A Message From Rob Gagne
The following is Gagne's letter, verbatim.
Citizens of Costa Mesa,
Over the past few weeks and up until Election Day, you will receive numerous slates in the mail by several people running for elected offices. It is often hard to decipher what is true and what isn't worth the paper its printed on. However, if you step back and look at the tone of the slates, you will notice that your Costa Mesa Firefighters are once again being truthful, factual, and above board. If you listen to the tone of the slates being rapidly sent out by Mayor Mensinger, he continuously berates your public safety servants. Why is this? It's because he doesn't want you to know the truth about your decreased police and fire staffing levels, the drastic 42% rise in calls for service, or the money wasted on ambulances that YOU bought and that he and Council Members Righeimer and Monahan voted NOT to use for transporting you to the hospital. This vote was done against the recommendation of CEO Tom Hatch and Fire Chief Stefano. Why is this? It's because the Mayor's campaign is being funded by the private ambulance company contracted with the City!
I can assure you that your Firefighters will always be truthful and put you, our customers, first. We work for you, not dishonest politicians. You may have seen a slate mailed out by Mayor Mensinger showing some of your Firefighter's pay and benefits (with our names included). This is very misleading as the Mayor chose once again not to tell you the whole truth. Every Firefighter on that list is working thousands of hours of overtime because the Mayor refuses to properly staff the Fire Department. There are 63 Firefighters available to work 78 positions. For example, the Metro Fire Station on the North end of town is still scheduled to be closed under the Mayor's plan. The Council has not re-voted to keep it open, but for the past five years it has been staffed with overtime positions. We have 15 vacancies in the Fire Department with that station remaining open. The Mayor refuses to count those vacancies in the staffing levels. Why? To mislead and deceive you. You should also be aware that the station off of Placentia Ave on the Westside now only has one Firefighter/Paramedic. Why? Because the Mayor won't staff the second Firefighter/Paramedic. Some stations have three firefighter/paramedic's -like the station that protects the Mayor's house. Why should Westsiders be short-changed by 50% on their Paramedic coverage Why, why, why? Lies and deception.
This election is like no other on every level. My job as a Firefighter is to protect you and your property. I took an Oath to do that and don't take it lightly. I will live up to that. Please trust your Firefighters. At the end of the election, I can honestly say that the Firefighters have run a clean and truthful campaign. Can the Mayor say that with a straight face?
Rob Gagne, President
Costa Mesa Firefighters Association