By Tristan Bonn
How can anyone believe a word Mike McDonnell says – his credibility is so trashed; his motives – after years as union president and his rigged hiring as Chief a joke – are deeply suspect. McDonnell testified that any attempt to reduce staff or rigs endangers the City of Omaha. Well, he could always say that, couldn’t he? His statement is meaningless. He has wrapped himself in his “safety” argument to justify his department’s spectacular waste for so many years, he has no other.
But, what is the truth about fire protection. Again, take a look at the Bellevue model which operates at ¼ the cost of Omaha’s fire department. Is the Bellevue Fire Department playing with fire safety? No, of course not. And what’s more – guess who came up with this cost saving model, why one of OFD’s retired, double-dipping former battalion chiefs and other retired OFD personnel. The overstaffing for fire safety canard is just a racket that McDonnell and his cronies run to keep the dollars high and the jobs for his family and friends flowing. We all know it – and it is just disgusting that McDonnell continues to insult the real hard working people in this community with his antics.
Wanna know something else? The vast majority of the Omaha Fire Department’s calls are medical. That’s right – 87%!! are medical calls. We don’t need firefighters, we just need some ambulances. About 12% of the calls are false alarms. So, if you are doing the math, then you get that OFD answers 1% fire calls!!! So, the genius McDonnell recommends that the City spend about $100 million a year on one percent of the calls his department responds to??!! Why isn’t anyone from the City Attorney’s Office asking McDonnell about those numbers? And why doesn’t McDonnell answer with this information? I seriously don’t think McDonnell has a clue who he works for, other than himself and his buddies.
You know another thing that I find disturbing? How is it that the fire union’s lawyer always manages to get his union cases in front of the most labor friendly judge in this district? Is it just a coincidence that the union’s lawyer consistently lands in front of Judge Gleason on so many of the big fire union cases? I wonder what the statistical odds of this happening are. I don’t know the answer, but judge shopping is always a hazard for litigants and let’s just say that some parties are better at working the system than others. Still, it is wrong and everyone knows it is wrong.
But, when you are in it to scam the system, which is the toxic union way, you don’t care a bit about who you bilk. And, that is the game McDonnell, his cronies, the internet union – loving harpies, and the like play. The biggest mystery is why? Why do you want a fire department that is bankrupting the city, why do you want to starve other services? Occasionally, some fire union supporter will whine about the rich and how they should pay more taxes, or we should all get jobs like the union firefighters. Wow, what grade level did they reach? If everyone works for the government, then there won’t be anyone making any money – you do get that, don’t you?! In fact, Rhode Island, a state riddled with its own labor scandals and fraud, has finally tipped and there are now more people working for government than there are in the private sector. How long do you think that’s going to last?
Last night, I was at a gathering of strangers. About 30 people in the room participated in one of those icebreaking exercises where you talk about your education, work, and something funny about yourself. I am always amazed what hard-working decent people there are in our community. All of these people had post-graduate degrees, honorable work histories, and were working two jobs. They are the backbone of this community and they deserve honest, hard-working public servants.
And yet, they are the people that Mike McDonnell and his fire union are only too happy to swindle.