In a press release issued today, the Wentzville Fire Protection District said that recent personnel actions were necessary in order to make budget adjustments and address a deficit.
Wentzville Patch reported yesterday that Fire Chief Randy Bornhop had resigned, Assistant Chief Robb Watkins was fired, Fire Marshall Joseph Heitkamp was placed on unpaid indefinite leave and Fire Inspector Chris Newbold was laid off.
The fire district's board of directors and the district’s CPA have conducted a special financial review, the release stated, which determined that the district "has actually been operating under a deficit which was not apparent."
"Immediate action has been taken to officially amend the 2013 operating budget to project to end 2013 with a slight surplus versus the deficit it was trending on and has been trending on for multiple years," the release stated.
The release also stated that government-mandated changes have impacted permit revenue and that the district responded with measures to reduce expenses.
Along with the personnel changes, the district is limited the use of the Fire Inspector vehicle to business hours.
“We have been faced with some very difficult decisions relating to the business of this District. The decisions being made are in the best interest to the stability and future of this District and most importantly with the fiduciary responsibility that we hold to our taxpayers,” board chairwoman Jennifer Houston said.
“These decisions have to be made, to ensure
that we as a District conduct business at the highest level of efficiency,
operationally and fiscally, in order to best protect and serve our taxpayers.”
The vacant position for a new Fire Chief of Wentzville Fire Protection District was posted. Applications are being accepted through Aug. 30.