In recent newspaper articles and letters to the editor, the board of directors of the Cannon Beach RFPD has repeatedly defended the firing of the chief as a matter of their fiduciary responsibility to the community.
Fiduciary responsibility is taking care of another’s matters, in this case our public safety. It requires trust, honesty and good faith. The board has violated its fiduciary responsibility to Mike Balzer by firing him without adequate cause. In doing so, they’ve also violated their fiducial responsibility to the community by exposing it to thousands of dollars of extra expense and a wrongful termination lawsuit. Board members continue to dodge their responsibility by continuing their assault on Balzer and his supporters in print and social media.
Many of the letters and articles are based on misinformation, mistruths and plain untruths. One byline in particular, features Balzer’s picture and states the chief simply did not do his job. That’s rubbish. Over the past years, Cannon Beach residents have all observed Balzer doing what he was hired for, to protect our community, even as he was being assigned a myriad of extra tasks by board members without the necessary support to complete them. It is an interesting side not that the board in its March meeting voted to fund a matching grant from the SDAO to hire an intern to assist the chief with his administrative duties.
Cannon Beach voters recently received a mailer signed by the three members facing recall. In it they claim to have received only six letters from firefighters supporting chief Balzer. At the board meeting of Nov. 9, firefighter Erik Meyer presented a packet containing 18 letters signed by Cannon Beach firefighters questioning the board’s actions and expressing their support for Balzer. A number of similar letters from community members were also given to the board. The mailer highlights fire district accomplishments over the past 20 years, all of them completed during Balzer’s tenure as firefighter and chief, while ignoring his contributions. The mailer states that the recall will only appease a small group of people not associated with the fire district. I am honored to stand with more than 150 Cannon Beach residents who signed the recall petitions. As Cannon Beach residents and taxpayers, we are all associated with our firefighters.
As a former first responder, I am most proud of our volunteer firefighters and their service, leaving their families and putting their own lives at risk to protect our community. It is well past time for a change in the Cannon Beach RFPD board of directors. Please vote “yes” to support the recall.