Palominas loses another fire chief

Saenz resigns after conflict with board

SIERRA VISTA— Only a month after being appointed as Interim Palominas Fire Chief Michael Saenz resigned at a board meeting on Thursday night, citing conflict with the board, particularly Board Chair Tommy Stoner.

Stoner and Board Clerk Debbie Stoner told Saenz that while he had be hired for three months in an administrative capacity only, they understood that he would have a pager and radio, while also performing incident command duties on fires, according to audio of the meeting posted on the district’s website. Saenz said that was not his understanding and if he was to be expected to respond to fires, even in solely a command or coordinating role, he would need full benefits, which he had declined when he accepted the position.

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Sumtingwong on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 6:11am

They should have the water tested there.

pland27 on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 10:22am

The problem is not with the water. The problem is an inbred fire board. It is
a well known practice in business that you don’t hire family members to work
together. People in Palominas elected a person who they know was going to do
the just that. You got what you should have expected: a continuing problem
that has made Palominas look ridiculous. Solving the problem of a fire chief
isn’t rocket science: fire the entire board and replace them with people who
have some common sense and aren’t related.

Sports Fan on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 11:42am

I’m betting if it weren’t for how sad this whole situation is, former chief
James Leiendecker would be grinning from ear to ear. I really feel for
everyone in Palominas that has to depend on such a grossly incompetant board.
I’m beginning to think that Stoner isn’t just a last name, it’s their state
of mind!

Sumtingwong on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 11:57am

It also sounds like Saenz, has some hearing and understanding issues.

WAKEUPANDSMELLT... on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 12:36pm

Is anyone surprised this happened in Palominas? Even these posts will be
pulled as soon as the incumbent fools that run the Fire Board catch wind
anything negative about them was posted. Palominas Fire had the chance to
accelerate into 2013 with the direction of Fry Fire. However, due to the
egocentric personalities that run the Palominas Fire District it was evident
they would decline wise and time tested advice from experts. If anyone
reading this wants radio like entertainment tune into a Palominas Fire
District meeting. Is unbelievable comedy in raw format. The fact that
Palominas allowed the clown crew of Debbie and Dale Stoner to get elected is
a tribute to inept leadership across the board. They are double handedly
destroying the fire district one hired person at a time. Anyone one that
knows anything about fire; pray for the staff at Palominas Fire and the
residents of Palominas.

WW2 Marine Veteran on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 12:55pm

I agree with pland27. The Palominhas fire board has made too many mistakes
along the way. Palominas deserves better than what they are receiving.

NancyLou on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 1:30pm

We also deserved better than what we had before the current fire board was
put in place. The former chief had pretty much his entire family working for
him. At least here we have just two family members on the board. Before the
Stoners, we had all kind of family members on the board, in the admin
positions, in the fire fighter positions, and that was just one person! How
about we worry about the former fire chief and his cronies trying so hard to
usurp making positive and tangible change? He’s so worried about getting
revenge, nothing else can get done.

SweetStuff on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 4:14pm

I read the FULL article. Leiendecker, Hunter, Miller and Saenz cannot live up
to the Stoners expectations. DeWolf won’t take any crap from them either. As
for the “over burdened” office worker, she was FIRED by Hunter after an audit
revealed several areas of negligence and forced entries. An office worker
should NEVER do “chief stuff” and the phrase sounds as bad as it really is.
Sorry Tommy you were fired. You’re trying to back door the chiefs job and you
can’t do it.

Sumtingwong on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 4:47pm

Palominas deserves exactly they are getting, and what they had before, that
wasn’t that great either. Too bad they can’t get rid of the whole nutty
bunch, and have the Fry district take it over.

fired up on Sun, 01/27/2013 - 8:08am

Like my times before the Fry Fire Chief has warn the Palominas Board nothing
is being done or changed. He once mentioned that the Palominas Fire District
Board should allow the Fire Chief to do their job without “micro management”
and getting involved with the “day to day operations”. I guess the new board
members are allowing the Stoners to run the fire district too. Mr. Stoner aka
Fire Chief Stoner should just resign and do what he’s always wanted to do,
that is become a Fire Chief for Palominas. We’re in trouble! Just look at the
two recent fires, in one fire two residents were hurt!

WAKEUPANDSMELLT... on Sun, 01/27/2013 - 9:02am

Correction: Its not Dale stoner whom is incompetent. Debbie and Tommy Stoner
are the ones selling the District off one by one… Sorry Dale its not you.
Perhaps its a vendetta by former PFD Member Tommy Stoner? Cannot blame Debbie
Stoner for carrying the torch for her husband. Gee Whiz, can anyone see the
conflict of interest here? I mean 2 board members from the same family
sitting on the board with a personal axe to grind? Get rid of them and you’ll
see the beginning of a thriving fire district. They have done such a
wonderful job pushing out Fry Fire. Does the community know until the stoners
came on Fry Fire Housed an ambulance within PFD? Yet with the cool tactics of
a bumbling board the ALS Ambulance was relocated back to Fry Fire District.
Oh, they still respond to everything out in Palominas. However, in dire
situations How long can you hold your breath? How long can you go without
Paramedic intervention? This is a crying shame! And all for board members
personal matters. wrong

fired up on Sun, 01/27/2013 - 3:19pm

I agree with Sumtingwong on both comments. Our citizens are the ones that
will suffer because of the Stoners. We all need to attend the next board
meeting and demand answers and accountability from our board members. You
never hear anything like this from Fry Fire District or the City of Sierra
Vista Fire. Their board and council must allow the Chief’s to do their jobs.

Dumb Herb on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 9:55pm

There are 7 separate fire department entities serving the approximate 70
thousand residents west of the San Pedro river. They are Palominas, Fry,
Sierra Vista, Ft. Huachuca, Huachuca City, Whetstone and Babocomari. Given
the number of firefighters/population, and multiple 911 dispatch facilities
we should be the safest people on the planet. All but three fire departments
provide emergency ambulance service at different levels of care and response
times. Those that don’t provide an ambulance service rely on another fire
department to provide it usually with long response times like Palominas and
Huachuca City. Emergency medical calls far exceed calls for fires as much as
9 to 1. Its hard to argue that Sierra Vista and Fry aren’t expensive
ambulance services that drive fire trucks.

Dumb Herb on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 9:56pm

You don’t always get what you pay for. The 2012 Tax rate for Palominas Fire
is $1.7564 and $2.7500 for Fry in 2012. In 2010 the Tax rate for Palominas
Fire was 2.2045 while Fry’s was ten cents less than in 2012 at $2.65.
Palominas Fire District, at direction of its board, has cut its services and
its cost while expecting Fry to continue subsidizing its emergency services
with ambulance and mutual aid fire arrangements while terrorizing its
employees and otherwise making fools of themselves. Time for this to end.

WAKEUPANDSMELLT... on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 8:31pm

I see Dumb people is on to something. That tax cut the board pushed for and
openly bragged about was a shot to the foot. And to raise the tax back to its
original state would take an act of Congress now. Too late. However, think
about all that savings when you are short of breath, suffering from chest
pain, or in a car accident. The good folks 10 minutes up the road will
provide you with excellent Paramedic care. Long after the first responders
from Palominas arrive. Oh by the way… For those of you that weren’t paying
attention: Fry Fire, at one time, staffed a Paramedic Rescue Unit within the
Palominas Fire District. However, thanks to the most awesome Palominas Fire
Board, they pulled out. Good job Stoners! Chased away yet another good thing
for the District.

fired up on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 8:55am

I think Dumb Herb, got it wrong. Palominas Fire District is the one that is
terrorizing its employees and making fools of themselves in the paper weekly.
I have never seen anything but positive comments about Fry Fire District and
the City of Sierra Vista ambulance services. We’re glad that we have such a
fine service available to us in Palominas, but wish they would place an
ambulance back in our station. I would be willing to paid a little extra for
that extra protection and availbility.

Sports Fan on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 2:19pm

Until the good folks of Palominas figure out that the stoners are the problem
and get rid of them, its not going to get any better. But then, in the
immortal words of Bob Dylan “I would not feel so all alone, everybody must
get stoned”

Dumb Herb on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 5:19pm

Fired Up - I was referring to Palominas Fire District Board not anyone else.

Sumtingwong on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 6:35pm

Most of us understood that.

Pal citizen on Thu, 01/31/2013 - 10:45am

The fire district is having a special meeting Friday, Feb 1 at 6 PM at the
training center on Kings Ranch Road. Items to be discussed include rehiring
the interim fire chief or recruiting for a new interim fire chief. If anyone
is interested in how effectively the board operates, they should attend the
meeting. One thing that comes up repeatedly is utilization of the “human
resources consultant”. The Stoners want almost all decisions / actions to be
reveiwed by their consultant. They want to pay the consultant in excess of
$15K to recruit a new chief. I wonder what the district paid her in the last
12 months?

WAKEUPANDSMELLT... on Thu, 01/31/2013 - 5:10pm

Pal Citizen, $15,000 dollars is a deal! Think about it. The consultant has to
find a Fire Chief that holds the title but does only what the Stoners tell
him. Requirements: Must not utilize years of experience on the job. Must
speak only when spoken to. Must be reminded daily that your job may end
tomorrow. Must work for peanuts (or whatever the Stoners feel is fair on that
day of the week). Must not get along with neighboring departments. Must
offend everyone on behalf of the Board. Must have secured monthly income
before hire: Cuz you may be forced out at a moments notice. Yes, Sport Fan
said it best, “You would not feel so all alone…” Even the fire Chiefs get

WW2 Marine Veteran on Thu, 01/31/2013 - 7:01pm

WAKEUPANDSMELL hit the nail on the head with this one.

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