APTOS — Aptos/La Selva Firefighters on Monday said they have issued a vote of no confidence against Chief Jon Jones, marking the first such move in the department’s 87-year history.
Every member of Aptos/La Selva Firefighters Local 3535 signed the vote of no confidence.
Jones began with the Aptos/La Selva Fire District in October 2014. His three-year contract expires in October 2017, but he is eligible to request a two-year extension on his contract as early as April 13.
According to President Ryan Peters, the vote came after three years of failed leadership, uneven discipline, the elimination of community services and Fire District resources, and a complete lack of communication.
“The Fire Department that our members have dedicated our professional lives to has been driven into the ground under the leadership of Chief Jon Jones,” Peters said. “Our firefighters love this community. We live here, we work here, and we are dedicated to the people of Aptos and La Selva Beach. That’s why we are so passionate in fighting to regain our once proud Fire District that is no longer providing the services that our residents have come to expect and deserve.”
This Vote of No Confidence has been distributed to the five elected board members of the Aptos/La Selva Fire Protection District, which can deny or approve a request for a contract extension if Jones makes one.
In a prepared statement to this newspaper, Jones questioned the timing of the vote.
“To the extent that the International Association of Firefighters Union, Local 3535, lacks confidence in District leadership during contract negotiations, we are disappointed that they have chosen to utilize the media to convey their grievances,” the statement read. “While this type of communication of grievances is unfortunate, we look forward to working together to resolve their concerns and continue to provide unparalleled emergency service to the community.”
The Aptos/La Selva Fire Protection District Board of Directors will meet on April 13 at 7 p.m. at the administration office at 6934 Soquel Drive. There, firefighters plan to address the board about their concerns.