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02-07-06 Fire chief angered over rumors

By William Kincaid

  BURKETTSVILLE -- Former Fire Chief Alan Siefring asked village councilors on Monday for clarification and resolve over rumors in Burkettsville about the village pressing theft charges against him.

  Siefring said he had voluntarily installed various shelves in the fire station during his term as chief -- thinking such a gesture would be useful for his firefighters.

  However, according to Siefring, many of the firefighters apparently did not approve of the implementation of the shelves and covertly expressed their disdain by leaving anonymous messages in the station and complaining behind Siefring's back.

  Siefring said he then decided to correct the problem by removing the shelving -- a move that created controversy and anger by other firefighters.

  Siefring said once he removed the shelves, rumors began to swell in town that theft charges were going to be pressed against him because anything that is attached to the fire station automatically becomes village property.  During his fiery speech to council Monday night, Siefring said he obtained permission from town officials, including a former council member, for installing and removing the shelves.

  He also repeatedly said he wanted the "bullshit" to stop. If the village is going to press theft charges, he said he wanted to know now.

  Siefring further said he heard Mayor Jim Garke and other village council members had held a meeting to discuss the theft charges. Garke denied the allegations and said he never attended a meeting.

  Councilman Jerry Siefring, who is Alan Siefring's father, said the rumors were a serious form of slander.

  Garke replied he didn't care whether Siefring installed or removed the shelving. Because he was fire chief, Garke said he feels Siefring had jurisdiction on the transactions of the fire station and "his Indians"

  "They're not my Indians anymore," Siefring said.

  Council remained primarily silent and did not act to press theft charges against Siefring.

  Also during the meeting, councilors discussed the budget and accepted a resolution that would allow the county to implement new technology to the 911 system that would trace cell phone calls.


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