Thursday, September 17, 2009

MAST Part of the Fire Department Part 1

I spent another afternoon at City Hall, following the events surrounding the change in MAST ambulance's governance from a independent 501 (c)3 organization to under the purview of the city. The ordinance in question as originally proposed, was to have MAST in the city government as an independent ambulance or EMS department. Last week, the ordinance was amended to have MAST immediately become part of the fire department. This was held for a public hearing. However, as part of the public hearing, Fire Chief Smokey Dyer was to present some details from his point of view.
Smokey Dyer got to speak for about one hour, and then took questions, probably until 2:15 pm, so not much time was left for public comment. About 10 people got up to comment, including Lesa, Susan, and others. One person of note was a MAST employee named Neal Wilson, who testified about how the change will help working conditions and he had his group of 20 or so MAST people who came in favor of the merger stand up. Ford Nelson spoke of how the process violated the city charter due to the rapidity it was passed through.
Next came the meeting itself. The ordinance was amended again, to create a distinct "bureau in the fire department." John Sharp attempt to pass a hold on the vote, but this lost by an 8 to 4 vote (Cathy Jolly was ill today, and not at the meeting). Then there was more debate. Another vote. The ordinance passed, 10-2. So MAST will become part of the fire department.

Chief Smokey Dyer and Mayor Funkhouser visit before the public hearing.
The Chief with a reporter from channel 4.
The gang of MAST employees at the hearing and meeting. The gentleman at the end with the peace sign is Neal Wilson.
Meet the Press: Chief Dyer with Jim Flick (KMBC) and Mike Mansur (The Star)
Lesa Gonzalez with Bill Grady of KMBZ (yes, that's the face behind the voice!)
Just two links, both from the Kansas City Star: KC Fire Department will take over MAST
Check out this gallery of photos from The Star: Council approves 10-2 vote...

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