Commentary: All Fired Up at Sac Metro

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, January 12, 2007

The restraining order was issued after Sac Metro’s chief legal counsel complained the board’s president called him, shrieking profanities and racist insults, and threatened to fire him. According to affidavits filed with the court, the call was made after the president was picked up by a Sac Metro ambulance for what was described as an alcohol related incident. One firefighter is being investigated for allegedly breaking into district computers to change the official ambulance report.

This issue is just the latest. Last month, a board member resigned, calling Sac Metro “dysfunctional.” He expressed concern that the lavish firefighter contract approved by the union-dominated board in November will put the district at financial risk. In 2005, the union pressured a fire chief to resign after he expressed concern about a previous big pay raise.

Sac Metro is responsible for the protection of 600,000 people. How can it afford to give firefighters what one board member says is a 50% pay raise over six years? Why do Sac Metro firefighters earn so much more than others in surrounding areas? Is this district being managed for the benefit of the public, or for a powerful union and the employees it represents?


Ginger Rutland writes for the Sacramento Bee Opinion pages.