Harvard Fire Protection District Meeting Minutes

Held March 13, 2018

Trustee Condon called the meeting of the Harvard Fire Protection District Board of Trustees to order at 7:04 pm in the meeting room of the Fire Station at 502 S. Eastman Street. Present were Trustees Condon, Carbonetti and Clarke.  Also in attendance were Chief Harter, D/C Davidson, B/C B. Pierce, Lt. N. Pierce, FF/PM Lorenz (7:15), FF/PM Bough (8:30), FF. Barnett, FF. Mackie, FF. Sanchez, FF. Schuld and Roger Hugg (resident).

Audience Participation: None

Approval of minutes:

Motion was made by Clarke and seconded by Carbonetti to approve minutes of the February 12, 2018, Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees. Voice vote, all ayes. Motion approved 3-0.

Motion was made by Clarke and seconded by Condon to approve minutes of the February 13, 2018, Board of Trustees meeting. Voice vote, all ayes. Motion approved 3-0.

Convene a “Closed Session”:

Motion was made by Clarke and seconded by Condon to enter a Closed Session of the meeting to discuss issues covered under the Illinois Compiled Statutes, General Provisions, Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120/2/c/1. Regarding a complaint lodged against an employee. Roll call: Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes, Clarke-yes.  Motion approved 3-0.

Reconvene  to “Open Session”:

Motion was made by Carbonetti and seconded by Condon to return to Open Session of the meeting. Roll call: Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes, Clarke-yes.  Motion approved 3-0.

Presentation of Options 3 and 4 from the Facility Needs Study:

Clarke presented architect’s drawings Options 3 and 4 from the Facility Needs Study.  A brief discussion was held on the design. Motion was made by Carbonetti and seconded by Condon to table further consideration of this topic. Voice vote, all ayes. Motion approved 3-0.

Review repair proposals for emergency power generator:

Clarke presented two proposals for repairs to the emergency power generator. Lionheart Critical Power Specialists and Patten Power Systems submitted repair proposals. Carbonetti objected to the fees charged by Patten to prepare their proposal. A discussion was held comparing the documents. It was agreed that Lionheart had a lower price for similar work. This repair is to be included in the 2018/2019 Budget.


Report of Fire Prevention related to Dunham Road property:

B/C Pierce stated he spoke with Building Inspectors Sean Foley and Adam Weiland regarding the change in use groups from Residential to Institutional 2. The building inspectors stated this was their intentions.  B/C Pierce identified that IBC 2015 would be followed regarding a change in this building’s use.

B/C Pierce also reported that the County was sending a letter to the owners of the property at Rt. 14 and Stateline Roads requiring repairs or demolition of the fire damaged structure there.

Status report on revisions to Policy and Procedures, Rules and Regulations and SOG’s:

Chief Harter stated he is willing to work on suggestions once he receives them.  Clarke believed suggestions were included in last month’s board packet.  It was determined that the suggestions were omitted from the chief’s packet. Clarke to email a copy of the suggested changes to the Chief. D/C Davidson suggested the board should write the policies.  Clarke stated that staff should prepare the draft copies, and then the board will review and comment.

Progress report on Employee Performance Evaluation:

Carbonetti reported that the City of Harvard utilizes a standard evaluation form which can be purchased at an office supply store. Condon wants to know who get evaluated by the Board. Clarke stated that the Board has a duty to evaluate the chief, and possibly other officers as well. Condon wants the chief to evaluate the officers. Chief Harter states he does verbal evaluations of personnel, and does not see a value in written evaluations. B/C Pierce expressed his concern about the number of employees needing evaluations. Clarke inquired about having consultant help us with the first round of evaluations. Carbonetti opposed this idea. Condon suggested the chief hold an officers meeting to begin the evaluation process. Clarke suggested a special meeting to begin evaluating the chief. A meeting will be scheduled after April 11, 2018.

Approve Ordinance to increase the size of Board of Trustees:

Carbonetti stated that all other districts in McHenry County have a five person board. He has been trying to increase the size of this board for the last 15 years, and believes now is a good time to consider it again. Condon agrees with Carbonetti statements. Clarke confirmed the history of attempting to increase the size of the board. Clarke is comfortable that the public has had an opportunity to comment on this in the past.  Motion was made by Carbonetti and seconded by Condon to increase the size of the Board of Trustees to five members. Roll call: Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes, Clarke-yes.  Motion approved 3-0.

Carbonetti reported that two additional members will be appointed by the County Board within 60 days.  The additional members will take office upon swearing in, but their terms will not officially begin until 5/1/2019. One new member will have a 2 year term, the other a 3 year term.

Approve resignations from personnel:

Motion made by Carbonetti and seconded by Condon to regretfully accept the resignations from FF/PM C. Jagels and EMT N. Damiano. D/C Davidson stated both members are leaving because of conflicting time issues.  Clarke asked if exit interviews were conducted.  D/C Davidson said the interviews were completed. Roll call: Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes, Clarke-yes.  Motion approved 3-0.

Approve removing members from the roster:

D/C Davidson informed the Board that Cadet A. Ramirez and FF. C. Salas have stopped participating with the District.  Attempts to contact them have been unsuccessful. Motion was made by Clarke and seconded by Condon to remove Ramirez and Salas from the roster. Roll call: Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes, Clarke-yes.  Motion approved 3-0.

Approve payment of Bills:

Motion was made by Carbonetti and seconded by Clarke to approve the payment of invoices for service and materials totaling $38,372.15.  D/C Davidson questioned the expenses related to Penguin Company.  Roll call: Condon-yes, Carbonetti-yes, Clarke-yes. Motion approved 3-0.

Access to computer server room:

Clarke expressed his concern that security is lacking for access to the District’s computer server room.  Vital and confidential data are stored on these servers.  Lt. N. Pierce stated that Firehouse records are no longer on the server.  B/C B. Pierce stated that patient records are no longer on the server.  There was some confusion among staff regarding the actual use of the three servers.  Chief Harter indicated that the computer servers would be secured within a cage installation. No Board action taken.

Postpone Lieutenants Examination:

Motion was made by Clarke and seconded by Carbonetti to terminate the ongoing Lieutenants exam and postpone until after the June 12, 2018 Board of Trustees meeting.  Chief Harter inquired why the exam was being postponed. Clarke stated that proper procedure wasn’t followed. First the Board needs to review and approve a request for additional officers and/or establish an eligibility list for promotion. Second the full Board needs to review scope and method by which the exam will be conducted. Condon felt the Board President had the authority to approve the process without further Board action. Clarke said the Board President can act as a representative of the Board in meetings with staff. But before any action may be taken, the Board President must discuss the issue in an open meeting and seek approval from a majority of the Board. Carbonetti called for the question. Roll call: Condon-no, Carbonetti-yes, Clarke-yes. Motion approved 2-1.


  • Fire Chief:
  1. Previous month was quiet on fire incidents, but busy with EMS incidents.
  2. B/C Pierce handling maintenance issues with equipment.
  • Deputy Fire Chief: None


  • Battalion Chief:
  1. New valves installed on Tender 779.
  2. Engine 747 needs a front end alignment.
  3. Engine 741 tachometer is not functioning. Millers to repair.
  4. Ambulances are putting on lots of miles. Preventive maintenance is needed and ongoing.
  5. Ron from Mercy Hospitals stated ImageTrend Elite will be available to the District by May 2018.
  • Training officer:
  1. Department will be hosting EMT class starting on 9/4/18.
  2. The Burn Down training has been scheduled for March 18th.
  • Fire /Rescue Association: Lt. Pierce reports
  1. T-shirts are under discussion for Milk Days.
  2. Lunch is being planned for all fire service personnel participating in the Milk Days parade.
  • Building Maintenance:
  1. Unit heaters in both north and south bays are damaged beyond repair. Three heaters need replacing..
  2. Two bids have been received for unit heater replacement.
  3. Replacement costs for the heaters to be included in the 2018/2019 budget.
  • Billing/Records Clerk: Scanning of EMS records for submittal to AMB for billing is a work in progress. Clarke stated the process will become more efficient once Image-Trend Elite is used for patient care reports.
  • Correspondence:
  1. Clarke read a letter from State Representative Reick supporting equipment grant.
  2. A finalized Auto-aid Agreement with Woodstock Fire Protection District was presented.
  • Treasurers Report: Carbonetti submitted current balance sheet and budget documents. No questions asked.

Old business:

  • Review incident when vehicle collided with fire station: Clarke expressed his appreciation of Chief Harter submitting his investigation report to the trustees. Chief Harter expressed a desire to conclude this issue, and not continue to discuss the incident. Clarke asked if our District’s insurance company had been notified of this accident.  Carbonetti replied that a claim has been created.  Clarke asked if an investigation report had been completed by the police department. Chief Harter replied that one had not, and inquired why a police report would be necessary when the vehicle and building belonged to the District. Clarke replied that ownership of the vehicle and station belongs to the public, and therefore a police investigation is needed for insurance purposes. Also Clarke indicated that a police report is an effort to have an independent investigation completed. Clarke asked, as reported, if two employees were assigned to move the ambulance, why was the driver of the vehicle the only person disciplined for this incident. Clarke asked why the vehicle spotter wasn’t disciplined? B/C Pierce stated he assigned one firefighter to move each of two ambulances simultaneously. Clarke asked B/C Pierce who he assigned to be spotters for the vehicles backing into the station. B/C Pierce accepted responsibility for not assigning personnel to act as spotters.  No further questions or comments were made. The incident was turned back over to Chief Harter.

New business:

  • Discussion on inventory of security box keys: Clarke spoke about reports posted about missing Knox Box keys since at least June of 2017. Clarke said he spoke to staff about this issue, and the potential exposure and consequences to our business community and residents.  Pierce confirmed that two keys were unaccounted for. Clarke asked if the missing keys were local (Harvard) keys or MABAS keys. Lt. Pierce stated only Harvard keys are missing.  Condon and Clarke instructed staff to rectify this situation with a plan of action to be included in the upcoming budget process.
  • Discussion on creating the 2018/2019 Budget: Carbonetti reported that he received Chief Harter’s budget requests for the next budget year.  Carbonetti will assemble the information into a budget document. Clarke requested that the Board of Trustee conduct a Special Meeting to review, debate and create a budget for 2018/2019. Carbonetti agreed. Carbonetti suggested a Special Meeting for Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 8am to work on the budget. Condon scheduled the meeting for this date and time.


Motion made by Clarke and seconded by Condon to adjourn meeting at 9:12pm. All ayes, motion approved 3-0.

Respectfully submitted,


Joseph Clarke, Sec.

Date approved: ____________________________________