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Monarch Revenues Fall

Monarch Revenues Fall

Monarch experienced an unexpected decrease in revenues for 2013 when tax figures from the county were finalized in early March. The Monarch staff advised the Board of this variation between what was budgeted for the year and what was actually received, and indicated it was from a combination of factors with the major contributors being unpaid and protested property taxes. The District’s biggest concern is that residents are still struggling to pay their bills in the current economy, an issue that will need to be addressed going forward as revenues are budgeted.
Fortunately, due to proper planning, the District has reserves designed for this type of unanticipated fiscal event. Monarch has made a budget adjustment and still has reserves that exceed 44% of the operating budget.
Regrettably there has been misinformation distributed to the press that the District was “over-budget”. The 2013 budget was based on revenue levels projected and provided by St. Louis County based on formulas used for many years. Had revenues matched projections, there would have been no shortfall. The Board will be addressing the decrease in revenue at upcoming meetings in anticipation of setting the budget for 2014 later this year.

Monarch Fire Protection District seeking applicants for the job of Assistant Chief

The Monarch Fire Protection District covers a geographic area of almost 62 square miles in West St. Louis and service more than 60,000 people that live in portions of Ballwin, Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Wildwood and parts of unincorporated St. Louis County. The District operates 5 Engine Houses, a Maintenance Center, an Administration Facility and a Training Tower and has a staff that is made up of more than 125 Firefighter/Paramedics, Fire Prevention Specialists, Officers and Administrative Personnel.

The Monarch FPD is currently searching for an Assistant Fire Chief at its HQ facility at 13725 Olive Blvd. in Chesterfield, MO. Salary will be commensurate with experience. Resumes of candidates are due no later than 4:00pm on Friday, March 14, 2014.

Responsibilities Include (but are not limited to):
• Establishes, within policy guidelines, appropriate service and staffing levels.
• Coordinates, administers, and monitors fire and emergency response activities, personnel, and programs.
• Supervises and participates in the development and administration of the fire department budget.
• Directs the selection, supervision, training, development, and discipline of department personnel.
• Assumes personal command at multiple alarm fires.
• Coordinates mutual fire protection plans, emergency responses, and other department activities with surrounding jurisdictions, other departments, and organizations.
• Confers with officials and community groups and conducts public relations campaigns to present need for changes in laws and policies and to encourage fire prevention.
• Directs investigations into causes of fires and inspections of buildings for fire hazards.
• Makes final interpretation of fire and building regulations, ordinances, codes, and applicable laws to ensure compliance and consistency.
• Coordinates and prepares a variety of plans, reports, presentations, and records.
• Participates in employee relations activities related to the fire department, including providing advice and assistance for management negotiations.

Qualifications/Skills Required:
• Master’s Degree (Business or related field) Preferred
• Bachelor’s Degree Required
• 3+ Years as Staff Officer
• St. Louis County Fire Academy Or willingness to attend
• 20+ years’ experience in the fire service
• Experience working in a large multi-firehouse District
• Paramedic license required
• Ability to work odd hours as needed

Benefits for the Monarch Fire Protection District Include:
• Excellent medical, dental and vision coverage
• Fully paid life insurance (with option to purchase more)
• Paid Vacation (after 1 year)
• Sick days (8 per year)
• Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
• 11 Paid Holidays
• Tuition reimbursement
• Pension plan
• + MORE!

Please send resume with cover letter AND salary expectations on or before 4:0pm, Friday, March 14, 2014 to or to address below. Interviews are initially scheduled to be conducted on March 19th and 20th 2014.
Monarch FPD, Attention: Human Resources Director
13725 Olive Blvd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017
The Monarch Fire Protection District is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Monarch Fire Protection District to Roll-Out Unparalleled Transparency Portal

Monarch Fire District receives grant from Missouri American Water

The Monarch Fire Protection District is pleased to announce it has received a grant of $1,200.00 from Missouri American Water. The grant will be used to purchase fire-fighting water supply equipment that will enhance the delivery capability of water to structure fires in the rural area of our District. The equipment will be carried on Pumper 2220 at Station #2 at 18424 Wildhorse Creek Road, and Pumper/Tanker 2253 at Station #5 at 155 Long Road.
Making the presentation is Bradley T. Brown, Manager of Government Affairs from Missouri American Water. Receiving the grant check is John Borgmann, Assistant Chief of the Monarch Fire Protection District.

Monarch Fire Protection District Holds Open Contract Negotiations

For Immediate Release, December 16, 2013

Contact: Thomas Vineyard 314-514-0900

Monarch Fire Protection District Holds Open Contract Negotiations

In a historic step toward transparency, The Board of Director’s hold open Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations for all taxpayers to witness.

Chesterfield, MO – December 16, 2013 – The Monarch Fire Protection District Board of Directors have just completed their third month and sixth meeting in historic open, public Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with representatives of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 2665 union despite strong protests against the transparency from union leaders

The reason this process is historic is because open union negotiations have never been done at the Fire District and Monarch officials are unaware of any union contract negotiations anywhere being open to the public. “We have even heard from residents of neighboring taxing districts who are making inquiries about the process and are demanding their local government does the same” commented Monarch Board President Robin Harris.

Former Senator and Monarch Director Jane Cunningham stated, “Even though Collective Bargaining negotiations between public boards and the union have always been behind closed doors, we believe taxpayers

should have the right to witness the give – and – take on how their money is being spent and should have all the proposed documents available to them.” “It’s your money!” She emphasized.

Harris noted, “We were surprised and pleased to note that not only do residents want to observe the process; many union members are attending to see what their union leaders are doing during the negotiations. The union negotiators vehemently objected to the open sessions, as it appears they wanted to keep the process closed to their own members and not just the residents. This certainly validates the Board’s decision to hold negotiations in an open setting.”

Anyone interested in these negotiations are invited to visit the Fire District’s website at where they can see side by side comparisons of what the current Monarch Board and Union Collective Bargaining Agreement proposals spell out in pay, benefits and working conditions as well as when upcoming open Labor Agreement workshops are scheduled. The Monarch Board

welcomes residents, union members and the press to observe this historic (and expensive) statutorily required process.


Monarch Fire Protection District Lowers Work Comp Premiums with New Carrier

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, December 26, 2013

Contact: Chief Thomas Vineyard (314)514-0900

Monarch Fire Protection District Lowers Work Comp Premiums with New Carrier

Chesterfield, MO – Over the last several years, the Monarch Fire Protection District has been plagued with out-of-control workers compensation expenses. In a recent report it was brought to the District’s attention that half the staff had multiple claims, employees earning more while off on a work comp injury than while on duty and premiums up to four times where they should be. At the height of this problem, Workers Comp premiums sky rocked to over $1.2 million. The board, management and staff are committed to solving these issues as demonstrated by the Board’s unanimous decision to switch their Work Comp Carrier to Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company with a bid of $995,996 from The Missouri Fire and Ambulance District Trust with a bid of $1,039.601. This switch provided the district with more resources and services at a $44,000 savings and a $200,000 reduction already over the recent high mark.

Through a collaborative effort the District will continue to work hard to reduce costs, improve firefighter safety and continue to deliver the highest quality of emergency services to the citizens of the Monarch Fire Protection District.

According to Director and Board President Robin Harris, “While the Board has been trying to address the high workers compensation premiums for some time, Senator Jane Cunningham brought an expansive knowledge on the subject to the Board. Jane’s tireless efforts and the firm commitment by the entire Board have allowed the District to gain the information needed to push forward with true improvements in our workers compensation program. I am delighted that we were able to get a reduction of approximately 4% in our premiums by going out to bid which brought the premiums under $1,000,000 for the first time in years. We will continue to work on changes to provide even lower premiums next year.”

Monarch’s new partnership joins Smith McGehee Insurance Solutions and Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance (MEM). Director Jane Cunningham reports, “MEM writes more work comp insurance than anyone in the state and would not consider writing coverage for Monarch last year.” She continued, “Missouri is the Show-Me-State. Smith McGehee Insurance Solutions showed effective advocacy on the turn-around story happening at Monarch that resulted in lower premiums and improved service from new partnerships.”

Michael J. Hennessey of Smith McGehee Insurance Solutions said, “Jane Cunningham has delivered on her commitment to reduce Monarch’s excessive cost of workers compensation insurance. As a direct result of Jane’s efforts, Missouri Employers Mutual delivered a cost and service proposal that will be the foundation for sustainable claims and significant premium cost reductions for years to come. This is a great win for the District and its stakeholders.”


Monarch Fire Protection District Freezes Tax Rates

For Immediate Release, December 12, 2013      Contact: Thomas Vineyard 314-514-0900

Monarch Fire Protection District Freezes Tax Rates

“Monarch Fire Protection District assures residents and business owners that tax rates have not been raised.”

Chesterfield, MO – As the end of the year draws near, most residents and business owners of the Monarch Fire Protection District have received and are paying their real estate and personal property tax bills. Unlike other taxing districts that increased taxes to stay revenue neutral in the face of falling property values, the Monarch Board of Directors worked very hard to keep your tax rates frozen for the last two years, and not applying the maximum rate available, even though it reduced our revenue by over a million dollars for 2013 and further reduced our revenue by over $400,000 for 2014. Board Member Jane Cunningham stated, “We decided that we will not advantage this District’s revenue on the backs of hurting taxpayers in a weak economy when their own property values are diminishing.” Director Cunningham also noted, “I want to compliment Board President Robin Harris for going through Monarch’s budget with a fine tooth comb to reduce expenses that did not impact service and require us to live within our means.–”

You may have experienced an increase in your tax bill but you should not have seen an increase in the amount you pay to the Monarch Fire Protection District, unless your property value increased. Please compare this year’s tax bill with your tax bill from last year. Board President Robin Harris stated “I would like to thank my fellow Board members and Monarch Staff for the great deal of time and energy that was put into developing a balanced budget that reflects no change in tax rates while streamlining expenses.” President Harris went on to say “Despite any misinformation that has been put out, the residents and business owners of the Monarch Fire Protection District will continue to experience the same high-level, professional quality of service they have come to expect and deserve.”


Santa Claus is Coming to Monarch again this year

Join us again this year as Santa makes his yearly visit.  Click the link below for more information and a schedule.


Santa Flyer with Schedule


Monarch Directors Have Never Suggested Nor Discussed Any Reduction In The Number Of Engine Houses: Monarch residents became the victims of misinformation by union vice president and Monarch employee, Andy Stecko, who reported the Directors were threatening to close an engine house. That is blatantly false as evidenced by the minutes of the meeting in question. There was not, nor has there ever been a Board discussion about closing a fire station.

It was, apparently, an effort by the union to malign one of the directors in what appears to be an ongoing attack by the union to gain control over the District after their candidate failed to be elected earlier this year. Sadly, this frightened many residents as Stecko’s incorrect information led them to believe their service would be negatively impacted.

Earlier this year, as part of a budget discussion, the Board and staff briefly touched on the possibility of retiring the current headquarters house, which has not been an active fire station for years, and relocating the offices and storage currently there. That idea was first discussed several years ago before any of the current Directors joined Monarch. The Monarch Headquarters is a facility which is requiring repairs at a cost that is being closely monitored.

Your Board is committed to serve and will maintain the same outstanding level of service and safety, irrespective of attacks by the union.

Labor Negotiations Open to the Public

For the first time in Monarch history labor negotiations are open to the public. This may also be the first time anywhere that elected officials working for the citizens have opened labor agreement negotiations with a public employee union. We are delighted to see it as a successful effort though the union has lodged a complaint about the open process. Missouri law is quite clear, labor negotiations may be held in an open forum.

While the Board expected interest from the taxpayers, it was a pleasant surprise to see many fire fighters are also wanting to watch the process. We encourage residents to attend any of the board meetings but if you are only interested in the negotiations, the next session will be held on November 19th.