Town Dispute Between Volunteer Firefighters and City Officials

Tempers are flaring between volunteer firefighters and city officials in one small, Geneva County municipality. Temperatures reached the "boiling point" during the Coffee Springs City Council meeting.

Several sharp verbal exchanges took place between Mayor Aycock and Coffee Springs Volunteer Fire Chief Chris Sellers.

The mayor is upset that firefighters didn't first get city permission to "remodel" the fire department, but the fire chief says the department's charter places it independent of the city council.

Chief Sellers said, "Do not yell, cuss, or make threatening statements to a firefighter. You need to come to me and we'll go from there. I’m putting it all on the table."

Mayor Aycock responded, "You were wrong to do what you did without first getting city permission. You were wrong."

The majority of those who attended the city council meeting want both the city and the volunteer firefighters to work together.

Reverend Doug Green, with the Coffee Springs First Baptist Church said, "You are not on the city council to advance your personal agenda, or hold old grudges. You are here to work for the citizens of Coffee Springs."

Besides Coffee Springs, the volunteer firefighters respond to mutual aid requests in surrounding communities including neighboring Coffee County.

Several Coffee Springs volunteer firefighters say they're considering quitting if their differences are not settled with the city council.

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