Wednesday, July 27, 2016

WDT: Fire Fight Moves Across the Street

     The City is suing the firefighters in NYS Supreme Court trying to prevent arbitration of the move to demote eight fire captains. It's all part of the lengthening battle over whether the Third Floor can dictate staffing levels.
      Meanwhile a rally is planned for ths weekend seeking support for the union.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/watertown-seeks-to-prevent-arbitration-of-fire-captain-demotions-20160727

18 comments:

Anonymous said...


Absolutely absurd. The city's claims that they need more information about what this issue is? Are they stupid?

This is just a ploy that will cost the taxpayers more money on needless litigation. Arbitration is a process that is supposed to save money by avoiding the need to litigate and the excessive procedural steps involved in actual litigation.. Arbitration is seen as being in the best interest of the taxpayers, and this is why it is included in the labor agreement.

For the city to claim that they need more information is total BS. They do not want to arbitrate because they know they will loose. So, in an effort to draw out the issue they are willing to throw away more of our tax dollars on this game that they are playing. If they know they are right, and have followed the law, what are they so afraid of? Lets get it on, and get it over with once and for all. The longer it goes the more it costs. Once again, this appears to be a lack of leadership. NEW LEADERSHIP NEEDED!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wonder if the MRAP will be onsite for crowd control.

Anonymous said...

And the incompetent manager spends more money on the downstate attorney. What his bill up too now? Must be getting close to budgeted amount or did they already go over? Taxpayers should know this. She knows she screwed up demoting and requiring them to do the same job and is grasping at straws because she knows it is a losing battle. The city has done this before in DPW and lost in court. What a joke this council and manager are. Stop spending our money on lawyers and go to the table and negotiate a contract fair for both sides like has been done every contract with every union in the city for years back when they had a manager that actually knew what they were doing.

Anonymous said...

Good. Make those queens spend some of those union dues.

Note that the anti-taxpayer WDT's chose to characterize the new job duties as being the same as the old. Meanwhile the significant difference in duties is not mentioned.

I guess we have to look at it differently when its a government job. We can't expect a secretary not to put a bunch of checks in a drawer and forget about them, unless there is a written policy of what to do with checks, along with a supervisor making 20% more, to tell her to follow the policy. I mean who knew you were supposed to either cash checks or deposit them? And so its the same when a group of fire queens responds to a call. They have no idea what to do unless there is a guy guy on each truck there making 20% more then the rest of them. I know I don't expect them to know anything when they only make $60k a year.

Anonymous said...


848 you are uninformed as usual. Is it too much to ask that the city follow the law? Do you believe that it is FAIR to demote people who have worked hard to get a promotion, simply to make a point? Would you feel the same way if this happened to you or someone in your family?

I must also state, you show your ignorance every time you refer to the firemen as queens. This is name calling and has no place in a legitimate conversation of the issues. Your homo-phobia is obvious. The WDT correctly states that these people are being expected to do the same work without compensation. The duties that have been removed are not essential job functions and are cursory in nature at best. The city is wrong, plain and simple and they will lose this battle. Everyone knows it and soon it will be a fact. What will your response be then sir?

Anonymous said...


848. Apples and oranges. You cannot compare what is going on now to the issue in P&R so many years ago. Someone made a mistake plain and simple and got punished for it. The facts of the case do not dispute that a mistake was made. She got her job back, with back pay, because of the way the city chose to handle the problem. The facts of the case in P&R support the need for things to be handled in accordance with the law, due process, and fairness. I believe that this would have been a different outcome if the city had moved in more lawful and equitable manner.

They simply do whatever they want to, legal or not, and when they are called to the mat they use tax money to try to defend their actions. In the end, the taxpayer is the one who pays for their arrogance and wrong-doing.

This matter is being also being handled wrong and I fully expect the city to lose again. I hope the citizens of Watertown, which I know you are not one of, are paying attention and are willing to hold those in power responsible when this whole thing blows up in the faces. The elections are right around the corner and I, for one, can not wait to vote against the current office holders. Some very good people came through the last election process and I hope they consider another run.

Anonymous said...

7:33 is on it,while 8:48 appears to be full of it.

Anonymous said...

I believe the CM came from a government position where she was able to say jump and her subordinates had to say how high to keep their positions. After 27 years she probably learned all of the scopes of her various titles. She has been CM for a relatively short time overseeing many employees with many different job descriptions. She knows nothing about firefighting but does have this agenda to demand the employees of The Watertown Fire Department to JUMP on her command. This objective will have an affect on all Watertown taxpayers not just the firefighters involved. There are three important questions we need answered..... 1) How does the CM make decisions for the City of Watertown regarding firefighting when she has no education in the field nor is she willing to listen to those who are trained and very knowledgeable. 2) Who are the true (behind the scene) people telling the CM how high to JUMP.. Every employee and taxpayer in the city with any common sense knows there is also a driving force. The City of Watertown Mamagement continues to make very poor decisions and the results are obvious to those of us who pay attention. 3) Why has the Mayor (current and past) and City Council table projects that could be handled in a timely fashion with less cost. They have let this city fall into disrepair and the repairs cost doubles and triples. They turned down a fire grant to make a point and now they are scrambling to apply for other grants. If I have a small water leak at my home I have it fixed before I have bigger problems to fix. Letting little problems pile up until the become big problems have been a common theme in our city. I'm sure they have reasons for the manner in which they handle city issues. I just wish Common Sense could be included in the equation.

Anonymous said...

I hope you queens are not commenting here on company time.
Git back in the garden with your hoe !!!

Danny M. Francis (Eyepublius) said...

Sadly the City deserves to lose on this issue ... and may I suggest "demoting the City Manager, take court costs from her pay, then tell her to do the same job, for the same hours and a minimum wage pay until the court costs are paid in full."

Harsh, you say? Not any more than City Manager's harsh and asinine antics.

This is a big issue and the resolution this way was kind of expected ... novices running this city - a fact. Solution - not sure, but what we have now is not working for sure.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Fire Queens are trolling again!

Hope they're not on duty. Would hate for a fire to break out while they're engrossed in their internet surfing.

Would also hate to think my tax dollars are supporting their obsession with this blog.

Get to wor... Sorry. Wouldn't want you to file a grievance!

Anonymous said...

Hey 848 the P&R issue was just that an issue, could have been avoided but the council at the time wanted some"blood"...But it didnt work out for the Council or the Mayor of Fishers Landing(AKA the CM) sorry job back and back pay and a new job for the accused...Time for her to exit stage left, Butler should also resign.

Anonymous said...

Council supported the CM's path. I do not disagree with more attention to the COW budget but someone has cut off their nose in spite of their face. There is little attention to other dept's budgets and trimming those costs. I left and am glad not to deal with the drama. This will only get worse with time. Good luck.

Anonymous said...


Mr. Francis is right on with his assessment. This is a game to them and they show, with every move, just how arrogant they are. They are so arrogant that they act recklessly, illogically, or illegally in plain view and feel that they are above the will of the taxpayer Well, they are about to get schooled.

He is also correct when he points out that hiring someone with no municipal or real management experience to run the city was a huge mistake. Consider the recent loss of the $10,000,000 downtown grant. Instead of putting together an actual proposal, they decided instead to hire a "lobbyist". This is probably a common practice in Washington DC but this is not how things are done here, and obviously they waisted taxpayer monies hiring someone to lobby instead of actually doing the work. Other communities did the work and are getting the money. The federal system is so different. I miss Mary!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


1029 I can see your point. I didn't realize that she was at the KGB (sorry NSA) for 27 years. I have to question why she left to come here? Certainly not the money. I am sure was making much more in federal employment with that kind of experience. (something she never talks about as she cuts other people's pay) Relocation, buy a house, uproot the kids, move them away from their dad, start a whole new career path? I am left to wonder (based on something I heard) if it had anything to do with the Hatch-Act?

Anonymous said...

Danny - what if she wins the suit. Do we add the costs of the lawsuit on to the Fire Department. Do we pay the CM the money she is saving in WFD cost to her income. We are a society that expects more and more from our government, a society that pays the government workers much better than the average private sector employees,and make it impossible to cut what we pay and provide once that is paid and provided.

It is impossible to have a conversation with most WFD supporters because they are opposed to any and all concessions. Sure, they want longer shifts which will cut costs, but does that save money.

It lets the smoke eaters work less days, sleep during the job etc. (would it really be safe to work 24 hours if they were actually fighting fires or out on calls tthe whole time) We pay the same wage, the same benefits etc

Anonymous said...

And if she loses the suit???? What then 12:06? This already happened in the 90's to a gentleman who made far less than a Captain, He was told July 1st he would no longer recieve his crew chief pay, and he would be a laborer, then he was told he's in charge of a crew, He and the union filed a greivence and bingo bango........All his back pay and reinstatement of his position, The steps were not followed and the COW got it's ass handed to them..

Anonymous said...


They just don't seem to learn 342. The same tired ol' tactics and out-right harassment of their employees. How do they expect to keep good people and also motivate their employees to bring their A game? My father worked for the city and eventually retired from there. He went above and beyond when necessary and never received ANY recognition for his hard work or commitment.

It is high time to clean house starting with the under qualified and crooked. CM, City Attorney, several department heads and a couple of council people. Then maybe we can start re-building the relationship between the administration and the employees. The taxpayers deserve better. Shame on all of them.