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Fire board members swear in, controversial member resigns
Empty board seat expected to be filled in February

Dane Beck (right) and Darlene Packard (left) stand with Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority Fire Chief Scott Freitag during the fire board meetings that took place in Chino Valley Thursday, Dec. 20. Packard was re-elected onto the Central Yavapai Fire District board and Beck was sworn in as a new member of the board.
Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority/Courtesy

Dane Beck (right) and Darlene Packard (left) stand with Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority Fire Chief Scott Freitag during the fire board meetings that took place in Chino Valley Thursday, Dec. 20. Packard was re-elected onto the Central Yavapai Fire District board and Beck was sworn in as a new member of the board.

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Standing with Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority Fire Chief Scott Freitag, Cyndy Dicus (left) and Dave Dobbs (right) were re-elected onto the Chino Valley Fire District board Thursday, Dec. 20. Dicus will continue to serve as the board’s chair and Dobbs will continue to serve as the board’s clerk.

During the December fire board meetings for the Chino Valley Fire District, Central Yavapai Fire District and Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority (CAFMA) on Thursday, Dec. 20, new and re-elected members were sworn in and board positions were filled. And in a surprise move, a controversial Central Yavapai Fire District board member resigned.

That controversial member was ViciLee Jacobs, who spent much of her four-and-a-half years on the board disagreeing with other board members about how the local fire agencies were being managed and lodging unfounded accusations against board staff, including CAFMA Fire Chief Scott Freitag and Nicolas Cornelius, the attorney for all three boards.

Her efforts to discredit the fire chief, the attorney and select board members drew condemnation from many sides and often elicited formal complaints against her actions, as well as legal warning in some cases.

Citing family reasons, Jacobs said her resignation would be effective as of the end of the meeting on Thursday. She had missed the last few monthly meetings due to health issues plaguing significant members of her family, Freitag said.

While Jacobs could not be reached after the meeting via phone or email for further comment, Freitag noted she was very gracious in her departure.

“We wish her and her family well as they move into the future,” Freitag said.

Since her resignation was not on the agenda, the board did not give staff direction to seek applicants for the open seat, Freitag said.

“We will add this to the agenda for the January meeting, and look to interview applicants in February – hopefully,” he said.

MEMBERS SWORN IN

Cyndy Dicus and Dave Dobbs were both sworn back into the same positions on the Chino Valley Fire District board Thursday. Dicus will continue as the board’s chair and Dobbs as the board’s clerk.

Darlene Packard was also sworn back in for another four year term on the Central Yavapai Fire District. Dane Beck was sworn in for the first time to serve on that board as a brand new member. Beck was elected to fill the vacant seat left by Tom Steele, who chose not to run for re-election earlier this year. Matt Zurcher was voted as CYFD’s board chair and Packard was voted as the board clerk.

For CAFMA, which consists of members from both CYFD and CVFD, Dobbs and Packard were re-appointed. Packard was voted to serve as the board’s clerk, while Julie Pettit, a member of the CVFD board, was elected to serve as the board’s chair.

Follow Max Efrein on Twitter @mefrein, email him at mefrein@prescottaz.com or call him at 928-445-3333 ext. 1105.

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