Fairfield could do without Fire Commission

To the Editor:

Instead of reading the newspapers and watching FairTV, as she says she has been doing in a recent letter to the editor, Democratic Town Committee (DTC) member and former Fire Commissioner Susan Barrett should review the minutes of the Fire Commission meetings she was part of in 2012. And Barrett should reread the town’s contract with the firefighter union that First Selectman Michael Tetreau urged the full RTM to pass shortly after he was elected in 2011. Watching political grandstanding is never the way to learn about the corrupted processes that go on routinely in the political executive branch of our town government.

The Fire Commissioners, including Barrett, had “sole power to appoint and promote to all positions in the (fire) department” under section 10.6.B.3 of the town charter. The Fire Commissioners knew, or should have known, exactly what was going on with regard to the pension abuse propagated by the fire chief, who just happens to belong to the DTC with Barrett. And so did Michael Tetreau of the DTC, who as first selectman and chief town administrator, signed off on the payroll showing the musical chairs at the fire department. And Tetreau signed off on the request for the inflated pension payments as chair of the pension board, too.

Barrett knew, or should have known, that in order to create the need for temporary positions, the fire chief moved Assistant Chief Chris Tracy to another job, violating both the union contract and the town charter. Tetreau certainly knew about the move and the musical chairs. The firefighter union even filed a grievance on Tracy’s behalf because the knew that move violated the contract.

The musical chairs game is over at Fairfield fire, the retirees are receiving the bump-up in the pensions, which they will be required to pay back to the taxpayer when this chicanery is fully exposed, and Tracy got his rightful job back. The grievance was undoubtedly withdrawn because, while the firefighters do contribute to the pension fund they have zero responsibility to fully fund it. The taxpayers take all of the risk with the pension fund. Political grandstanding notwithstanding, the taxpayers got screwed again by Tetreau, the Fire Commission and their allies on the firefighter union.

The Fire Commission is a commission that Fairfield could do without and Tetreau is a first selectman who needs to be voted into retirement. Case closed.

 

Jim Brown

Fairfield

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