Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Word From J.D.

Dear Officers,

This is JD. I apologize for the late response. I have, however, been reading the many comments and I have spoken with many officers over the past couple of days. And over these past 2 days, I have been putting serious thought to how to change the tide.

The pension increase was, unfortunately, a forgone conclusion. Furlough days for next year, however, are not.

This Tuesday was only a first step towards building solidarity and momentum in the efforts to fight potential 2011 furlough days.

We had 10-12 officers attend (some with families). Simply put, we need to show up at the next meeting to show that there is momentum and that there is no backing down.

Admittedly, I have less to lose. However, I do feel that if many of you were willing to meet with me and some of the Fire Dept leaders like Brent, we can be proactive and bring solutions to the commissioners during the budget discussions.

This is the time to force a seat at the table and become a partner in solving the furlough disgrace.

Please let me know if you would be willing to meet with me and your fellow officers to discuss how we can safely (i.e. without retribution) pressure the BOC and find ways to prioritize the budget so that you receive the pay you deserve for putting your lives on the line for civilians like me who call upon you daily.

I know this is challenging and frustrating (my sister experienced similar issues as an officer in Winter Park, FL). I will work as hard for you as I do for my family and my neighborhood (just ask the officers who work off-duty for me).

Please let me know your thoughts and ask your fellow officers to commit to a strategy meeting prior to the next BOC meeting and ask them show up at the next county meeting.

Sincerely,
JD

People, the support from the citizens of DeKalb County doesn't get any better than this. Here is an opportunity to formulate a game plan to stand up and be heard by the B.O.C.

We need to join forces with all the departments within the county. We encourage the F.O.P. to take the lead, as they have, to represent the department. We challenge the Fire Department and other departments to put aside our differences and vocally become one.

We feel curtain J.D. has friends and allies who will join us in our struggle. It's not only about our pay and benefits, it's also about the safety and security of the citizens and business owners of DeKalb County. But it starts with us.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a Dekalb Police officer and I would be very willing to meet with JD to talk about how we can further put legal and peaceful pressure on the BOC. Can those of us interested get some sort of contact information for JD outside the blog?

Anonymous said...

The time has come to make this county reconzied what we do and how we protect the citizens. This is not a job but a profession we have chosen. Chief O'Brien is a good leader , he needs our support to accomplish the goals and direction he wants us to go. He is part of politics and cannot support us openly. I still think he is one of us. We need to come up with plans.

Anonymous said...

J.D. have you consider a run for CEO in the future? You are a smart man and have common sense on the values of this county. The current leaders will spend every dime they get their hands on and reward all their friends and appointees with all the perks they can give them.

Rufus from Druid Hills said...

A tax increase is off the table. Friends, neighbors, fellow church members are not in a position to accept any further hit in the pocketbook. Where in the budget can the BOC cut to free up funds for DKPD? A hard look at the budget needs to be taken, we all have made hard choices in these trying times. Perhaps a combination of cost savings, you know, the ones that are discussed at the backyard BBQ or during the game, along with budget..reallocation, may provide a workable solution.

Anonymous said...

Anon December 9, 2010 9:53 PM,

I don't know how long you have been here, but for many of us who have been around awhile, the BOC only trends to increasing our costs while taking more away while expecting more and more. Is this really acceptable to you? Why should we just keep bending over and taking it? Where is the appreciation for having public safety? The BOC has to do better and the BOC has to consist of people who are qualified to legitimately run a business. We haven't had that and we don't have that now.

For those of us who came here career-oriented, and have been and continue to do our best to make it so, we deserve better. And for those who have come along (not me) more recently hired under the revised pension plan I believe deserve better and deserve to be rewarded with a like pension plan.

Until the BOC realizes that DeKalb County's future depends on public safety in its homes, work places, schools, shopping centers, etc. etc. and therefore re-invests in public safety as it once did, then growth in DeKalb County will only continue to decline, crime and blight will continue to escalate, and no entity in their right mind will consider coming to DeKalb County to add to the county's overall tax base.

One other thing. DeKalb County indeed has and is experiencing declining property taxes on top of residents leaving, other homes foreclosing, and businesses moving or going bankrupt. Proportionately, there is less to be taxed and less value to tax on. Yet, the BOC wants to maintain or increase services. How do they expect to do this? Right now, it is on the backs of all of their employees. This is unacceptable. And they are and will continue losing their employees left and right.

Someday, the BOC and citizens of DeKalb County, and let me specifically refer to the ones who apparently don't care unlike JD, will wake up and there will be no public safety left for them or perhaps other county services. An expert I believe it must have been only recently told them this at one of the BOC meetings.

Bottom line, collectively the current BOC leadership is horrible. And collectively their predecessors were too. Now, DeKalb County is in a real mess. It is up to them to stop being so damn hard-headed and stubborn and realizes it is high time to seriously re-invest in their public safety so that everything else in DeKalb County (homes, neighborhoods, businesses, and schools) can start to recover. Then, and only then, will DeKalb County ever have a chance to recover and hopefully flourish once again.

AL

Anonymous said...

A good start would be for the citizens to examine all the extra expenses within the administration that don't affect the operation of the county one bit. These include, but are not limited to the vehicle expense reimbursements for CEO's staff, bonuses, raises for office staff, non-compete contracts ( under $50,000 ), the purchase of all these vacant commercial properties, etc. This is just the tip of the wasteful spending under this administration. Their only solution always is raise taxes or break the backs of the employees. You guys are losing some very good officers and firefighters in this county due to this abuse. The citizens of DeKalb deserve better and need to mobilize with the employees to regain control. We can make the budget without tax increases if we slash the waste and abuse. We have sacrificed without raises to offset the economy; however, taking even more away is not an option. I,as many of my co-workers, are struggling just to provide the essentials for my family. Thanks to JD and the others who spoke at the meeting, maybe we have a start to ignite a movement. I'm sure many of you can add to this list of waste that I mentioned. Oh yea, forgot to mention the waste in the Public Safety Director's office. You noticed he never shows up to speak of how much experience we are losing to neighboring counties.

Anonymous said...

We would LOVE to have you guys at Henry Co PD. We still police with community support and have a nice new clean take-home well equipped vehicle for you.

Anonymous said...

Waste.....sidewalks to nowhere.....Mason Mill park ... they used to have a nice grassy area.....now it is all torn up with new construction. Was that a needed or a "nice to have " expenditure of county funds?

Besides the construction in Mason Mill Park, I'm sure there are millions of dollars being wasted on nice to have/vote buying projects.

In Washington they call it Pork!

Let's cut out the pork and spend the taxpayer's hard earned money on Necessary line items.

Why does/did the CEO need his new office? Even Vernon was satisfied with the old digs.

Lynwood Park said...

Dear Officers and concerned citizens,

JD again.

Glad to hear that there is a pension hearing this monday. I truly hope this is not a way of saying "we heard you but there is nothing we can do." I will try to be there but can't guarantee due to last minute planning.

Someone mentioned getting my contact information. It is 770-313-3045. Please feel free to call me to discuss moving forward on the issues being discussed.

Many of the comments about finding where the county is wasting or misusing tax dollars are spot on. Most taxpayers aren't willing to pay more taxes (since they have low confidence that the county will use the dollars for priority items like public safety and most of us don't know where the dollars go).

The solution, as pointed out in these posts, is to find where the county can cut expenses and shift those expenses to public safety officers. If you know of someone who has expertise in county accounting and finances, please have them contact me.

In regards to the next BOC meeting, I have heard from more officers that plan on being there and we have residents planning to attend as well.

For those residents reading this blog, I encourage you to attend the meeting and I absolutely encourage you to bring your neighbors!

It looks like the county is feeling the pressure and now is the time to press forward with public support and a larger showing of officers at the next meeting.

We are still trying to find a date next week to host a joint DKPD-Citizens meeting prior to the BOC meeting so watch for details.

Thanks,
JD

Anonymous said...

More waste: Using county funds to keep Malcolm Cunningham Ford from bankruptcy. The purchase of his unsellable previous location, the changing from county employees changing oil to paying his dealership. The purchase of the unsellable Toys R US at South DeKalb Mall. Putting money into delapidated fire stations and training facilities. Putting money into a rat hole police academy. The redundant managerial positions that the Ga. State study recommended cutting. The wasted money into the CAD system that is flawed. Officers in hiding jobs to avoid having to actually patrol the streets. The law office wasting countless money in lawsuits. Police security at the county offices when they are also paying private security. Officers stationed in front of Ellis' home instead of responding to your home when you need them. Wow, I could go on and on. Maybe some of you have a few to add also. To the citizen in Druid Hills talk to your neighbors and fellow church members and see if they feel like these are worth while expenditures. You guys deserve so much better as do us employees.

Anonymous said...

Oh and more waste:

The CEO playing office shuffle with employees & departments which has cost several hundred thousand dollars in the last year alone, i.e. the cost to move equipment, refit the office space, pay 'special' contractors to coordinate the move, etc. These moves disrupt work and 90% of them are not needed. Mostly it is just politics and BS.

The CEO spending tens of thousands to renovate his already more than adequate office. The ego of lil'vernon is something to behold. Really. I have known him since before he was CEO or even on the BOC and even back then he was a superficial jerk only interested in money. He has not changed a bit.

Why are there large flat screen TVs and comcast cable in "special" employees offices? When I have seen them on it is usually on a sports channel. They claim to have them to watch the BOC meetings that are held twice a month across the street. Why don't they get off their butts and actually attend the meeting if they are THAT interested in it?

Why is the CEO hiding his totally useless 'appointed' employees in other departments? Is it to get them out of his cost center? Probably. I have a list of names if anyone is interested.

For anyone interested look into the Watershed Dept. That is where they are currently hiding everything that is slimy and corrupt since it will soon see the influx of $1.4 BILLION in system renovation bond money. That is why in 2014 the water/sewer bill will be double what is was in 2009. Vernon had his Bond money to waste and now Ellis will have his. That is how the game is played. Tax revenue waste is small time compared to the corruption associated with bond spending.

Paying useless consultants hundred thousand dollars (if not millions) of dollars for work not needed, I have the documents if anyone is interested.

Why do the award plum contracts to companies that have no idea what they are doing? Then we have to pay again to have a legit company fix the mess they made. They use the LSBE program as a cover to force most of this to happen.

The list goes on and on..... I have brought these well documented and 100% true issues up with CEO and BOC level folks many times. They pretend to be interested, then they look the other way and do nothing about it. They do not care because they are in on the take.

The stress of working in a place so corrupt has finally gotten to me and I am quitting in January and moving on to let whatever happens happen. I feel sorry for the citizens and workers of DeKalb County, but I cannot sacrifice my physical/mental health to try to fix things they do not want to fix.

I am afraid it will get much worse before it gets better in DeKalb County.

JW

Anonymous said...

Oh and more waste:

The CEO playing office shuffle with employees & departments which has cost several hundred thousand dollars in the last year alone, i.e. the cost to move equipment, refit the office space, pay 'special' contractors to coordinate the move, etc. These moves disrupt work and 90% of them are not needed.

The CEO spending tens of thousands to renovate his already more than adequate office. The ego of lil'vernon is something to behold. Really.

Why are there large flat screen TVs and comcast cable in "special" employees offices? When I have seen them on it is usually on a sports channel. They claim to have them to watch the BOC meetings that are held twice a month across the street. Um, yeah..

Why is the CEO hiding his totally useless 'appointed' employees in other departments? Is it to get them out of his cost center? Probably. I have a list of names if anyone is interested.

For anyone interested look into the Watershed Dept. That is where they are currently hiding everything that is slimy and corrupt since it will soon see the influx of $1.4 BILLION in system renovation bond money. That is why in 2014 the water/sewer bill will be double what is was in 2009. Vernon had his Bond money to waste and now Ellis will have his. That is how the game is played. Tax revenue waste is small time compared to the corruption associated with bond spending.

Paying useless consultants hundred thousand dollars (if not millions) of dollars for work not needed, I have the documents if anyone is interested.

Why do the award plum contracts to companies that have no idea what they are doing? Then we have to pay again to have a legit company fix the mess they made. They use the LSBE program as a cover to force most of this to happen.

The list goes on and on..... I have brought these well documented and 100% true issues up with CEO and BOC level folks many times. They pretend to be interested, then they look the other way. They do not care because they are in on the take.

JW

Lynwood Park said...

Hello all,

It looks like the next BOC meeting is tomorrow Dec 14 rather than Tuesday Dec 21 (as shown on the county website calendar).

It is important to show up this week with larger #'s and get more people speaking and supporting the effort. Please let me know if we have more officers and more importantly, DeKalb residents (those that read the blog and their neighbors and friends) that can show.

It would be great to have as many people as possible and keep the crowds slowly growing so that the county knows that the furlough days are an issue that will not go away until adequately resolved.