Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Doubling Down on Stupid

"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." - Benjamin Franklin

We recently reported regarding Mayor Bertoni's plans to end the EMS program in the Village of Endicott.  Without study or facts, King John the Uninformed and his toady Joint Fire Administrator announced that EMS would be eliminated and Village residence would need to rely on Union Volunteer Emergency Squad for all EMS.  At a board meeting last Tuesday, Bertoni received a lot of information and a strong "brush back" from his Board.  What is remarkable is that Bertoni's Tweedle Dumber in Johnson City has begun to make noise about eliminating EMS there.  But first, the Endicott board meeting.

Bertoni heard from a concerned citizen who wanted to know what kind of person makes life and death decisions without first studying.  She correctly pointed out that Bertoni based his decision on no facts and then was forced to back peddle when it was clear there was a significant safety issue.  Bertoni pathetically claimed to have full faith in JFA Hrustich to which the citizen retorted that he should probably re-examine that blind faith since none of the men who work with Hrustich seem to have any faith in him.  But stupid is as stupid does so Bertoni stood by his JFA.

Bertoni was confronted by a UVES paid professional.  She emphasized the importance of the rapid response that the Endicott Fire Department provides.  She pointed out that the UVES ambulance is routinely 15 minutes or more behind the response from Endicotts Fire Fighters.  This in no way was a knock on UVES.  The reality is that they are under staffed and over worked.  And the realities of providing emergency medical services often crash in on the fantasy wishes of the UVES director.  It is not unusual for UVES to be transporting to General Hospital when a call comes in for Endicott.  This places them 20 minutes from responding.  And as this brave UVES employee pointed out, loss of brain function begins after four minutes without oxygen.  In sum, minutes matter in EMS.

Bertoni was then confronted by a former Trustee.  She blasted the fellow Democrat for his rash action.  She pointed out that he lacked the authority to eliminate the EMs program without Board action.  Apparently unimpressed by the Village Attorney and Bertoni's claims to the contrary, the Village Board members present voted to block unilateral action eliminating the EMS program.  Bertoni and the Village attorney sat by passively as their wings were clipped.

Throughout the meeting, Bertoni gave long winded and incoherent responses to Village residents.  It was entirely unclear whether Bertoni was ignorant, incompetant or both.  However, his responses caused the Fire Starter to think of an apropos scene form Billy Madison:

Shortly after the Endicott Board meeting, in an apparent show of solidarity among the insane, Johnson City Mayor Hannon weighed in.  In an under reported statement to WBNGallagher*, Hannon noted that he also envisioned the end of EMS services through the Johnson City fire department.  In the twisted logic of the twisted, he reasoned that because the JCFD responds to nearly three times as many EMS calls as fire calls, JCFD should not be providing EMS.  In terms of logic, this is right up there with Hannon's assertion that he opted to use a local law office to negotiate for $200 an hour rather than county labor negotiators at $50 an hour in order to save money.

With this sort of leadership, is it any wonder Endicott and Johnson City are in decline?

*For the uninitiated, Scott Gallagher is the assignments editor for WBNG and also a political appointee of Mayor Dennis Hannon of Johnson City.  In addition to making decisions about newsworthiness for this local station, Gallagher collects a paycheck from the Village as its recreation director.  Gallagher's wife, Rochelle, is also a political appointee in the Village. 

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