Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2

    Default Mayor Battles with FD over Memorial Sign

    The mayor of Crown Point, IN called the fire chief to the carpet after a 9/11 memorial was displayed on the department sign's marquee. The mayor's disapproval over select wording on the sign couldn't be mentioned at a worse time. The sign displayed a message "CP VOL FD INC. REMEMBERS 343 FIREFIGHTERS LOST ON 9/11". The mayor has battled with the volunteer's over control of the sign since he took office. The Volunteer FD Inc, which is comprised of ALL members of the department, purchased the sign to commemorate the opening of the station when it was first built. The Chief, after being berated by the mayor for not getting the message approved, resigned the following day.

    This story, from a town of less than 25,000, stirred quite a few emotions within the fire service and found its way to more than just the local newspapers. Firehouse.com is featuring the story on its front page. News channels from Indianapolis to Chicago to South Bend are carrying the story and it went out on the AP wires.

    The story can be found here:

    http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssen...l/15502982.htm
    http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/lo...256075516.html
    http://www.cpfire.com (original news story and picture of sign)

    Thanks to this mayor we have lost our 3rd chief in just over a year. His foot-in-mouth actions have made us ashamed to be associated with the city.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,111

    Default

    Saw this and had to smile.

    You know there are more details and issues that people are not talking about. 4 Chiefs in 5 years??? Sounds like miro-management at it's best. Definately more to the story than what is being told...please stay tuned.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  3. #3
    Forum Member tfpd109's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    On the flatest land around! (In central Il.)
    Posts
    618

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey
    Saw this and had to smile.

    You know there are more details and issues that people are not talking about. 4 Chiefs in 5 years??? Sounds like miro-management at it's best. Definately more to the story than what is being told...please stay tuned.

    My thoughts exactly. I do think the sign deal was crappy, but I highly doubt thats the WHOLE story.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    411

    Default

    This kind of news used to surprise me.

    ...
    "Yeah, but as I've always said, this country has A.D.D." - Denis Leary

    http://www.lettertogop.com/

  5. #5
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Metro NY
    Posts
    613

    Default

    The Mayor demoted 2 Chiefs in just over a year's time, and now after only 3 months a Chief with 28 years of career and 20 years of volunteer service is resigning? Hmm, sounds like they have a Mayor who wants to be a Fire Chief a little too badly. Maybe he should've just taken the position himself in June instead of hiring someone. It would seem there's no need for a Chief if the Mayor is micromanaging the entire dept anyway.

    I think the Mayor should've choosen his battle more wisely in this case though. I have a feeling the public will wind up siding with the dept and see the Mayor as being insensitive, even if he did mean well in wanting the sign to be more representative of the entire dept, not just the one company.


    Really though, I'm sure there's more to both sides. I'm just really bored right now and feel like typing out a purely speculative post. These types of threads are fun, because you get to read the post of someone who registered specifically to vent or badmouth their community, local government, own dept, local cops, fellow members, etc. and little by little you learn the truth, which often falls somewhere in the middle. Yep, it's fun to just come in to these threads and pretend you have a clue wtf is going on when you really have none. Even more fun when other members come in and fight with you, when neither of you have a clue! I love it, truly! Have a nice day everyone!

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2

    Default

    You're right, there is always more to the story. The mayor didn't have a problem with the 9/11 tribute, he had a problem with the way it was displayed. We only have one company in the city and literally, every paid member of the department is a part of the Volunteer Organization. The sign's message, displaying CP VOL FD INC is more inclusive that CP Fire Rescue (technically just the paid guys).

    You can pull more out of this all you want, that's the best part. It all leads to an egotistical, over-bearing mayor that has disrupted a progressive, hardworking combined volunteer/career department.

  7. #7
    Forum Member 1835Wayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Door Village, IN
    Posts
    1,128

    Default

    Sounds like he and Jack Jent (Portage Twp Trustee) have been doing lunch!!

    I wish you guys over in CP better luck with the next Chief. If you need help, PM me, I know a few guys in Lake and Porter County....................
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
    "Chet, get an inch and a half on that!"

    "Not for fame or reward,Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered,sacrificed,dared all, and died. Let us never forget our fallen friends."

  8. #8
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
    Posts
    6,329

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1835Wayne
    Sounds like he and Jack Jent (Portage Twp Trustee) have been doing lunch!!.........
    Yeah, weird huh?!

    When I clicked on the link the first thing I thought was "um isn't Fort Wayne in Indiana? hmmmmmm". Something in the water?
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  9. #9
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Question What The ....................

    Can someone closer to that area explain what a Mayor has to do with a Volunteer F.D. ?? Here in my area, VFDs are totally independent from any control by a municipality, or any elected official. All control over Public Safety is vested in County Government ONLY. There are minimum standards to meet in order to be a Firefighter, EMT, Officer, Etc. You meet the standards, you are able to function in that capacity, and there is absolutely nothing that anyone in municipal government can do about it.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  10. #10
    Forum Member tfpd109's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    On the flatest land around! (In central Il.)
    Posts
    618

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    Can someone closer to that area explain what a Mayor has to do with a Volunteer F.D. ?? Here in my area, VFDs are totally independent from any control by a municipality, or any elected official. All control over Public Safety is vested in County Government ONLY. There are minimum standards to meet in order to be a Firefighter, EMT, Officer, Etc. You meet the standards, you are able to function in that capacity, and there is absolutely nothing that anyone in municipal government can do about it.
    In our area (Illinois) some volunteer departments are run by the city. The department I'm with used to be run by the city until we formed a protection district. Some of our neighboring departments are still run by the city. We like "being on our own", granted we still have trustees. If someone on the city board is mad at the FD, it had no impact on us, although we do like to try and get along If you have any more "Q's" feel free to ask!

  11. #11
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    Can someone closer to that area explain what a Mayor has to do with a Volunteer F.D. ?? Here in my area, VFDs are totally independent from any control by a municipality, or any elected official. All control over Public Safety is vested in County Government ONLY. There are minimum standards to meet in order to be a Firefighter, EMT, Officer, Etc. You meet the standards, you are able to function in that capacity, and there is absolutely nothing that anyone in municipal government can do about it.
    Chief, to the best of my knowledge (and I will admit that my knowledge is a tad limited), most departments in the US are NOT run by the county. Heck, excluding Maryland and Virginia, Most East coast departments aren't run by the county.

    Again, TTBOMK, most are either run by the municipality, run as a fire protection district under the supervisior of the district trustees, or a combination of both. Not saying a county system is good or bad (personally I like it, but I can see it as having drawbacks as well), only that what happens in your corner of the world isn't practiced elsewhere.

    And for the record, I imagine that county departments have issues with county officials micromanaging or butting heads with individual departments as well.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  12. #12
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,921

    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    Can someone closer to that area explain what a Mayor has to do with a Volunteer F.D. ?? Here in my area, VFDs are totally independent from any control by a municipality, or any elected official.
    You'd flip out here in Arkansas. State law says that city councils "shall establish fire departments and provide them with proper engines and such other equipment as shall be necessary..." So, this means that in most of the incorporated communities in the state, there is a municipal fire department. With a statewide population of only 2.6 million citizens, an extremely large percentage of these departments are mostly volunteer or 100% volunteer.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Lawng Eyeland, New Yawk, USA
    Posts
    354

    Default

    This mayor chose a bad issue to butt heads with the chief over...if he had a beef with the guy (or the 4 previous chiefs), arguing over a sign that honors 343 brothers who gave their lives in the line of duty and forcing the chief to resign is not the best way to make himself look good in the eyes of the citizens/voters. But what can you expect from an elected official...they don't understand the concept of brotherhood...if you're not on "their side of the aisle" (let's not get into politics here), giving them a campaign contribution or voting for them, they have no use for you.

    I agree with others who say that it sounds as though this mayor has a desire to be the fire chief...maybe he's seen too many "Dukes of Hazzard"
    re-runs...remember Boss Hogg? He was the mayor, county commissioner, the fire chief, public works director, everything...

    Just my 2 cents...Stay Safe...

  14. #14
    Forum Member 1835Wayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Door Village, IN
    Posts
    1,128

    Default

    Well, here in Indiana, generally the Township Trustee provides the funding for the fire department, poor relief, etc.... In some townships the trustee also has the power to hire and fire the fire chief. In Crown Point it is a city owned Dept.........so the Mayor is in charge.
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
    "Chet, get an inch and a half on that!"

    "Not for fame or reward,Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered,sacrificed,dared all, and died. Let us never forget our fallen friends."

  15. #15
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    I come from The Land Down Under!
    Posts
    1,833

    Default

    There's obviosuly some issues here given that they're going through more fire chiefs than rolls of toilet paper....

    TO resign over a sign also tells me there's more to this than meets the eye....
    Luke

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Somewhere cold in MI
    Posts
    401

    Default

    What did he want the sign to say? i think the guys did an ok ob putting up a sign. one quick ? is the mayor or one of his buds on the fd and wants a promo? that is one way i could see it goin down. And firefighters don't want politicians involved until they need a new truck or the budget lifted a little. it is the way it is.
    J

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    Can someone closer to that area explain what a Mayor has to do with a Volunteer F.D. ?? Here in my area, VFDs are totally independent from any control by a municipality, or any elected official. All control over Public Safety is vested in County Government ONLY.
    You would freak out here too. All but two departments in my area are public fire departments funded by the local municipality with approval for things going through the mayor or city/village council. The other two are incorporated "fire districts" where the corporation owns the equipment and trucks are are leased or have a contract for service with the township. They are governed by a fire board that is made up of reps of each township they serve, mainly the town chairman of each township. The rest of the departments in my county are run by the village town board. Village money, equipment and facilities. No such thing as a "County" run department anywhere close to here. In fact, I could be wrong but I don't think there is such a thing in the entire state of Wisconsin.

    In one of the neighboring departments a few years ago, two of the townships wanted to break out of the fire district so the district took their trucks and equipment to the utter shock of the town board. They didn't understand that they did not own all that stuff. All of a sudden they had to buy 4 fully equiped fire trucks all at once. DOH!

    In my town, we are a municipal, city department. The Chief answers to the City Administrator, who answers to the city council. They have all the say in the budget, facilities and affairs. The key is they do not micro-manage at all. They let the Chief run things for the fire dept. It actually works well now that we have a new City Administrator that runs it like it should be run. Before we had some problems of two council members who made the budget for all city departments. SNAFU!! Much happier times now.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula.Victoria.Australia
    Posts
    135

    Default micro management

    Appears like micro management.
    Time a line was drawn between political and operational aspects of the fire service. Political meddling in the operational aspects of the emergency services should not be tolerated.
    Disclaimer
    These views are my own and not of either my brigade or any other organisation.

  19. #19
    Forum Member cellblock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    St Gabriel, La
    Posts
    708

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by proudofcp
    We only have one company in the city and literally, every paid member of the department is a part of the Volunteer Organization. The sign's message, displaying CP VOL FD INC is more inclusive that CP Fire Rescue (technically just the paid guys).
    Same here.
    There are volunteers who are with the EIVFD and then there are paid city firefighters. Since the trucks can only be operated by VFD members the paid guys are signed up as vollies upon being hired.
    The reason for this is that the City doesn't have any of it's own stations or trucks so it partners with the local VFD to provide piad FFs to man the main station.
    Sort of like forming a city police department and then signing up your police officers as members of the volunteer Reserve Deputy program through the Sheriff's Office. So you have paid city cops but you don't have to buy cop cars or build stations because you will have your guys driving cars owned by the Sheriff's Office and working out of the Sheriff's substation in your area. Sweet deal isn't it?

  20. #20
    Forum Member Co11FireGal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Country Roads, Take Me Home...
    Posts
    721

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    Can someone closer to that area explain what a Mayor has to do with a Volunteer F.D. ?? Here in my area, VFDs are totally independent from any control by a municipality, or any elected official. All control over Public Safety is vested in County Government ONLY. There are minimum standards to meet in order to be a Firefighter, EMT, Officer, Etc. You meet the standards, you are able to function in that capacity, and there is absolutely nothing that anyone in municipal government can do about it.
    Guess it really depends on what state you're in...laws here say FD's have municipal oversight, but in most places that is not really pushed b/c municipalities have to provide the service and there is nothing that binds us to keep volunteering and putting up with a mayor's crap. We have had go-arounds with him...just have to remind him that, yes, technically he may be in charge but we are an incorporated non-profit too...and one that would gladly change our name, get a new charter and continue to provide services everywhere except in his city...then he'd have to pay firefighters, buy new equipment, build a new building, etc...and he can't. Not by a long shot. Until a couple years ago, though the fd owns all equipment, we allowed the city to hold titles and we were with the city's fleet insurance, they payed the chief, etc. But finally, after years of disagreeing we pretty much reached an understanding that neither of us wanted to really have anything to do with the other and we went our seperate ways. We do what the towns needs and they leave us alone...completely. We got all of our titles to equipment, pay our own insurance, pay our chief, etc. They collect a small fire fee on town water bills and turn it over to us twice a year, and unless they need a favor we pretty much don't even have anything to do with them. We don't fight, we just stay away pretty much. They recently decided they would like to have us back on the fleet insurance...first though was "Ohhh how nice." Then they get to the "well we can each pay half" part. Umm yeah, I don't think so...

    It is ridiculous that any fire chief has to put up with a mayor who won't let him/her do their job. If the municipality is getting adequate service, leave the fd alone unless a time comes that service is suffering....THEN intervene...not over a sign with a more than appropriate, respectful message honoring people who deserve to be honored...that is just CRAZY!
    Last edited by Co11FireGal; 09-16-2006 at 02:04 AM.
    IACOJ

    "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap it if we do not lose heart."

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Worcester Firefighters Memorial Park Box 5-1438 Dec 3 1999
    By neildonahue in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-18-2004, 10:14 PM
  2. NY Times article on Ground Zero memorial designs
    By FireResearch in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-07-2003, 09:51 AM
  3. Connecticut State Firefighters Memorial
    By NJFFSA16 in forum Line of Duty: In Memory Of
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-19-2002, 01:17 AM
  4. Sign, Sign, Everywhere a sign...
    By firefighter26 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: 06-05-2002, 05:02 AM
  5. Just for you......
    By Speedi120 in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 96
    Last Post: 09-12-2000, 07:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts