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Beedle Ousted as Fire District President

Appointed on Dec. 5, Beedle was replaced by Farhad Mansourian at a special meeting held on Friday.

A bloodless coup d ‘etat occurred as Brad Beedle was ousted as board president of the Novato Fire Protection District and replaced by board member Farhad Mansourian at a hastily scheduled special meeting on Friday.

At issue were accusations from some of the board members that Beedle had disclosed details from the closed-door discussions related to the departure of Fire Chief Marc Revere, the appointment of interim fire chief Ken Massucco and other personnel issues including potential litigation, according to board member Farhad Mansourian.

Board members James Galli, LJ Silverman and Mansourian voted to reconsider the selection of the board that had occurred on Dec. 5. Board member Tomas Kaselionis abstained because he had not been present at the original meeting.

Galli and Mansourian attributed the change to disclosures from a closed-door session via phone calls made by Beedle to four fire chiefs after the meeting.

Mansourian said that he verified with the fire chiefs that the calls had come from Beedle.

“This is a big exposure to the district,” said Mansourian at the board meeting. “For me that was unacceptable.”

Beedle vehemently denied disclosing any closed-door information, saying that he let the fire chiefs know of the early retirement by Revere and the appointment of an interim fire chief in courtesy calls — information that was already public record, he stated.

Beedle also fired off his own salvo, saying that he was telephoned by Mansourian on Thursday and asked to “take a dive” on his board position and step down, using his business as an excuse.

After the board voted to reconsider its prior election of officers, a new slate was quickly decided upon and approved 4-0 with Beedle abstaining.

Mansourian assumed the role of president and the other board officers were assigned, leaving Beedle as a director.

Beedle asked each board member for the reason for the sudden change in leadership by a board that had approved him as president 23 days ago.

Kaselionis said he was not present at the original board appointment meeting and would not have supported Beedle as president.

“I wasn’t left with the impression that you could lead in a time when the district needs that leadership,” said Kaselionis.

Silverman accused Beedle of using his position on the board inappropriately for leverage related to Beedle’s business which provides emergency services to school sporting events.

Silverman said he had fended off calls from the school district and complaints that Beedle had accused athletic directors of cronyism and double-dipping.

Mansourian delivered the most detail, citing the closed-door session of over three hours, resulting in the change-up of the fire chiefs and adding that there were personnel issues with potential litigation. 

“What we cannot do is to come out of closed session and disclose what was done in closed session,” he said.

“We have critical discussions for a new chief and we need to put the district back together,” he added.

Public agency boards are required under the Brown Act to disclose action taken in closed sessions.

Bob Ratto December 29, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Tracey, Great job on this story. Bizarre dealings going on. All is not happy in "fireville"
Craig Belfor December 29, 2012 at 02:30 AM
This Peyton Place of double dip puts Bell to shame. Now a guy who wasn't there but for 23 days gets retirement at the top level, while another double dipper moves up to loot the pension fund some more.
Craig Belfor December 29, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Does the ousted guy get to collect the pension of his last position, even if he only served 23 days? This is a common practice in the gaming up of the pension system, a promotion just to increase the pension. Also, I have seen his succesor's name at the county level. Is this another double dip? Those guys down south at Bell are nothing but amateurs compared to Novato and the rest of Marin.
Shirley Humann Shanahan December 29, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Mansourian wears way too many hats. He retired as the head of the Marin County Public Works with a huge retirement and benefits, heads up SMART for another huge salary, with absolutely no railroading background (google him) and now heads up the Novato Fire District. AND, has closed session meetings which are totally against the Brown Act. When will he have time to properly manage these organizations? Have him step down immediately and bring back Beedle who has extensive experience as a fire official.
Leda December 29, 2012 at 07:21 PM
I have known Brad for many years. He is a man of integrity, with a good heart, who is always there to support our community with endless hours of volunteer work and financial support for our schools and community projects. Something is very fishy with this turn of events!!
Lloyd December 29, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Tracey how much if anything and what benefits do the Board members receive? Farhad is a capable administrator but as lead in the Smart Rail project I wonder if he has the time to handle both duties.
diane December 30, 2012 at 05:37 PM
"said Mansourian at the board meeting. “For me that was unacceptable.” IMO, Mansourian is unacceptable!
New to Novato December 30, 2012 at 08:45 PM
wow
New to Novato December 30, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Sounds like the "Real Fire Protection District of Novato" - getting their own show, and on right after the "Real Housewives of Miami"?
Tracey Ruiz December 31, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Beedle is still on the board as a director and his term on the board ends November 2013. Here is link to the Marin IJ story about the meeting. http://www.marinij.com/novato/ci_22277837/novato-fire-board-ousts-president-three-weeks-into?IADID=Search-www.marinij.com-www.marinij.com Stay tuned because there is another fire district board meeting on Jan. 2.
HistoryLover January 02, 2013 at 04:31 AM
I agree 100%. What I know of Beedle is of a man of integrity, experience, kindness & excellence. I believe he shed light on some changes that needed to be made, and those uncomfortable with the high road, wanted him out, fast. Too bad for Novato, he was in the right.
Lori Murphy January 02, 2013 at 09:44 AM
Mansourian has been on the Board of Directors for the Novato Fire District since 2001. Just so you know.....
Craig Belfor January 02, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Wait-if Beedle is still on the board, and Mansoirian was on the board, is this a job swap to max out retirement pay? Usually when they do this, they go outside their own office so it won't be so obvious, like when Mansourian quit county to go to SMART. Is Mansourian a triple or a quadripple dipper?
Shirley Humann Shanahan January 02, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Tracy, what is the compensation (salard and benefits) for board members (see Lloyd's question, above)?
Lori Murphy January 03, 2013 at 06:16 AM
The Board members do not receive a salary or any benefits! The are paid $100 per meeting attended; There are generally 2 Board meetings per month; held the first Wednesday of the month, and another on the third Wednesday. Considering how many hours they put in preparing for the meetings (reviewing the Board Packet, etc.), as well as serving on District committees, Board members make less than minimum wage.
Lori Murphy January 03, 2013 at 06:17 AM
There is no retirement pay for Board members.
John Parnell January 09, 2013 at 05:28 AM
Poor Mr. Beedle got Mansourian'd. I've got to say, been there. It sucks, especially if you're expecting a fair fight & someone to play by the rules.
Audiguy January 19, 2013 at 05:51 PM
As stated by other people here, board members don't collect any kind of pension and get very little for the amount of several hours of time they put in.

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