One month ago, the Clearwater Fire Protection District unanimously voted to pull all equipment from the Bluff View Fire Station. A Bluff View resident has filed a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office that the CFPD Board of Directors voted in closed session to remove the equipment which would be a violation of the Sunshine Law.
“The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has received a Sunshine Law complaint regarding the Clearwater Fire Protection District,” reads a letter from Missouri Attorney General Joshua D. Hawley’s office. “Please provide our office with a written response to the Sunshine Law related portion of this complaint. Also note that your response will be considered an open record that can be provided to the public for review. Please send your response as soon as possible, but no later than, Aug. 4. If you have any questions, or concerns, regarding this matter, please contact our office.”
Enclosed with the Attorney General’s letter from a copy of the complaint filed by George Bullock. The June 26 letter was accompanied by a copy of the newspaper article that detailed the removal of the trucks.
“I believe the action taken by the Clearwater Fire Board was taken as a result of a closed meeting, which should not have been closed. Therefore, the actions taken were not legal. All items removed should have to be returned to Bluff View Fire Station. All the firefighters were fired and keys taken from them,” Bullock wrote. “The station at Bluff View is not owned by the district or was it built by the district. I feel that the district is trying to steal the buildings by extortion. A lot of equipment was donated to Bluff View from other sources, this was also on the stolen trucks. The trucks were removed after dark and driven away with no lights on.”
“The Bluff View Fire Association and first station were in existence before the district,” Bullock continued. “And now there are no fire trucks in the station and the closest truck is eight miles away. We are in Reynolds County controlled by Wayne County voters. We need to be free and form our district to not be harassed by people who do not know how to run a fire district.”
The Clearwater Fire District Board of Directors met Monday evening and the majority of the meeting was spent drafting a letter in response to Bullock’s complaint. The first draft included reasons why trucks were removed. At the urging of Board Treasurer Steve Walsh, the letter was rewritten and simplified. The only issue addressed the allegation of the Sunshine Law violation.
“The Clearwater Fire Protection District has not had any closed meetings to discuss the Bluff View Fire Department or the Bluff View Fire Association,” reads the letter approved by the CFPD Board of Directors. “All discussions relating to the Bluff View Fire House have been held in an open meeting with a representative of the local newspaper present along with other audience members. If any additional information is needed please let us know.”
The fire district said that it plans to scan in copies of minutes from all meetings where Bluff View has been discussed in recent months. The fire district also requested copies of the Wayne County Journal-Banner coverage of meetings. Those newspaper articles will also be submitted to the Attorney General.