To The Editor: Concerns over Buckskin Fire Board

Here’s a letter from John Mihelich, owner of J.A. Johnny’s and candidate for Buckskin Fire Board in the 2016 election:

“Just over 2 years ago the BFD board pushed the boundaries of the spirit of the open meeting laws. They tried to fire the chief without cause. Constituents rallied and the one business person on the board finally recognized a fire decision would/could/might hurt his business so he voted no.

Now the Board with the ringleader of ‘fire the chief’ (read minutes 2 years ago) and a new incumbent are revisiting a personnel matter allowing the chief to be interim or ‘super captain’ status which was approved by the attorney and approved by a quorum of board members present. Now they want up to pay the attorney again (could be $2000 of taxpayer dollars) to revisit and make a change that was approved. The chief needed this change to preserve his livelihood – read between the lines.

And this new Board wants to readdress the decision to purchase a new fire truck which again was approved by a quorum.

I am still convinced that the board wants to;

(1) remove the Chief absent cause
(2) close the Upriver station
(3) severely restrict services that save lives and protect property
(4) select a Chief that was a past board member voted out in the last election and has 2 board members in his pocket and will be the puppet these two board members want.

The next meeting is January 25th, 2017 at 6pm. Check agenda for a possible time change. If they have an executive session prior to the open meeting let’s be there then. Please let as many people know about this important meeting.

I unsuccessfully ran for the Fire Board. I ran because I support the BFD. This board will be as dysfunctional as the ones voted out years back. I still support the BFD but despise the capricious and malicious actions of 2 and 1/2 board members. We need to remind them and show them that they represent us not their petty agenda.

PS – They are skirting the spirit and intent of open meeting laws NOW.

– John Mihelich, aka JA Johnny

Parker Live hasn’t been able to evaluate most of these claims, or what may or may not be going on at BFD, but I’m hoping to have an article upcoming in the next month or so about the latest at the fire department.



  1. That board is a joke. X fireman from calif want to run the show. Why wont they do whats best for the taxpayers the district.

  2. Sam Camarata

    What a joke, im talking about the board

  3. James Smith

    Should have fired the chief like the smarter board members suggested

  4. Sam hit the nail on the head. They want to fire Chief Chambers then attempt to cut costs so they can lower the taxes and vastly lower the level of fire service to the up river community. Chambers has always fought for the betterment of the BFD and mostly the firefighters. As Sam said, X LA fire guy wants to be Chief and show us “hicks” how they do it in LA. We don’t have LA dollars! IF they would take the time to read up on HOW the District was formed they MIGHT get that. I doubt it. They have their cronies and want to bring the LA “good old boy” methods here. Pathetic. Those in the service area should be deeply concerned.

  5. Once again a story of deceit and corruption in Parker.
    Honest people need to attend the upcoming meeting and protest what is going on.

  6. Candi Evans

    Chief Chambers has done a great job with our fire department. Perhaps those you consider to be smarter were out smarted.

  7. Candi Evans

    The past Chief was a joke he’s not worth putting back in that position. Closing Station 211 would be the stupidest mistake they could ever make. Do they not know how long of a response time there would be for any fire that broke out in that area let alone should someone need CPR? The ambulance company is clear in town and they take for ever as it is to get to a call up that far. I sure hope none of these board members that think we don’t need station 211 don’t ever need help and wonder what is taking so long. Chief Chambers is the best Chief they’ve had in years. People need to get their fingers out of others pockets and let our fire departments do what they do best. Board members trying to run a fire department and they don’t even respond to emergencies.

  8. James Smith

    Yes because small town its all about how many friends he has who take his side because hes their friend not what he has or hasnt done correctly.

  9. Funny there is no James smith in the district. Pat use your real name as i use mine

  10. This months meeting is tonight the 18 not the
    25th as in my original post. The board has altered the agenda
    and toned down what they’d planned perhaps to parker live. It would be good to still show up tonight to let the board know they serve the people in this district. It isn’t their job to micro manage and berate and securities me guess a chief almost all of us support
    If we keep public pressure and awareness on this board there is a likelihood they will behave.
    Hope to see many there just to give the board the message

  11. Was planning to attend NEXT week as originally communicated. Can’t make tonight with such short notice. Please tell us how to find out meeting schedule well in advance so we can get involved. Great letter, thank you John.

  12. Candi Evans

    So you’re saying small town people can’t think for themselves? I’m not his friend I don’t even know him, but I do know he’s doing a great job with the department. So just what do you think he hasn’t done correctly?

  13. Well sad to say the meeting was far worse than I
    expected. The board went into executive session to
    deal with the “Chris issue”. But no one knows their
    secrets. I got into a HUGE disagreement with Gary
    Sveder and I left feeling like I had done something
    wrong. Gary read my post sentence by sentence and had
    disparaging comments and name calling and even
    said he was far more qualified than the current chief
    Now that is a joke
    Turns out the whole speech was a Cecil B Demille’s
    production. He colloborated his speech with the
    sewer director for 2 hours? Now Gary was relieved of fire board duties but got appointed by Jeff and Wayne to
    and Pat to the sewer board cause no one ran. And
    Unconfirmed but easy to presume Bob is also on board
    Keep tuned. These guys have an agenda inconsistent with
    Anyone I know in this district.

  14. Sounds like more of the old adage “I’m from the Government and I’m here to help you”. When is the next meeting? We all need to get involved or we will end up with another Buckskin Sanitary District debacle. Can’t believe we pay the same amount of money every year to flush the toilet as two professionally staffed fire stations, ridiculous. I don’t know Chris personally but his paramedics showed up ASAP when we needed them last year. Never had an issue with BSD or the fees we pay, money well spent.

  15. Correction…”Never had an issue with Buckskin FIRE District or the fees we pay, money well spent.” Buckskin SANITARY District is the entity requiring scrutiny, NOT the fire department or its leadership.

  16. The new board will clean up the mess left behind by the self promoting “heros”. Millions in debt to the state, Chris Chambers attempt to Pension spike his benefits on the back of tax payers depicts a corrupt group that now will be drained.

    A new board is in place to finally fix the good ole boy network that was nothing but a self serving interest.

    Parker tax payers fund a New fire truck so the firefighters can leave Parker go out of state and collect overtime pay. We hired 14 new firefighters just to end up sending them to Georgia to fight a fire?

  17. BFB abusive??? 6 months ago the board again tried to shove chris out. He agreed months ago to be demoted to captain.
    Last board meeting they denied him his request to stop the boards nonsense and be a captain.
    Next fire board meeting is August 8 at 6 PM. I’ve added an agenda item and have asked that we reserve the boat house so the community can get a sense of this boards nonsense particularly in the last 6 months. The community meeting is scheduled at 5. Board welcome BUT they will not be running this. It will be frank open and honest of the abuses the board has inflicted and how much more they are paying to hire a new chief and how much more they have to pay Chris’s replacement. And the admin that has really suffered abuse will tell her story about the nonsense.
    Theire is a conflict with the sewer board and its direct influence over the fire board and this has to stop now. Boathouse meeting for community at 5 the formal open meeting starts at 6. Strong community support indicated for chris and board purging actions plans need to be developed
    Pls notify friends neighbors and residents

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