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Old 01-20-2008, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Bellevue, Ne
23 posts, read 61,668 times
Reputation: 11

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with more planning and accuracy than the four hour Bellevue City Council meeting on Jan 14. The next big screw up will be how to go to a paid Fire Deparment. There is an od joke....."my visa card was stolen but I never reported it.....the thief was spending less than my wife....so I figured I was ahead".........You draw your own conclusions. Jan 28...6 pm. You can watch on Cox Cable Channel 17 any Tues/We at 7 m.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,543,262 times
Reputation: 890
Is that push for a paid fire department coming from within the City of Bellevue, or is it state legislatures from outside Bellevue pushing the local communities? From my limited understanding it is outside State legislatures pushing the city and the city (and fire dept) are opposed.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:27 AM
 
Location: west Omaha
475 posts, read 2,040,679 times
Reputation: 207
Keep going... the International Association of Fire Fighters (aka professional, unionized firefighters) are behind it... they're even working at the federal level as we speak to eliminate volunteer fire departments.
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,543,262 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by star_gazer View Post
Keep going... the International Association of Fire Fighters (aka professional, unionized firefighters) are behind it... they're even working at the federal level as we speak to eliminate volunteer fire departments.

gotcha, thanks
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Ne
884 posts, read 761,001 times
Reputation: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by star_gazer View Post
Keep going... the International Association of Fire Fighters (aka professional, unionized firefighters) are behind it... they're even working at the federal level as we speak to eliminate volunteer fire departments.
All VFD's? If that is the case ten of thousands of small towns throughout the U.S. will have to do without any fire departments in that case.

I could see maybe towns over 7-10 thousand residents....maybe.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:06 AM
 
Location: west Omaha
475 posts, read 2,040,679 times
Reputation: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heritage Foundation
Congress may turn up heat on volunteer firemen
By JAMES SHERK
You probably haven’t heard that Congress is about to shut down many of America’s volunteer fire departments. A little-known bill advancing through Congress would do just that.

Nearly 26,000 volunteer fire departments protect tens of millions of Americans and their homes from fires. Almost three out of every four firefighters in the United States are volunteers, and smaller towns and cities call on them for protection.

These volunteer departments are usually anchored by a core of professional career firefighters. Often they work in another city and volunteer to protect their neighbors in their off-duty hours. Volunteer firefighters risk their lives and sacrifice their time for their communities. Who would want to shut them down?

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), that’s who. The IAFF represents career firefighters. Volunteers who give their time and efforts to their communities allow many communities to do without full-time career fire departments. This means fewer jobs for career firefighters, and fewer dues-paying members in the union that represents them. So the IAFF does everything in its power to stop ‘‘two-hatters’’ from volunteering.

The IAFF constitution prohibits its members from belonging to a volunteer fire department. In the words of IAFF President Harold Schaitberger, the decision to volunteer is a personal choice, but ‘‘that personal choice is one that can have serious consequences under our Constitution.’’ Union members who disobey face steep union fines that the courts will enforce. In some cities, the IAFF negotiates, on its members’ behalf, contracts stating that they will lose their job if they volunteer in their off-duty hours.

The union’s effort to ban volunteering is an assault on our civic fabric. Doctors who provide free care to the poor, lawyers who work pro bono for the disadvantaged, and firefighters who volunteer for their communities make America a better country.

Without career firefighters willing to give their time, many volunteer fire departments would have to close. Look at Connecticut. The IAFF negotiated ‘‘no-volunteering’’ clauses in the contracts of every major city there. Now many of the state’s volunteer fire departments are having difficulty finding enough volunteers to protect their communities. Some cities have had to raise taxes significantly to hire career firefighters - exactly what the IAFF intended.

Enter the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, which would make it significantly easier for the IAFF to shut down volunteer fire departments. The bill, which passed the House and is before the Senate, has nothing to do with employer-employee cooperation. This bill requires every state and local government to collectively bargain with their police officers and firefighters, and to negotiate virtually every term and condition of employment. Those states that have decided collective bargaining doesn’t meet their needs would have to do so anyway.

If this bill passes and forces every local government to collectively bargain with its firefighters, the IAFF’s membership rolls will swell and the union will have enhanced powers to negotiate away the freedom of its members to volunteer. Many career firefighters who want to serve their community will lose the ability to do so, unless they want to lose their jobs.

Recognizing that concerns for volunteer firefighters could sink the bill, its supporters added a provision specifying that private sector collective bargaining agreements cannot prevent workers from volunteering. Since virtually every firefighter works for the government and not in the private sector, this actually does nothing to protect volunteer firefighters. But it sounds good.

Instead of adding meaningless provisions that do nothing to defend firefighters’ right to volunteer, Congress should let local communities decide if collective bargaining is right for them. Many communities have decided that it is. But others have not. Congress should not make it easier for the IAFF to punish firefighters for volunteering to protect their neighbors.
Text of the legislation @ http://www.iaff.org/politics/PDF/S2123.pdf
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,543,262 times
Reputation: 890
The below was published in this morning's Omaha World Hearld Public Pulse. I remembered this discussion so I thought I'd post it; however, I do think he is wrong is his statement - I remember looking at my tax valuation for a different discussion on this forum and I think my taxes have actually gone down since the time Papillion went from volunteer to professional.

Anyway, thought I'd post it since the timing of it was so close to this discussion

Quote:
Getwhat we pay for
I feel for Bellevue. Papillion went through a time when politics got in*volved in the switch to a paid fire de*partment. We now have higher taxes. Even though our paid department is good, the paid staff can’t handle more than two major events at a time.
No one ever reports this problem, because La Vista or Bellevue volun*teers pick up the slack when needed. High taxes and degraded service are what we got because of politics.
G.J. Stuart, Papillion
If I have time I'll try to go back thru my tax bills and look at the city levy since the FD went professional. Again, my gut feel is Mr Stuart is wrong in his assertion.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,543,262 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Getwhat we pay for
I feel for Bellevue. Papillion went through a time when politics got in*volved in the switch to a paid fire de*partment. We now have higher taxes. Even though our paid department is good, the paid staff can’t handle more than two major events at a time.
No one ever reports this problem, because La Vista or Bellevue volun*teers pick up the slack when needed. High taxes and degraded service are what we got because of politics.
G.J. Stuart, Papillion
Mr Stuart is WRONG. The Papillion Fire Department went from Volunteer to combined Professional/Volunteer either in late 2003 or early 2004.

I checked my City tax levy for each year since 2003 (Total of General Fund and any Bonds). The total City of Papillion levy has gone DOWN EVERY YEAR.

2003: 0.472332
2004: 0.468379 down 0.003953
2005: 0.429113 down 0.039266
2006: 0.409621 down 0.019492
2007: 0.405139 down 0.004482
Source: Sarpy County Assesor Website

Even if you factor in the property valuation increases I think that still translates to a total reduction in actual city tax collected. 2007 total levy is almost 14% less than 2003 levy.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:11 PM
 
Location: west Omaha
475 posts, read 2,040,679 times
Reputation: 207
Give it a few years when they get around to re-negotiating their pension.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,543,262 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by star_gazer View Post
Give it a few years when they get around to re-negotiating their pension.

I think they already did renegotiate, it fell right in line with the Police pension. Luckily no one outside of Omaha is crazy enough to strike the deal like Fahey did.
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