While there was little to report from a special meeting called by the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District, board members did issue a statement hoping to reassure residents that services will not be interrupted.

While there was little to report from a special meeting called by the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District, board members did issue a statement hoping to reassure residents that services will not be interrupted.

According to a statement released on Sept. 20, the board met in special session on Sept. 19 to discuss litigation and draft a response to residents. The release did not specify what the litigation discussion involved nor did they report if all 3 members of the board attended. They did say no action was taken.

A statement regarding district services said the board had voted to assure the public that all “fire district functions will be faithfully executed by existing staff.”

According to Jamie Karl, assistant fire chief, the release was what the board decided to share with the community, that the community should not have concern for the Fire Districts responses to their emergencies.  The existing members of the District will respond to all calls for service as they always do.  There is no further information available at this time, he said.

The district has found itself in the midst of a controversy between board members and leadership. Fire Chief Dennis Reilly resigned earlier this week, citing ongoing harassment from board member Bob Hemen.

Hemen has requested financial information, records and brought up a number of issues since being re-elected to the board in April. Hemen served on the board for six years, from 2010 through 2016. He was unseated by Brian Layman who is now president of the board.

Layman and the third member of the board, Denise Dill, had voted for censure of Hemen and discussed legal action to remove him from the board prior to Reilly’s resignation.

Reilly’s last day will be in October.

The district serves the westside of the Lake of the Ozarks.