It is with great sadness that Fire Starter has learned of the passing of Chief Frank Dohnalek. Chief Dohnalek served the Village of Johnson City and its residents with dedication and integrity for 46 years. As a firefighter and finally as a chief, Chief Dohnalek epitomized the “good and faithful servant” of Matthew’s gospel.
To the end, Chief Dohnalek stood up for the safety of his brothers in the department and the citizens of the Village he loved. At a recent Village Board meeting he “called out” Mayor Hannon for the reckless cuts in the fire department that place everyone at risk. He challenged Mayor Hannon regarding his use of discipline for the intimidation of Union leaders. His honesty and integrity created a sharp contrast with the self serving and dictatorial Hannon.
Fire Starter has learned that there is no end to Mayor Hannon’s pettiness. Apparently, Village employees lowered flags to half staff to honor this great public servant and lifelong resident. In one final act of vindictiveness toward Chief Dohnalek, Mayor Hannon ordered the flags raised back to full staff.
Chief Dohnalek’s life of service was an example to all who had the opportunity to know and work with him. It is indeed sad for the Village to lose a man of such singular character. Lord knows, there are currently none in positions of power in the Village today.