Chief gets high marks from county leaders
For the third time in three years, Douglas County commissioners approved a raise for East Fork Fire Chief Tod Carlini, and for the third time he declined it.
Public officials like Carlini are reviewed in public, and county commissioners had high praise for what will be their last performance evaluation of the chief.
“I’ve been on this board for eight years, and this was your best year,” Commissioner Greg Lynn said at the Sept. 1 meeting. “The work on the river alone made it a banner year.”
Commissioner Steve Thaler said that to be exceptional, county employees should have to raise the bar each year.
“Every year you seem to reset the bar higher,” he said. “Thank you for doing a wonderful job.”
Commissioner Barry Penzel thanked Carlini for his service to the county.
“In this day and age when tough to be in public service …, you are without a doubt the best example of a superior performer on behalf of the public,” Penzel said. “I think your most outstanding attribute is that you’re morally courageous. When tell somebody you’re going to do something, you get it done.”
Commission vice chairwoman Nancy McDermid said she slept better at night knowing Carlini was on the job.
“I think you’ve communicated everything to this board over the years so we’re not having to play catch-up,” she said. “For that I’m grateful.”
In declining the 4 percent raise, Carlini said his goal is that everyone in the district be treated equally.
“This is the first year everyone in the district has been treated the same,” he said. “I think that’s a good thing.”
Carlini said the reduction in the number of volunteer firefighters in the district over the 16 years he’s been chief was one of his greatest failures.
Lynn replied the reduction in volunteers was about the county’s changing demographic.
“I think you’re selling yourself short,” Lynn said. “The volunteer reduction was due to a series of circumstances you could have neither anticipated nor impacted. We have an aging demographic on one hand and the age group you’re going to draw from largely migrated out of here because they couldn’t find work.”
Interviews are underway for selection of the first members of the East Fork Fire District Board of Directors. County commissioners are expected to discuss the applicants at their meetings Oct. 4 and 5 before making a selection for the five members. The first board will take office in January.