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River Hills could face expulsion from North Shore Fire Department

Nov. 18, 2013

River Hills could find itself forced out of the North Shore Fire Department, depending on the outcome of an NSFD Board of Directors meeting Tuesday.

The main topic of conversation will be a proposed funding formula, which River Hills Village President Bob Brunner has threatened to veto. Glendale Mayor Jerome Tepper has said that he will advise Glendale to leave the fire department if the proposal is defeated.

Meeting with the River Hills Village Board on Friday, Brunner said he was committed to the veto, despite whatever feedback the River Hills board may have had. He declined to comment Monday what his position was relative to the veto.

The fire services agreement binding the seven NSFD member communities contains a provision which allows representatives from six communities to expel the remaining community on a unanimous vote. The provision has existed in the NSFD arrangement since the department's inception in 1995 but has not been invoked or included on an agenda before now.

Over the weekend, Brown Deer Village President Carl Krueger requested that an item relating to a possible expulsion be added to the NSFD board's agenda.

Krueger said Monday that his request to include the expulsion item was meant to force the difficult conversation among NSFD board members, the subject of which could range from Glendale's potential departure to River Hill's potential expulsion.

"The purpose of this is to delve into what the communities' feelings actually are about the North Shore Fire Department," Krueger said. "... It has to be publicly discussed among the board members. What are we going to do, ignore this?"

Brunner said Monday that his argument is not with Glendale, or any other NSFD member community, but rather with the proposed formula. He reiterated his position that he is the most qualified of the River Hills board to make the decision.

"My background and experience on these issues are a lot more than one-seventh of our (seven member) village board," Brunner said. "I take that into consideration as well."

On the revised board agenda, the expulsion item follows the consideration of the proposed funding formula. Brunner acknowledged that sequence puts pressure on him but said he is not one to give in to pressure.

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