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home : latest news : latest news April 17, 2015

9/9/2013 8:11:00 AM
By narrow vote, Central Yavapai Fire District Chief Nies keeps job
CYFD Chief Paul Nies
CYFD Chief Paul Nies
Heidi Dahms-Foster
Special to the Tribune

After a contentious few months surrounding Fire Chief Paul Nies' employment, the Central Yavapai Fire Board Friday afternoon voted 3-2 to retain Nies as chief, with a vote of confidence from the board, unless he chooses to continue negotiations to resign.

After meeting in executive session at the Prescott Valley Library auditorium, board members Bob Gardiner, Bob Page and Tom Steele voted to retain Nies. Debbie Horton and Steve Rutherford voted against the motion.

In May, the board went head-to-head on Nies' performance evaluation. The meeting took place after the resignation of board chairman John Range, who cited health reasons.

The often emotional discussion in May showed Nies had solid support from Gardiner and Page, firefighters and staff, but Horton and Rutherford gave his overall performance poor marks.

Horton rated Nies poorly on nearly every point of the evaluation. She cited several CYFD policy manual entries regarding completion of plans and goals.

Page said he rated Nies superior on most parts of the evaluation, as did Gardiner, lauding his skills in labor management and teamwork.

Many firefighters and staff members who spoke at the meeting said Nies gives them clear direction and strong leadership.

The board agreed in May to discuss in executive session how to proceed with the evaluation. In June, Steele joined the board, Rutherford was elected chairman, and Horton was named clerk.

In the board's August meeting, Gardiner made a motion to not accept Nies' resignation, and Page seconded the motion. Horton and Rutherford voted against the motion, while Steele abstained, consequently canceling the motion.

However, the next day, Nies said that he did not submit a letter of resignation.

"The board is not in possession of a letter of resignation from me. There is an employment dispute, but they do not have a letter from me indicating I am going to resign," he said, adding that, on the advice of legal counsel, he could not provide any more details.

Nies was on vacation during the Friday meeting and an attempt to reach him for comment was unsuccessful.

Related Stories:
• Ex-Central Yavapai Fire District chief to get $175,000
• Central Yavapai Fire District: Chief stays, but his days are numbered
• CYFD chief's employment under discussion again
• CYFD chief's status remains under discussion
• CYFD chief's employment remains problematic
• CYFD board refuses fire chief's resignation

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Article comment by: justa gal in PV

I would like to know why Horten and Rutherford have such a dislike for Chief Nies. His support from the ranks speaks volumes.What, exactly are their qualifications?
Really, what are they?
....not the election pr bs.....
What are these two up to?
What is their plan?
just sayin....

Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Davis

This is nothing but a Political BS Turkey Shoot. Chief Nies has the support of the men and women in the Fire Department, the support of the community. Nies stand one step ahead of the growth in Yavapai County, the growth in the communities. A Man with positive vision. An asset to our community. Rutherford and Horton who always stick together in votes, lack vision. Chief Nies has brought CYFD into the future. Ready for progress.......Evaluate Ritherford and Horton. Where did the ? resignation come from. There is more here than we know. KEEP CHIEF NIES. Quit wasting tax payer dollars on negative vision.

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