Today's Letters: Put a stop to the personal vendetta
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published April 1, 2007
Re: Arbiter faults city for firing story, March 21
The beginning of the article says it all. " For the third time in six months, a federal arbiter has found that the Clearwater Fire Department didn't follow its collective bargaining agreement procedures when it fired employees."
When are the city's elected officials going to put a stop to this nonsense?
Fire Chief Jamie Geer and City Manager Bill Horne have constantly displayed integrity violations and fiscal irresponsibility. They have been found guilty of threatening Fire Department employees and their rights on numerous occasions. Their flighty actions have cost us, the taxpayers, hundreds of thousands of dollars - money that we as a city need to stop wasting and put toward items of necessity.
And a necessity does not constitute these two men's personal vendetta against our firefighters.
Frank Shimmer, Clearwater
Clearwater needs leadership change
Re: Enough fighting with Fire Department editorial, March 25
As ruling after ruling confirms from the Circuit Court, federal arbitrators, administrative judges, the governor's appointees to the Public Employment Relations Commission, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Clearwater city administrators repeatedly and without apology violate fundamental rights and fairness of career firefighters and their union.
Not a single judgment or appeal has ruled in favor of the city. Not one. Why, do you ask? The city's administrators are wrong. And the captain of the city's ship is City Manager William Horne.
The rulings confirm Horne's deep-seeded hatred for our career firefighters. Who does he lead? Joseph Roseto, human resource director. Who executes the punishment? Jamie Geer, the fire chief.
These rulings show that time and again our city leaders are hurting the men and women who work for us all. True leadership fosters positive and constructive growth for the women and men who devote their lives to firefighting. This benefits citizens. True leadership does not violate American principles of fundamental fairness and due process.
It is time for the City Council to come to terms with reality, admit the total failure of its management, account for the wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' dollars, and make peace.
Clearwater's citizens and dedicated firefighters deserve no less.
To all in the community, thank you for all your support. Never doubt we'll always be there for you.
John R. Lee, president, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1158
A new low even for Wal-Mart
Re: Tortoise move halted at store site story, March 25
Just when you think Wal-Mart cannot stoop any lower, they pull this stunt of removing eight gopher tortoises from their natural habitat because it interfered with building their new store in Tarpon Springs. Someone actually dug down to their subterranean burrows to remove them.
This is just one more example of the pathetic behavior of Wal-Mart to do anything they want to destroy the environment so they can build one more ugly box and call it a shopping center.
Margaret Hyde, Clearwater
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