Wednesday, June 15, 2016

An Open Letter to the Pensacola Fire Department


I apologize if the presentation of facts regarding Chief Allen's qualifications for promotion have in some way made you feel I am in opposition to the Fire Department.  Nothing could be further from the truth. I have advocated for the Fire Department for years, while on Council and after my term. Since I started this blog, I have blogged in support of the PFD more than any other City issue or department.  Show me one other source in Pensacola that has advocated for your issues as I have. And I have protected the reputations of firefighters I have known that have been less than stellar.  It wasn't relevant to the issue.

You know most of the issues I speak of because YOU told me of them.

Last week, I reached out to Nathan Edler to attempt a dialogue on the Chief confirmation issue and the issues regarding Chief Allen's career. He refused to talk.  In the past he didn't have a problem coming to my home, pulling in the Circle to complain about Mayor Hayward and how he doesn't get the issues involving fire fighters.

Everyone in the 707 knows the issues surrounding one of the speakers at Allen's confirmation.  Did I print it?  No.  Not relevant to the issue. Although it does say something about who supported Allen.

Everyone at the PFD knows all the issues surrounding Chief Allen's career.  I have known most of the issues I raised over the last week for years because you told them to me.  But they weren't a City issue until he was proposed as Chief.  He was not being proposed for just any job, he was being proposed as the Fire Chief.  I felt the information was not only relevant but Council and the Citizens deserved to know.

Since 2008, I have covered and fought for YOUR issues.  I have given you a voice you wouldn't otherwise have had.  I have worked cooperatively with past union Presidents attempting to give them a voice on issues that mattered to them.

Meeting with the Fire Department was the first thing I did when I was elected to office.

I have advocated for the replacement of Station 3 loudly for years.  As a councilmember, it was at the top of my list every year.

I have advocated for the Rescue trucks to once again be manned.  I even have the Mayor lying about manning them.

I have advocated for two in, two out and fought for staffing.

I detailed the racial history of the department, redacting the names of racist firefighters detailed in the case files as it wasn't relevant to the story, and how far the department has come since.

I opposed automatic aid as the City pays for your services and they should not be given away to County residents for free.

I detailed the understaffing of the ARFF.  Yes, the ARFF which recently was noted according to Chief Allen as deficient at the Pensacola Regional Airport.

I fought for David Allen when he opposed a Haunted House that the Mayor's sponsor Fred Levin was trying to force the Fire Marshal to sign off on illegally.

I have always been about what is right.  If a truth needed to be told I told it regardless of the personal aspects of the matter.

My opposition to David Allen for Fire Chief was not personal.  It was politics and it was business. Allen's appointment should be good for the Union and the rank and file.  He has no moral stance in so many disciplinary matters due to his previous records.

David is a pleaser as long as it benefits him.  He opened up the overtime flood gates for you until the money ran out.  He relaxed rules on second job vehicles at the stations.  He says all the right things.

He wants to let YOU lead the department.  He is "just a facilitator".  To me, that's not the role of a Fire Chief.

I hope he turns out to be a great Chief since he has already had his minions state AT THE CONFIRMATION its only for two years til he retires.  A lot can change in two years.

Look how much Hayward has done for the Department in his six years in office.

  • Failed to fix your stations
  • Took $800,000 in PFP for his political promised community centers
  • He has never once attended a union negotiation as he promised
  • Failed to return the Rescue trucks
  • Diminished ARFF to a point of deficiency.
  • Pawned you off in an automatic aid agreement
  • Neglected to appoint a chief for six years.
  • Tried to close your pensions

Hey, he did let Chief Allen buy you a fire boat!

Firefighters, I will always support you for what you do for us, the Citizens. Thank you for your service!

I will just do it quietly like others.

I'm done being an advocate.  Go tell it to the Mayor!

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