This press release is in response to the allegations made in the LPFPD Recall Petition by Kevin Ratzmann, Melissa Ratzmann and Seth St. Germain.
. No retaliation found after full investigation by independent third party employment professional. Termination was for misconduct and cause based on numerous incidents. The procedure was conducted as required by district policy and procedures.
. There is no such thing as "Special District Association laws" as alleged in the petitions. The Special District Association of Colorado is a statewide membership organization created in 1975 to serve the interests of the special district form of local government in Colorado. The Special District Association was organized to provide better communication, research, legislative input, administrative support, and educational opportunities for member districts. SDA exists to help special districts serve the public in the most efficient and economical manner possible. The Special District Association advocates on behalf of special districts before the Colorado General Assembly.
. All actions of the board were conducted in accordance with Colorado statutes. All executive sessions were conducted as required by the Colorado Sunshine Act (open meetings law).
. The board has held all elections as required by law. Notice was properly given and interested candidates filed nomination petitions. Elections were cancelled when there were not more candidates for office than vacancies.
. The district voters waived term limits for directors in 1998 as allowed by Colorado law, not Special District Association law, which does not exist.
. Kevin's conduct since being placed on administrative leave and being terminated makes it clear he is not qualified to be fire chief. Statements made to the press and posted on websites are exaggerated, misleading and false.
The recall is organized and supported by those seeking personal gain. Professional fire department leaders and members do not put their personal interest above the interests of the community.
. Kevin's conduct has damaged relationships with other fire and emergency service agencies.
. Deputy Chief Aurnhammer's early retirement bonus was paid based on district policy adopted four years earlier and his employment contract. It was approved by the board before he was appointed as fire chief.
. The complaints against Chief Aurnhammer were investigated by the board and after discussions with the board, Chief Aurnhammer submitted his retirement and effectively ceased acting as fire chief.
The board determined that was an acceptable resolution of the matter. Brad Egger was appointed to assume those duties until Chief Behrens was appointed.
Board of Directors
Los Pinos Fire Protection District, Ignacio