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TI Rescue board chairman forced to resign

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CLAYTON — Dale A. Kenyon, head of the Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service board of directors, has been forced to resign as part of a restructuring to save the organization from financial troubles.

Mr. Kenyon submitted his letter of resignation Monday shortly after the Blue Ribbon Committee — a group of 15 volunteers that has been seeking ways to revitalize the rescue service — suggested leadership changes among other recommendations to keep the ambulance squad afloat.

Fellow board member Terry J. Valin, who also resigned, due to family and work obligations, said in his resignation letter that he was unhappy with the way Mr. Kenyon — former mayor of the village of Clayton — was forced off the nonprofit’s board of directors.

“I do not feel the board is going in the right direction at this time. I have serious concerns over the political aspects of the Blue Ribbon Committee. I realize that the members of this committee have been very successful with their lives, but that does not give them the unquestionable right to force the current board chair to resign from the board of directors because TIERS needs a fresh start,” Mr. Valin wrote.

Mr. Kenyon’s resignation letter simply states that he is stepping down to make way for new leadership.

“After much consideration I am hereby tendering my resignation from the TIERS board of directors effective immediately. It is time for much new leadership and a major change in operations,” he stated.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Blue Ribbon Committee member William Feikert said new members with a diverse background and expertise should be added to the board of directors to help the nonprofit with grant applications and fundraising, among other things.

The rescue service also hopes to change the way it handles billings and find a bank sponsor to improve the organization’s cash flow, Mr. Feikert said.

“Thirty seven percent of people are not paying what’s owed to TIERS,” he said. “But the billing service we’re using charges 11 percent of the billings regardless of whether TIERS gets paid or not.”

Executive Director Roland G. “Rolly” Churchill said the rescue service is looking at doing billings “in-house,” which could save the organization an estimated $15,000 to $18,000 just in the first year.

The board will hold a special meeting Oct. 8 to discuss a number of proposed bylaw changes, including expanding the nine-member board to better assist the organization and its executive director with various tasks.

“If we don’t take pressure off of Rolly, this organization is going to crash and burn. And that’s the end of TIERS,” board acting Chairman Paul A Thiebeau Jr. said at Tuesday night’s meeting.

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