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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  • by Charlie Location: Coffee Springs on Jan 28, 2008 at 03:13 PM
    I live here and I think you all should get the facts before judging our town. The VFD over stepped their bonds here. The VFD just loves to spend money that belongs to the dept, like it is their own. Ask the VFD about the late night parties they hold with dept monies! Have seen the mess they made with the crappy job they did on the firehouse? "Rule or ruin", that's hog wash! We have a new group of people joining the VFD, so maybe things can get back to normal, I sure hope alcohol and drug test given regularly!
  • by citizen Location: Dothan on Jun 16, 2007 at 12:26 PM
    I used to live in C. Spgs. I know how a certain person loves to cuss and I know how certain people love to "rule or ruin" in that small town.I guess the truth is finally surfacing about that place. In my opinion, those are the nosiest,gossiping-est,lying bunch of folks I have ever known. May they be enlightened and learn to love instead of hate & control all the time.
  • by David Location: Taylor, AL on Jun 15, 2007 at 05:20 AM
    The Taylor VFD is set up the same way. Because of the charter the fire department is a seperate entity from the city of Taylor and therefore (except for a building permit) would be free to do what they wished in a situation like this. However, it is my hope that we would give the city council a chance to voice their concerns just out of a spirit of cooperation.
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