Westfield Fire Commission Holds Executive Session

WESTFIELD – Debra Puckhaber, member of the village board and liaison between the board and village fire commission, said she remains upbeat about the future of the Westfield fire department in spite of what she termed “the present turmoil.”

Puckhaber spoke after attending a special meeting of the fire commission Wednesday in Eason Hall. However, she did not comment about the session itself except to say it concerned a personnel matter in the fire department.

Village Administrator Vince Luce sent out email notifications of the unscheduled meeting Tuesday afternoon. Many attending the 7 p.m. session were surprised when Luce handed out the agenda and the only item was a closed executive session. Barry Underwood, commission chairman, said the body would discuss a “personnel matter” in private and then adjorn.

In addition to the fire commissioners, Steve Pacanowski, fire chief; Rob Genthner, police chief; Puckhaber and Luce stayed for the 24-minute executive session.

The special meeting came eight days after the commission accepted the resignations of two assistant chiefs, Dave Davies and Brad Damcott.

Pacanowski, interviewed the following day, said the department was “imploding.”

However, one participant in the latest commission meeting said it was about one member of the department and nothing else. Underwood said the executive session did not involve a paid or contracted village employee.

When asked why some people who aren’t commission members were allowed to attend its executive session while others were told to leave, he said the commission was allowed to make that decision.