Friday, April 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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County Fire negotiates with union

By
From page A1 | December 27, 2013 | 5 Comments

It was a light board meeting of the El Dorado County Fire Protection District on Dec. 19 with the most important item — namely ongoing negotiations with Union Local 3556 regarding employee salaries, salary schedules, and fringe benefits — relegated to closed session.

The results of those negotiations are expected to be announced in January.

In other matters, Director Dennis Thomas was elected chairman of the board. Director Mark Brunton was elected vice chairman.

Chief Mike Hardy announced that two division chiefs were retiring. Replacing them will be Paul Lohan and Paul McVay, who were both promoted from captain to division chief. Also promoted was Brandon McKay from firefighter/paramedic to captain-deputy fire marshal.

The 2013 update to the Fire Code was adopted by the board on a 4-0 vote with Director Mark Johnson absent. The code now goes to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors for approval.

Hardy reported the district has applied for two Federal Emergency Management Agency grants. One to purchase a type 1 tactical water tender and another for fire training software and computer workstations. FEMA would pick up 90 percent of the cost of both grants. Hardy said they will know by February if the grants are approved.

Hardy also reported the district got a permit from the U.S. Forest Service to cut 50 trees and that those plus another 10 donated trees enabled them to give out 60 trees to needy families. The chief said it was something they plan to do on a yearly basis.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

  • MadDecember 27, 2013 - 12:38 am

    Funny how the Chief left out cutting the health benefits for retirees. What is sad is the district never advised retirees that their benefits would be cut and that some would be paying hundreds of dollars out of their retirement checks. This fire district is a joke and the grand jury should look into where millions of dollars went.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65December 28, 2013 - 6:39 am

    I understand your feeIings of betrayaI but I do hope you aren't just now becoming aware of the quicksand pubIic pensions and heaIthcare were buiIt on. It isn't just a county or department issue, it is a nationaI epidemic.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TataDecember 28, 2013 - 7:17 am

    I understand this person's anger, especially since it appears that the trust fund money that was supposed to pay for this benefit was used for other purposes.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MadDecember 28, 2013 - 7:09 pm

    Cookie 65, of course I am aware of that public agencies can not sustain promised benefits in retirement, however the public needs to know that the original people who helped build the EDC Fire Protection District, went for years without raises to preserve their benefits. Four fire agencies came together in 1991 in the hopes of making a bigger and better fire agency. And what happened? The younger generation took everything. The district gave huge raises when the revenue was is in the toilet due to the housing crisis. They drained every dime they had and found that they were millions in the hole. The fire chief ran out and retired out on his fat 90% percent retirement but he screwed the older people who had already retired on much less. Millions were squandered. Now the union is running the dept. making sure they got people they backed elected to the board so they can control them. Nobody took any pay cuts, not one dime. Oh yes they are paying more into their PERS, but remember PERS is pre-tax dollars, so it is a win win. Most of the new hires for this agency don't reside in this county. This is a just a job to them. The older generation of retired employees are people whose people have lived here for generations. To make matter worse, the retirees were not communicated to regarding changes to their benefits. They just got screwed at Christmas.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65December 29, 2013 - 5:17 am

    -----"of course I am aware of that public agencies can not sustain promised benefits in retirement"----- You couId write a book about the reasons, it aII comes back to your first sentence. CaII it fuzzy math, caII it a Ponzi scheme, caII it making promises based on the unknowabIe, caII it any number of things, but make sure and caII it what it is, outright criminaI on aII parts. Promising peopIe a retirement paid for by peopIe who can't afford their own retirement is ludicrous and that reality is catching up with us. AII of these retirement promises are based on the notion that whatever shortfall there was would fall on the backs of the taxpayers. In what universe can that be justified? How is that any different that making the public sector pay for the retirement's of the private sector? The states have roughly $4trillion in unfunded pension debt. That doesn't include promised healthcare benny's. The private sector taxpayers got sold down the river for political and financial gain base on promises that any third grade math student could have predicted to fail. Every municipality in America that is or has filed bankruptcy has done so for the exact same reason. Public sector pensions. It is classic bait and switch on steroids. My grandfather taught me a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush yet millions and millions and millions of dollars in union contributions to politicians have changed hands based on two in the bush. "I'll pay you on Tuesday for a Hamburger today." -- Wimpy..... Funny the lessons we learn as little kids that we forget as adults.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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