This is almost laughable. Port Orange Fire Lieutenant Joe Meeske took to Facebook over the weekend to blast his buddies on the council for not handing over the keys to the City’s vault. Here is what he posted;
19 hrs ago on Facebook
“So here is the deal…..
If you are a local politician and you served in the fire service or in law enforcement and you had the support of your brothers and sisters in your election effort then you dont get to distance yourself from them because you are afraid of what the vocal minority might say about you. I am a little tired watching candidates that I supported, Drew Bastian, Scott Stiltner and Bob Ford, distance themselves from their true base.
Nobody is asking you to be a shill for any department but the least you can do is publicly acknowledge some level of support for higher pay and better benefits for firefighters and police. What happened here in the past is shameful but yet you all sit on the dias and say nothing. It appears there is a fear that the seven activist citizens might use your name on the local blog to say you were in the pocket of public safety. Who Cares!!!! There are like seven of them reaching a total of like 25 citizens in a city of 60,000 but yet you cower behind the fear of being labeled.
Now Stiltner will go on record and say he did not accept any donantions from the local unions, and he did not… But he sure did not turn down any help from union members to hold signs, be vocally supportive or give him their vote! Bastian worked for the fire department and council meeting after council meeting he sits silent on the issue of pay and benefits being too low! Ford was the police chief and needed our support for a final push in a runoff election but he only acknowledges the fact that the unfunded liability is too high…
These three public safety officials need to come out publically and address the issue of pay and benefits. I agree the unfunded liability is too high… But you three know exactly why that is… .But you still create the public impression that benefits were the problem. It was not the benefits received that caused the problem. .It was the citys historic under funding of the pension plans.. And we all know finance has proved over and over again that they have not funded a number of programs correctly. New issues are uncovered weekly!! And we continue to try to fix these problems on the backs of the employees with lower wages and lower benefits.
So Drew Bastian, Scott Stiltner and Bob Ford all three of you receive a pension check from the city… Until you come out and recind your right to that pension check do not sit up there and tell me I do not somehow deserve the same benefit for my service. Stop being afraid to acknowledge those you served with by doing what is right! After all the wrongs that have occured over the last 8 years its getting harder and harder to watch the three of you distance youselves from the public safety sector and take a stand against the very benefit you receive each month!!
If I wanted more of the same I would have voted for more of the same!!”
Boy, that didn’t take long for the Fire Department to try and call in huge favors from the bench. Just like everyone predicted. Sounds like someone needs a good nap. Oh yeah, he will get to do that on the tax payers dime! Is the fire department really asking for more in their pensions at time when their pension plan is failing and costing the tax payers of Port Orange millions a year in band aid fixes to the plans? And what does he mean, “their true base?” Isn’t their base supposed to be the taxpayers of the City? Talk about a messed up perspective. Hold your ground council members, our city has a lot of needs right now far more pressing then lining the pockets of short sighted firefighters. Our Fire Department doesn’t need any raises or new pension bennies. Most of them make over $60K a year, which is about $35k more than the average income of Port Orange. This Fire Lieutenant has too much pressure in his hose. Sure do miss the days of volunteer firefighters!