Fourteen years ago, in 1999, I wrote opinion pieces on Glendale issues for the Arizona Republic for the princely sum of $50 an article. I had a great time doing it. I was no longer on Council and was taking time off to care for my Mother who had Alzheimer’s. In October, 1999, I wrote a piece about the upcoming City bond election and the $24M slated to build a public safety training facility. I questioned the need with facts at my disposal. After the article appeared I received veiled threats from just one group…firefighters. They were obviously not happy that I suggested that this facility was not needed back then. Seven years later, they won the war and $6M in funding dollars for the soon-to-be constructed West Branch Library were diverted to help defray the cost of construction of the public safety facility (estimated to come in at over $40M).
Several days ago I posted “Gimme more” on this blog site. Today I received the following email response:
Author : FirefighterXXX (IP: 18.104.22.168 , ip68-2-248-248.ph.ph.cox.net)
E-mail : Ilvjerry@hotmail.com
Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/22.214.171.124
Great Idea Joyce about cutting fire staffing. I sent you link to Mayor XXX in XXX were my family lives. I think this will be a great idea for XXX as well. Maybe I will send you link to the Fire Chief too.
I have a son who is a firefighter in a Valley city. The email sender used my son’s name and the city in which he is employed. For obvious reasons I have x-ed out that information. The reference is to the fact that in this time of financial upheaval for the city I do not support adding more personnel to any department when the city should, in fact, be cutting its expenses to meet its revenues. In my article I did not suggest that any public safety personnel should be cut. I did ask that we hold the line with what we have right now until revenues improve and the city can legitimately afford to hire more public safety personnel. The sender is suggesting in retaliation, that my son, working in another Valley community should be fired.
I am fightin’ mad and am calling this lily livered coward out on his/her veiled threat. I am older and wiser than I was in 1999 when similar threats were made to me and my family. There is nothing like sunlight to disinfect garbage. I will bet that the sender is a union firefighter or a family member of one living in the Avondale area but perhaps working in Glendale. The email address is bogus because he/she doesn’t have the guts to use his/her real name or email address. Is that because he/she could be in legal trouble if he/she did so? Finding the exact address would require litigation and a demand for the logs from Cox. It would be difficult but not impossible.
There are thugs and cowards in every demographic and segment of our society. We all know that and some of us have experienced their intimidation and threats. Bloggers, journalists, elected officials and high profile people have. I am tired of the fire union using their thugs and cowards to do their dirty work. If you want to come after me because you don’t like my opinions by all means, feel free to do so. Anyone is invited to do so in a respectful dialogue between us. I can certainly take care of myself. But the SOB who goes after any of my family members had better watch out. Is that a threat? You bet it is…but not the same kind as you made.