Firefighters Return Fire
The apparently never-ending drama that was ignited by Orange County Register Watchdog reporter, Teri Sforza, last week concerning firefighter salaries in which Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer took exception to some of his quotes and caused her to change at least one of her articles continues today.
FIREFIGHTERS FIGHT BACK
In a new article published today, Costa Mesa Firefighters Association President Tim Vasin corrects the record. You can read the entire article HERE, unless Sforza decided to change this one, too.
Righeimer continues to blame the city employees for every evil known to man when, in fact, it is the actions of this City Council that has created the problems. I'm not going to try to paraphrase Vasin's comments - he states the issues very clearly.
EMASCULATION CREATES EXASPERATION
The core fact at issue here is that Righeimer campaigned as a pension reformer - fabricating crises at every turn - only to find his efforts emasculated by the duration of the current employee contracts. As a result, he continues to make things up and twist facts to suit his personal political agenda.
PUBLIC SAFETY IN JEOPARDY
In my view, nobody in the city is well-served by the volleys of vitriol being shot back and forth on this, and many other issues. In better times members of City management and the leadership of the employee organizations would simply sit down and discuss the common problems and work together to find a solution that worked for both sides. Those days seem to be over. One side - the Righeimer-led City Council - has its heels dug in because of personal philosophies and political priorities, while the other side - the firefighters - simply doesn't trust them to negotiate honestly. It appears that Jim Righeimer is willing to let public safety in our city be in jeopardy as he tries to wait-out the associations until their contracts expire - then clean house and privatize the whole shebang. Nobody can win this way, least of all the residents, businesses and visitors to Costa Mesa. That's a real shame.