Thread: Ann Arbor, MI

  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer
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    Post Ann Arbor, MI

    Ann Arbor city administrator appoints himself head of fire
    department
    (Ann Arbor-MI) -- Ann Arbor city officials say some members of
    the city's fire department have abused the payroll and pension
    systems.
    Ann Arbor city administrator Roger Fraser has appointed himself
    acting fire chief. The department has been without a permanent fire
    chief for months.
    Ann Arbor's mayor says Fraser will act as fire chief for up to
    six months. That's how long he expects it will take to hire a
    replacement.

    (**Dan Harrod, WAAM)

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press

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    Unhappy

    It gets worse...

    The new city administrator, Roger Fraser, is looking into making the police chief the "public safety director", and doing away with the position of Fire Chief altogether... (The last Chief left in March 2001)

    What will happen when the police chief runs the fire department? Don't be surprised if one department gets all the goodies while another flounders.

    As I understand it, Michigan state law says that a Fire Chief must have certain credentials (such as Fire Officer courses). I would imagine our new city administrator has none of these.

    As far as "overtime abuses," how do you expect an understaffed department to run without lots of overtime shifts being filled? Does Fraser expect firefighters just show up and work for free?

    I do not work for the city of Ann Arbor (I work for a suburban Detroit department), but I do live here. My father used to make fun of me because I pay the same property taxes for a 1000 square foot condo in the city that he did for a five bedroom house on five acres in the country. And this is what I get for my tax dollars? Thanks.

    You would expect that one of the most prosperous cities in Michigan could at least afford a Fire Chief (and a fully staffed fire department).

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    Does the new "Chief" plan on going to fires? Can every firefighter that is injured under the "direction" of such a finely accredited administrator sue over his leadship skills?

    What a bunch of bull.

  4. #4
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    Another chapter in the story:

    back about 10-15 years ago, the city complained about all the overtime. They worked a deal out with the union where the firefighters were offered unlimited comp time banks in order to curn overtime costs. One fine gentleman decided to take advantage of this, and when he retired last year (as an ***'t chief), he cashed in $285,000 worth of comp time (!!!!! ). A couple other guys did the same, but with lesser amounts. The city offered large retirement payouts last year, and many older guys took advantage of it. They have had 10 guys in the past year retire from ***'t chief rank (most holding the position for 3-6 months), which gives them about $20,000 /yr. more. This is part of the deal the city offered a couple of years ago, and now they're complaining about it. The new city administrator/"fire chief" has his eyes on these issues, and wants to end them (perhaps to save money to pay for the new butterfly catcher they hired last year).

    In a nutshell- the city offered a deal, people took it, and now the city has changed its mind.

    interesting sidenote: the former city administrator agreed to the early retirement payouts that are now costing the city so much, and then took advantage of them himself. He now lives quite comfortably out west somewhere.

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