"The essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of myself". - Jane Addams
The Fire Starter took a hiatus from publishing after the departure of Johnson City Mayor Dennis Hannon. After over 140 columns over 2 1/2 years, it was time for a break.
We were also naive enough to believe that other local leaders like King John the Dimwitted would get the message that the slash and burn style of leadership was costly to taxpayers and ultimately unproductive. We truly believed that the use of public power to settle personal grievances was over. We thought that everyone would be treated fairly and each matter would be judged on its own merits. We were wrong.
It has come to our attention that the command officers in the Endicott Fire Department have been running amok and King John continues to turn a blind eye toward the misconduct of his flunkies.
Allow us to introduce to you Endicott Fire Marshal Joseph Griswold. Mr. Griswold has been fire marshal in the Village for a number of years. In that role, he oversees fire investigation, inspections and is in charge of the codes office. It is with regard to this last position that Mr. Griswold has come to our attention before.
In the past, Mr. Griswold has shown himself to be an absentee administrator of the codes office. This has resulted in a secretary evaluating and granting final approval on construction plans for projects in the Village. In at least one instance, final approval was given without any plans having been filed. Griswold has been accountable to no one. He comes and goes as he pleases and if he has “something better to do” he simply closes the codes office. Not bad for over $82,000 per year.
The Fire Starter has recently learned that Griswold has really “upped his game”. Several weeks ago, while on duty in the Village of Endicott, Griswold heard a fire call for the Port Dickinson volunteer fire company. Although no mutual aid call went out to Endicott, Griswold took it upon himself to abandon his post in Endicott to respond to this call. Griswold left the Village of Endicott for several hours and participated in the internal attack of a fire 10 miles away from the Village he is paid to protect. He utilized Village provided gear and did not “clock out” while pursuing this fancy.
While Griswold was chasing blue lights, the codes office in Endicott was closed. (Yes, closed to serve you better!).
In about this same time frame, Griswold was again absent for a solid week while he attending firearms recertification through Broome County. During the week of April 16, 2012, while being paid his full and regular salary from the Village of Endicott, Griswold was almost entirely absent from the Village. Although Joe can now reportedly shoot the head off a match stick, this had absolutely nothing to do with his position of Fire Marshal. Yet the Village paid Griswold his full and regular salary while he qualified for his “second job” as a security guard. Yes…your tax dollars at work!
What is most appalling in this situation is that despite having abandoned his post on numerous occasions, no disciplinary action has been taken. And don’t expect to read about any action anytime soon. Joe is a good soldier who does the bidding of King John and Fire Chief Stephen Hrustich.
It may be good to be the King. But it is also good to be the Fire Marshal when you can pursue your personal agenda on Village time without repercussions.
So the long and the short of it is this. We are back. So long as the mice play, the cat will remain vigilant.