Monday, September 27, 2010

Slow Motion Dissolution

"The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government" - Thomas Jefferson

Fire Starter has repeatedly raised the question whether Mayor Hannon is attempting to thwart the will of the people.  In November of 2009, Johnson City rejected dissolution by a 40 vote margin.  Although not an overwhelming margin, the people spoke.  No dissolution.

Now it seems that Mayor Hannon, king of all he sees, is not subject to the will of the people.  Despite the rejection of dissolution, he appears intent on dismantling the Village, piece by piece, until the various departments are no longer capable of fulfilling their duties to the community.  This is tantamount to "slow motion dissolution" and contrary to the stated wishes of Village voters.

Several moves lead the Fire Starter to the conclusion that the Mayor is seeking covert dissolution.  The Mayor illegally laid off 6 fire fighters and has sought the termination of several others in a little more than a year.  At the same time, he gutted the command structure in the police department.  In addition to the legal expense associated with these moves, he has actually replaced part of the command structure in the fire department and the entire command structure in the police department with part time employees who actually cost the Village more than their full time predecessors.  This sort of financial mismanagement is clearly a sign of incompetence but could also be a sign of malice.  If the Mayor can spend the Village into deficit, it enhances his argument for dissolution.  And if he can hobble the police and fire departments to the point of ineffectiveness, he can further justify dissolution.

The Fire Department actually generates revenue for the Village by providing contracted confined space rescue for BAE and AES.  Apparently, the overpaid and under worked Joint Fire Administrator has delayed re-certification of fire fighters in the life saving techniques used in confined space rescue.  This places these revenue generating contracts at risk and the public in danger.

The Johnson City Fire Department also operates a rescue boat which is available for river/flood rescues.  In addition, the Fire Department generates revenue by utilizing the boat to provide services to local oil storage facilities.  Specifically, Johnson City firefighters are trained to safely operate the rescue boat and  "boom" the river in the case of an oil spill.  Again, the Joint Fire Administrator has delayed training required to allow the continued operation of the rescue boat. This also places revenue generating contracts and lives at risk.

Who will provide these services if the fire department can no longer do so?  And how far will the responding agency have to come to assist you?

The Mayor and his part time lackeys repeatedly point to "shared services" as the answer to every budgetary question.  But as outlined in previous posts, these shared services cost the Village more- not less.  And the village receives a reduction in service through reduced response time and part time leadership. 

Through reductions in manpower and services, Hannon and his lackeys are attempting to engineer slow motion dissolution.The "slow motion" dissolution is dangerous to Village employees and residents.  Employees lack the continued training and resources to safely perform their jobs.  Residents are lulled into thinking they are still protected by the services they paid for.  In watching this slow motion dissolution, we need to ask ourselves: How long are we willing to wait for life and death services?

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