New O’Fallon Fire Board Member Sworn In Wednesday

Directors of the fire board appointed Matthew Simmons after Tony Lamantia’s resignation.

The welcomed a new face to fill a vacant seat on Wednesday evening.

Matt Simmons was chosen by board members Bill Laughlin and , to fill a seat left by former director Tony Lamantia.

According to Scott Avery, spokesman for the O’Fallon Fire Department, Lamantia resigned last week due to personal, family and business reasons.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Simmons took his oath of office.

Simmons moved to O’Fallon in 2003. He works with Members of Plumber and Pipefitters Local 562.

Simmons said he heard of the vacancy and “stepped up to serve.”

His previous experience includes a three-year term on the St. Charles County Ambulance District Board, where he served as chairman and vice-chair.

Simmons said he looks forward to helping improve on “an already great fire protection district.”

“I just want to work with the district and board to ensure the O’Fallon Fire Protection District is the finest in the country,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it and very excited.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, Laughlin, Gober and O’Fallon Fire Chief Michael Ballmann welcomed Simmons and said they looked forward to working with him.

“We spent a week with the different department heads and I think it’s going to work out pretty well,” Ballmann said.

During citizen comments, one resident spoke up and said he did not think the process for which Simmons was chosen was fair.

“In all due respect, the process was not done in an open, transparent transaction,” AC Dienoff said.

O’Fallon Fire Protection District Attorney Neil Bruntrager said the process in which Simmons was chosen followed procedure.

According to 321200-Section 2 of Missouri Revised Statutes, when a vacancy occurs, two directors, who have both been elected by the voters, can appoint a new member, Bruntrager said.




Jim Frain July 26, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Matt Simmons will be an excellent member of the O'Fallon Fire Board....I am proud to know Matt and pleased that the two directors followed the correct procedure and appointed him to the board.
In all due respect Mr. Frain, this process was NOT opened at all to the residents of the O' Fallon Fire Protection and was a "back door deal" in which Mr. Laughlin and Mr. Gober called Mr. Simmons and asked if he was interested in the position, making a done and concrete deal while slapping the good citizens who attend Meetings of the Board and are involved for the betterment of the overall Fire Protection District. Mrs. Kelly Rector would have been my choice for this vacancy in Office that the voters will ultimately have the final choice. It is a true shame that the two (2) members of the Board choose to close the process and not allow any member of the community a fair chance of stepping up to the plate and serving. This sets a very bad precedence and does not make our district look favorable as a leader across the nation. A normal government entity does not pick their best friend to fill a vacancy that serves community. According to the National Fire Accreditation Agency, the filling of a vacancy with out properly advertising and letting the community know sets an example of poor and inadequate leadership. AC Dienoff
More citizens of the O’ Fallon Fire Protection District need to start attending Meetings of the Board of Directors before the current Board bankrupts the Public safety entity. The Fire Truck is now 30-percent in overruns from the original $400,000 price tag and the Board now has a prime piece of property on Pieper Road to build a Fire Station, but the Fire Chief wants the Board to look at buying property seven (7) blocks away on Missouri Highway P with no benefit, but to force taxpayers into paying more land and infrastructure expenses in which the District can not afford. AC Dienoff


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