Sunday, December 19, 2010
Here we go again
Dictator Leighton is at it again. He's telling half truths and outright lies to vilify the fire dept. So without further adieu I will address his points and as usual, show him to be a Politician.
1. "Mayor Tom Leighton is openly critical of the union’s demands, which he says are too expensive and unreasonable." But losing $325,000 on the Hotel Sterling deal wasn't. Losing $225,000 to City wide Towing for violating his contract (so Leighton could give it to a campaign contributor) wasn't. Losing $67,000 to Denise Carey (and $220,000+ to her lawyer) for violating her Constitutional Rights. The list goes on..
2. "With demands such as lifetime health benefits for spouses, birthdays off and residency outside the city on the table" This is the way negotiations go. The Union wants everything, The City wants to taken everything away, and they are supposed to meet in the middle. If they do not, it goes to arbitration. So this is nothing more than him telling a half truth in order to make us look bad.
3. "Key issues are overtime and excessive time off – 21 percent of the department is off on any given day" I don't even know what he is trying to say here. Off how? Why? This is just him throwing worthless numbers out to make us look bad. A LIE by misdirection.
4. "The fire department budget is $9 million in 2011, up by about $1 million from this year’s budget." How? Where is the extra money going? Don't make it sound like that is going to us. Tell us where exactly that 'million' is going and what for. Because things like the maintenance for the 2 thirty plus year old buildings come out of our budget. LIE by misdirection part two.
5. "Would the city be safely protected by moving to a volunteer-based department rather than the current full-time employment of 72 firefighters?" No. Period. The citizens are paying for top notch protection and not getting what they are paying for.
6."in 2009, the 48 firefighters averaged nearly $12,000 each in overtime". We have a certain amount of positions that MUST BE FILLED to give protection. If the number of Firefighters goes down (we are down about 19 men) then overtime goes up. If Leighton had replaced retiring Firemen as they left, overtime would NOT be this high. A lie by misdirection.
7. "Leighton said he has been hearing more and more negative comments about the high cost of fire protection." Probably an outright lie. When he reduced minimum manning, back in March, He claimed that he had many calls supporting him but only 2 against his reckless move. THAT I know is a lie. I personally, know of and witnessed 10 calls against that move.
8. "The mayor said when 16 or 17 firefighters are scheduled for a shift and seven or eight call off" Really, does anyone actually believe that 8 people call of a shift? I've been on over 17 years and NEVER heard of 7 or 8 people calling off. An outright Lie.
9. "And we are paying the call-ins time and a half. What business could survive if 21 percent of its work force was off every shift?" Proof that this is a lie? Why, if it were true, would he wait until his seventh year in office to do anything about it? And why whine to a news paper? To show his complete lack of leadership abilities? Another outright lie.
10. "If response time is so critical, then why do the firefighters want to live outside the city? What will that do to response time in the case of an emergency? What message are they sending to city residents as far as safety is concerned?" I've already covered how negotiations work, and Leighton knows this, so this is another attempt at making us look bad and another lie from him, this time about how response time works. It's about ON-DUTY firefighters.
11. "They could opt to live in Noxen or Mocanaqua or Hunlock Creek." He's a hypocrite, one of his 'council buddies' doesn't live in the city and Leighton does nothing about it.
12. "firefighters want Sept. 11 off as a holiday and they want health care for their spouses for life." Once again, Negotiations.
And now for a BIG one. Leighton brags about how HE got us new equipment.
13. "Leighton said his administration has purchased more equipment for the fire department than any previous administration -- three fire engines, two ambulances, an $850,000 fire station, a new fire chief’s car and a new ladder truck." Wow, where to start. Well, The Dictator wants the good, he should take the bad. How are the Engines holding up? Whats that? They spend as almost much time being fixed as they do on duty? One had a step come off while a captain was on it and caused PERMANENT LIFE CHANGING DAMAGE? One that forced him to retire before he was 40? Oh and how old were the Engines that these replaced? The best of them is a '93? and the newest a '97? The oldest an '89? How about the Ladder Truck? It replaced an '75. Sounds like they were replaced from necessity, not his generosity. And weren't they paid for with Grants?
14. "Leighton said the city’s financial situation has been shaky since he took office in 2004 and inherited a $10 million deficit. He said the city has managed to get back on its financial feet." One second the city is in dire financial straits the next it is 'back on its financial feet', Which is the truth? Can we believe ANYTHING that comes out of his mouth?
15. "We just don’t have the money to pay for all of this overtime" Because he is to busy giving sweetheart deals to his campaign contributors, racking up MASSIVE lawsuit debts and tryng to get his name on the side of a building.
16. "Certainly I’m adamantly concerned about the safety of residents" REALLY? How by cutting Fire/EMS service to 12 men/shift when the citys own study says 17/shift is the MINIMUM? Another LIE.
Enough for now,
Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote