Tag Archives: AFD

TUE + WED CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS: BE THERE

GUEST BLOG from: SpeakUpAlameda@gmail.com

ATTEND THIS WEEK’S MEETINGS   •   SPEAK OUT   •   PROTECT OUR CITY’S FUTURE!!

CITY of ALAMEDA CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS THIS WEEK

TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 6:30 PM SPEAK BEFORE CLOSED SESSION

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 5:00 PM SPEAK BEFORE VOTE / AGENDA IS HERE.

Where’s the fire?

Why the rush to approve Mr. Russo’s proposal???

THE ISSUE YOU WANT TO SPEAK OUT ON                                                         

  • Fire and Police Contracts expire December 2017 (in 2.5 years)
  • City Manager Russo recently negotiated 5-year contract extensions of our fire and police unions, and put it on the April 29th City Council Meeting for approval
  • Russo did not include our elected City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy and City Auditor Kevin Kearney (“The Kevins”) in the negotiation process
  • Russo gave The Kevins and our city council exactly 2 weeks (!)–during tax season—to assess the contract extension.
  • City Council Member Oddie and the Alameda Fire Union and Firefighters are pulling out the stops to get this approved: promoting it in newspapers and online in social media.
  • Despite Mr. Oddie’s credentials (B.A. Finance, MBA) and in his recent op-ed, he got the numbers all wrong: Russo’s extension doesn’t reduce our OPEB liability “by $47 million over the next 30 years”.
  • In fact, after 30 years of implementing this proposal, the city will still have $252.6 million in unfunded OPEB* liability that we cannot afford

*OPEB: Other Post Employment Benefits

OVER THE NEXT 2 YEARS, WE NEED TO:
1)   CAREFULLY ASSESS OUR BUDGET
2)   CAREFULLY CRAFT PUBLIC SAFETY CONTRACTS  IN CONTEXT OF OUR BUDGET FORECASTS (See graphics below)
WHY?  Read on.
THE CITY BUDGET PROJECTIONS SHOW THAT DEFICITS BEGIN BY THIS SAME TIME NEXT YEAR.

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 9.47.00 AM

SOMETHING’S VERY WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE.
80% (!!) OF OUR BUDGET IS SPENT ON PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICES!

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 9.51.07 AM

 

 . . . AND SOMETHING IS VERY, VERY  WRONG
IN OUR CITY FIRE AGENCY.

Some firefighters earning $90K/year, earn another 40%  ($36K) in overtime pay per year!

 Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 11.11.37 AM

Our city leadership and management should WANT to know what’s wrong before approving any extensions to the existing contract!

ATTEND WEDNESDAY’S CITY COUNCIL MEETING!

SPEAK OUT!!!

PROTECT OUR CITY’S FUTURE!!

MORE INFORMATION: SpeakUpAlameda@gmail.com


Bob Sullwold

Bob Sullwold is doing a great job reporting on why our city continues to head in directions that do not make sense. He has sources, he explains past events that tie to current ones, and he’s a good writer.

HEAD OVER TO BOB’S BLOG HERE where he’s written a great expose on the how we got and lost the Rockerfeller Grant.

Bob has coined the most apt logo ever for our city: Fire Knows Best

Let’s help him get that changed by helping as many Alamedans become informed as possible.

Please read and share Bob’s blog articles far and wide.

THANK YOU!


The Hospital.

Elliott Gorelick’s post today warrants republishing (see below here).  And PLEASE SHARE this post with others; it could protect one’s quality of life. It could safe a life.

The hospital itself told me they nearly killed me in the Emergency Department (ED) a couple of years ago, they don’t know why I didn’t die. This, during a minor (read: easy straight forward diagnosis and treatment) medical emergency (that was extremely painful, i.e., required emergency attention). Not only did I nearly die whilst in the Alameda Hospital ED, I was about 200% worse once home . . .  Continue reading


City of Alameda: Villainous

Our city took a position in court yesterday that our public safety services did not have a duty to rescue Raymond Zack.  Our elected officials and city manager should be ashamed of themselves.

See the story on last night’s ABC news here; excellent reporting by Alan Wang.

Mr. Wang, however, was provided false information. He reported that our fire department did not have funding for water rescue training. To do that, Mr. Wang had to have believed what he was told, which means that disinformation had to have come from a source he believed to be credible. So who gave him the disinformation? Was it our city? Our fire department? The firefighter’s union, IAFF Local 689?

The City of Alameda funded water rescue training and re-certifications to be completed in 2009 (source document is here).

The City of Alameda budgeted for the AFD to perform 8 to 10 water rescues per year for 2009 -2012 (source document is here).

Every resident and visitor to the City of Alameda has a right to expect to be rescued by our public safety services.

Given the information in the source documents noted above: Without a doubt (it is incontrovertible that) we all—

Mr. Zack, his family, and all residents and visitors to the City of Alameda—

had a right to expect Mr. Zack to be rescued by our public safety services.

Our city is arguing that they had no duty to perform. How perverse. It is unconscionable that our city should argue this. And it is villainous . . . Continue reading


Redundant and unnecessary

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 • The Alameda Sun

Redundant and unnecessary

Editor,

Charles Fasso’s op-ed (“Closing Fire Station No. 3,” Sept. 13) can only be politically motivated as it could not be further from the truth! There are no reports that contradict the 2009 ICMA report.

Moreover, the ICMA report based its findings on national fire industry standards: each fire station needs to provide a 1.5-mile radius of coverage.

What the heck does that mean for us exactly? It means that out of all of the fire stations we have in Alameda, Fire Station No. 3 is the only fire station that we do not need.

Why? Because every other fire station perfectly and slightly overlaps to provide service for the entire city. That’s right: the coverage provided by Fire Station No. 3 is redundant and unnecessary.

So why is our city leadership and management hell bent on spending millions on the redesign and expansion of the Fire Station No. 3 facility and staff and exacerbating the annual multi-million dollar overspend on overstaffing of fire services? One needs only look at the political donations made by the firefighters’ union, IAFF Local 689, to figure this one out: the local fire union has been averaging $50,000 in donations per election to local candidates and measures.

Our city’s citizen legislature is anything but.

— Denise Lai


Walker’s 3 Criteria

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s three criteria upon which the relationship between public workers and taxpayers should be evaluated, adapted for our city:

  1. Equity in employment benefits and burdens between public and private workers
  2. The preservation of core government services for all Alamedans
  3. Linked to both these goals: the improvement of the City of Alameda’s economic competitiveness.

Like Scott Walker, our city government needs to stop hiding from our budget plight, begin managing our general fund properly and that means first and foremost a.) reduce fire overstaffing b.) reduce top-paid city worker salaries across the board, and c.) negotiate in earnest with our fire and police unions for real concessions (not the meaningless kind you can splash across pricey mailers for sounds bites).

If the city laid off the 15 excess/unnecessary fire captains, we’d save nearly $4M just in salaries/benefits alone.  That’d be an immediate solution to our short-tem budget woes, would be a first step toward optimizing fire services, and give us time to map out a responsible long-term budget. It’s a win-win. There is no good reason for not doing this; so why isn’t our city leadership and management considering this?!


C: Post mortem

Congratulations to all the Alamedans who read up on the facts and became informed voters. You took our city back for all Alameda residents!  And protected us from a financial debacle of tremendous proportions. And thank you to the Alameda Sun for having the stones to publish hard-hitting facts that know no political sides, for publishing the truths as the city documents state them. And to the Alameda Journal: you shoulda been agnostic to our politics; shame on you!

Now for the really hard work: get the city leadership and management to properly manage our general fund and prioritize we-the-residents in this fine city.  The multi-millions we would save from proper staffing levels and reduced salaries would easily restore our library and senior center staffing, pave our roads, fix our sidewalks, and start addressing some of the desirable capital improvements.

In looking at this recent election over the backdrop of past elections, I hate to think that this might be true, but is sure looks like two things:

1. Have the fire unions have been getting overpaid overstaffing in exchange for approximately $50,000 per election? Were they promised  much, much more with the passage of Measure C?  Multi-million dollar fire stations, training tower, computer center, and control of our city’s emergency operations center? All of which would further increase already over-staffed staffing levels! The fire unions paid $20,000 to ‘Citizens Preserving Alameda Committee for Measure C’ (source is here), walked the streets for C knocking on doors, and manned phone banks.

2. Did someone tell the understaffed and usually reticent police department to play ball politically?  Is this what it takes to get the city to provide proper police staffing levels to service our city safely? I don’t recall seeing donations from our police unions in past elections. They gave a whopping $28,000 to ‘Citizens Preserving Alameda Committee for Measure C’ (source is here).

Yes, we have overpaid firefighters and police, but we also have some people in positions for which they are unqualified yet they are making the salaries/benefits of someone who is an out-performer/over-qualified.  And we have some city workers in top positions with questionable performances getting reviews that reward them.  And we have had under-performing fire services delivering us significant failures year after year primarily, IMO, due to a lack of performance (outcome) management tied to contemporary (fully updated) performance protocols and procedures. Our GOBs (general operating bulletins) continue to be substandard, incomplete, and inadequate, putting both the fire staff and all residents at unnecessary risk. Having staff unqualified for the position of chief doesn’t really help. Fire Chief D’Orazi seems affable, seems to know fire fighting stuff. But there’s zero in his CV that prepared him to be fire chief for a city of 80,000 residents. As I said, we have staff in some departments who don’t have the CVs for the position or the exorbitant pay. There are many ways for our city leadership and management to adjust staffing levels and salaries in order to properly allocate our money for better & higher uses that will improve our city’s ability to serve us.  Note to the city: laying off the janitor at our senior center is not one of them!

Let’s stay on it, Alameda. We’ve got November ahead of us coming up pretty soon here. Stay informed. Stay engaged. Manage up.