"Addition by subtraction." -Branch Rickey
Fire Starter recently learned that Stephen Hrustich, the chief of Endicott and Johnson City fire departments has decided to end his deadly reign. Fire Starter has learned that Hrustich gave 2 weeks notice to the respective villages and will bless the area by his absence as soon as August 20th.
Fire Starter has been reliably informed that Hrustich handled the transition in the incompetent and devious manner to which have become accustomed. Apparently alleging a family emergency, Hrustich asked the respective villages for two weeks off. However, there was no family emergency. Rather, he lied so that he could steal two more weeks from the villages and attend to arrangements for his transition to a new job in the Atlanta area. In other words, he walked off the job in the villages to feather his next nest...at the taxpayers expense.
Not surprisingly, while Hrustich was planning his next move, he let his duties as fire chief go unattended. The Fire Starter has learned that several months ago, Mayor Deemie instructed Hrustich to prepare a new federal SAFER grant. The SAFER program is a federal program with the purpose of assisting local governments with funding for staffing of fire services. Despite the explicit direction from Mayor Deemie, Hrustich failed to take any action regarding the grant application. Only one week before the grant is due to be submitted did village officials learn that Hrustich had dropped the ball. The scramble is now afoot to meet the August 10th deadline.
Hrustich's narcissistic and self serving reign is now coming to an end. Anyone surprised by the circumstances of his departure has not been paying attention. He spent the last several years padding his retirement on the backs of taxpayers and at the expense of health and safety.
Maybe now the people of the villages will again have the kind of fire department they deserve. In part, that will depend on his replacement.