Monday, May 29, 2017

Civil Service

At the last union meeting David Crow stated, “Don’t worry about your benefits, they will remain untouched.  I have talked to all the Council members except Charlie Parker and they have assured me of this.”  Really!  I knew that Sheri was in England and I know he didn’t talk to her.  As I sat eating dinner at the last Council meeting, I was surrounded by Council members.  I asked, “Did Crow talk to anyone about benefits under Civil Service?”  They all said No.  We have all been called liars by the Fire Union, but we didn’t lie at all.  I listed 10 of the most prominent lies that Crow has told to the Union members, but this is the biggest one of them all.  Maybe now you will understand who was telling you the truth all along. 

The Council, on its agenda of the last meeting, has hired a law firm that is adept in administering Civil Service.  They will be guiding Council in the proper ways to establish Civil Service in Arlington.  I assure you that there is no emotion here, just the business of doing the work required of the city, asked for by the voters of Arlington.  But I have stated several times there will be no cherry picking in the process of establishing Civil Service.  What is stated in the statute of Part 143 is what will prevail, and it will be established because it is the written word and can be backed up accordingly.  The Police department will continue to enjoy the generosity of the City while the Fire department will enjoy the generosity of the State.  It is important that you recognize the truth, and what it looks like, not following a union leader blindly thinking he has integrity.  The truth about Civil Service will arrive on October 30th, enjoy!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Wayne Ogle's Article

This past week a citizen in District 1 wrote an article to the Star Telegram concerning how to institute Civil Service for the Firefighters in Arlington.  He recommended two items be accomplished quickly, in an effort for the Mayor and City Staff to put their best foot forward to the firefighters.  Well I was with the Mayor Tuesday evening when he did just that.  At the Mayor’s campaign party several firefighters and their wives came to that party uninvited.  They were all wearing their red vote yes T-shirts and the Mayor approached them to shake their hand and congratulate them for their win on Prop 2.  The firefighter state, “there ain’t no way in hell I will ever shake your hand.”  It was apparent that they were drunk and wanted to fight.  I got on the phone and dialed 911 to dispatch a cruiser.  They left the building promptly.  So much for good will and putting our best foot forward.

Next Mr. Ogle requested that a committee be formulated, comprised of citizens, three picked by the city and three picked by the firefighter’s union, so that starting up civil service would go seamlessly.  He adds, “Obviously, the final decisions regarding Civil Service implementation must be guided by the law itself.”  That would be correct, so why the committee?  The law is explained very clearly in Part 143 of the Texas Local Governance Code.  There is no room for interpretation, so formulating a committee is meaningless.  It would seem that Democrats always want to form a committee to get consensus.  You can see it in the news every day.  “Russians affect our election” so let’s form a committee to investigate.  “President fires Comey”, so let’s form a committee and get a special investigator.  The City of Arlington doesn’t need a committee to implement Civil Service.  It is in black and white. We have a City Manager, a Deputy City Manager with a PHD in Urban Development.  We have a Nationally Recognized Fire Chief in Don Crowson, and they are very capable of establishing Civil Service in Arlington.  We don’t need no stinking committees! 

“What the City did to you guy was absolute B#llsh1t.”  That is what Mr. Ogle told the Firefighters last night at a Union rally.  I disagree with his assessment.  If someone has to tell lies and deceive the public to get their way, then I have no respect for them at all.  The Union’s actions at the polls, calling the Chief’s wife names, the actions of Union members in the firehouse bullying younger firefighters, is reprehensible.  The lies that were told by the Union President and the E-board were disgraceful.  But when you are dealing with a Union there is no shame because there is no contrition. The Union will get Civil Service.  It will not get them more overtime.  It will not remove the Chief.  It will not make them happier.  It will not get them bigger pay checks, on the contrary they will get smaller.  What it will do is provide them with Part 143 Civil Service.  Nothing more and nothing less.

Monday, May 8, 2017

North Arlington Results

(Click On The Chart)

I simply wanted the voters of North Arlington to know how they voted in comparison with the rest of the city.  I believe the south also voted No in majority also.  But I have always prided myself, that the voters of North Arlington have always reached for the truth in whatever the issue.  Education on any issue is an important tool.  You have made me proud to represent you on Council.  I will pass along to my successor that communication is a key factor in the representational process.  The Blog and Social Media work well, in combination with Town Hall meetings.  Thank you for being inquisitive and wanting answers.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A personal message from a 25-year veteran of the Arlington fire department:
My name is Mark Gist and I’m a 2nd generation Firefighter. I’m proud to have served 25 years with the Arlington Fire Department (AFD), one of the country’s best.
AFD is one of the most highly-rated departments for many reasons. In the late 70s, Civil Service was put before voters. This was the 1st time you voted NO, making it clear you wanted control of your Fire Department to remain with our City-Manager form of government. Shortly after, Chief Bill Strickland was brought in from Los Angeles, bolstering our reputation as an innovative fire department.
The early 90s saw a second vote for Civil Service and once again came a resounding NO from you and fellow voters. We made it clear that it was in our best interest to have our fire department employees under the protection and control of our city instead of the state.
After this 2nd Civil Service vote, Chief Robin Paulsgrove came up from Austin and continued to build upon Chief Strickland’s successes. While in Austin, Chief Paulsgrove built solid relationships between the Austin Fire Department and the University of Texas. Once here, he created strong ties with our own University of Texas at Arlington, while also upgrading the standards in AFD’s Emergency Medical Services Delivery System.
In 2010, Chief Don Crowson was promoted through the ranks to take over as our Fire Chief, continuing the legacy of excellence set forth by the two previous Chiefs. Chief Crowson oversaw the creation of a Gold Standard Emergency Management System for Arlington and those visiting our Entertainment District. To this day, fire departments from across the country look to us to share best practices from this highly-successful system. He has also implemented a Community Medic Program to provide care for patients after a hospital stay to reduce costly returns into the healthcare system.
AFD doesn’t just provide Gold Standard service; it produces top-rated firefighters that have gone on to be Chiefs for cities including North Richland Hills, Richardson, Georgetown, Mansfield, Hillsboro, Athens, Colleyville, South Padre, Forest Hills, Horseshoe Bay, Princeton, Copperas Cove, Hudson Oaks, Taylor and the City of Westminister, CO.
Yes, many Texas cities have Civil Service. But remember AFD got to where it is today without Civil Service. Now is not the time to allow a 3-member commission to come in and run our fire department.
The Arlington Fire Department is renowned for its high standards and performance excellence. This Saturday, join me in voting NO on Proposition 2 to keep this reputation intact and to allow our firefighters to continue to serve and protect the citizens of Arlington.