Monday, February 26, 2024

LETTER: Future of ESD #1 is bright

During this period of transition, I want to send a clear and concise message of reassurance and action to the citizens served by Denton County Emergency Services District #1.

First and foremost, the men and women of the Denton County ESD #1 have continued to respond to the calls and the needs of citizens with the same timeliness, expertise, and professionalism they have always demonstrated.

Effective January 1, 2023, Fire Chief Ricky Vaughan has been appointed Fire Chief for Denton County Emergency Services District #1. Chief Vaughan is a highly qualified executive chief officer and has significant experience in municipal fire and EMS services. Chief Vaughan will serve our communities well moving forward.

Also effective January 1, 2023, the Denton County Commissioners Court has made one re-appointment and three new appointments to the Denton County ESD #1 Board of Commissioners: myself, Keith Mashburn and Richard Merrill. The new board members bring a wide range of vocational expertise and extensive experience in emergency service districts and regional fire protection, accounting and finance, labor relations and general and local government experience while serving their communities as administrators and formerly elected officials.

Moving forward, I am asking the Denton County ESD #1 Board of Commissioners to act on the following items, which are consistent with the resolutions from the Denton County Commissioners Court, the Town of Argyle, and the Town of Northlake:

  • Take the necessary actions to ensure transparency and restore public trust
  • Complete a comprehensive review and update of Denton County ESD #1 past and current administrative and operational policies and procedures
  • Conduct a forensic audit of all Denton County ESD #1 and Argyle Fire District financial and bookkeeping activities
  • Implement comprehensive administrative and financial controls and guardrails
  • Establish and enhance coordination with the fire administration to ensure adequate Fire and EMS resources are in place, maintained and sustainable
  • Move Argyle Volunteer Fire District assets, operations, and employees over to Denton County ESD #1
  • Enhance Denton County ESD #1 communication and transparency with the communities served
  • Provide increased visibility and transparency of public meetings to ensure all Denton County ESD #1 activities are available, accessible, and user-friendly to the communities served

Finally, to the fire, EMS, and administrative personnel serving the communities of Denton County ESD #1, your faithful service, hard work, and sacrifice to these communities over the years has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. Your experience and qualifications are viewed as the best practice within the fire service. You have provided exceptional service to our communities and have never wavered in your commitment and professionalism.

I want to reiterate the board’s commitment to you and this organization. We will work diligently to ensure you have what you need to continue to provide the excellent level of service that is your standard. We look forward to working with you in a manner that restores trust and ensures long term success and sustainability for Denton County ESD #1.

The future of the Denton County ESD #1 is bright, and we look forward to working with all of our partners to continue to provide the highest level of service to the communities we serve.

Sheldon Gilbert
President of the Board of Commissioners
Denton County ESD #1

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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