Shen council sets fire insurance charge | News

(Shenandoah) — Shenandoah’s Fire Department now has a way to recoup some of the expenses from large fires.

By unanimous vote Tuesday evening, the Shenandoah City Council approved the first reading of an amendment to Chapter 35 of the city ordinance regarding fire protection. Council members then unanimously waived the second and third reading, and officially adopted the amendment, which allows the fire department to collect insurance to defray some of the costs of battling fires. Speaking in favor of the amendment at a public hearing, local insurance agent Brian Steinkuhler addressed the question of whether the department can accept donations rather than charge insurance.

“I’ve called a few companies,” said Steinkuhler, “and, they said, ‘well, in the way that it reads in the policy, it actually has to be charge.’ So, this donation idea to where they’re just going to give a donation, some have in the past, I think. But, I think the way it reads to actually get that endorsement to kick in, it has to be a charge from the city, or from the fire department.”

Fire Chief Justin Marshall reiterated that the department was not charging a fee for fire calls.

“The whole point of the ordinance, in my thought, were to offset expenses from a very large fire,” said Marshall. “Like I said, if we burn up our entire fuel budget for a big commercial fire, then we’re back here amending the budget. A fire service, we have to be here no matter what. I’m just trying to kind of recoup the costs of the wear and tear, and the astronomical amount of fuel right now in service calls, and anything that could get damaged.”

As an example, Marshall broke down some of the costs incurred from battling the large commercial fire

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TBM councillors on housing corp. can vote how they want: lawyer

The Blue Mountains councillors appointed to the board of directors for the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation (BMAHC) are not required to vote how council as a whole wishes them to while they are attending board meetings.

At council’s committee of the whole meeting on March 13, CAO Shawn Everitt delivered a report to clarify the roles and responsibilities of members of council who have been appointed to the housing corporation’s board of directors as town representatives. Mayor Andrea Matrosovs and Coun. Shawn Everitt are the current representatives from the town on the board.

Everitt’s report provided a legal opinion on the matter from lawyer John Mascarin of Aird and Berlis.

The CAO provided Mascarin with four questions about the roles and responsibilities of the council appointees. Mascarin’s full reply can be found here.

The questions included:

Question: Do the members have a conflict of interest between their roles as councillors for the town and directors of the BMAHC?

Answer: The members may have a conflict of interest, but it is one that is recognized at law. They are entitled to still consider, debate, discuss and vote on matters and questions at both the council and at the BMAHC board.

Question: While attending a meeting of the BMAHC board, are the members representing the town or BMAHC?

Answer: The councillors who have been appointed to the BMAHC board are representatives of the town but, they are directors of the BMAHC board and they must act and decide matters as directors at the BMAHC board with a view to the best interests of the BMAHC, even if those interests are contrary to council who appointed them.

Question: If the members vote one way at the meeting of council on a question or matter are they required to vote the same

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Inmates we represented not linked to negotiations on train passengers

The Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON) says the 101 detainees released from the Kirikiri medium and maximum correctional facilities in Lagos on October 7 were not swapped with the Kaduna train passengers.

There had been recent speculations that the inmates were freed following negotiations for the release of some of the passengers abducted during an attack on a train in Kaduna in March.

The federal government had recently announced the release of the 23 remaining passengers who were in captivity.

Speaking on the detainees, Abdulfattah Bakre, LACON’s FCT director, said the council gave free legal representation to the inmates and that it was only a coincidence that they were released two days after the train passengers secured their freedom.

“The detainees were not swapped with the 23 remaining Abuja-Kaduna train passengers released on October 5. These two incidents are mere coincidences,” he said.

“The process that led to the release of these detainees started in February before the train passengers were kidnapped.

“The council received a certified document from Bauchi relating to some of the inmates on April 14, and a fundamental human rights enforcement application on behalf of the inmates was filed on May 18.

“Nigerians should disregard the newspaper publication by a Non-Government Organisation (NGO). The NGO filed an enforcement application for the detainees, praying for their release after years of incarceration without prosecution.

“The court, however, struck out the suit on technical grounds and held that the suit ought to have been filed separately and not together as done by the counsel.

“The council, therefore, as part of its mandate to provide legal representation for indigent Nigerians, decided to take up the case on pro bono.”

Bakre said the detainees were arrested in June, July and August 2009 in Bauchi, Kano and Maiduguri, and arraigned

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