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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't


This story is much bigger than you think. While many of you are only seeing the surface of the $1,500,000.00 Grant accepted last night, there's a LOT more to it.

There's a financial side, a political side and more motives than you can believe.

While the Firefighters stood up there last night and clearly stated they'll have some 10 Firefighters retiring over the next 2 years and these new Firefighters call fill the gaps, will they?

Will the Firefighters mentioned last night actually retire, or will they stay on for as long as they can to retain a larger retirement package.

While it sounds good, come on now, seriously?

The City Council made it very clear, when the two years is up, are you prepared to let these people go. Hoppes replied, yes.

Now I've read most of the comments coming in attacking the City Council for voting yes but you know what Ladies & Gentlemen, I've been doing this Blog thing for a lot of years and for what it's worth, here's my opinion to those comments.

I personally believe they are coming in from the old Dream Team Camp. You remember those people, right?

Well, I believe what you're going to see is the following. I firmly believe Jim Ireton is NOT going to run again for Mayor. I believe Mike Dunn is going to run for Mayor and Matt Drew is going to run for City Council to try to replace Debbie Campbell. I also believe they're going to run another Dream Team campaign based on civility.

Now, is Jim Ireton aware this is going to happen, I'm not exactly sure right now. However, ALL he has been doing is promoting the "Council Of No's" and attacking THREE Council Members in particular. So, he's either setting the CITIZENS up with the idea three Council Members refuse to work with him OR he's setting it up for Mike Dunn to come into the race in which he will claim he can get every one working together and rubber stamp whatever he wants moved forward.

Keep in mind, they NEVER saw Joe Albero for Mayor coming, so believe me, are they holding more private meetings at the Chamber of Commerce and they're plotting for this election like they did last November 8th?

The BIG question to you is, do you really want to go back to the way things were under the Tilghman Administration? The answer to me is, hell no. However, if you're a developer with special interests, (including Sassafras Meadows) we might just be in for another round of developer reimbursements and the whole nine yards.

The title of this article spells it all out. Ireton threw several hissy fits again last night and got so ticked off at me for taking pictures he actually pulled out his cell phone and started taking pictures of me. Why, I have no clue. Maybe he's got a man crush on me, I don't know. All I can tell you is, the City Council moved forward with something I'm not so sure they're completely happy with.

Debbie Campbell asked the Mayor to please produce surplus numbers from the 2012 budget. The Mayor refused to answer her request. Tim Spies then asked the Finance Director to answer Mrs. Campbell's question and she simply sat in her seat and refused to answer the question. Mayor Ireton then shouted, I'm glad you recognize that you work for me and refuse to answer the question as I asked you to do.

Look Folks, it's this simple. You have an income. You place that money in the bank. You know what your expenses are each month and you pay your bills. At the end of the month there's a balance in that account. The City works no differently. The Finance Director has always been very good at delivering these numbers, yet now the Mayor is refusing to state how much of a balance the City has. It's your money, you should know and Debbie Campbell's request was justified and fair.

Remember now, it was Debbie Campbell who asked the question that led to finding the $400,000.00 mistake in the Grant. IF Debbie had not found the money and the grant had been moved forward two weeks ago, YOU would have been held accountable for the $400,000.00 error. Mayor Ireton's demands were premature and unprofessional. In the very least Debbie Campbell saved the day on this one.

Now, as for the comments coming in ragging on her, I think we ALL know now who they're coming in from. They are attempting to use Salisbury News as a bashing tool against her. Like I said, damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Now, getting back to the grant. Council President Terry Cohen stated it better than any one else. For the past SEVERAL years under three different Fire Chief's, the Fire Department has REQUESTED 66 Firefighters each year and the City Council granted ALL 66 Firefighters. Over all those years, not once did the Fire Department ask for additional Firefighters.

Now all of a sudden they NEED an additional 12 Firefighters? Think for a moment! If YOU were running a business and business was jam packed, wouldn't you expect your upper management to come to you over the past 5 years and ask for more people to keep things going? The BOSS, (the City Council) has NOT received such a request. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

The Daily Times stated today on line that the Council rejected the request two weeks ago. NO they didn't. They stated they didn't have enough information to move forward and place it on the agenda. The Daily Times has been labeling each Council Member in recent months. Why, because they're already gearing up for a Mike Dunn run for Mayor, just as they did years ago for the Dream Team.

ALL of it ties together, you just wait and see. We'll try to continue showing you on a regular basis what they're doing because I for one am not blind to their games.

The Council Majority is serving YOUR best interest. They, nor I, have ANYTHING against Firefighters. The Chief was NOT forthcoming with honest information on this from the beginning and that threw a wrench into it right out of the gate.

Finally, the decision has been made to support the Grant. The money will be available from FEMA for two years. The Firefighters being hired will know full and well that they are being hired for that period of time and the City is NOT liable to retain these Firefighters.

I don't want to hear two years from now, HOW CAN YOU LET PUBLIC SAFETY PEOPLE GO! If I am your Mayor at the time and ANYONE plays that game, I'll see to it you're removed from the Salisbury Fire Department immediately. "A half truth is a whole lie".

UPDATE: It should also be noted, the RESPONSE time published in the Daily Times today is inaccurate. Allow me to explain. The RESPONSE time numbers they were going by are times in which Firefighters were furloughed. They are NOT accurate numbers.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the budget instructions handed down to department heads the number one instruction has always been, in recent years, "do not ask for additional personel".

If your not allowed to ask for it, and department heads are not allowed to talk directly to the council without permission from the mayor, then the under staffing falls on the mayors lap. If the council members could see what the department heads need each year, before the mayor makes his cuts then perhaps they could make better informed decisions.

Anonymous said...

Awesome article. I hadn't thought of it that way butu I think your right. Ireton has been setting them up. I'll be damned.

JoeAlbero said...

Oh cut the BS. If you need people, you ask for it, period. As mentioned last night, you are either a leader or NOT.

Anonymous said...

To bad you don't start your own Newspaper Joe!

You wouldn't believe how many Bad remarks about the City Council ,refusing the Grant, I've heard lately. This "wrong" news is spread around simply because they read & know only what the Daily Times quotes.

I ask you---Daily Times do an articel on Why the Grant was denied----let the people know the truth. I have no respect for you not doing otherwise!!

You know---Word of mouth gets "out there" & I tend to spread the truth till I can't talk anymore!!!

Anonymous said...

truth - what a concept...

Anonymous said...

How long before these people stop using our lives as a political playground? Why do we need 12 more firefighters I have not heard that the Salisbury Fire department needs more workers, I have heard the crime in Salsbury sucks so that leads me to believe more city police officers are needed. Joe you seem to be out last hope of turning this city around. Someone who is not swayed by special interests and money.

Anonymous said...

Truth in government, what a radical idea! Thank you Joe for once again getting the facts, and reporting the facts to all of us. I appreciate what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Who do they think they are fooling? There was no talk whatsoever of 10 firefighters retiring until this grant came along. Get real guys. Lying makes you lose public respect. You all may be abled to be fooled but the public isn't.
When you all are crying in 5 yrs that you haven't had a raise, remember these words-We Told You So.

Anonymous said...

Freaking sickening that these public servants will sit in the meeting and lie right to the councils face. Joe when you become mayor please make sure these people are held accountable for their actions. There is no accountability left that's why politicians and servants alike can lie through their teeth and get away with it. Sell the freaking fire boat of you want a raise how about that.

Anonymous said...

well just what do the 66 firefighters do all day/week? I have not seen that many fires around salisbury in years. So why do they now need even more personnel? They know something we don't?

Anonymous said...

Question: Is there any reason why the police department could not apply for a grant under this program? IIRC, in earlier discussions, I thought I read some info about the grant program being broad enough to encompass police.

Did I misread, or make a faulty assumption?

If money for cops was available, why did Salisbury's administration choose to forgo an application?

Anonymous said...

Because the cops didn't line any pockets most likely.

Anonymous said...

Salisbury is in for a world of hurt of Mike Dunn becomes mayor. The slumlords will have free reign.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to your race as mayor no one need tell you to expect the very worst and hope for the very best.Great post Joe,but very disturbing.

Anonymous said...

Lots to cover here...

Ireton: He's schilling for the Tilghman machine. But they have promised to move him up to a state level position, or county administrator. Something where he doesn't have to teach any more. But they'll dump him like a hot potato if Dunn gets elected. That's what my gut tells me.

Firefighters: Government never gets smaller. When the grant money goes away, it's going to be "essential to keep this level of staffing to provide the response times that our city are used to. We can't possibly maintain this level of service with less staff." The ironic part is that the numbers are worse than now.

And are these 12 people volunteers? How many full time equivelant positions do they staff? I have a family member who is a volunteer in a different county. The old guys stick around for benefits but don't do the heavy lifting that is required for day to day operations.

Anonymous said...

11:16, are you a mouse or a man? Your boss who can't single-handedly fire you tells you to lie and you do it?

I don't know how the city machine operates much, but I do know that budget is the one time the department heads get to talk to the council about what they need.

The lady police chief has more balls than the chubby fire chief. I heard Ireton screamed at her at her in some meeting. Is that true, Joe?

Anonymous said...

In 2 years if 12 haven't retired and layoffs occur could be an opportunity to get rid of some deadwood who are just collecting a paycheck.But the union probably has rules to protect the lazy ones from being laid off.

Anonymous said...

If there isn't there should be a weight limit/restriction for fire/police? In the time of emergencies, could these people be counted on to do anything (climbing a ladder)?
Also, Ireton once again looks so childish taking pictures because you stated you took a picture. He certainly isn't administrative, or executive material with the actions and tirads he gets over on a regular basis. Who in the world would want that kind of liability in any department? I would be extremely reluctant to have him around children with his temper. And he has already proven he is incapable of acting like an adult at meetings. His parents must be so proud of his behavior! Even for Salisbury, at this level you need to hold your tongue and seek to find middle ground for open, honest discussion.



Anonymous said...

Jim looks like a hateful 5th grader with that camera/phone.

Anonymous said...

THANK-YOU! Terry Cohen and Tim Spies for stepping up to the plate in passing this important Grant to make our city and community safer.
You have my continued support regardless of the negative comments toward your independent vote.

Anonymous said...

Hoppes hid in the corner like a coward.

Anonymous said...

Joe,a lot gets done without you being mayor,the locals should see you could get a lot more done as mayor.

Anonymous said...

Of course he hid in the corner. He had the obligation to make sure the grant submission was accurate, that communication thru the administration and to the coucil was completed and that the follow-on years budget impact and calculations were completed ahead of time. Placing the blame on Pick, the mayor and the council gives you insight into the type of leadership skills he possesses. Nice of the Gladwell person to take the blame but the buck stops with the department head. Like he stated, "How can something so positive be turned into such a negative." Well then ask yourself since you failed to do a thorough job in making sure it was correct from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

The first post is right on the money. I can confirm as a department head that we were told that we would be fired if we talked directly to the council members. More than once we were asked for our resignations after the mayor had a hissy fit.

The budget instructions are clearly spelled out by Pick and Ireton. Plus they scrub our submissions and presentations prior to meeting with the council during the budget cycle each year.

Jimmy always sits next to me and looks over my shoulder to make sure I don't make a request during the budget sessions that he didn't filter first.

Anonymous said...

August 28, 2012 4:06 PM
"I can confirm as a department head that we were told that we would be fired if we talked directly to the council members."

Right....so you're a department head. Got it. And I'm the King of England. And Ireton never asked for resignations because he can't - department heads can only be removed by a 3-2 vote of the City Council. Try a better lie next time.

Anonymous said...

If 4:06 were a department head, he or she isn't smart enough to remain one giving identifying info like that, LOL!

But when you connect the dots, it's pretty clear the staff isn't treated well by Ireton and the council, well, three of them anyway, are treated like mushrooms by Ireton.

It's deja vu all over again, Barrie.

Anonymous said...

I work fot the SFD and I thank the council for finally voting yes for the grant. No I am not a resident of the city. Yes I am a resident of the county and my taxes do fund the fire department. I also pay federal taxes and I am glad we are getting money returned to the area. Yes I would rather have the cash, but still glad to see it come back to us. I just have one question. Why do you the citizens dislike us so much. We put our lives on the line day in day out to serve you. I am sure we have come to serve you in some manner whether fire or ems. I am sure you were glad we were there and probably thanked us for coming. Then you come on here and talk so much hate toward us. I am proud to serve the city and hope you all can soon support our department. We will show that this grant was a positive step and a benefit to the city.

Anonymous said...

7:12m Thank you for your service. You are probably not one of the people that I am disgusted with. I am disgusted with the departmental leadership who spends tons of money on equipment and buildings rather than paying the people driving the ambulances and putting out the fires what they should be paid. I am disgusted with those same people for spending our money to repaint perfectly good vehicles so that they match the rest of the fleet. Who cares about that unless they are spending someone else's money. A fire boat, a $10,000,000 fire building when a smaller station would have been very servicable. The abuse of city resources by the departmental leadership is disgusting. I am still offended by the "big boys need big toys" comments. Our personnel and us as taxpayers deserve better. The false statement in the grant application submitted by Hoppes says all that needs to be said about why I am disgusted with the leadership - and the Mayor and Pick too. Please understand that if you are a fireman or paramedic delivering services, I say thank you.

Anonymous said...

And when the grant runs out who pays for the salaries and benefits?

Anonymous said...

Dear Firefighter, I don't hate you guys on the line. Your leadership stinks and is arrogant toward us people that got to foot the bill.

I did watch last night and I will say that there is one firefighter I don't have respect for and that is the one who insulted the council as being a Jerry Springer show. While I agree that a lot that goes on in the city looks like that, that man had no place in uniform insulting the people who had the decision to make based on bad information from that man's so-called leadership. That your chief let that man go like that shows a lack of leadership.

That man and his chief owe the council an apology. If I had done that to my bosses, I would have been fired. The council president showed that man more respect than he gave her.

Also a lot of the problem is your boss's boss. You are lead by children.

That's all, over and out.

Anonymous said...

Seriously?

Anonymous said...

Hoppes is a coward first of all and not a good leader. Do you think he can fit into his turnout gear and go in a fight a fire?? I think NOT.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember who this person was talking about?

Anonymous said...
Dear Firefighter, I don't hate you guys on the line. Your leadership stinks and is arrogant toward us people that got to foot the bill.

I did watch last night and I will say that there is one firefighter I don't have respect for and that is the one who insulted the council as being a Jerry Springer show. While I agree that a lot that goes on in the city looks like that, that man had no place in uniform insulting the people who had the decision to make based on bad information from that man's so-called leadership. That your chief let that man go like that shows a lack of leadership.

That man and his chief owe the council an apology. If I had done that to my bosses, I would have been fired. The council president showed that man more respect than he gave her.

Also a lot of the problem is your boss's boss. You are lead by children.

That's all, over and out.
August 28, 2012 at 9:11 PM