Brentwood BOA approves dispatching move to ECDC

Despite many residents at the Brentwood Board of Aldermen meeting Monday vocally opposed to the city closing its own dispatch center and outsourcing the job to the East Central Dispatch Center (ECDC), the Brentwood aldermen voted 5-3 to do just that.

Brentwood dispatcher Judy Coleman is consoled by friend, Lisa Beckman after the vote.

Brentwood dispatcher Judy Coleman is consoled by friend, Lisa Beckman after the vote.

Aldermen Anthony Harper, Cindy Manestar and Maureen Saunders voted “no” to the switch. Lee Wynn, Keith Robertson, Tom Kramer, Patrick Toohey and Andy Leahy voted “yes.”

Four residents spoke against losing the Brentwood dispatchers, including Brandon Jones, who submitted a stack of papers that he said were 409 signatures opposed to the change, which he had canvased for with seven other residents. Jones also announced his candidacy for Ward 3 alderman (challenging Robertson, if he runs) in 2015 on 40 South News Facebook immediately following the vote.

Paige Russell told about a dog being found with a Brentwood dispatcher's help, and said what if that had been a child.

Paige Russell told about a dog being found with a Brentwood dispatcher's help, and said what if that had been a child.

Resident Brandon Jones turns in a stack of petitions opposed the the change.

Resident Brandon Jones turns in a stack of petitions opposed the the change.

Another resident said a deck fire could have consumed her house if the Brentwood firefighters hadn’t arrived as quickly as they had, and another told how she called Brentwood dispatch for a lost dog.

Saunders said she and Manestar visited ECDC and the Brentwood dispatch centers before the meeting, and said Brentwood has two channels, not one, as she said they had been told. She said moving over to ECDC, they’ll add staff but not channels, which will have more activity.

Mayor Pat Kelly read letters in support from Fire Chief Ted Jury and Police Chief Steve Disbennett. He said Jury was on a long-planned family vacation in Hawaii and Disbennett was in Texas.

Mayor Pat Kelly read letters in support from Fire Chief Ted Jury and Police Chief Steve Disbennett. He said Jury was on a long-planned family vacation in Hawaii and Disbennett was in Texas.

Richmond Heights Fire Chief Kerry Hogan speaks in favor of ECDC. Maplewood Fire Chief Terry Merrell (right) also came to support it, along with other area city fire  and police chiefs.

Richmond Heights Fire Chief Kerry Hogan speaks in favor of ECDC. Maplewood Fire Chief Terry Merrell (right) also came to support it, along with other area city fire and police chiefs.

Harper said he was concerned about not having enough say in the workings of the ECDC, with multiple city administrators having a say, also if the city goes to ECDC there’s no going back. He also said ECDC won’t monitor city hall and court meetings, which Brentwood dispatchers do.

Toohey said ECDC has better resources to do the job than Brentwood, and said he’d vote for it. Leahy said he had researched response times and ECDC’s were comparable to Brentwood’s.

After the vote, Brentwood dispatcher Judy Coleman said where ever she goes now she’ll take a big pay cut. “Plus I know all my officers,” she said. “It’s like a family, and I have to leave them.”

Manestar said they’re starting to dismantle Brentwood, and Saunders said a police chief in another city had told her four weeks ago, “this was already a done deal.”

Harper agreed with the sentiment. “It’s another rubber stamp,” he said. “Look at the history of the votes.”

34 thoughts on “Brentwood BOA approves dispatching move to ECDC

  1. What is done is done. I have been comparing the police blotter for Maplewood to Brentwood for a long time. Maplewood Police have to deal with a lot more crimes of opportunity than Brentwood historically. I firmly believe that this was due to the in-house dispatchers being close to the First Responders and to the community. Their visibility and availability was high. Now that we will outsource the critical first call to a de facto for profit org. I doubt that will go unnoticed by perpetrators of crimes of opportunity. We have breached our own safety wall by adding this layer of extraneous time consumption to our FR’s ability to respond. welcome to the newest ‘hood.’ Thank you Pat. I know Brentwood looks forward to paying for the City’s bills when they merge with the County. We will thank you again at that time.

    • btw, I do not hold Mayor Kelly for the merge of City and County–but for a security breach against Brentwood’s best interests. Brentwood now has virtually, if any say in the 911 system of ECDC. When we merge—as I believe we will ultimately do by the force of politics—Brentwood’s security will be grievously burdened even more. MY SINCEREST COMPLIMENTS TO THE DISPATCHERS and the excellent communications they have provided us, until now. I consider B’wood less safe now. I guess I can apologize for fighting like a Michael Vick dog to stay in-house. It has always been about security. m.

      • How extensively have you researched ECDC’s facilities and the service provided to the other five cities they serve? I’m just curious how much authority you have to speak on their performance and cast stones. Have you researched their response times?

        To insinuate that changing a dispatch service is going to take an affluent city and turn it into a “hood” is patently ridiculous.

      • Incidentally, I notice you called ECDC a “de facto for profit org.”

        Not only does this not make any sense, it’s a complete fabrication. ECDC is a nonprofit organization. Again, you should research before slinging terms as the spreading of misinformation can be harmful to everyone involved.

  2. Kurt…I mean, Johsua, Why so emotional and angry when you don’t even live in Brentwood? You seem to have yourself in quite a tizzy over Brentwood. I hope you are as passionate in the communitys you live in and work in. They could maybe benefit from your enthusiasm.

      • “Angie” I save all of my enthusiasm for Brentwood. It’s much more fun than where I live. Where I live is full of singing birds and butterfly’s, everyone gets along and no one hates each other. Brentwood on the other hand is fun because the people are so full of hate, spite, vindictiveness, finger pointing, anger and revenge. And it all seems to come from a very small (but dedicated) group of people who use this web page as their platform for their hate and anger. Where else can you have this much fun?

        • I’m so happy I don’t know those angry vindictive people full of hate and whatnot NThat you speak of. No time for that, I’m on a mission to make this world a better place. 🙂 And see my friends and neighbors come together to better our community that we care so deeply about. Never lose hope!!

    • Thats been done. Are you late in the game? No-show overtime mean anything to you? All happened under the nose of your mayor who topped of the scandal by throwing a retirement party for the chief. Between the two of them they knew nothing! You can’t make this stuff up. But oh, lets all forget this and heal Brentwood, hand the mayor another term, work on the code of conduct for about a year. NEXT!

        • Mr Completely (clueless)
          You say “let’s audit the fire dept”, then you follow with “thats been done”. It’s obvious that nothing will satisfy you. If nothing you are entertaining and predictable.

  3. repost imo: (re next election) I am aware of the ineffectiveness of the negative posters to change the facts. I think your idea about getting back to town meetings is a good one. We also need to look at promoting Brandon Jones for Alderman in 2015.

    We need to get rid of Toomy, the Mayor’s water-boy, who unconsciously “grooms” himself , then stretches and yawns, when he disagrees without speaking, Lee Wynn who stated in on the taped BOA meeting re BHGH “I have no idea what the people think.” and Robertson another mayoral “waterboy”. Lehey is a fence rider–who has shown muscle in the past–but not last night.

    Finally, we need a new mayor. Pat hid the City Administrator felony theft UNTIL the elections were over. After that–all too many financial and procedural worms began to surface. We have been a laughing stock under his administration. He needs to go. We need a mayor who will restore the untiy of Brentwood–rather than have the divisiveness we have been living with him since his last election. The A P&Z overhaul needs to be accomplished–and the dust removed from the ordinances and rule books, updated or enforced. These people have serious credibility issues.

    I suggest Cindy Manestar, Maureen Saunders and Tom Kramer to be the most in tune with the democratic procedures of a small town–and who make decisions based on the residents’ desires. Brentwood is being dismantled by Kelly’s “gentleman’s agreements” under the table and his cronyism. A town hall meeting and an out reach to the elderly and infirm for their input could take us a long way from the pathetic situation we are in under Pat. Thank you for your comments.

    • Who is we Mary? Because it sounds like the only we you speak of is you and your buddy alderman saunders

      • oh mark…read the VERY FIRST LINE.

        Ald. Saunders is not my buddy. She does however fact check numbers and policies in a way that would have never allowed to arise, all the very unfortunate fiscal and policy issues Brentwood has had to face. THAT is stewardship. Alderman Saunders is obviously not bullied by ‘the boyz’ , which I believe is what really gets under the skin of some immature men–of all ages. carry on mark…

  4. This has to be done, it cost to much to buy the new equipment need and keep a staff around the clock,
    This small government of the past has to change we have to think the big picture

    • There is no cost of new equipment, it is paid for by a tax that was voted on several years ago. The boa didn’t want you to know that.

      • Agree, Bob Rochards. This accounts for all the closed sessions – the cronyism is mind-boggling in B’wood. and btw, what exactly happened to the allocation allotment targeted for this change? The money went somewhere.

    • The funding for the new equipment will be paid for from a county wide tax voted on several years ago. The funding for this upgrade was openly and repeatedly discussed by the mayor and by the BOA. Alderman Leahy speaks to it in the 3/3/2014 BOA meeting again prior to the vote.

  5. Tick-Tick-Tick…we restart the Brentwood solution looking for a problem clock. Oh, I almost forgot—- the pressing matter of the Code Of Conduct. Ha!

  6. Regarding the description of another rubber stamp, that was not my interpretation.

    From last night’s discussion it appeared all alderman spent a considerable amount of time and effort in studying and analyzing the ECDC decision.

    It was that work that brought 5 alderman plus the mayor to their own individual conclusion that ECDC was in the best interest of the city.

    In addition, the charge of the alderman not listening to residents seems unfair.

    In my many years of watching the Board of Alderman meetings I have observed that those with a complaint or who stand in opposition to a proposed action occupy most the seats at city hall.

    Therefore, those who are vocal do not necessarily represent the point of view of the majority of residents.

  7. I was not home when the petition came to my neighborhood, but the folks next door told me the man said Brentwood was outsourcing the Police & Fire departments, and that’s why the signed. Based upon what I heard last night, this was apparently not true. What else were these folks telling people to get their signatures? That’s not cool. I watched everything last night. I left satisfied.

    • Wrong again Mary. They don’t listen to the screamers and ranters who use this trash site to vent their hate for this administration. You know there are others out their besides you who express their opinion in a quite, reasonable fashion. Not someone who once again claims to be the voice of the community by saying the BOA is not listening to “the residents”. No Mary, they simply did not listen to you.

      • Joshua maybe I am mistaken but could you remind me when it was determined that the only “resident opinion” that mattered was that of Alderman Saunders and her followers such as marybridgetbolt. You are not the only residents of Brentwood! There are plenty of us who were in favor of the move, we just don’t care to scream and yell and attack the integrity of others to get our way

        • Mark, unfortunately, this decision was stated to have been made 4 weeks ago, and long before the public became aware. Next,

          You and Johsua are not a new progressive style. Like the Kelly cronies and bench sitters, you are more like roaches: for each one you see–there are a hundred of you still hiding away from the light.

          But just as now, you occasionally poke your head out to “grunt” insults of women smarter than yourselves –then creep away to quietly congratulate yourself on your “manliness.” Such “pieces of work…”

          • REPOST OF ANGIE ON PREVIOUS 40 South News article: Thank you Angie–I am truly not discouraged and looking forward to our next election.

            “Mary, don’t give up fighting for what is right. Don’t let these boys try to quiet you. You have every right to speak the truth. And I will say, you ARE speaking the truth and there are MANY, MANY residents that have also done their homework and know you are talking about facts. This IS our city and we have every right to ask questions of those we voted into office. We need to bring town hall meetings back so the BOA and mayor can hear what the residents actually want. We will turn this city around…it might take some time, but it will happen. If you have nothing to hide you hide nothing…bottom line. I will not argue with anyone on here but will be happy to speak face to face with anyone…so we can be actual people looking one another in the eye, and be human.

          • Ouch, Mary, cockroaches? That really hurt. You don’t handle it well when your little group loses. And you are right about not being “progressive style”, its obvious you are very progressive (i.e. never change anything in Brentwood). And as far as insults to women who are smarter, well again you are right, you are much smarter. I’m so stupid that I did not know you were a woman, (and I’m still not so sure). Oh yea, how can a decision be made 4 weeks ago that was voted on last night? How does that work? Since you speak for the “residents of Brentwood” what is next on your agenda? How about Harper, Manistar and Saunders getting behind something that will help the city, that would be something different and also a first for them. Come on Mary, what is next for the “residents of Brentwood” that you speak for? You seem to have all of the inside information, what else will you be wrong on?