Vince Wells: Let’s All Meet

Vince Wells offered a suggestion tonight that he is willing to meet anyone to discuss the future of ECCFPD and solutions and would like to do so sooner rather than later and does not care who it is. He apparently wants the back and forth nonsense to stop and wants to move forward with productive conversation.

Per Vince Wells:

So today we were given the official layoff list as well as the list of the demotions that will take place for those left. You are losing some pretty good fire fighters!  The attacks in the Brentwood Press website continue and in the meantime July 1 is approaching.

Allow me to offer a bit of productive conversation. I have to make one slightly negative comment first though. East County Reader, I don’t know who you are, but you obviously don’t know me or you’re just one of the mob that really has no interest in coming up with a solution. It seems that you just want to continue to “stir the pot”!

I am a veteran and the son of a veteran, and have a daughter that is going on her third tour in the Middle East. If your one of those anti-government activist, I don’t even want to waste my time with you. I do believe in the governmental process and believe that it works. Get off the couch and show up at meetings, run for office, or support those that do. Those are the choices in my opinion. That is why I joined our executive board.

On the Grand Jury report; I have a stack of studies in my office if you need them. Or we can pay more tax payer money for another one. It really doesn’t matter to me. If those that are joining this issue late need another one, go for it!

I have Citigate 1, the MSR by LAFCO, and Citigate 2 in my office. All say the same thing. East County is underfunded. I am sure the next one will say the same thing, but have at it!

I just hope that after it’s done, people move forward and face the fact

What I have found to be true about studies is that most people don’t want to pay for the solutions that the study recommends. They make good book ends though.

Pinole paid for a study last year that told them the same thing, the last study told them. I represent the City of Pinole, the City of El Cerrito, Moraga Orinda Fire District, Con Fire, Rodeo Hercules Fire District and East County. All have different voter types and different budget constraints. I have seen it all. In fact, perhaps I will become a consultant.

It is what it is. It takes fire fighters to put out fires; it takes money to pay for them and to keep them. When you are underfunded and lose 1/3 of your revenue, you are going to need more money. There, that is free!

Did Blockbuster Video go out of business because it overpaid its employees, or was it the loss of revenue due to Netflix?

Now on to something more productive; I am willing to arrange a meeting with you, Mr Gonzales, Jeff Barber, McVittie, and whoever you want. We can discuss how to move on. Invite the public and the press if you want. We have nothing to hide.

We now have 27 paid fire fighters in East County. The voters who I support have spoken which I hope they voted based on facts, but anyway, lets meet. We can meet at my office and we will buy lunch.

We can discuss POC’s, a new County Fire/EMS agency, our pay and benefits, or whatever. We need to move on and put documents and facts on the table. Let me know if any of you are interested and we can select a date.


By the way, we will use our political contacts to see if we can get the federal grant approved that the fire district applied for to pay for the laid off fire fighters. The grant is only for two years, so if we get it, we will still have to solve the problem!


About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
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6 Responses to Vince Wells: Let’s All Meet

  1. Jeff B says:

    mr. wells I would suggest chilling out and be careful you don’t fall off your pedestal, as you know EMS response times can be slow in this county.

    I think it is, maybe funny is not the word but I will say funny anyway (maybe sad is a better descriptor)…..funny that you all harp on people who submit their suggestions in writing to go to meetings and run for office….but the office holders who are key the solution NEVER go to the meetings and NEVER submit a solution. go figure.

    We have piepho and glover who are (you pick) either lazy, in the union bag or just don’t care. We don’t have elected county officials who are engaged in a solution but we do have you all who talk about ‘government process’ like it is some deity, in a county that is known for non-action and is a financial mess. And of course we have citizens who speak up (and are consistent with the tide of the ballot box) and are harshly villainized. Think about how crazy this situation really is.

    At this point given the way things are in this county and the prevailing attitudes of those in control of everything except the ballot box….we are in for some times that will be way worse then they need to be.

    I continue to believe that a new county FD with a sustainable pay/comp structure is the best foundation for a solution. Yesterday I took a scan of the public employee costs that were published on the CCT’s website. Neither Con Fire or ECCFPD were included but a couple FD’s in this county were (the ones you all compare against & strive to be like). In fact there were 12 pages of CCC FD employee listings and I had to go all the way to the 7th page to find a FD employee that had a total annual (2011) cash cost of less than $200K. I did the same thing for Marin County, they showed 15 pages of FD employees and guess what….you only had to go to the top of page 4 to find the first FD employee with an annual cost of less than $200K. This is a county problem driven by the union and bad leadership. I just read that in Sacramento they prevented a number of FD station closures through a major real-time cash concession by the union regarding upfront pension contributions.

    mr. wells you can cry, whine, spin, wiggle, dance, go all patriotic, do anything you want but the fact is the FD wage/pension program in this county can not be afforded and it never truly could. The fact is our elected officials were drunk on influence and lacked common sense when they let the comp get out of control.

    But that era is over now and the sooner you get it the sooner you can do right by your membership and quit causing the public to see you all as a problem and as greedy. You need to quit doing a disservice to your profession. If you don’t then I absolutely see FDs going private (like ALS/EMS largely is) in this county. Heck if NASA feels like it is more efficient to hire a private sector firm to independently send critical missions into space then I’m sure even our local politicos will figure out that the private sector can drive red trucks.

    And the FED grant you now speak of….I seem to recall long ago members of the public, at meetings, practically begging you all to engage in that process and to do it just like San Jose did (mitigating the potential pay back language). It is a poor reflection on every board member and every person of influence within this FD’s management structure that every means to extract every possible grant dollar has not already been exhausted.

    I think rather than meeting with me (my thoughts have all been expressed) your time would be best used to ponder the up-side of the new county FD and to begin to build the support that you think it will need. I’m sure there is a hard way to do it and an easy way…I suggest the easy way. I’m willing to bet that you are facing the choice of either a new county FD (that probably every community will not join into) or a strong trend toward privatization. You choose!

    • Jeff… do you not want to meet with Vince because you do not want to spend the gas to drive down from Truckee? Is that it? I think it’s a worthy cause to get all of us who have strong opinions in a room and get on the same page. It’s worth a try at least. For whatever reason, you would rather complain on a keyboard than get out and try and solve a problem as a good community citizen–instead, you continue to sound like a donkey!

  2. Jeff B says:

    a donkey……. and you want me to leave my comfy couch (where ever that may be on any given day) and sit with you and your ilk. yeah right.

    mr. wells however I’m sure is an ok guy and we could have a reasonable chat but I truly think he could better use his time in a number of ways. he knows my position and my position is my position. he also knows the local voters position and he know the position of other voting groups who were faced with the issue of out of control public sector employee costs. he knows what he has to do. he has a choice and and i’m sure it will be a challenge to make that choice but getting to do so is why he went into union leadership.

    • Voter8022 says:

      Jeff, the responses given to you are the mentality of someone who is lost and has no clue to what’s going on . They do not want to read your suggestions nor use them. They want to talk about how they can convince you to their short minded thinking. They want to whine about how they didn’t get their way with someone else’s money. They should come up with a proposal like you did and then you can meet and arrange putting it in action. Too much talking and wasted meetings have already been done for years, while ignoring anything that’s not politically union ok’d. Besides asking Burk, Mankin or Wells for an opinion on this subject is like asking a toddler to converse on a foreign language subject.

      • So Voter, I guess asking you to use one name would confuse you to much? It’s okay, I have your IP address and you can use your real name next time.

  3. Bob says:

    Jeff, enjoy your stay on that comfy couch of irrelevance.

    No serious campaign to change government to the degree you propose has ever been done simply with a letter writing campaign in the history of this county or this country.

    I don’t imagine you are going to change that streak with your paltry effort here.

    Your read of results from other elections around the country is totally off the mark because the situation here is entirely different. In ECCFPD salaries are already lower and pension contributions already higher than all of those you cite.

    As they say, you can’t get blood out of a turnip.

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