148039~Firefighter demands prompt many questions—Dear
I am very alarmed by the information provided by Mayor Al
Pinheiro and Councilman Bob Dillon in their commentary concerning
the firefighters’ demands for 26 percent increase and what it will
do to the city budget.
I agree with Fred Mikrut that the citizens of Gilroy should have the opportunity to express their opinions and let the City of Gilroy know where where we stand when it comes to the demands of our firefighters. It is firefighters not fireman Mr. Mikrut. I strongly feel that some of the questions on the survey are misleadining and appeared to be biased. For example question one ask about firefighters compensation of over 100,000/year is excessive for since they are only on the job only 10 24 hour shifs per month? When you convert that to a normal work week firefighters work an average of 56 hours a week. They can not go home and spend time with family. They must stay at their fire-houses those 10 24 hour shifts.There must respond to a variety of emergency calls. In addition they are required to participate in trainings, fire inspections and fire prevention activities to name a few of their duties. Let’s not forget those those firefighters who work for California Department of Forestry (CDF) who work 12 24 hour shifts a month. And During Fire season, there is a thing call mantatory overtime! A firefighter could be gone from their family as long as two weeks. In addition our Firefighers can be called out of county to assist other fire department to provide containment of a fire any where in the state. Another question regarding the 401K. Public Employees are not eligible to participate in a fund matching 401K. The question regarding public intdustry (i.e. airlines). The key word is Private Employees. Firegfighters are Public Employees . In regards to Gilroy raising taxes to pay for the demands I feel that we do not need to raise taxes. But I often wonder what that 5 % ulitliy tax that goes into the general fund pay for? Firefighters and Police Officers work is both dangerous. Both Firefighters and Policeofficers professions are dangerous in different aspect they are both just as dangerous in different ways. Lets keep in mind when there is a fire every one is running out for safety and our firefighters are running in to safe lives and propery! How many of us go to work with the stress that we may not every see our families again due to the serious nature of our jobs? I believe I could provide survey questions that are more accurate. Mr. Mikrut has the right idea but the wrong questions in my opinion. In conclusion I feel the City Council should investigate other alternative in providing fire emergency services that could be a cost savings to the citizens of Gilroy. If not providing the same or better level of service. What about contracting with other fire protection agencies?
Concerned Citizen and Tax payer.