In recent months, it’s no secret that there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the Chelsea Area Fire Authority (CAFA).
Tuesday morning, CAFA Board Member Craig Maier took an opportunity to address some rumors that he says are swirling around the community — specifically, that Chelsea Fire Chief Jim Payeur‘s job is in jeopardy.
“There has been an extreme rumor mill going around,” Maier said, which has included things such as “the board plans to fire the chief and have the police escort him out of the station or other extreme nonsense.”
“This man does an excellent job for us,” Maier said.
Board Member Jamie Bollinger addressed the rumors as well. “We can’t do anything about the rumors, but it is not the board’s intent to replace the chief.”
He asked those in the audience to correct these rumors if they heard them.
The board does intend to review Payeur’s performance as part of his job review before his contract is up for renewal early next year.
“We’re pushing for the chief’s review, but it’s nothing negative, we just want to get it done,” Bollinger said.
According to the chief’s contract, he’s supposed to receive an annual performance review, something that has not been done for several years.
In fact, Kurt Koseck told the CAFA Board that the Sylvan Township Board voted to “recommend to the CAFA Board to conduct a performance evaluation of their chief within two months,” according to the board’s July meeting minutes.
Koseck said he’d also like the board to also take a look at Payeur’s contract because he “didn’t like the way it’s structured.”
Board Chairman Rod Anderson said the chief’s contract states that a review is to be performed “no later than 60 days prior to the expiration of the contract,” and that’s the plan.
Anderson said that in January, the board requested that he prepare a review form for the chief’s formal evaluation and he’d provide it to board members.
“There is no form in place for command officers; there is for firefighters,” Anderson said.