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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Despicable" Quote of The Week

     In response to  questions about the reduction of manpower in the Westfield Fire Department, Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea stated the following at last night's town council meeting:

Gildea:  “We’ve had no layoffs, we’ve had attrition, which is the nicer way to do it.”

     TFoTM asks Gildea:  Why have the two firefighters that passed away unexpectedly, not been replaced.  The two firefighters, Jim Pfeiffer and Dan Maglione were employees of the Town of Westfield when the FMBA (firefighters union) settled their contract with the town.  The firefighters made concessions to avoid layoffs such as taking 0% raises and giving back a portion of their Holiday Pay.
     The unexpected deaths of two of Westfield's Bravest, one due to a tragic accident and the other because of terminal illness, are not considered "attrition" to any decent human being, nor are they concessions.

10 comments:

  1. Downtownie BusinessWednesday, October 26, 2011

    Here's another quotr from the Gildea files, "Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah,...........................

    Don't believe a word that comes out of this scoundrels mouth.

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  2. Did you expect any less from a horse's ass

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  3. Looks like Jim stumbled across his trusty old Word Calender.

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  4. Have another drink Gildea you loser!

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  5. WestfieldEmployeeFriday, October 28, 2011

    I watched the town council meeting on channel 36. Kasko paid trubute to two firemen in a respectable manner. The town administrator bashes Kasko for no reason and says his facts are wrong but doesn't point out what facts he is wrong about. He then goes into a character assasination of the guy. Looks like he is trying to taint the election. I know Greg and I know what this town did to him when he was trying to protect residents when he reported criminal activity in the police department. Its no surprise the ex-chief retired and the town went after Kasko. Greg, I can't vote for you but I will tell everyone I know that can, to vote for you. I think you are a man of integrity and you are what the town council needs. I've worked with you and can truly say that the department is not the same and your service to the community is noted and missed.

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  6. I really wish someone would set the record straight publicly. The Fire Department is down 8 guys. They had 40 and now they have 32. That is 8 guys. A decrease of 20%. Everything that has been published has the numbers wrong. I haven't seen anyone say a number as high as 8 yet. 2 more are supposed to be leaving next year which will make it 10. A 25% decrease in manpower. The police were recently allowed to hire 3 or 4 Police Officers to keep their staffing at 50. When will they hire firefighters?

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  7. 3rd Ward candidate for Town Council (Greg Kasko) set the record straight at the candidates forum Monday night. He answered the question pertaining to manpower issues in both the police and fire departments. Watch the video.

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  8. The town council had asked each of the departments to reduce their staffing levels by 20%. If you read the Westfield Leader and listen to Town Administrator Jim Gildea, he boldly pats himself on the back for reducing town employee staff from 250 to 200. The problem with a "blanket" 20% reduction across all departments is that in the public safety departments (police and fire) such a reduction will have a profound effect on service, especially in the public safety departments. . The decreased service due to the reduction in manpower within the police and fire departments has manifested itself in many ways. Police service of non emergency calls has decreased. In some instances, officers are responding an hour to 3 hours after a call comes into the police dispatch center. Hours of departments such as the records bureau in headquarters have been reduced preventing citizens from obtaining reports and other documents at their convenience. Overtime in both police and fire departments are up. In the fire department alone it is up over $200,000 this year. Firefighters are responding to calls on time but when they get there they can't fight the fire like they used to when they had adequate manpower. While a structure burns, they can't go inside to fight the fire until, in some cases, receive mutual aid from other fire departments. At the Cumberland St fire the Westfield Fire Dept had to wait for Plainfield to show up in order to go in to the house to fight the fire that had started in the basement. That fire burned for 13 minutes before a hose was pulled into the house. The fire doubled in size every minute until Plainfield arrived.

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  9. Hire and save overtime or don't hire and pay overtime. I'm sure the Firefighters don't mind the overtime. The money will either be spent in salaries and benefits or in overtime. The bigger issue is the minimum amount of Firefighters on duty at a time. It used to be 7 and now it is 6. It needs to be moved back to 7 whether by hiring or paying overtime. Until it is moved back to 7 they will always have to wait for mutual aid to arrive before they can enter a burning home. The Hazel Ave fire earlier this year is another example of that. Firefighters had to wait on the front steps til Cranford got there while the attic was burning away. The homeowner was actually screaming at the Firefighters to go in and put the fire out. 1 more Firefighter on duty would have changed the whole tactical approach.

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  10. More firefighters would be a good thing. Yet just a few years ago Gildea, Kelly and the former chief went to court to argue that they were justified in passing over a qualified volunteer applicant who was also the next on the hiring list in 2005.
    The fact that this firefighter scored well on the WFD hiring test and scored higher than any WFD firefighter ever on the County & State Fire Test means nothing.
    They complain about lack of volunteers but turn away volunteers who are clearly qualified. Can't say you want more firefighters and then turn away exceptionally qualified candidates. Can't have it both ways. The fact that they went to court over this is a pretty direct message that they are determined to continue insuring the fire department steadily dwindles away. No department in Union County would fight to keep a firefighter at the top of his class from volunteering on their department except Westfield.

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