cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
There has been an extraordinary response to the first Blog I posted following the publishing of an article in the Journal Sentinel concerning our fire department. If you've not noticed, take a few minutes to read the comments that have been posted.
In addition to these postings, I've heard from others desiring not to be identified with their thoughts and experiences in this general area. Among the repetitive themes are these...
Chief Pollpeter is doing the best job possible from the firefighters' points of view (based on those who've made remarks).
Trustee James Langer appears to have a conflict of interest in that he is a firefighter and is chair of the Germantown Public Safety Committee.
Old timers in the department continue to be angry that the state forced the change in department structure and brought it under the control of the village and are taking that out on Pollpeter.
The department has too few members forcing overtime to assure adequate coverage, and the trustees made a poor decision when they denied the populace the opportunity to vote on a referendum for department expansion.
The new union is biased but that is expected from a labor organization.
In an attempt to get more information, I've sent inquiries to Village President Kempinski and Trustee Langer. I have called a couple of fire department personnel and visited with others in the community.
It seems that the old bromide, where there's smoke there's fire, may be apt in this situation, but without more information to flesh out the various sides of this situation, we're still at the point of mere speculation. I hope our elected officials will assist and I hope some of the fire department people will be more responsive given the obvious feelings that prevail.
One thing seems obvious however. There is a problem that has caused some turn-over, and some hard feelings and may have begun to erode morale. The other thing that seems to jump out loudly and clearly is this: department personnel view themselves as professionals. And they recognize that they serve the citizens of the community.