“Oh What Big Teeth You Have”: How much do police and firefighters cost in West Chester?

I wondered why when the film Red Riding Hood was announced to be released, film producers were re-telling that old child hood story. Can’t they come up with anything else? Then I watched all the “collective bargaining” debates over the last couple of weeks and realized that people needed to relearn how the wolf ate Little Red Riding Hood, so the timing of the film seemed suddenly appropriate. In that story The Wolf disguised itself as Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, so to take the poor little girl by surprise trying to appear as something she trusted.

I have held on to information regarding the amount that Police and Fire Departments cost their communities for several months now. When I first came across this information it was way back in October of 2010. The West Chester Police Department was putting up a levy, and many of the people who were against the Lakota Levy were of course against the police levy. I assured many of those people there was no way people would pass the Police Levy, not as strapped as the community was, and the cops were crazy for asking. After all, weren’t they already very well compensated? I had seen the numbers, where some of them were making well over 90K per year. Some people in the community had no idea that the police and fire departments made so much. Many, myself included thought that police and fire fighters should be well paid, because we ask them to do a lot in the community, and figured that a good wage was somewhere around 55K to 65K per year. 100K per year seems outrageous, but that’s what the numbers told me was going on.

Below I include that list of all police and fire department staff in West Chester, Ohio where a levy was just approved in November that are currently making over 60K per year. This is public information because they are public employees. They report to the public! Not the other way around. They chose to work for the public, so should not be upset that this information is available. The reason it’s available is so that the community can understand how their tax money is spent. In this case, when we are discussing the problems with collective bargaining it has been the police and firefighters that have been complaining that they should somehow be exempt from the debate, because as they put it, “when society runs away from danger, they run to it.”

For the convenience of protecting society, I would say they are worth something like I described above. But anything over 65K I’d be against. The median household income in West Chester, Ohio is just a bit above 90K. Some of those homes are from single income families, but vast majorities are dual income homes, or homes where two married people and a child are working, which stacks up the numbers. So the misconception that residents in the wealthy area of West Chester are all rich is just that, a misconception. Divide the median income by two and that gives you the average wage in West Chester of around 50K per year. Yet through collective bargaining, the police and firefighter unions, just like the teachers unions, have driven up the cost of their service to extraordinary levels. The levy in November had to be implemented for one primary reason and that was to deal with the “step increases” scheduled for the upcoming years. That means that many of the people on the list you’ll see below are scheduled for an increase just because of their tenure. It doesn’t matter if they are already at a wage level that the rest of society deems reasonable. The collective bargaining agreements don’t care about common sense. The union mentality is that they don’t care where the money comes from. They have become extraordinarily arrogant over the years and many Republicans have been soft and non-combative, and have not meant them equally on the field of battle in the arena of ideas. Republicans have routinely caved under union pressure. This left Democrats to ram through State Revised Code and collective bargaining negotiations that are quite insane if looked upon with financial eyes.

Yet this is the cause of the current financial crises being felt all across this country. And in a few locations, like Ohio and Wisconsin a new type of conservative is being put into political positions by people who are sick of the game. These conservatives, driven by the Tea Party are expected to actually do the job, not cut deals with machine politics. And that’s part of what everyone is confused by. The United States is a Republic, not a democracy. If you don’t like what the representatives in government do, dump them on the next election. But what these Republicans are doing, they aren’t doing it for the Koch brothers, or any other corporate interest. They are doing it because it has been noticed, first by the Tea Party people all across the nation, that we need government to operate more like a business, in order to achieve a smaller government with more fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, public sector jobs, like fireman, police officers and teachers who have used emotion to negotiate great wages are going to be the first to endure this scrutiny, which must happen.

Those three public sector unions, teachers, firemen, and police have used emotion for a long time to pass tax increases that their union leaders clearly understand must happen in order to sustain the contracts they’ve negotiated with school boards, trustees and city councils. In the case of West Chester, which is no different from any place else, signs went up all over our community in November reminding us how important police are to our safety, and we must pass a levy to keep our families safe.

We hear the same thing from firemen when they need to increase their funding, and we all know that’s what happens in schools. It’s all about the kids, right!

But when you understand that at some point someone in the union leadership should have recognized that they were maxing out their wage levels, someone should have put on the wage brakes, but nobody did. They seem to really think that wages can continue to climb at a proportional rate regardless of productivity or actual job skills.

One of the questions I asked of several public officials is who regulates how much overtime firemen and police apply to their jobs? Who decides if it’s needed or not, because what’s happening is many of the senior officers are logging more OT hours closer to their retirement so they can have a greater retirement payout. But why? Who is protecting the tax payer from such cost overruns? Because that job isn’t being done.

I can say that in companies that I’ve worked for; overtime is something that we always watched carefully. We look at labor hours each week and determine what any OT gave us in relation to product output. Who’s doing that for the public sector, because the costs according to the list below appear to be extremely high! If such payrolls as listed below were submitted in the private sector to a careful business owner, heads would roll in a major way at such obvious waste. But in the public sector, such costs over runs are just part of the way business is done. This is why these organizations are afraid of S.B.5. They know in their hearts they’ve been gaming the system for a long time, and they are being exposed. The manipulative marketing techniques are losing their appeal, especially when America has the opportunity to see these public sector workers in action during these protests.

Many of these public workers have buried themselves in debt, and their lifestyle dictates such high levels of income, even though it’s always been unsustainable. Nobody told them that though. Their union leaders just encouraged them to continue buying luxuries without question so long as their union dues were paid on time.

Now they are worried because they see the public anger headed in their direction. The old tricks aren’t working, so now their union leaders are resorting to violence and the kind of threats that got us into all this trouble to begin with.

You see, the reason I don’t want to support unions is because of the radicals behind the movement. It’s nothing against the members themselves, but I despise bullies and there have been a lot of bullies emerging lately. I have two examples below.

These public workers have not been so well compensated because of their incredible value. They’ve been so well compensated because of the strong-armed tactics of the unions, and the weakness of our public officials we put into office that did not stand up to them over the years. This allowed for the incredible budget problems we have today. There is not an infinite amount of money being held at the end of a rainbow by some rich leprechaun, like the Koch brothers or anybody else, that if released would save everyone. Those types of fantasies are the rhetoric of the economic illiterate. The rich will always be rich. If you go after them, they’ll just move to another country and take their jobs with them. In fact, that’s exactly what’s happened. Where are the jobs? Mexico, India, China, Europe, and why? They don’t want to deal with union thugs. So what’s the response from SEIU? “We have to become global.” Good luck with that in China. Such a thought shows the vast ignorance of union leadership and their understanding of economics.

One such extreme example of this union mentality is the below letter sent to the senate in Wisconsin just after they voted to strip away collective bargaining. This isn’t a new strategy by the union radicals. This went on in the 60’s and 70’s to great effect. I see them no different from an organized crime element. The sole purpose of this letter is to strike fear in the minds of these politicians and discourage any courageous union reforms in the future. This letter is complete as written minus the senders email address; misspellings are left as they were written. The source of this letter is 620 WTMJ Wisconsin News Radio. They are pushing for a police investigation which appears to be not happening, which in itself should be shocking! This letter was signed. I would expect to see this on the front page of every newspaper and this person should be immediately taken into custody for his terrorist’s threat. But I can find no place where this has happened as of this writing.

http://www.620wtmj.com/shows/charliesykes/117726263.html?blog=y

____________________________________________________________________________________________

From: XXXX
Sent: Wed 3/9/2011 9:18 PM
To: Sen.Kapanke; Sen.Darling; Sen.Cowles; Sen.Ellis; Sen.Fitzgerald; Sen.Galloway; Sen.Grothman; Sen.Harsdorf; Sen.Hopper; Sen.Kedzie; Sen.Lasee; Sen.Lazich; Sen.Leibham; Sen.Moulton; Sen.Olsen
Subject: Atten: Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!
Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes
will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain
to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it
will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit
that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for
more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.
WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in
the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me
have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and the people that
support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing
with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand
for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many
others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records.
We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a
nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave
it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the
message to you since you are so “high” on Koch and have decided that you are
now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a
demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed
in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t
tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are
not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided
to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s
necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making
them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families
and themselves then We Will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) you. Please
understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked
everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel
that it’s worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives
of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and
say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The second event occurred at the Liberty Twp Tea Party meeting on Monday March 7, 2011. That meeting focused on excessive costs and red tape that business must endure to do business. Much of that discussion centered on the effects of the “CAT Tax,” prevailing wages, unemployment rate increases, and problems centering on the 1099 forms. Roger Reynolds spoke about the ridiculous regulations in the government building in Hamilton where if mail is delivered to the wrong floor, the mail cannot be just walked up to the next floor, but must be resent through the post office, which defies common sense. The gist of the discussion was that most of the regulations in place were simply to preserve jobs, which has a noble intent, but has directly contributed to the budget problems all across the State of Ohio, and the nation of the United States.

Things became exciting as the meeting was closing. A teacher and a fireman, crashed our Tea Party to protest S.B.5. Being good Tea Party people, there was no anger at this imposition, but a lively discussion erupted as the two public workers stood before the crowd of approximately 250 people and pleaded to us not to support the S.B.5 Bill. The argument centered on the usual stuff, “S.B.5 will put us out of work. It’s not fair to ask us to work for less. Who’s going to pay our pension fund?”

They spoke for about 15 minutes then started repeating themselves. The Tea Party people had been very patient asking hard questions, but never getting divisive. Since the building we were renting had it’s time expire some of us starting folding up the chairs to put them away and let the two public workers know that the meeting was over, as politely as possible. Before they left, I approached the two workers and asked them, “So what do you propose to do? How do we pay for you? Raise taxes even more?”

We shook hands and parted disagreeing, but not hateful to each other. They didn’t have an answer on how to pay for their work. Especially when you realize how much we are spending on public workers. For those workers, I found out the teacher was only making 52K and he had a Master’s Degree. That didn’t seem unreasonable, but I know of many more public workers out there that have allowed “collective bargaining” to give them wages that would be unheard of in the private sector. Many of these so-called middle-class jobs that police, firefighters, and teachers are engaging in are at the top of the pay scale for any job, and when they argue that they are just simple middle-class citizens that are sacrificing themselves for the good of our nation and our future, it leaves you scratching your head when you find out how much they make, because in a lot of house holds, their income makes them considerably wealthy compared to the other 83% of the state that is not a part of “collective bargaining.”

I thought about the Tea Party crashers for a good part of the week and considered their audacity of coming to that group uninvited to make a personal emotional plea. They felt empowered to do so. Their action demonstrates their mentality which truly believes they are entitled to the benefits they’ve become accustom to.

Because of these two actions I decided to put the information I had been holding for so long onto these pages for others to see, because if we’re ever going to fix these problems, we all need to understand what we’re dealing with. So here is that list I mentioned of the police and fire officers and support staff of West Chester Twp. It’s not to put a specific light on them, because the problem is statewide, even nationwide. But because they just passed a levy a few months ago and are in my community, so I already had these numbers. They make a good example of how much these services cost. It becomes clear when looking over this list that the police and fire department unions are trying to protect this very lucrative compensation that collective bargaining has yielded them. This is why they are protesting S.B.5 so furiously, and this is why they are already planning to put the issue on a referendum for the November ballot, hoping to return to the “good ol’ days” that they are currently enjoying once S.B.5 becomes law by the end of March.

From a management side, it is also clear why our taxes are so out of control. The reason for S.B.5 is to put local communities back in control of these types of costs, which of course the unions don’t want. They want chaos so they can continue to push up the costs of their members. To give you an idea how much the union is relied upon among the people listed above I can report that there are two police captains on that list that are not in the union, because their positions are a bit like a superintendent of a school system. They currently have appeals filed where a judge struck down their attempts to re-join the union on grounds that they would not be impartial to negotiate contracts if they were a part of the union. This says everything about where those captains’ loyalties are. A judge’s opinion wasn’t good enough so the appeals were filed. This is the game we’re playing and what they are protecting.

And who could blame them? These people are being paid “extremely” well, and they know it. What is disappointing is that they aren’t putting the good of the community in their thoughts. Further taxation among a public that is making 30% to 45% less in most cases is the only option they are interested in exploring.

My mind on this issue is open because danger doesn’t impress me. Many are not comfortable looking at firefighters and police officers, or even teachers with scrutiny because there is an inner guilt that is built into all of us not to question these professions. It’s considered un-patriotic. For many, many years the media has pandered to these groups in order to get their support in exchange for stories. Talk show hosts claiming to wrap themselves in the American flag hang themselves to police and firefighters particularly after 911 in order to associate their image with justice. And for year’s police, judges, lawyers and many others in the legal profession have formed a brotherhood of nepotism that cannot be ignored as they share in the defense of that thin blue line. But worst of all has been politicians looking for the FOP vote. Those politicians are just as guilty of pandering to bloc voting with police and fireman as those accused of doing the same with immigrants and other minorities.

As I look at the wage rate numbers and watch the protests on TV about collective bargaining, I now understand how, Little Red Riding Hood ended up in the stomach of the wolf. “Oh Grandma, what big eyes you have.”

“The better to see you with.”

The enemy that seeks to eat us comes to us as a trusted representative in order to lure us close enough to eat. It’s a classic story that we teach our young to avoid these very types of pitfalls. Is the wolf evil for wanting to eat Little Red Riding Hood? No. It’s just a wolf. It eats to fill its belly. That’s all it understands.

The dark side to the pandering of police officers and fire departments by politicians for such a long time is the same as the reason many people appease a bully. Nobody wants to be on the bad side of the police, because there are plenty of stories of retaliation from “the brotherhood.” Massaging the ego of someone more powerful is the most effective way to avoid trouble, and politicians and other media personalities are very guilty of doing just that. The cost of that pandering can be seen in the wages which are in my opinion way out of control. In organized crime they might call it a “paying for protection.” In our communities, we call it a “tax increase.”

Now that S.B.5 has been put on the table, I’m sure it’s shocking to many of these unions to see that a great number of people see through the game they’ve been playing for such a long time. I’m sure many of them are hurt, because most of the employees in the public sector believe in what they are doing. Like most people they put on blinders to the negatives around them. We all know of trouble in our work places, improprieties that we choose to overlook because that’s how we get up and go to work every day. Most of the public workers are no different, and aren’t openly plotting to bankrupt the communities they work in. They see themselves as heroes, because they’ve been told that by so many over the years. It is difficult for them to suddenly see themselves as the “big bad wolf.” But the reality is that’s how people really feel deep down inside. Appeasement is confused with respect.

To me, a hero is someone who acts out of sacrifice. Running into danger when the rest of society runs away is what the tax payers pay those people for, so they do it for money, which is fine, but don’t pretend that doing a job that’s dangerous makes someone heroic with danger being the qualifier of heroism. The real heroes are those that do good deeds without any compensation, not even a pat on the back, because it’s the right thing to do. Paying over 90K for police and firefighters doesn’t qualify as heroism. It qualifies as an expensive employee for the community.

When the threats and intimidation strategies come into play we see what these people we thought were heroes are really about. A hero would admit that they have been taking too much from the community and would come to the table and put themselves in line with the rest of the community because they are public servants. They wouldn’t seek to send threatening letters to senators, call people names, or crash local Tea Parties to plead to the emotions of the good public just trying to do the right thing and afford our tax burdens.

The Big Bad Wolf only thinks of filling its belly even if it means eating the innocent.

Rich Hoffman

https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

80 thoughts on ““Oh What Big Teeth You Have”: How much do police and firefighters cost in West Chester?

  1. (This is my second attempt to respond to this essay. The first one disappeared.)

    “I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

    Rich Hoffman, you are bringing reason to us and your command of the English language is second to none. Thank you for your continued research on the absolute and total extortion by the people who are supposed to protect us and those who are supposed to teach our children. Richard Trumka and his ilk have lead the unions down the primrose path of wanton greed and disregard for the 94% of us who are not “public employees.” We just get to pay and ask no questions.

    Our country has been consumed by collectivist unions and their crony capitalists. The mainstream media has to be “in bed” with them because the mentioned letter has not appeared in the news. If anyone on the right had written even one sentence of that letter. they would have been arrested. Yes, and by the police that are being paid by us.

    I once asked a friend if he thought our police would act against the citizens like those in Cuba and other “third world countries.” He said that they wouldn’t. I’m not so sure. By the sound of that letter, they are willing to do anything for a “buck.”
    Should I say, “many bucks.” The old adage, “the more you get, the more you want” comes to mind.

    $12,500.00 for health insurance. Boy it must be the best. $70,000.00 for an Administrative Assistant, with full benefits. Now I could really use a job like that. I wonder if you have to be related or ?????? to get that gig?

    “Warrior” you are our Thomas Paine. Keep up the good work.

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  2. Wow, you got me completely ticked off. I never checked into the West Chester salaries for public employees before voting last fall. This is unbelievable, I was ready to call for the exemption of police and fire from SB5 like Wisconsin did, but now there is no way.
    A dozen or more police and fire Lieutenants making north of $100,000 per yr plus gold plated benefits, you have got to be kidding me.
    I haven’t been able to contribute to my own (as an Electrical Engineer) retirement for the last 5 years due to reduction in salary and lay-offs. But yet I am forced to pay for millions in public employee pensions.

    Preach on brother Rich

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    1. It’s amazing, isn’t it. They never tell you how much they make when they put levies up for a vote. Nobody has benefits like that in the private sector, because the private sector would go bankrupt if it did. Only tax payer funds that comes from other peoples money can be spent so recklessly. I can’t believe these guys didn’t check themselves. Talk about greed.

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    2. I suggest you look around before you bash anyone about pay. ALL Butler County salaries are in the local papers EVERY year. Also, I suggest you compare the hours. A firefighter works almost 1000 hours a year more than a 40 hour person. Cincinnati firefighters top out more than West Chester firefighters. An officer that makes $100k is done with overtime. Majority of that overtime is MANDATORY overtime. So imagine your getting off work at 5:00 pm and your boss calling at 4:50 and saying “you need to stay til midnight, sorry” and you say “but I have to pick my child up from daycare” and he says “sorry”. This is done on a DAILY basis. And yet you blame the firefighter. Let us not forget who signs a Collective Barganing Agreement (contract). The union AND the Chief, TRUSTEES ans Twp. Administrator. Look into the last time ANY West Chester Contract went to “binding arbitration” over wages. The fire contract hasen’t in AT LEAST 9 years. That means the ELECTED officials and Administration AGREED…..YES AGREED to the pay. So if your going to point fingers, do not be a typical politician and read one persons opinion and start pointing fingers.

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      1. I know that Cincinnati firefighter are higher than West Chester, and that’s actually worse. West Chester is actually a good middle number, which is why I used it. And I am also aware that much of that money is done with overtime, and I’ll ask again, why? Someone managing the situation needs to watch the overtime much better. A manditory situation where you guys are on a call is reasonable, but just to ring up the numbers without any managment is not a smart use of money.

        And I have had to ask many employees to stick around and work an additional 4 to 5 hours, or to come back in to work for third shift. And I’ve done it myself many times, most of the time not for any compensation, but because the job called for the attention.

        The elected officials caved, and didn’t do the job correctly. That’s why we are putting in more aggresive elected officials. They painted us into this corner. We really can’t blame you guys for saying yes when those idiots were making deals to pander to the union vote.

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      2. You just stated the exact problem…”The elected officials caved, and didn’t do the job correctly. That’s why we are putting in more aggresive elected officials. They painted us into this corner. We really can’t blame you guys for saying yes when those idiots were making deals to pander to the union vote.”

        But who is going to pay for “those idiots”….The firefighters…and you will vote party line, again because that is what always happens in Butler County.

        And when I say mandatory overtime, I’m not talking about being on a run. This is to man a station for an additional 24 hours after you just worked 24 hours. The department runs a min. of 23 firefighters per day. Do you have any clue what is in the union contract as a min???? It’s 10!!!! Thats right 10!!!! So whose to blame AGAIN…. Everyone in and elected office will push the blame to the unions again. They need to re-write SB5 to address elect officials and there role in all of this. By the way, you can view ANY public unions contract on SERBs website, and you will see for southwest Ohio WC is NOT the middle.

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    3. The firefighters contract is available at http://www.iaff3518.com, there you will find the following facts under the copy of their contract. Current bargained salary for a New-Senior Career Lt. is negotiated at $64,003.53-$70,045.17. Current bargained salary for a New-Senior Career Firefighter is negogiated at $46,199.40-$60,380.68. This is a big difference.
      I suggest you look into the Police Departments actual negotiated salary before forming an opinion. Maybe we should be looking at the management Rich talks about, it is not all as it appears.

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      1. I have no problem with contracted salary cost in this case. But my opinion stands that handing the taxpayer a bill double these figures at the end of the day is unsustainable. And I agree this points to a problem with the police and fire management.
        (oh, and by the way, the salary figures above are from a contract that ended in 2008)

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  3. The citizens of your community are about to get the awakening of a lifetime. Many of the elders do not have computers and perhaps their children don’t keep them aware of such issues. These are the passive, loving, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles etc. of yesteryear when it was a “no brainer” to uphold and support these entities. Even to this day.
    My ties to that community are strong and I have printed and will hand out as many copies as I can to my church and other organizations. I hope others will do the same. It’s the least we can do if you get anything from Warrior’s writtings and his tireless efforts. Please wake up friends. This is out of control and it’s time to rein in the spending. (My in-laws will be in shock today)…and furious!! When I think of how hard they worked…and still do, to survive on the retirement they have, my blood boils.

    I think I will apply for the position of assistant to the admin assistant and see if I can get half of what she gets. 30gs is a mean salary for hand holding the hand holder.

    The numbers are mind-bending when you see them in the raw.
    Thanks again Rich. 😉

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    1. What we have here is a situation where these people have taken advantage of the respect the community gave them. Under that respect they just kept asking for more. I once had an employee that left working for me to take a job with the police force. He had special forces training, and secretly had a desire to shoot people. It was a kind of blood thirst a man who’s tasted blood has if he enjoys that kind of thing, which I understood. But his primary reason for leaving was that I could only pay him 35K per year for the position he was doing. As a police officer, he’d have the opportunity to make 55K right away. So his two motivating reasons for taking the job was that he wanted to carry a gun again in public, and he wanted to be paid well. I liked the guy quite a bit. He trusted me enough to hold a target in his mouth that I cut out with a whip. But in the end it was about the money. Money before duty. Money before honor of the community. Money before personal pride.

      The public knows deep down inside, but they react like the poor wife that knows her husband is cheating on her. So long as she can avoid facing the reality, she can endure the marriage. But once she’s confronted with the hard facts, she’ll become angry and want to either put an end to the relationship her husband has with the other woman, or she’ll want out of the marriage all together.

      A trusted friend has been cheating on us behind our back, and now we have to face the fact that they did it for the money, and that hurts. And now that we want to pass S.B.5 and watch what they are doing, they respond with anger and protests when in reality we just want to know what they’re up to. We want a closer relationship to protect ourselves from more bad conduct going on behind our backs. But they want to continue to live life hidden by the darkness of the cracks.

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  4. Before you all attack the public employees lets look into the numbers. I can only speak for the fire department, for it is the only department I know about. The average 40 hour per week worker spends 20% of his year at work, and for this what is a fair salary?? 60,000 as you say, right? OK, the average Fire Lieutenant after figuring a 52 hour work week and over time, spends 40% of their time at work. And why do they do it? They do it to protect YOU!!!! And this is the thanks you give them? Lets look at what they do: They miss meals, lose sleep and spend 40% of their life away from their own families, and for what? To be there as an insurance policy for YOU, and YOUR children and YOUR parents when they are at the worst. You think firefighters are the enemy and private business is not? Then call the CEO of your bank next time you need help. See if that individual will come and help your family member at 0300 in the morning. See if he’ll respond to put the fire out inside of your house. See if he will render aid to a bloody and mangled child, that was ran over by his aunt, render aid all the while knowing that the child had no chance, but at least you offered the parent some slice of hope. The things that firefighters do for all citizens without so much as a question, you all should be ashamed of yourselves for attacking the very people who would, tonight, respond to your house even after knowing what you think of them, and treat you with the utmost respect and dignity, and help you in any way possible. I thank God that we have the right to freely express our thoughts in this country, even when many of you shouldnt. Stay safe, and God Bless our Firefighters!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. Opponent, you do use all of the “heartwarming” catch phrases so common with union members. You are so philanthropic in your service to your community. You serve because? (rhetorical question) Because you are well paid, that’s why you work for the local government. Many of you love what you do, and that’s great. We appreciate knowing you are on the job when we need you. We just had no idea how much you are paid and what nice benefits you enjoy. Most of us that are paying taxes do not enjoy such salaries and benefits. Most of us also perform duties in hospitals and other critical care facilities. Most of us have advanced degrees in medicine and other related fields. None of us (other than physicians) enjoy salaries that even compare to yours. Yes, we are on call, work the all night shifts, show up on a daily basis at 6 AM. Please don’t pull that “heroic” chatter that is really getting old. Heros are on the front lines in Iraq and Afganistan. If you served than you have my respect. If you just want to ramble on about your “dedication” – then just quit and move on, because we just can’t afford to pay any more taxes.
    Simple as that.

    By the way, I used to work across from the fire hall. The guys sat out front all day, drove to the grocery store, washed the trucks and their main runs were to check out accidents on I-75. Not because they were needed, but because it was a run and they were bored. Yes, once in a great while you guys have to come in with “the jaws of life” and we appreciate that you can pry someone out of a car. Truth is that it doesn’t take two fire trucks and a squad to perform that operation.

    And as for the police, I waited all night for an officer to come when I called regarding a prowler. A prowler that was on my front porch. After the officer managed to show up, the prowler was long gone and all he did was write up a report. On another occasion, our property was vandalized and robbed of $30,000.00 worth of new appliances and other materials. Two days later the police arrived, wrote a report, never followed the leads we gave to them and that was the end of it. Reports seem to be the way the unionized police force operate.

    YOU want our thanks and respect, but how can we hold any respect for YOU when YOU and YOUR UNION brothers manage to destroy our state capital, intimidate and bully people who don’t agree with YOU, threaten to kill the governor all in the name of protest against SB 5.

    Is it really worth $100,000.00 plus to any of us. Can’t we find people who will work for – say $60,000.00? By the way, I don’t know one single clerical worker (Administrate Assistant) worth $70,000.00. Absolutely, not one!!!! Who are these women related to?

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    1. The firefighters contract is available at http://www.iaff3518.com, there you will find the following facts under the copy of their contract. Current bargained salary for a New-Senior Career Lt. is negotiated at $64,003.53-$70,045.17. Current bargained salary for a New-Senior Career Firefighter is negogiated at $46,199.40-$60,380.68. This is a big difference.

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  6. You really should gather all the facts first. Maybe you should post the “bargained” salaries along with the “final” salaries you have posted. Then educate the public how many times the “government” chose in this case to mandatorily hold the the Fire Department employee against his/her will to work at a rate of time and a half!!! Do your research better and quit telling part of the story you hypocrit!!!

    Get ALL the facts first

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    1. A hypocrit is a person that says one thing and does another. I don’t do that. I’ll let it slide that you don’t understand the meaning of the word before I get pissed off at your name calling.

      Feel free to send me better facts if you have them. My sources are pretty good, plus this is what I was able to pull from the Journal.

      It seems you’re talking about manditory overtime. Who makes up those policies? Who is controling those costs in your department? Because I’d bet that the hours logged are not completly productive.

      Are you saying the bargained saleries were higher than the final?

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      1. The firefighters contract is available at http://www.iaff3518.com, there you will find the following facts under the copy of their contract. Current bargained salary for a New-Senior Career Lt. is negotiated at $64,003.53-$70,045.17. Current bargained salary for a New-Senior Career Firefighter is negogiated at $46,199.40-$60,380.68. This is a big difference. You have a very good question, WHO MAKES THOSE POLICIES? I can tell you it definitely is not the firefighter or “union” who has to tell his or her son or daughter they can’t make it to their Birthday that day because they are not allowed to leave work! A lot of these cost could be avoided without the overtime, just look at the negotiated/bargained salaries. And on productivity, 1)How productive is your insurance policy while it’s sitting, waiting? 2)How safe is it to have people working 48 hours only being off 12 hours sometimes living 1-2 hours away, coming back in working another 48 hours straight? I know I wouldn’t let them drive my car, or knowingly go to see them for medical care! A bunch of zombies walking around! A typical firefighter works a 24 hours on 48 hours off rotation. They work more hours than the average 40 hour per week employee. That means Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, whatever. They startt at 6 am and don’t leave at least until 6 am the following morning. Depressing…anyway. Some governments opt to pay no overtime and just drop staffing or brown out firehouses when staffing is unavailable. Is this something West Chester should look at? It’s not the firemen, they are here because they care. I appreciate what they do, and the fact they are standing by, ready and waiting. I don’t care what they do (productivity) as long as when I need them, they are here. Oh, and, my apologies for “name calling”. After reading your article, it sounds a lot like the article fits that definition. I interpret it as essentially calling people liars when in and of itself is only telling part of the truth. This is a volatile subject with some unstable individuals in crazy, and for some of these people, desperate times.

        KLKenny

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      2. Thanks for the info. You’re not the enemy. It’s just a tough situation that we all have to get through together. The OT policies sound like a real managment problem. I can say that I spend a considerable amount of time dealing with OT costs each week. Many employees lobby openly to get it, and it’s tough to tell them no when you really don’t need the work, but admire the gumption of them wanting to make some extra money. So with you guys, I’m sure there are some of those cases. But the manditory OT seems like it’s a managment problem that someone needs to get their hands around.

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  7. Opponent…Here you go down the rabbit hole of accusing those of us that only question the salaries of the firefighters and officers of being some kind of heartless human beings. That’s ridiculous. My husband works 70+ hours a week. He misses all kinds of meals if he even bothers by the time he gets home. He spends way more than 40% away from his family. No he’s not saving lives but he provides an important product to the public..in the private sector. He has no pension plan. We work hard very hard on our portfolio so we can have something for later in life. This is not propped up by my neighbors. And our own health care. He dosen’t even recieve raises except for the commisions he might get if his profit margins are in check and the goals are met. In this economy, that is extremely hard and yes..it does keep him awake. Why is it ludicrous for us to ask for an even playing field? It’s real simple. With the public sector dwindling at breakneck speed, the money just isn’t there. We know we won’t get social security. We have not even half of what these folks are getting. I’m not jealous as it may seem..we just can’t uphold these out of control benefits, particularly pensions.
    So before you call us out on not caring about those people that keep us safe, I’m here to tell you what we go through to pay them.

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  8. Some people are too quick to react to voice their opinions without seeking the facts and at the same time some are quick to voice their anger at either a response or a sensititve situation thats going on just as this. This goes for the members of the community and their public employee’s. The problem with this whole situation is that the members of the communities are blinded behind closed doors. From my experience most of the members of the communities are very happy with the services of Police and Fire. These men and women went into this career to help people by savings lives, property and keeping people safe. I love my job and find it very benefiting to be able to help someone in need. However, what the public does not know in this situation is that it’s not the Firefighter’s or a Lieutenant Firefighter’s choice to work mandated hours causing overtime. Ask many of these men and women as well as their families and you will hear the same I’m sure … “I would much prefer to be home with my family than to be working overtime past a previous 24hr shift.” These men and women work many more hours than most people do. Yes it was their choice to became a Firefighter, however it is not their choice to work the overtime which is being mandated. They do it for one because they were mandated, and for two because in this line of work you are here for others (the community).

    Yes we miss out on many special times with our families throughout the years, and yes we knew this going into this career, but do you actually believe this is by choice to spend even more time away than we already do?

    Yes there were many Lieutenant’s high on that list making more than $100,000. What you don’t see or hear is that these men and women are being told they have to stay and work the OT. They don’t even have a choice. Something else you don’t hear is these Lieutenant’s calling home to either make other arrangements for getting their kids off to school because their spouse has to be at work also or how they have to call home to explain to their families that they won’t be home until the very next day now or how they have to cancel or postpone their family activities or that they can’t show for their kids football game or play at school because they are forced to work. This is an administrative problem.

    What do you mean they never tell you how much they make when levy’s are put on??? These salaries are posted every year in the newspaper and online. This is all public information. The spending of taxpayer’s money has not one thing to do with your communities Firefighters, Police, or Teachers. This is an administrative issue and some of these people are elected officials! Maybe next time you will do some better research and also listen to what your local Firefighter’s & Police have to say as well as who they are endorcing and why. You are so quick to say “greed” when all you had to do is a little research for yourself.

    Sandra I say this to you: We too pay taxes. Maybe you should have chosen the career of a Firefighter because your statement sounds more of a jeolousy one than that of a concearn of what really is happening. Again, where is your research? Why have you not checked in to what you are paying taxes for and where the money is going? Again, it is all public knowledge and is open for you to look at. Have you gone to any of the trustee meetings to voice your concearns and ask why? Or just watched them on TV? Heros are all over this country in many area’s and many occupations. The problem here is everyone wants to blame someone else, and it’s going on with many situations and problems everywhere across this great country. The people have to come together. And I’m sorry, but we don’t make runs because we are “bored”. Again, this is another retaliation from anger, and should not be addressed toward the Firefighters. And if you saw what had happened on I-75 yesterday in Middletown … yes it can take two trucks, manpower, and sometime to pull someone out of a vehicle that’s been completely crushed. Again, you are retaliating out of anger. The thing of it is … know one knows what will happen or can happen and your local Firefighters and Police are there 24/7 to make sure you and the other people in our communities are taken care of best we can. As far as your comment on our daily precedures … I won’t waste the time commenting. Go to your local Firehouse and ask them what they do all day. I know 100% you will be adding things to your “blasting of Firefighters list”. Oh and Firefighter’s have to eat to ya know.

    All we are all doing here is retaliating back and forth here. Like an earlier post states … Let’s get our facts straight! It’s not the Firefighters, the Police, the teachers and the other govenment employees … it’s the administrations and the bad politics thats making this happen. Not the unions.

    *The people have to come together*

    overmanwarrior … I hope you will continue to share a little more light of the situation to people!

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    1. I’m happy to put all the facts up. I have my opinion about things and I start the conversation by putting my opinion on the table and let the discussion begin. I invite all opinions as long as it’s civil. Quite a few people read this, so it’s a good way to state your opinion. I’ll never attack anyone who puts forth a comment that is well thought out. But…..I am against all forms of collectivism by nature. I’ve stated often, I don’t think teachers, firefighters or police should starve. They should be paid well. Not too much, or too many. But the people we employee as a community should be well compensated. Starving is extreme. Nobody is talking about that. We’re talking about excessive.

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      1. Overmanwarrior, I just wanted to touch on your reply. I guess I didn’t make something clear and I do appologize. The “Firefighters have to eat too ya know” response was a comment made to a previous statement made by someone else above named Sandra who made a statement and was complaining about things one being that firefighters drove to the grocery.

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  9. I can see that many of the posts are heated on here, so please don’t mind if I opt to stay more civil. On an earlier post it was mentioned that a banker has a different job than a firefighter. That is correct, a banker manages and markets his company. When I was a volunteer firefighter, we had officers that did the same thing. They managed personnel and marketed their department, most for very little wages. Yet I can tell you that our community suffered, our firefighters were not well trained, not high caliber, and we put our community back home at risk. This is not the case in West Chester. I have seen first hand the knowledge and skill that our firefighters have, they truly love their job and are dedicated. You have to be compensated to retain high caliber employees, and West Chester isn’t the highest around, neither is Cincinnati.

    I see firefighters at area businesses all the time conducting inspections, mitigating fire hazards, and being productive all day. West Chester, according the our community website, has between 3,000 and 4,000 businesses that are inspected. That’s a lot of time taken up already. I did some other digging too and found out that they respond to nearly 6,000 calls a year. After some simple math and see that’s 16 to 17 calls, on average, per shift. Each shift runs 24 hours on top of inspections, trainings, and other department functions. I doubt that those firefighters are sitting around all night long.
    I support and respect our police officers and firefighters. Several of my neighbors are in law enforcement and describe negotiations as a civil and democratic process. It’s called a negotiation for a reason. Why not allow binding arbitration? Afterall, our public employees can’t strike nor should they, so why not allow an independent third party to review the terms of the contract and make a ruling? It’s democratic isn’t it?
    Am I opposed to SB5? Overall yes I am, even as a republican. There are some things that make sense such as greater public transparency during negotiations so I can see what my money is going for. But I disagree with taking away collective bargaining or binding arbitration.
    Again when I was a volunteer, we had a “rich” section of our community. We would go up there and pick up 90 year old men that founded great corporations and were CEO’s and exectuives. It’s funny though, I never have met a 90 year old retired firefighter. I’ve never met an 85 year old retired firefighter. The ones I have met are in their 70’s, battling arthritis, lung issues, several cancers, and struggling to make it because of soaring healthcare costs.
    Now they did sign up for those risks, and a lifetime of stepping on and off a firetruck will destroy your knees and back. I’m certain our firefighters know that. Exposure to toxic smoke will cause cancer. But my more radical colleagues paint a picture of luxurious health benefits, free healthcare, taxpayer funded benefits. Their benefits are not as good as percieved, their quality of life isn’t either. After a lifetime of protecting this community, is it right to throw them away like trash? Aren’t these HEROIC men and women allowed to enjoy the few remaining years they might have?
    West Chester’s elected officials have done well in managing our tax dollars. We have seen other cities reducing public services and going bankrupt. Thankfully, due in large part to wise business investments and a solid community foundation, we have not faced such tough times. Keep in mind that these “union thugs” are middle class workers trying to support families. Many are the sole “breadwinner” in the house because they spend so much time away from home. These are family people, and they care about the community they serve. DO NOT portray them as devils just because they aren’t in a distant desert protecting our freedom, they are much closer protecting your child… husband…wife…mother.
    These tough times are affecting us all, but the blame isn’t on our public workers. The tea party has many well intentioned plans as to less spending, less government, fiscal responsibility. But lets not attack our police officers and firefighters. And as to SB5, which is introuducing more goverment oversight, isn’t that the last thing the tea party wants? Taxes are a nuiscence, but we pay them to enjoy the services we have in our community. Afterall we could get some volunteers with no training or experience to come to our door.
    Sorry for the long post.

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  10. From what I understand as far as mandatory overtime goes I’m pretty sure the Firefighter’s Union tried to lower cost by offering acting pay to Firefighter’s so that there would not be Mandatory OT for the Lt’s. Just FYI

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      1. It was offered, and the administration denied it and said “we promoted supervisors, we will have supervisors”. And they got them.

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  11. If the current staff has to put in all of that “mandatory” overtime, then just hire a few more people. It would be more cost effective in the long run. Overtime costs a lot and the “overworked” person cannot be in top form after 24 hours on the job.

    As far as verbally “attacking” our public employees that would never have happened if we didn’t see massive coverage of the “union thugs” attacking our elected officials on normal work days.

    The very decent people in the police departments, fire departments and teachers are allowing horrible people to speak for them. Scott Walker has been threatened over and over again. As has every other representative in favor of SB 5. The latest is an open threat to kill Gov. Walker. (Did you read the letter?) I don’t call this “peaceful negotiations.”

    If the decent people who are employed with our taxes would manage to stand up to the thugs, that would help us understand their positions immensely. But, when you allow the worst of the worst speak for you, then we just have to put you all in the same category.

    We don’t expect you to work for nothing. We don’t expect you to “give up” your family to stay on duty. Just remember, that all of us are working double time just to keep food on the table, pay our house payments and yes pay our higher and higher taxes.

    If you can’t understand that more and more people, especially the elderly, are losing their, fully paid for, homes because the taxes have gone through the roof. Your union bosses do not care about that. Maybe you should listen to Richard Trumka and the other union bosses that speak about “power.” Maybe you should check into who your union dues support election after election. Democrats who are “collectivists.” Democrats who believe in making as many citizens as possible dependent on the “government.” Read Saul Alinsky. “Rules for Radicals” goes deeply into managing the “people” to do their bidding. Revolution is their mantra and pitting us against each other for the ultimate overthrow of our Republic.

    You want us to understand your point of view. We do! Now how about learning about how the rest of us have to live with two of us making what one of you make. Two of us with medical expenses and none – or pitiful insurance. Two of us working an extra job just to pay our exorbitant taxes.

    When you speak up about the “union thugs” and how they have destroyed the Madison, Wisconsin state house without regard, threatened (death threats) legally elected representatives then you might have some credibility.

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    1. It seems to me have lost track of the topic. Because a “union thug” destroyed the Wisconsin Capitol or sent a death threat to Gov. Walker…… Lets point fingers at the West Chester Police and Fire?????

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    2. statistically the IAFF and FOP are 50/50 split as far as republican and democrat support-most go with the candidate that supports thier issues what ever they may be and in the last governor election it was tilted republican as evidence by endorsements etc. SEE PLUNDERBUND.COM

      As for the argument about dues etc. Most contracts DO NOT include the fair share clause-you can see all public labor agreements on the State Employment Relations Board website (SERB)- if a member wants to give to a PAC or a PCE they do on their own-SEPERATELY. That situation is no different than the Tea Party sites with a link to give a donation to “support the cause”. All involved parties in politics are looking to raise and use funds for elections!

      A lot of people fail to notice the charity work that goes on, I am sure that the MDA can give accurate statistics as to the IAFF being the single largest fund raiser for thier organization period.

      Everyone is obsessed with power, that is what this is all about- a power grab- if you break the unions then it will be all right because they support the other side, yet while clamoring for less big government etc that is exactly what you will recieve with mandates from columbus on costs incurred in a contract and taking the decisions away from local elected officials and those that they employ to represent them. A negotiation is at least a 2 party process, kinda like dancing-weird by yourself

      Gold plated- yeah we all saw the articles done about stricher and wright etc from cincinnati- it took 40 years to amass that and those are the execptions to the rule, when you again statistically look at the average pension is 33,000 annually with about 600-800 a month going to healthcare. The fine print on the high end of service payouts show that the amounts amassed were due to loopholes from the 70’s that were closed in the 80’s through collective bargaining-

      to the post below I am sure that the phone call with Governor Walker and the reporter playing one of the Koch brothers was a complete fake and he was forced to admit that his own strategists wanted to “insert troublemakers” into the crowds- but this is about local issues right?

      Locally you are getting what you asked for- the state funding to local governments has been cut so now you as a taxpayer have to choose what you want to pay for services, education, safety, etc. at the ballot box. If you say no and they cut things or service declines you will only have yourselves to blame. Really we already have this ability given to us without SB5 or anything else by getting educated and getting out and voting- I have yet to see in all the debate that has raged about collective bargaining people look around at the big picture and include all the players, no one questions the lack of pension system payments, pet projects, nice to have things when times were good. at least a few communities in this area did show some long term planning to avoid this being a shock to the system. Locally there are no big union thug bosses working the system, no local union officials are compensated.

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  12. For those of you in the pro-union group, you might want to sign up for this “thug” course of study.
    Sign up sheet at the bottom. Open your eyes and ears and learn who represents you at the “bargaining table.” “Thugs against taxpayers” is not too mean a phrase. Facts are facts. The copied is their own flyer.

    Madison Troublemakers School – April 1 & 2, 2011
    Friday April 1, 2011, 5 p.m., free
    Reception. Cartoon and photo exhibit.
    Guest speakers on “The State of the Unions”

    Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Workshops
    $25 includes Saturday lunch, Register Now

    Labor Temple, 1602 South Park St., Madison

    Union busting, the governor’s attack on public employees, concession demands, layoffs, threats to Social Security and pensions, increased health insurance costs, contracting out, furloughs, wage freezes, free trade deals, tax giveaways to the rich, tuition increases, wars, charter schools, sustained high unemployment, runaway shops, Right to Work…did we leave anything out?

    Working people are under assault and the assault will continue until we put an end to it. The protests at the Capitol are showing what working people are made of.

    That’s the idea behind the Madison Labor Notes Troublemakers School. How do we build on the protests, protect what we have–and lay the foundation to fight for more? Led by experienced labor activists, our workshops will explore strategies to fight back and give you the hands-on skills to make it happen.

    The idea is not just to talk about problems for a day and then go home, but to come up with specific plans in some areas, so that we can go out Monday morning and get to work organizing to build on what we’ve done. There will be ample time to assess what we’ve gained through our unprecedented activism of the last month.

    Workshops include:

    Public Sector Workers: What’s Next?
    Labor’s Electoral Strategy: Are We Getting Our Money’s Worth?
    New and Old Organizing Strategies
    Protecting the Interests of Immigrant Workers
    Art for Mobilization
    Media Outreach
    Contract Campaigns
    Labor-Campus-Community Solidarity
    Racism: History of Divide and Conquer
    Is Capitalism Working for Us? Saving the Social Safety Net
    Know Your Workplace Rights
    Up Your Union: Get Involved and Revitalize It

    Don’t miss the opening session Friday at 5 p.m.: labor poetry, cartoons and photos, followed by “State of the Unions” with historian Peter Rachleff, Labor Notes founder Jane Slaughter, author Joe Burns, SCFL President Jim Cavanaugh, and journalist Steve Early.

    Interpretation and child care will be provided Saturday if requested at least two weeks in advance (see registration form below).

    Download Flyer!

    If you have questions, or would like a presentation at your local union meeting, contact David Poklinkoski at (608) 770-8896, ibew2304@att.net, or Steve Masar at (608) 338-9948, samasar@facstaff

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  13. Oh my God! Sounds like a happy and healthy constructive way to make inroads and resolutions to the issues at hand. I’m speechless….but not shocked. This isn’t news but hard to see it all layed out. Like to see the minutes from that Up your Union workshop. I googled it and not only does Madison have it but Vermont(not a shock there either) has a troublemakers school. Who are these people??? It’s no wonder we’ll always be divided.

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  14. For Sandra: To comment specifically about your “vast expertise” in the fire service, we do not make runs of any kind because we’re, as you put it, ” bored”. I couldn’t be more offended at that ignorant statement. Everytime we respond lights and siren, it’s because someone called 911 because they thought they had a true emergency on their hands. Now the severity of these emergencies varies from call to call, but rest assured, we were needed and we made a difference. I also love to hear how you’re such an expert at how many apparatus it takes to handle certain emergencies. Answer me this, if you had a two vehicle crash with one person entrapped and three other injuries, how many people do you think it takes to handle the incident priorities (extrication, patient care, traffic control, hazard removal, etc) necessary to mitigate this emergency??? If you’re answer is one fire truck and one ambulance, then you haven’t the foggiest clue as to what you’re talking about. Stick to what you know. I don’t claim to know anything about whatever it is you may do for a living.

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  15. The reason for all the overtime is that the contract guarantees it. When a full time union employee takes calls off, his/her union brothers get first shot at the open shift, by contract. The chance to pick-up the hours gets offered to the senior employee first and makes its way through the full time ranks, sometimes twice, before management has the right to offer it to part time or volunteer personnel at a considerable savings. It’s in most contracts because its in most contracts. One union contract years ago achieved this and the others follow suit because the union has leveraged them against the others who already have it.
    It has nothing to do with safety. Only money, benefits and paid time off. Keep in mind, one of the incentives for these workers is to get overtime because their pension is based on their 3 highest years of salary and the guys who have traditionally influenced the rules the most, are the ones closest to retirement at the time they are adopted. Lay-offs are never a concern to an employee that is protected by tenure. He/she knows they will be the last ones with jobs.

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    1. I will again say….you are wrong. This article is about West Chester!!!!! That IS NOT in West Chesters contract. Know what you are talking about before you post. SERB….IAFF 3518…. READ UP

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  16. Overmanwarrior and friends, I realize this response is lengthy, but I guarantee that the read is worth it. If you, like me, want what’s best for all of us in this country, I think you’ll take a moment to consider my contribution to this discussion.
    I find your take on the current economic situation, particularly in West Chester, quite interesting. I must admit that I am no longer a resident of WC—I live nearby in Liberty Township, but when I lived in WC just a few years ago, I took full advantage of the services for which I paid. My children were not of school age, but I liked having children (and adults) in the neighborhood who were well-educated. I never had a reason to call the PD or FD, but I interacted with these men and women from time to time at public events—summer movies in Keehner Park, Kite Fest, Dog Fest, Union Centre Bash, fundraisers… I spent some time talking to the firefighters (FF) about their careers and felt proud that they were employed in my township. However, I was quite concerned when I heard of your report about the financial situation of the township, due mostly to FD and PD spending, and felt the need to see it for myself. The “salaries” listed in your chart seem a bit extreme, but I wanted to make sure I was getting all the information. I can easily understand how someone viewing that data would be outraged. However, I would like to point out a few things you have claimed which I have found to be based on falsehoods and assumptions.
    Did you speak with someone from the department who could explain the reason for the salaries? Did you verify the cost of health benefits for each of the FF you’ve listed?
    I made a few phone calls; explored some township, state, and local statistics; and then crunched some numbers. In addition to the 2715 hours of regularly-scheduled work, many of the FFs on the list worked between 900 and 1,150 hours of overtime during the year—WCFFs are paid at an hourly rate, not a salary. In total, that would be somewhere in the ballpark of 3700 hours of work for the year. Given that there are 8760 hours in each year (365 days x 24 hours per day), these FFs spent approximately 42% of 2010 working at WCFD. A person in a standard 40-hour per week occupation spends approximately 23.81% of their year working, while a person working overtime totaling a 60-hour work-week every week of the year spends 35.71% at work. Being away from your family (for whom most FFs are the main breadwinner) that much damages relationships and affects the family as a whole. http://napavalleyregister.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_e43238fc-4c1d-11df-be10-001cc4c002e0.html

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  17. Another column of your chart was incorrect as well: whereas the FD contributes 24% toward FFs pension (FFs contribute 10%), the PD contributes 19.5% (POs contribute 10%). This would mean that your figures for WC contributions are wrong for several people. The administrative assistants and office staff are not part of the police/fire retirement fund; they have the option of being part of OPERS programs.
    Furthermore, several of the people on your list opted out of receiving any health insurance from the township, causing some concern in my mind as to the validity of any of the information regarding healthcare. The WCFD makes an average of 6,000 runs a year. Divide by the five current stations, and that comes to 1,200 runs per station (although some stations are busier than others). One run can require more than one vehicle from more than one station as well.
    The FD has made cost-cutting decisions from time to time, some of which could have put the health and safety of the FFs at risk. When they knew better, they did better. As it stands now, WCFD is responsible for providing duty boots, turnout gear (the boots of which are of the cheaper variety, not the expensive leather kind), and a helmet for each FF. Only in recent years has the union contract changed, which states that the FD must provide work boots and SCBA masks for each FF. Previously, WCFD provided one mask per person on duty at each station, which meant masks had to be shared. Those masks are breeding grounds for bacteria, resulting in frequent illness; sick days being used vs. supplying each FF with a mask was probably a huge calculation that determined the decision to do so. An FF might also don a mask that could very well be broken and not have known it if the person who wore it previously did not report it (or maybe not even have known it). After the FD purchased these masks for each FF, the union paid to supply bags for the masks to be stored in to increase their durability. Furthermore, the union supplied flashlights for the FFs, as the FD does not.

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  18. Another assumption some of you make involves asserting that FFs do not spend every minute of their 24-hour scheduled shifts actually working. You see them at the grocery store, they sleep at the firehouse, and they play basketball outside. All of this is quite true. However, you have assumed more than you’ve researched. Every FF in the department is responsible not just for making runs, but they also:
    • complete paperwork for each run & write other reports
    • conduct inspections, install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
    • do welfare checks on elderly residents
    • inspect hydrants, flush hydrants, flow-test hydrants
    • attend Career Day at schools
    • conduct Fire Prevention Programs at Lakota LSD schools as well as other public education activities
    • provide fire extinguisher training and education to businesses in West Chester
    • check all equipment
    • complete daily training because of new equipment and to maintain proficiency as a crew and department
    • complete pre-fire surveys of targeted businesses
    • do hose testing
    • maintain the firehouse
    • schedule testing of equipment per NFPA standards
    • restock supplies
    Going above & beyond their responsibilities, they also:
    • check car seats
    • give bike helmets
    • teach CPR
    In addition, each FF is assigned a separate task for which they are responsible within the department (i.e., scheduling & performing tests on a variety of equipment, scheduling and assessing FF fitness, etc.). Many a time, WCFD has been called to assist a nearby FD, and provides mutual aid when needed. In 2009, in addition to the 5,436 runs the WCFD made in the township, another 110 were mutual aid for other departments.

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  19. For obvious reasons, FFs are expected to be physically fit, so a quick game of basketball makes sense. They’re not going to miss anything—they have their radios with them.
    Furthermore, they have to trust each other far more than most co-workers—they might not have to pull each other out of burning buildings on a regular basis but their training involves plenty of risks, and studies completed nationwide concerning FF injuries and deaths validate this statement. If you have to depend on a co-worker to ensure your safety (and possibly your life), you’d probably want to know what kind of person they are, what kind of education and training they have, their history, etc. This, to me, explains why the FFs share a bond—some call it a brotherhood (with some “sisters” thrown in)—and go out of their way to strengthen that bond. It helps me to understand why they go as a crew to the grocery to plan and shop for the meals they make as a “family” of sorts. I have seen FFs at the grocery myself—I’ve seen them indulging children and their parents in a “tour” of the fire equipment, distributing stickers and coloring books (sometimes even plastic helmets). That, to me, is actually an ideal situation. I want the children in our community to know that they can trust these “heroes” (that’s your term, not mine), so that if there’s an incident in these children’s lives and these FFs arrive on scene they feel safe. These children might not have been present the day of the Fire Prevention presentation or might be younger than school-age and haven’t been instructed by their parents for the “just-in-case”.
    Do they have “down” time? Absolutely. Can you imagine going to work and never resting for a straight 24 hours, and then doing that same thing every third day for years? But I beg to differ with the other responder who accuses them of “sleeping on the job.” Remember: FFs are called to more than just fire runs. Many of the runs WCFD gets are EMS ones, involving medical emergencies or car accidents. (Sidebar: I am sure many of these FFs find it quite humorous to hear that someone thinks they would actually attend an accident because they were “bored.” How was that determined? Did this person actually ask the FFs why they were there?) In order to make these runs, our FFs have to be certified not just as EMTs but as paramedics. Each of the full-time FFs on WCFD maintains these certifications through training; to get these certifications, he or she had to get the proper education. An EMT basic certification is 170 hours and $975. Paramedic school costs approximately $6600 and takes a year to complete. A professional FF certification costs about $3100 and takes 7 full weeks (going full-time) to complete. Some people are taking out school loans to meet the costs just as a typical college student usually has to do. Most FDs do not cover those costs, but demand that applicants have those certification before they will even allow them to take the test. In West Chester you must be a Paramedic to get hired. This is done as a cost saving measure, as a township does not meet true civil service requirements and only hire already-certified people instead of someone right off the street with zero training. It is perfectly acceptable to compare FF to private sector work with similar educations levels and to say that FFs are not being compensated for education level is inaccurate. All the certifications required now exceed what is required to obtain an associate degree and usually take longer to complete. There are 131 people on the FD roster—of those, approximately 65 carry fire certifications. About 50% of the staff is part-time.

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  20. Moreover, making runs during sleeping hours—anyone in the medical field (especially emergency responders and those who work in ERs) can tell you that the evenings and late nights have a way of bringing out some of the most calamitous emergencies—is a frequent part of their jobs. This, I suppose, is when these FFs are “sleeping on the job.” But imagine for a second: you’re lying in bed asleep (or attempting to, anyway—statistics show that 10-15% of FFs have the condition sleep apnea); your heart rate is steady at 60 bpm. Suddenly the tones sound and you instinctively jump up off your cot, run to the truck (or squad), don any pertinent gear, and you’re out the door. The heart that was just beating slowly jolts to a rate of 150 or more. This sort of situation is why multiple studies have been done on FF health, and the effects that this sort of behavior has on health over time. (A great read is “Physiological Stress Associated With Structural Firefighting Observed in Professional Firefighters” by the Indiana University Department of Kinesiology). This condition can (and often does) happen to most professional FFs multiple times during their shift between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am, although according to statistics most FD runs in the US occur between 3 pm and 5 pm (FEMA, 2007). http://www.superiorems.com/news/08_02_12.pdf http://cpapalternative.com/articles/Relief_for_firefighters_afflicted_with_Obstructive_Sleep_Apnea_and_chronic_snoring.pdf http://www.indiana.edu/~firefit/pdf/Final Report.pdf
    Firefighters are put at health risks daily, aside from sleep apnea and sleep deprivation. When in a fire (whether an emergency run or training), FFs are exposed to asbestos, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and hydrogen cyanide—putting FFs at great risk for developing hypoxia, where there is not enough oxygen in their system and they become confused and unable to move. SCBA masks are not always effective in providing the FF with pure oxygen, and FFs will often deal with black mucus for days after fighting fire. The strain on their hearts is obvious from the situation described above, where FFs have frequent interruptions to their sleep. Their bodies are challenged to carry bodies and heavy gear, climb onto the trucks and ladders at staggering heights, and stay on their feet for long periods of time while performing many other physically challenging tasks. Most of the tasks FFs perform are repeated, creating further strain on the body from an already strenuous exercise. On any medical or accident scene, a FF puts him/herself at risk for contracting contagious diseases (including AIDs & forms of hepatitis). One FF had a run (in another township, years ago) on an intoxicated, combative patient who spewed projectile vomit directly into his mouth while he trying to restrain the patient in order to stabilize her. FFs, despite being well-trained, are not immune to the effects of collapses, backdrafts, and falling long distances. There have been a number of diseases that have occurred later in life for some FFs that are directly related to their past working conditions. I would hope that the least our community could do was offer them decent health care because the safety & well-being of our community depend on it. http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/occup_workplace/firefighter.html http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2004-115/pdfs/2004-115.pdf http://www.iaff.org/hs/PDF/CarbMnxde.pdf http://www.iaff747.com/docs/Cancer Risk 2x as High0001.pdf
    Furthermore, perhaps greater than all of these taxing situations, FFs and police officers (PO) deal forever with the psychological burdens from their work. They see people at their absolute worst—literally scraping bodies off the pavement; finding severed limbs to re-attach to car accident victims; incontinence; death; the list goes on. Your FFs in West Chester experience many of those situations daily. Some of those runs, of course, are more ingrained in their memories than others. Take a moment to ask a FF about the highlights and lowlights of their career—you’ll know immediately that the benefits have nothing to do with their desire to help their communities. You’ll see the change come over their faces when they speak of a loss, even though they tried to revive someone at the scene and all the way to the hospital. You’ll know their desperation when they had to inform a family member that their loved one didn’t make it.

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  21. At the same time, you’ll see the joy they experience when they get a “save.” An incident occurred years ago in Colerain where on Christmas Day, a crew of FFs revived two people—a married couple—from the same home, with two separate and unrelated medical emergencies that occurred within minutes of each other. The two people whose lives were saved nominated the crew for the “Star of Life” award given by the state. In another case, a WCFD firefighter was able to attend the high school graduation party of a boy he saved by doing CPR on him when he was just four weeks old. They enjoy interacting with the community—attending the birthday party of an autistic child they have helped from time to time, working with children at Lakota Schools and community members at WC businesses, seeing community members at WC functions. The FFs in WC have a Local 3518 union, which is frequently found at fundraising events (American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, benefits for the families of fallen/injured FFs, etc.).
    I don’t guess that it’s a surprise to anyone that the WCFD spends quite a bit of the WC Township budget. In fact, in the 2010 Operating Budget for the township, the FD was the second highest source of township costs. The department needed $750,000 to replace “a 1994 75-foot Quint…at Fire Station 73.” The department more than likely benefited from the $60,500 “purchase of equipment/devices” to increase “operational efficiencies.” However, the new fire station that the township intends to build “to serve the northwest section of the community” is being funded by TIFs. As stated in the township report Notable Capital Expenditures, “TIF funds are generated by development in the community and do not affect or impact residential property taxes.”
    My biggest problem with your narrative is the insulting accusation that the financial ruin of the township (and, in effect, state and nation) rests solely on the shoulders of POs and FFs. In fact, any member of the public has access to WC Township financial records. In order for the township to make any purchase greater than $2500, the request “must be scrutinized by the Board of Trustees and acted upon in a public forum.” Likewise, “police and fire are supported primarily by voter-approved levies. Levies generally support the needs of the department for about five years… EMS is supported by fees for service” (WC Township Fact Sheet: Budget Process). There was no covert operation going on in WC by either the PD or FD or any of their employees. Any resident who is willing to partake in the affairs of their local government has every right to attend meetings, watch the WC TV channel, and read reports (many of which are posted online). Had you been involved in these activities, perhaps you would have been clear about township spending earlier, but it does require a little extra research to determine the cause for the numbers. Keep reading, because I have more proof that township spending on police and fire is justified.
    I haven’t mentioned much about the WCPD because the subject of attack was mostly the FD in the above posts. However, according to the WC Township 2010 Operating Budget Presentation, “The Police Department is in its ninth year of a five-year levy and is challenged to afford inflationary increases and service to the growth and development demands.” It seems as though the WCPD has added four more years of operation onto what was supposed to be only five years of spending—no new levy in nine years. When have you ever heard of a government organization making money go further than initially predicted? I consider WC lucky to have a PD that is willing to stretch the value of a buck.

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  22. WCPD isn’t the only organization that saved money for WC property owners. By the end of 2009, WC Township’s “ending fund balance [was] $64,409,080. Of this amount $58,554,847 is available for spending…on behalf of its citizens” (West Chester Township Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, 2009). The township invested its money and ended the year in the black! I don’t know if I have ever heard of such a thing. I’m pretty impressed, and I usually do not have much respect for most politicians. Also in this report, it shows that the WCPD original budget was $20,838,653; its final budget was $20,851,744; and its actual spending was $12,833,977, a township savings of $8,017,767. The WCFD’s original budget was $21,549,193; its final budget was $20,935,346; and its actual spending was $9,867,615, a township savings of $11,067,731. Operating under budget.
    Perhaps the most disturbing claim you make is that these men and women have chosen to enter into their professions with the simple intention of milking the government and its taxpayers. How many of these FDs and POs have you interviewed in regards to their intentions when choosing their careers? I have spoken with many of the FFs employed by WCFD as well as POs and FFs in other departments around town and throughout the country. I have never met a FF or PO who claims that the future benefits and healthcare was his/her number one priority when choosing a career. In fact, many of them speak of their desire to make a difference in the community (whether it’s appreciated or not). There are FFs and POs who have yearned from a young age to be exactly that. Secondly, exactly who are you to think you can judge whether or not any other person (without even speaking with them) has virtuous reasons for choosing their career? Just because you pay property tax, you think you have the right to make judgment calls about the character of two entire departments of government service workers? Each one of those department employees whose character you have attacked without complete, factual information pays their own property taxes in the communities in which they have chosen to live. Do you have some sort of educational background that permits you to decide the value of another person’s work?
    I get it—you’re a taxpayer and part of your taxes supports these departments. But have you thought about the fact that these people are full-time employees who must meet certain standards or they could not perform the duties asked of them? Have you realized that what you’re really paying for is the quality of life?
    The thing you also may not realize is that many people in our society have downplayed the role of our public safety officers for years. Some have made the comment that ever since 9/11, the role our FFs and POs play in our country have been far over-exaggerated and that these men and women have been put on a pedestal without due cause. But how were these exact same POs and FFs treated before the footage of them racing toward the burning buildings was released?
    I know that nearly every job—regardless if it’s public or private—has negative aspects with which it is associated. Those are the kinds of things that FFs and POs keep secret (many of them have things like “forbidden media contact” written into their contracts)—not their earnings.

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  23. Many times issues such as these occur at the hands of our elected politicians. Have they been elected? Yes. But once these politicians get into office, what control do we have over their actions? They can promise us whatever they want and then as soon as the power is in their hands, they do what they choose. This whole “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mentality of many of our country’s politicians is disturbing. And, yes, once elections come around again we can choose to keep that politician in office or elect another candidate, but what about the damage that’s done in the meantime?
    Did you have a chance to read the studies published by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Department of Economics professors Keith Bender and John Heywood or the two reports published by the Economic Policy Institute (#276, #293)? All three of these studies assert that private sector and public sector employees are actually nearly comparably paid, with the public sector slightly below the private (some assert just 3%, while others found it to be 11%–depending on which variables were controlled). These studies controlled for things like education, union and non-union, hours worked, etc. unlike other studies I have seen published and spread like wildfire (how fitting!) by our media. Do you think our politicians bothered to read studies such as these before voting on these bills? Or did they just read the studies that would support creating laws that would pad their own wallets and those of their “political contributors?” I have asked them. I’ll let you know their response. Moreover, what occupations could be comparable to those of our FFs and POs in the private sector? One study even mentions that there is no comparable occupation in the private sector for those careers. So, what comparison are so many people making when they say that FFs and POs make “too much”? http://www.slge.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7b22748FDE-C3B8-4E10-83D0-959386E5C1A4%7d&DE=%7bBD1EB9E6-79DA-42C7-A47E-5D4FA1280C0B%7d http://epi.3cdn.net/8808ae41b085032c0b_8um6bh5ty.pdf http://epi.3cdn.net/ac5a7563f793ddf366_89m6b5vrv.pdf
    One of the things that few people realize is that everyone in your locale benefits from the services for which you pay via property taxes—whether those people are just “passing through” or if they only rent property.
    I have many problems with the current political climate and finger-pointing, and I have questioned decisions that were made in the past. I do not understand why the government decided to “bail out” failed businesses. In my opinion, if you screw up royally the first time around, I don’t have much faith that you won’t screw up the second. I do not agree with our government’s welfare system. Have you considered how many of your tax dollars have gone to support people who’ve been living (not just “supplementing”) off of our government assistance programs? People who do not have employment and haven’t had employment for years? People who contribute in no way to society? The same programs that our politicians and taxpayers have elected to have in our country have been abused for decades without consequence, and now you want those same politicians and taxpayers to determine the salaries for some of the hardest working people in our society?

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  24. There is something you can do, however. If the responsibilities and benefits of being a PO or FF in West Chester seem so appealing, you should know that you are welcome to take the required test for those who wish to be considered for either department’s openings. You can experience yourself what you perceive to be an over-compensated occupation. It’s open to the public, but most people don’t choose those occupations because they know there are significant sacrifices that must be made in order to be a full-time employee with those organizations.
    I believe I have thoroughly demonstrated with the actual facts I’ve listed above that you don’t have as large of a grasp on this situation as you thought you did. But now what? Are you going to issue an apology to the group of people you’ve continued to insult and degrade despite having never known any of them? Calling them names? “Thugs?” Really???? I am not even going to take the time to expound on the preposterous presumption that because you pay taxes you have free reign to judge these people’s purchases and financial plans. I am wondering how many of these “luxuries” you insinuate FFs have purchased & can no longer afford really exist. I don’t buy the rhetoric of those who claim that threats have been made (do we really know the source of these threats?), but I am sure there have been several from both sides. However, without getting to know the very people whom you claim owe their livelihoods to you, there really is no way of knowing. Wouldn’t you be insulted if you were attacked for causing the economic fall of your country while you were out doing your job and helping the community? These people are public servants, yes, but they are not YOUR servants. And there is nothing—absolutely nothing—about them or yourself that gives you the right to pigeonhole their intentions and attitudes as you so arrogantly have.

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    1. They are our public servents. This last comment gave me an idea about something I’m going to write about today about authority and Obama. Thanks for the inspiration! As to the rest, I’ll have to read all your comments before I can respond to them all.

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  25. That’s you job. Nuclear scientists are in a “crashed-meltdown” facilities in Japan as you were writing. Funny thing is that I have ALWAYS voted for fire and police levies. Always respected the firemen and women. Always went to the fish fries of the Liberty Volunteer fire department. Never heard them complaining. As soon as the union took over, that’s all we hear. Never enough.

    When you let a union speak for you – then you lose your local neighborly persona. You let militant union “thugs” speak for you in Columbus in opposition to SB 5. The heads of the union do not represent you well.

    WE know you risk your lives at a fire that gets out of control. I have seen you practice by burning down an abandoned building. I know you are good people. That’s not the point here. The point is that salaries have gotten out of control. Benefits have gotten out of control. The taxpayers don’t have any more to give. The system is unsustainable.
    The country is trillions in debt. Many cities and states are bankrupt. Check out the retirement payouts for many of your colleagues. They become millionaires on our backs.

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  26. Sandra could you please inform us of your profession? You seem to be such an expert on mine, I think it is only fair that I have an opportunity to comment about yours.

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    1. Sandra’s a bit shy about it, but she was a School Board member for Lakota for a number of years and has been deeply involved in education for several decades, in her spare time. She is more of an expert than most of the people you know. She’s not the only former board member that helps me on this site. We have some current ones as well. The rest I’ll let her speak for herself. But I thought I’d soften the blow a bit with an explaination. She’s a very passionate person.

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  27. “Check out the retirement of many of your colleagues”???? Let me guess, you must be talking about the Cincinnat Fire and Police Chiefs that just retired???? That retired with benefits that were set PRIOR to colective bargaining in the state of Ohio. I suggest (which is getting old) do your homework… 35,000 retired Firefighters in ohio with and AVERAGE annual income of $33,000.00, with them paying 100% of their health insurance. So yes the 35 year veteran, NON UNION Chief retires making 6 figures… While the 8 year veteran UNION MEMBER retires because he had 3 back surgeries from lifting a 600 lb. patient makes $21,000 per year with a monthly cost of $1100 for insurance.

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  28. As I have said in the past, I do repect the uniformed public employees. My point is that the system is totally unsustainable. There isn’t enough money, no matter how high the taxes, to sustain the current bargains made by people who are no longer accountable.
    Deals were made – just to prevent work stoppages. Maybe they thought they were doing the right thing at the time.

    To A Proud Professional: Does it really make a difference as to my profession? I am an American citizen who pays far too much in taxes. I do not claim to be an expert at being a policeman or fireman. I have teachers in my family and friends who are teachers. I do know that there are great teachers and some not so great. The problem is that all are paid per contracts based on time and not quality. I am sure that you have people on your job that carry more than their share of the weight and others that are slackards. That’s life! Problem is that you are not going to rat them out. There is the Blue Flu and the Blue Code. Yep! Just for the record, I do have family in the police business too.

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  29. Wow all I can say is Sandra needs a different hobby. You use common talking points so often that it’s obvious you have very few original thoughts. Lay off the koolaid. This whole SB5 thing is a power grab PERIOD!!!

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  30. It amazes me that you say how you are giving facts and you have not checked nor have you included all of the facts. The newspaper is not accurate in what they have reported, the income recorded is seriously inflated. I can’t speak for everyone but for us they are way too high!
    I am also appalled at how many of you are so quick to criticize but I would bet not one of you would put yourself and your family on the back burner to respond to all of the other people in your community that are having crises every single day. My husband is called to all manor of emergencies, arguments, traffic crashes, robberies, domestics, fire’s, thefts, fights, murders, deaths, etc. He works long hours, is always on call, 24/7, and has been called in after working a full shift, to come back for however long he is needed.
    Where is the appreciation for what these men and women do? I can tell you they do not get appreciation from many of the people they deal with on a daily basis. I should not let you anger me like this, I just don’t understand the negativity. The next time you dial 911 and my husband responds to your emergency, please remember that he has a family at home but he is risking his life to protect you in your emergency! Then you tell me you can put a price on my husband’s life and his loyalty to this “our” community and your personal safety.
    Go ahead gripe all you want. It isn’t anything we haven’t heard before. Just remember this the next time you call and expect a police officer or firefighter to come to your rescue.

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    1. I won’t be calling 911. I only pay the tax so the other people in my community can have that service. I don’t need it or want it. I’d rather have an all volunteer police and firefighting service. There is a price limit. I don’t feel like paying employees to play Call of Duty for half of their shift because there aren’t any emergencies, and I don’t want to pay officers to park on the side of the road to pull people over for tickets. I don’t want DUI check points either.

      If there is a fact blown up, it is the constant drum beating of how dangerous these jobs are. They know what they are signing up for and they chose their career knowing it. But it is not worth infinate amounts of money to me. It is not worth unlimited overtime, huge retirments, and retiremtnt at age 55. It might be good for you and your family. But I don’t see that it’s good for the community. It is not worth a blank check of tax payer funds.

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      1. The firefighters unions and police unions have done a very good job of getting out the propaganda that policemen and firemen (and women) are “heroes” in extremely dangerous occupations. I’ve heard that my whole life. To me they are paid for a service…one that the community needs, but we also need other dangerous jobs like construction workers, welders (especially underwater ones), coal miners, fishermen, loggers, line workers, etc. To me police and firefighters are no different than those occupations. They know what they are signing up for and are paid for it. The job I do is dangerous and my wife doesn’t know if I’m going to come home in one piece every night but I’m no hero. To me a real hero is someone who does something to save another persons life with no expectation of reward or compensation. The closest thing I know of to that are our men and women of the military who sacrifice for our country and freedoms for very little pay and many times very little thanks.

        Have you looked at the 15 most dangerous occupations over the years? Firefighters are rarely on the list at all, and police are always in the bottom third percentage wise. It’s been statistically proven that other occupations like farming, line workers, pilots, construction work and coal mining are all much more dangerous.

        http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-jobs-2011-9#no-15-operating-engineers-and-construction-equipment-operators-1

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  31. And I don’t understand you Traci. I don’t know how many times we have to say how appreciative we are and we show it monitarily. Many of us are trying to live with some sembalance of self-reliance. I know that’s difficult concept to grasp in this mamby pamby minset these days. It’s a good thing. I would think the sheriffs and firefighters would be thankful that not everyone picks up the phone to call them when an emergency happens. We know how to put fires out, and we have rights that aid us in fighting crime…and we use them.
    Yes, there will be someday I might need someone to use the jaws of life to rescue me and for that I may live to be grateful but try to understand…so many people have zero spines these days and the rest of us are plum out of money to pay for that couch potato. I’ll give you a perfect example..I have to take time out of my day and pay check to attend meetings where a neighbor on an entirely different street in the country mind you…is fighting so I’ll pay for his security with(another) street light. Ain’t gonna happen. I already contribute to his security every time he calls the police. And he has two out front I pay for. He bought a home that backs up to a corn field and has the gall to ask us to illuminate it. He made the mistake of telling a neighbor he doesn’t want to have to pay to have his porch light on. This is the mentality that is mind-bending.
    Buy a big freakin’ gun and a bigger dog and get be a responsible homeowner!!!!! It’s the country for crying out loud. The only thing we need out this way is the meat wagon if our lives are threatened.
    This man is an embarrassment to our well being. Can you imagine having him next door? I hope for his neighbors sake he moves to a well lit city before the shit hits the fan.

    I am glad we have brave men and women that willl be at his beck and call…but eventully people like us…also brave, will leave because we can’t afford the dumbing down of minds like his.

    I’m certain you’ll be able to see this point of view if your old enough to remember when we didn’t coddle everyone and everything.

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    1. The trouble is there are too many people like our good friend Bill Cunningham, where he got stuck on top of his house. You can hear the recording of that here.

      https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/911-panic-calls-rule-by-the-weak-bill-cunningham-stuck-on-his-roof/

      I can’t tell you how many times I hear sirens and I joke with my wife, “Oh no, someone lost their cat. Or someone can’t figure out how to open their dish washer.” About 8 months ago we were eating at an outside dining establishment and a store had a “emergency call” for a potential fire. Two ladder trucks showed up sirens blaring like crazy. An ambulance and three cars all with the fire department indicators. Then three sheriff cars showed up, all to help with the fire. The building was evacuated and all the public employees were fully dressed and ready for battle.

      It turned out to be nothing, and although if there had been a serious fire, it would have been nice to have so many public workers there to put it out, but as I watched them, it was obvious they were overreacting and putting on a show. What it really came down to was they were bored and happy that something happened for them to do, and they all rushed to the scene to fill their day.

      We have a society that panics too often over too many things. And too many police, and too many firefighters, and too many teachers teaching our kids socialism is making our society suck. And I don’t want to pay for it. That would be stupid.

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      1. The other thing that burned me (no pun intended) was that I was working in Butler County- in your neighborhood Rich- on the day of the SB5/Issue 2 election. I passed many elementary and middle schools that day. At nearly every one was a group of firefighters wearing their firefighting gear passing out candy to kids and literature to the parents telling them to vote “no” on 2. I wonder how many of them were full-time employees on the clock.

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