Clearing the air at the Vernon City Commissioner's Meeting

Clearing the air at the Vernon City Commissioner's Meeting

VERNON, TX (KAUZ)

Vernon City officials approve the contract with Progressive Waste Management at Tuesday nights commissioners meeting.  While some changes are expected, there will be no increase in rates this year.
In the agreement, the city gets a six percent franchise fee and receives one dollar for every ton of trash that goes to the transfer station from towns other than Vernon.
Another hot topic at tonight's meeting was the resignation of the old Vernon Fire Chief, Marcus Smith.
Joe Jorasek, the Vernon City Manager, said he received complaints from some Vernon Fire Department crew members and wanted to handle this situation legally.
        I learned the fire department personnel had concerns because the chief was absent for a scheduled inspection by the Texas Department of Health Services, said Jorasek.
He said other complaints were from crew members who believed the former chief was absent a lot and showed a lack of leadership.  
Jorasek said he followed the proper and legal procedures, including getting the complaints documented
.
One firefighter spoke at the meeting on behalf of some crew members and agreed with the city manager.
He said Jorasek did not put Vernon firefighters under a gag order.
The statement he read from had 17 signatures from firefighters and EMS personnel.
It said they stand by Jorasek and believe he handled the situation appropriately, and they were never told not to talk to any commissioners.
        The city manager simply asked us for legal reasons not to discuss with anyone the problems or concerns that we had with the former Chief Smith. He explained that there was a process and certain steps had to be gone through, being that it was a personnel issue. Former Chief Smith is the only person who made threats that firemen would be fired if we talked to any council member about the concerns we had.” 
The firemen said they believe the concerns they had have been addressed and resolved in the correct process.
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