Fire/Rescue Contract Negotations Dominates Budget Hearing

The purpose for the September 17, 2015 City Council Meeting was Second Reading of the proposed 2015/2016 Fiscal Year Budget. But as in the previous hearing, most in the audience were there to support Fire/Rescue during Public Comment. After six folks made their comments asking the Council to take action, City Manager Ferris made a substantial presentation on the status of the negotiations. He began by saying that it’s not his practice to negotiate in public, but that he wanted to get the facts out to the public and to the employees in Fire/Rescue who may also not seen the data. We strongly suggest that residents interested in the topic review the City Manager portion of the video with his presentation. Mr. Ferris concluded with his hopes that the union will come back to the table and continue negotiations.

September 17, 2015

Mayor Jablin believes that during the time he’s been on the Council the compensation packages have been fair. “We want to be in the top 5” and the City Manager’s data showed that the city is. He commented that one speaker’s suggestion that the salary increases be taken out of the substantial reserves wouldn’t work, since the increases remain and in short order there would be no more reserves. Council member Russo said there is way too much emotion and encouraged both sides to ‘come back to the table’, and make the decision based on facts. The outcome would be far better if it is a result of negotiations rather than the Council deciding after an impasse.  Vice Mayor Levy said “our firefighters are the best in the State, if not the country”, and that the Council acknowledges that there is a compression problem and that the negotiations should reach an accord. Council member Tinsley agreed 100% with members Russo and Levy and suggested that all go back to the table, behave professionally and take the emotion out of the decision. Council member Premuroso suggested that both sides forget about dates/deadlines/schedule and come to an amicable resolution. Read the post article on the City Manager’s presentation here.

budgetMayor Jablin called a 5 minute break so that those leaving could clear the room, after which the Budget Ordinance and associated Resolution were passed 5:0.


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