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Enlightened Resident

Cedar Falls, IA

#1 Oct 27, 2006
The Fleecing of Cedar Falls

Over $100,000 in overpaid wages and padded pensions is what is happening in Cedar Falls in the Reserve Firefighter Program. Come one, come all to the feed trough, as long as you are a current city of Cedar Falls employee. City employees from all departments can now become firefighters. Exempt city employees are guaranteed a cushy $31.25 per hour for each hour at the fire station they work. The best part is that they still get their regular wages plus the bonus pay. They get to “double dip” on wages at the expense of the Cedar Falls taxpayers. By comparison a first year professional full-time firefighter makes only $12.22 per hour. Another huge fleecing for the taxpayers is that the reserves’ wages are pension eligible so they will receive a big fat chunk of those wages in their retirement checks and the taxpayers will be paying for it. You would think that the city would want young, highly skilled personnel as reserve firefighters but you would be wrong. Firefighting is a very physical and skilled job but don’t let that worry you about being disqualified if you are a city employee. City employees of any age are welcome to apply, some of the current reserves are only a year or two from retirement. Reserves are not required to take any written test whatsoever or even a civil service interview. Reserves need only pass a physical agility test within the maximum allowable time. Professional full-time firefighters are required to take a written exam, civil service interview, and a physical agility test. Their combined scores are ranked and the list is narrowed to “top ten” list with only the best of the best. The Reserves Program has no narrowing process, all are accepted. The only employees who are not eligible to cash in on this fleecing are the professional firefighters. The professional firefighters applied to get into the program but were denied. C.F. city attorney Susan Staudt stated the professional firefighters “are ineligible to volunteer for a position which you are already paid as a firefighter.” Most people wouldn’t consider getting paid $31.25 per hour “volunteering”. This program is a mismanagement of the taxpayers’ money. To give you an idea of how bad it is consider this. You could pay the most highly skilled, highest paid professional full-time firefighters in the city of Cedar falls overtime and have them work the hours of the reserves for less money. Professional full-time firefighters work 12 times the hours the reserves work and train 5 times as much. Who would you want to come to your emergency? Wake up Cedar Falls, your city council has just endorsed expanding this program as they believe it is a rousing success. Let them know that double dipping, fleecing and, salary padding is not good management practices if they wish to be reelected. The Cedar Falls professional firefighters have continually asked management how this saves money and have never once been given any figures that showed any savings whatsoever. Don’t let government bureaucracy take over our fine city. The citizens of Cedar Falls deserve more for their hard earned tax dollars.

Los Angeles, CA

#2 Nov 26, 2006
There must not be anyone who disagrees with you. I believe this is an outrage. And now, if you've been paying attention at all, the CF Police Chief will pad his pension by volunteering for the last couple years of his tenure. Let Firemen (or women) fight fires and let Police Officers protect the city. Vote these people out of office!!!

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