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Thread: More layoffs

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber Engine5FF's Avatar
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    Default More layoffs

    Endicott Fire Department Battle
    Justin Pizzi
    Apr 8, 2003, 16:24

    It's all part of the Mayor's effort to keep village taxes from going up.

    Endicott Mayor Michael Colella wants to cut half the fire department, from 40 firefighters down to 20.

    He says if not, property taxes will go up 33-percent.

    Fire Chief Stephen Andrew says Colella's proposal's more like a slash than a cut.

    Endicott Fire Chief Stephen Andrew says, "Who can work if you're worried about your job."

    Chief Andrew says if the department is cut in half, firefighters and the people they serve would be put in danger. But Mayor Colella says volunteer firefighters are capable of handling the job.

    Endicott Mayor Michael Colella says, "75% of our paid firefighters live in areas covered solely by volunteer firemen. If they don't think that's safe, they should move their families into the village of Endicott."

    800 people in Endicott returned these surveys.

    There was one question: should the village cut firefighters or raise taxes?

    Mayor Colella says 78-percent of the taxpayers who responded said cut firefighters.

    Endicott Police Chief Gary O'Neill says if firefighters are cut, it'll affect more than just the fire department.

    Endicott Police Chief Gary O'Neill says, "The fire department isn't stand alone and the police department isn't stand alone. We're the public service for the village of Endicott. We're all interwoven."

    Fire Chief Stephen Andrew says, "Some days we're heros, some days we're just an expense."

    There's a public hearing scheduled on Endicott's proposed budget on Tuesday, April 15th.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member raven911's Avatar
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    Wait until the first lawsuit based on NFPA staffing levels comes about. Some disgruntled home owner who loses a house will sue and cost them a ton of money. Who knows, it could happen? Hate to hear about any firefighters being cut because of cheapskate taxpayers.
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    Did you check out with the insurance companies to see what rate increase there would be if this happens? also is the chief still getting a raise? if so then if he makes a hell of a lot more $$$ than the fireman, which he should, then maybe he should also be looked at in regards to cost cut savings to the residents and not just the firefighters.

    Hope this will help as we are in negotiations and they want to cut us also so we started to fight back by involving the chiefs sallery and perks he receives.

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    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    They have to raise taxes by one-third to avoid cutting the department in half?

    There must me more to the story. Where is all of the money going?
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

  5. #5
    Forum Member BCmdepas3280's Avatar
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    Angry Bull*****

    This is what we call bull**** politics here in New York...this is how politicains stay in office in the Empire State...they pray on the fear of there constituants by threating to cut public services such as fire, police and DPW and then wait and see who yells the loudest. Then they blame the county and the state for the money problems and cut us anyway. We are going thru the same problem in my department, only they are using the word attrition instead of layoffs.

    My department at one time had 72 men and 5 firehouses, when I started we had 41 men and 1 station and we did 950 calls a year. After 18 years of B.S. politics we now have 34 men soon to be 32 and we do 2400 calls per year and there is no end in sight.

    Does anyone here have any ideas how to stop the maddness
    Last edited by Ltmdepas3280; 04-10-2003 at 11:48 PM.
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    MembersZone Subscriber Engine5FF's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Duffman
    They have to raise taxes by one-third to avoid cutting the department in half?

    There must me more to the story. Where is all of the money going?
    Here is the Reader's Digest version of the "behind the story" story. Let me know if this sounds familiar. The Stock market took a beating this last year. The State pension fund uses stocks etc. for capital. The NY Pension fund is now therefore down bellow what it should be. There is a NY State law that says the pension fund must be at a level to pay out everyone eligible to receive payments if it ever needs to (ya right). The brand new Comptroller, Alan Hevessi, wants to follow this law to the letter. To bring the fund back to where it should be he wants all the cities to pick up the balance all at once, right now. This is unrealistic and there are those in Albany who are trying to get him to listen to reason and bill the cities over five years to make up the difference. For example my city of 34,000 people and about 250 city employees (guessing) owes the state $1.6 mil. I don't know what Endicott's is. To keep layoffs out of our department we have changed our work schedule and eliminated some vacation picks to reduce overtime, but the city has not hired to replace our retirees yet so it might be all for nothing anyway (the old manpower shortage causes overtime causes lay-offs causes etc. etc.). Endicott is a smaller city but they have a large commercial zone and a large day-time working population so they need the man power they have now. we don't really know what will happen but all the locals in this area are giving them all the help we can.
    Last edited by Engine5FF; 04-11-2003 at 12:49 AM.
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    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    If I understand correctly, firefighters in NY are in the same pension fund as sanitation workers, etc. That may be part of the problem. I am not fimiliar with that type of pension. Here in IL there is a pension program that was established for FDs, with each department having its own pension board. Chicago of course has its own program entirely seperate from everyone.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    This is from today's Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise here in North Central Mass. One of the eight to go is a very good friend of mine who was my best man in my wedding last year. I myself was laid off last year from another FD due to the state's pathetic financial mismanagement being passed on to the towns and cities.



    Chief: Layoffs risk safety
    By Benjamin Cole bcole@sentinelandenterprise.co m

    FITCHBURG -- Fire Chief Kevin Roy said Friday eight firefighters have been given layoff notices, which has him worrying about the safety of the public and his staff.

    "Laying off these eight people is going to be devastating," Roy said. "It's going to be tough -- it's a serious situation."

    In addition to the eight layoffs, the department is also not filling positions being left vacant by losing one firefighter who was activated for military duty and another to retirement.

    Two additional firefighters are expected to be lost to retirement in coming months, and these positions will not be filled.

    The eight firefighters given layoff notices will have a civil service hearing to notify them of their benefits and rights on April 24, Roy said.

    If all the layoffs go through, with the additional vacancies, the department will be left with 85 firefighters.

    A city ordinance stipulates the fire department must have 117 firefighters.

    "That's where we were at in the early 1980s, but these numbers were significantly reduced after the passing of Proposition 2 1/2" in the mid-1980s, he said.

    Roy said with the reductions, he is "absolutely" concerned, not only about the safety of the general public but of the firefighters who are on duty.

    He said the department consistently receives approximately 7,500 to 8,000 calls a year, and that figure shows no signs of going down.

    Roy said there were nine multiple alarm fires in the city last year, up from eight the previous year. The department also assists on about 2,600 ambulance calls in the city as well.

    "We were at minimum levels before all this started," Roy said. "Now we're dropping way below the standard."

    Roy noted the National Fire Protection Association recently conducted a study of a variety of fires and emergency situations.

    The association used the study to make recommendations of standards regarding the number of personnel needed to handle particular situations safely.

    Roy said according to the standards, 16 to 17 personnel are needed to fight a fire in a single-family home.

    With the high number of multi-family homes and high rises in the city, the drop in personnel could prove dangerous, Roy said.

    "We're now going to drop below the number to even handle a single family safely," Roy said.

    The loss of the firefighters is the result of Mayor Dan H. Mylott's request in December that all city departments cut 10 percent from their budgets.

    Earlier this week, Mylott requested another 5 percent cut.

    Mylott said while public safety remains a top priority in the city, the layoffs are necessary.

    "I think it's more than I really wanted to reduce the manpower by, but it's a necessary thing to do to get our budget in line and balanced," Mylott said.

    Roy noted several of the layoffs include younger members of the staff.

    Two of the layoffs include two firefighters that just completed their training last week.

    "This is a complex and physical job and the average age of firefighters in the department is going up," Roy said.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Default Two Sides to the solution

    "I think it's more than I really wanted to reduce the manpower by, but it's a necessary thing to do to get our budget in line and balanced," Mylott said.
    I would be interested to see what steps the city took to increase revenues. Cutting personnel is not the only way to balance a budget.

    Wether we as taxpayer's like it or not, sometimes we have to buck up.

    I won't pretend to know enough about Sharkie's situation to be able to have the answers. I just wonder if they thought about ways to increase revenue.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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  10. #10
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Duff,

    I was laid off after a Proposiyion 2 1/2 override failed. This is a local ballot initiative that allows for the local property taxes to be increased by more than 2 1/2 percent in a given year. Town of 15,000 majority voted against the override and 4 firefighter positions and a couple from the highway were gone. P.D. was safe because of reserve call ups and a little extra in their budget.

    I turned the call back last month becasue the chief told me he expected to have another 4 positions cut in June. That's eight guys off of, what was, a 25 man department in 12 month's time.

    As for Fitchburg, they are going to attempt an override but the city has a history adn as far as I can recall, an override has never succeeded in teh city. As a side note, the mayor is a former city counselor who, shall we say was not the biggest fan of the fire department. Well, when he ran for mayor 2 years ago the IAFF local endorsed his opponent in a VERY tight race. Ever since he has not given much support to the fire department. The rumor is he is doing everything he can to not to lay off police officers so everyone gets cut.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Sharkie,

    Given the facts you have put forth, there is no doubt in my mind that the FD will not get a fair shake. My dept. was in a similar budget situation and I am proud to say they stepped up and increased revenues in addition to scrutinizing budgets so that no jobs were lost.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

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