't say anything more about those firings. But a lawyer for Concerned Citizens for Boone County says the firings were wrong.
"This present board just does whatever Paulsell tells them to do. And that is the problem," says David Moen. "They don't question anything he suggests, and they don't make any independent judgments on how the board should be run."
Don Farris is the other board candidate who filed for Rapp's seat Tuesday. Farris won't call himself a critic of the board, but says some things need to change. Paulsell maintains he and the board haven't done anything wrong. The Concerned Citizen's group hasn't endorsed any candidate yet.
Jan. 17 is the filing deadline to run for a seat on the Boone County Fire Protection District Board. Boone County residents, except in Columbia and Ashland, can vote in the April 4 election.