On the afternoon of February 20, 2014 Joe Hester, President of Glendale’s fire union posted the following comment on my blog post about the fire truck bid. I don’t just mouth that I believe in transparency. I act on it. That is why I am posting his comments in this separate blog along with my public, not private response to him. Below is Mr. Hester’s comment followed by my response.

Joyce,I am flattered on how much you have been writing about me; I had no idea until phone call today. I know you would want your son to be in the safest vehicle possible in the event he was in an accident while responding to a 911 emergency. I also believe you would want any firefighter to go home safe to their family. As you are aware Mr Lester Hillis Glendale Fire’s only line of duty death was a result of a vehicle accident; so I hope you can appreciate my position, putting politics aside.I will respond to Mr Noeding memo and provide my response to whoever would like to see it, including the media. I can also accommodate an exclusive over lunch with an old friend to provide you as much detail as you would like ;perhaps at your favorite lunch place Gordon Biersch and my treat?I would also like to thank you for your continued involvement with our firebase strategic plan.all the best,Joe

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Mr. Hester,

I prefer to respond publicly to your comment about my recent blogs about the fire truck bid. My blog comments on this issue have not been personal. Keep my family out of this discussion. They are not involved in my blog writing.

I find your comment about flattery to be disingenuous. Perhaps it was your attempt at humor.

I participated in your firebase strategic plan because it is critical that the department cut all but essential services and adopt new methods and strategies of operation to deal with Glendale’s financial deficit. I found the exercise to date to be informative to any citizens participating who have no knowledge of all of the services offered by fire.

I did not appreciate that all questions about budget such as, what is each unit’s current budget? were sidestepped and answered with, you can refer to fire’s current budget or can follow the council’s current budget discussions. How can one determine the value of a service offered or make a determination about it when no financial information is provided?

The current bid for the fire truck seems to reek of corruption. I am curious why you felt it was necessary to insert yourself into the discussion. I would think that would be Fire Chief Burdick’s responsibility. It is an issue and a bid process that is administrative and therefore best handled by the City Manager.

The fire union’s power disturbingly, has become more and more evident everywhere, especially at election time. Sammy, a Phoenix fire fighter, is obviously very much an advocate, as your councilmember, for fire’s ambitions. As the curtain parts more and more citizens (taxpayers) are learning of the union’s agenda and tactics and beginning to realize it does not always act in their best interests.

 It would serve you well to remember that the pen is mightier than the sword. Since my blog’s inception, a year ago, there have been over 95,000 views and my recent blogs on the fire truck bid are nearing 2,000 views. There are many people, especially Glendale residents, very interested in Glendale issues, most particularly at this moment, in this one.

As for a lunch meeting, bring it on. I’m game and not in the least intimidated by the fire union. I guess that’s why you all worked so hard and invested so much time and money in a local election. Feel free to shoot me some dates at: clarkjv@aol.com.

As you can see I have taken down my informal poll for the time being. It seems some people simply cannot play by the rules. Someone or several people decided to stuff the votes by voting repeatedly thereby making the poll meaningless.

By the way, if YOU have a question for the fire union president, take a moment to offer them to me as a comment to this post. Thanks.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

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