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City budget needs scalpel, not hatchet

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The Naperville City Council voted Wednesday to eliminate 23 vacant positions to help close a budget deficit estimated at $11 million. We also learned that the number of layoffs will be more than previously thought ("upper 40s instead of 40), and that the cuts won't be made until January.

We also learned details about the 23 vacant positions that were eliminated.

Included in the list are three sworn positions in the police department, which include the department's third downtown beat officer, its second crime prevention officer and its domestic violence investigator. Six other positions - three in records and three in telecommunications - were also eliminated.

At the fire department, three positions were cut. The two sworn positions include an assistant fire chief and a firefighter/paramedic. The other is a technical services assistant.

Also eliminated were the jobs of community social worker and video production specialist from staff. Three positions in the city's finance department are on the list, including assistant finance director, financial reporting analyst and billing and collections supervisor. Six jobs in the city's Transportation, Engineering and Development group include a code enforcement officer, records technician, engineering technician, development planner, operations manager and project assistant.

In addition to the 23 positions in the general fund were three cuts in enterprise funds. Those come from the city's Department of Public Utilities. Two are in the electrical division - a senior engineer and journey-line electrician, along with a customer service representative from the water division.

Which of these cuts make the most sense to you? (And please, let's try not to all say video production specialist at the same time.) Which of these cuts most concerns you? This represents what may be only half the cuts--what do you expect to learn in a couple months when the layoffs are decided? Whose jobs will be gone then, and from what departments?

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169 Comments

To Rusty the Bailiff,

Is this the officer who just passed away? Your words are pretty tough!!

Anonymous,
I have been watching the court proceedings in DuPage DUI court for 15 years. I know a majority of the real police officers dont want to be there. As a matter of fact, they would rather be home in bed.

I sit here and read how these bloggers think the police officers are milking the system, but find it incredible that the big fella in the powder blue uniform (the 425 lb fella) is immune from the wrath of the bloggers.

This guy NEVER testifies, unlike the real officers. By my estimations, this guy costs the City of Naperville about $4000 a year by showing up every tuesday. Not a kings ransom, but with todays budget crisis, thats the kind of nonsense that needs the scapel. If he is needed...subpoena him.

Rusty the Bailiff,

I have to hand it to you for being funny.

Is this guy one of the 12 or 15 reported in the jury box that are collecting 3 hours of OT for 1.5 hours of work?

Why are you picking on this one guy instead of all of them equally?

I think the Napergatians picked on all of them equally.

Did this guy rub you the wrong way one time....is that why you are focused on him like a laser?

Tuesday, 12/02/08, 9:00am. DuPage County Courtroom 4002 (DUI). Once again, the 425 lb NPD Jailer with the cheezy mustache (gained a little weight during Thanksgiving) observed yucking it up with defense lawyers and talking to anyone who would listen in the jury box. This guy just devoured 3 hours overtime like it was a Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings. Once again, he never testified.....Maybe the Napergate Man has the answer why this guy is always in court. Nobody else knows why.

John C.

The Napergate Man is not in many threads that the Sun puts up such as Black Friday, Beetle Juice melting snow, campaign-sign clutter or the Parking Lot. They are usually slow if Napergatians don't participate. You could post there if you are tired of the Napergatians.

If you are tired of the Napergate Man, go to Tim West's blog site. You will never see Napergatians there. You would debate yourself!

Why don't you try going there and see if you would be happier there.

You have choices in this world....exercise them!

In reality, it is the controversy between establishment folks and nagergatians that keep most of these threads hot. The establishment folks seem to bring the Napergate Man up to discredit the Napergatians. I think Blogger Kevin discovered that Blogger Ken was involved in 40% of these posts. Believe it or not, he is against the Napergate Man and the Napergatians. Most of his post call the Napergate Man a criminal and the Napergatians a cult.

I believe if you can convince the Sun Editors to control Ken, all the discussion about the Napergate Man would end suddenly and quickly. He eggs on the Napergatians by constantly attacking their leader. That is the real problem and only Sun editors can fix it!

Oh my god....would you imbeciles stop with all the Napergate Man stuff. I swear there is not a single posting anywhere on this blog that doesnt mention the Napergate Man. Im sure if there was a blog about the Big 3 automakers bailout, somehow the Napergate Man would find himself in that blog. Give it a rest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adam, you brought up the napergate man's criminal status in the other thread you mention. You also urged censorship and in doing so are trying to deny that he is a criminal. Driving on a suspended license, no matter what the reason, is a crime you go to jail for. Traffic violations are not. For any sensible person, there is a clear difference.

As for the cult reference, I have explained that many times, but will do so once again. When a napergatian starts the personal attacks and obvious lies, they get the cult designation. If a napergatian debates in a civil manner, a rare occasion, there is no cult mention.

There are many fine people that get caught up in something they shouldn't have, and end up with crimes on their records. Not every criminal comes from the dregs of society. As President Clinton showed, many can commit a crime and still be considered a pillar of the community. No irony there, just facts of life that once again a sensible person would recognize. I have posted many times that I have nothing but admiration for the napergate man's fight against city hall, but the napergatians seem to forget that, and only focus on the negative.

The only irony I see consistently here is that the napergatians start the attacks yet expect others not to respond.

Ken,

"The only time I mention that the napergate man is a criminal is when you cult members try to deny it."

Why would they try to deny it if it was not first mentioned. That makes no sense. What you are implying is the Napergatians are simply running around denying the Napergate Man is a criminal when no one accused him of being a criminal. Sorry, but that makes no sense Ken! They only denied it because you mentioned it by your own count 4 times.

Please notice you are also calling Napergatians a cult. We consider that offensive. We consider ourselves a political party, a movement, an organization, a tight-nit group, a nation of sorts, but not a CULT.

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" First, he has never posted, and second, a fine man like him who knows how to be politically active would be embarrassed by the tactics his followers use here."


Do you see some irony here, Ken? You are now calling a criminal a fine man. Sometimes it is really hard to follow your logic?

Anyway, have a nice Thanksgiving and remember the Napergate Man never posted as you correctly noted and never called you anything.

Deductive reasoning can only conclude you had to start this fiasco!
The Napergate Man never called you anything. You simply decided to call him a criminal 4 times for no reason.

Let us tone it down as the Sun Editors are requesting in a new thread. Thank you, Ken!

Brad, maybe you missed the part where I said I have been in the construction industry since the mid-eighties. I am well aware of the slowdown, as I know many people affected by it. The upper tier of workers still find work, while the less skilled and newer workers are having a hard time finding a job. If Blake is an iron worker, as he seemed to imply, I have to wonder why he had to go to Las Vegas to find work when there are quite a few buildings around here to work on.

Margaret, it seems you do not know what you are talking about. I know several iron workers who do not consider their job stressful at all, it is just what they do. If I tried to walk a beam, it would be stressful for me, because I have never done it. For them, it is just a job. You also are off on the safety issue. Here is an article which may help you learn a little: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/apr/03/ironworkers-want-stronger-union-action/ .

Niemi, I will be available any time you want to meet me to test your theory. That goes for all the other "civil" napergatian cult members who are threatening me with the violent act of cutting my tongue out. By the way, you really would have to go after my fingers, as that is what I type with. As I have pointed out many times before, I only respond to attack posts with attacks; I don't originate them. You want the civil discussion you are incapable of having, just debate instead of attacking.

Maryann, you are posting lies. Show me where I am constantly calling the napergate man a criminal. Show me where I am libeling him day and night as you claim. The only time I mention that the napergate man is a criminal is when you cult members try to deny it. I think this has happened four times in the last eight months, which is hardly "constantly" or "day and night". By the way, would one of those "kids" reading the forum and becoming so upset be the repeat offender daughter that didn't pay her tolls and got the napergate man's license suspended? I think she already knows what is going on. I would be willing to bet that the napergateman does not even read these forums. First, he has never posted, and second, a fine man like him who knows how to be politically active would be embarrassed by the tactics his followers use here.

The Sun editors have so far refused to ban me or all the others that the cult members want banned because they know you are the trouble makers. I had been in email contact with both Jim and Ted, and they both told me they had no problems with my posts as they were truthful and that I had a right to defend myself against your constant attacks. Maybe you will get lucky with the new blog moderator and get them to believe your lies, but I think anyone smart enough to work for a paper would be smart enough to see through your lies and other cult tactics.

I have stated this many times, but I will do so again. If you napergatians want to have a civil debate, stop the attack tactics, and I will do the same. But if you expect me to roll over and be a wimp by not responding, you are wrong.

Ravi,

You must be new here on this site.

This character Ken is constantly calling the Napergate Man a criminal and it is being published on this public blog site.

Textbook or no textbook, I agree with Niemi that his tongue needs to be chopped off.

If someone was libeling you day and night, or your father or your child, I bet you would want his tongue chopped off...unless you are a wimp of course.

Ken has asked for it and got what he deserves.

Give me your full name and let me run an ad calling you a pimp in a local newspaper. Let us see if you can successfully ignore such an attack. I bet you could not, Ravi.

While most of us are anonymous, the Napergate Man is a real person known to all. He has kids. Would you like his kids to get on this blog site and read all this junk being written about him being a criminal.

If someone lied and called you a pimp on a public forum and your kids saw it and believed it, would you not want to chop his tongue off. Would you ignore that person, if you children came home and said Daddy, "I read an article that said you were a pimp running a prostitution ring after work."

We have asked Sun Editors in the past to ban Ken. They refuse! We have no choice but to defend our leader who is a real person.

There is a big difference between attacking a real person and an anonymous blogger. An attack on an anonymous blogger is meaningless. An attack on a real person will not go unchallenged.

That is the feeling of most Napergatians and that is the feeling of myself.

Surprisingly the Napergate Man who is being attacked is doing what you said. He is totally ignoring Ken. I guess he has got thick skin after all these years and could care less. According to you he is being very civil. So what are you complaining about. The rest of us are only characters of sorts whose reputation can not really be damaged on this blog site.

I hope you can be as civil as the NGM has been if one day you are called a criminal in a public forum that your kids may have access to. Talk is cheap! My guess is you would not practice what you are preaching here. I would wage on it.

Instead of scolding Neimi and the Napergatians, you need to be condemning Ken and asking him to be civil. Not only does he attack the Napergate Man but he attacks every member of the Napergate Moverment by calling us a cult.

You were 100% right, when guaranteeing we will respond in agreement of Neimi's words. If we are going to condemn anyone, it would be Ken. Not Neimi! How could you think otherwise, Ravi

No one condemns the old Joe. He has been very civil and we have been very civil in return. That should speak very loud to your ears regarding Napergatian civility!

Niemi on November 26, 2008 9:29 AM
Ken,

What we need is a hatchet and not a scalpel to chop your tongue off.

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So much for the Napergatian civility. Aren't you the group that claims no personal attacks? If you don't like Ken, or Joe, or anyone else why must you always respond to them? If someone is off topic or makes an insult just let it go and don't respond.

I can also guarantee that a number of you will respond not with condemnation of Niemi's words, but in agreement. "Ken is just a bully", "sometimes we just can't take it anymore", "we are discussing a serious topic and Ken always derails us", blah, blah, blah. Someone else will then point out that Niemi is just joking and all will be forgiven. Your responses are becoming textbook.

Ken,

What we need is a hatchet and not a scalpel to chop your tongue off. You have the mother of all tongues.

You act like Mr. Rambo on these blog sites. On the street I bet you are the mother of all wimps.

You simply seem a little jealous of how the Napergatians used this blog site to be an effective watchdog on the city.

The Naperville Sun seems to no longer have a problem with them...why do you! If you want no controversy visit Tim West's blog site and talk to yourself since you won't find any Napergatians there due to censorhip. Actually, you won't find anyone but yourself. Maybe you can debate Tim West about the hummingbirds he feeds in his backyard.

If you don't like the tax savings that the Napergatains are striving for, no one is stopping you from paying the government twice what they bill you. They will happily accept your contribution.

With your loose mental fabric, you may just be stupid enough to do that. Grow up, Ken! The OLD JOE finally grew up. It is your turn!

Shelly,
Your numbers are accurate thru May of this year.

In the last 6 months these buildings started achieving the heights that exponentially increased the deaths.

When you are doing the ground work on high rises only a few die.

Once you start putting the roof on these high rises many construction workers fall to their deaths.

No matter how safe you try to make the conditions, it is not safe enough. MGM uses the best contractors with the best safety procedures.

Unfortunately, unlike what Ken says, many of these workers will die no matter how careful they are. The dangers and risks are there.

When you run and slip on the ground floor, nothing happens. When you walk and slip off the 50th floor, unfortunately you die unless you are wearing a parachute.

I guess Ken would like to see these poor consruction workers wear parachutes.

Of course their jobs are more difficult, stressful and riskier than a cushy fireman's job who may only work 15 minutes on a good day.

Let us try to be real on this blog site.

It sounds like love for our firemen is blind. Lets try to see thru the love and show them some tough love so we can save their pensions by reducing them immediately. Who wants bankruptcy as an alternative to a reduction of 25% in his retirement pension from 75% to 25%.

The Napergatians make a lot of sense and I think they should be encouraged to keep pushing for the stream lining of our city, its officials and its many departments. And double dipping should never be tolerated by our city officials. That is a despicable practice. The loopholes must be closed to avoid this nonsense at taxpayer's expense.

I am glad future lay-offs are out of the hands of Mr. Bob Marshall. If I worked with the city and he tried to lay me off, I tell him to his face to cough up either his pension or salary before making such a demand of me. I hope city employeess stand up to his likes!

Ken,
Many good constrution workers in America are laid off. Do you not follow the news. Even Las Vegas Sands, the mother of Bellagio, halted a 15 billion dollar casino project in China, believed to be the largest in the world.

Unions are not as powerful as they used to be in the old days in constuction. Most people I know hire non-union people to build their stores and finish their basements. Guess why Ken! They cost less than half.

Just because Ken thinks his job is riskier than a fireman, it does not mean he attacked them.

When you spend 12 hours a day building these 30 story high rises your are at greater risk than a fireman who spends at least 23 hours of a 24 hour shift in the warmth of a firehouse. When somebody falls from 30 stories high, firemen don't even have to climb to rescue him. His body is usually on the ground floor and just needs to be taking to the morgue for next of kin to be notified.

With the tight credit market, I am not surprised that MGM scaled down the City Center project and laid some construction people off. Their stock dipped from 90 bucks to 9 bucks and all their lines of credit have been threatened.

Apparently, you don't watch CNBC or follow the news to doubt that Blake was laid off. Most Home Builders have also packed it in and laid their workers off. And JFYI most small builders even in Naperville only use non-union workers. They have an option. It is not like the police and fire department where you have no option.

Thanks for not attacking the Napergate Nation in your last post. I appreciate that since I consider myself as part of their ranks.

Marybeth, why should Blake get a pass? He wants to attack the firemen and then claim that construction is a far more dangerous job. I've been in construction since the mid eighties, and the only way it is dangerous is if a company cuts corners, or a worker is stupid and does not follow safety procedures. The difference between construction workers and firemen is that firement risk their lives for the safety of others, and construction workers risk their lives because either they or their company are being unsafe. I've been asked to do unsafe things in my construction career, and have flatly refused. Blake and his coworkers should be smart enough to do the same thing. By the way, if Blake really worked on the projects he claims, he would almost have to be a member of one of the many construction unions. Either he made the choice to work for a non-union company, or there is some reason why he cannot hold a job in his chosen profession and has to live at home. Unless he is just starting out, if he is a good worker, there will be a job for him.

The firefighters and other civil servants did not underfund their pensions. Government entities responsible for funding them did. Now you want to cut salary, benefits, and pensions to people who bargained in good faith because of bad decisions beyond their control were made. I have no qualms about stopping the abuses of the system, like double dipping. I do think that we as citizens should honor the contracts given to civil servants and go after those that have bankrupted them because they didn't honor the obligations they agreed to.

Tuesday, 11/25/08, 9:00am, DUI courtroom 4002/DuPage County. The 400 lb Naperville PD Detention officer once again sitting in DUI court collecting his 3 hrs Overtime. This guy is like a big fat cat hitting the overtime like its a big bag of catnip!!! Time to call Dave Savini at CBS channel 2 to investigate why this guy ALWAYS in DUI court, but never testifies.

Shelly,

When I was in Las Vegas, I heard the number was 22. One just died when I was there. He was an iron man and they inscribed his name on the iron and raised a US Flag for him. I think your article may be old or not up to date with the latest unfortunate deaths. They had over 8000 people working so I am not surprised of the number of deaths considering all the high rises and danger. I think Blake was just trying to make a point that high rise construction is more dangerous than being a fire fighter in Naperville. I tend to agree with him.

I think the problem we are having here is that the fire fighters don't want to take any responsibility for the shortfalls we are experiencing in the city budget and their specific pension.

They just want the taxpayers to continue shelling money into their broken pension system before they fix it.

Instead of attacking Blake, try to explain how this pension deficit increased 9.7 million even though the state demanded it be reduced.

No one wants to address these serious issues.

The taxpayers want answers before we shell out more money to the fire fighters. What is wrong with that?

The Senate and House of Representatives wanted answers from the auto makers before they give them additional hand outs.

In essence the Napergatians are doing nothing more than the Senate did with the auto makers. Did anyone attack the Senators because they demanded the auto makers fix their broken corporations before reaching out for another taxpayer bail-out?

The fire fighters do not want to fund their 9.7 million deficit with their own money. They want the taxpayers to pay it for them...you and me. We have a right to demand they fix their pension system so that it is viable before we bail them out of the mess they got themselves into. Keep in mind we have been giving them matching contributions of 21.16% for a number of years according to CM Bob. I think that is awfully generous and they need to step up to the plate and match our 21.16% per cent contribution instead of asking us to quadrople their measley 9.46% contribution based on what they expect to receive upon retirement. If you want an arm and a leg when you retire, you need to contribute an arm and a leg when you are working. I hope that makes sense, Shelly!

That is the issue, Shelly! Please try to address it without personal attacks. Construtcion is hard work and dangerous. I doubt that Blake was allowed to stand around. He was laid off. That means City Center was cutting costs like they should be in order to make ends meet. Everyone has to do that to be viable in this world.

Blake on November 25, 2008 5:15 PM
I even spent some time in Las Vegas working on the 8 billion dollar City Center. I was laid off recently. Kind of happy in a way as 23 of my fellow workers died on the job already.

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Blake, you may want to check your facts, according to my research the actual number is 6. (still 6 too many by the way).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_CityCenter :Six deaths have occurred since construction began.

You won't get many supporters by ripping into the Fire Department. Maybe Fire fighters don't like the fact that 8 construction workers typically stand around while one guy digs the hole? (There, how do you like being ripped into?) The fact that none have died in Naperville is a testament to their training and professionalism. What does that say about the supposed 28 (6) who died doing your job?

Since you now live with your parents, maybe you could have them drive you over to the City of Naperville where you could apply for a cushy Fire Department job?

Anonymous 11/25/08 12:42pm, you are wrong. The civilian population does not feel that the fireman pension system is outragous. Bitter people like you that have lost their pension because they meekly went along with their corporate bosses feel outraged. Most of the civilian population realizes that the firement are willing to put their lives on the line to save them and deserve their pension. Firemen risk their lives while you risk a paper cut, and you can't seem to see the difference.

____________________________________________________________________

Sorry, but I don't buy this nonsense. I work for a constuction company and we don't get a pension. We risk our lives every day. More construction workers get killed than firemen. We have to work out in the cold and sometimes on high rises with gusting winds.

I even spent some time in Las Vegas working on the 8 billion dollar City Center. I was laid off recently. Kind of happy in a way as 23 of my fellow workers died on the job already.

Not one fireman has been killed on the job in Naperville since 1971. That is 37 straight years. So don't feed me this bull about how risky your job is and how we only get paper cuts...keep fantasizing.

Do I resent your pension? Of course I do because I have to pay for it with my hard earned shrinking dollars. I am paying for your pension while I am not receiving one despite working a lot harder than you. You get to sleep at night in the fire station while getting paid. Some weekdays you sleep uninterrupted like a lamb while I am paying you.

I still live with my parents. You have a nice home!

The civilian population is just begining to learn about the outrageous fire fighters pension. Of course it is outrageous. We pay all this money into it and we find out you guys are paying yourselves when you retire so much above and beyond what we contribute to you that you dug yourself into a $26.9 dollar hole. Do you expect us to rescue you from this deep hole?

At some point sanity has to prevail. Your pension system is not palatable. It is not affordable. That is why it got 9.7 million dollars worse in one year. Can you imagine what it is going to look like when 200 fire fighters are retired instead of only 30. Try to imagine.

The auto makers are learning what a pension system can do. They can make money in Russia or Brazil where there is no crazy pension system. In America, they need bail-out after bail-out at your expense and mine.

This nonsense has to stop. Everyone should be in the same Social Security System. Fire fighters don't even rank in the 10 most dangerous jobs in America. Please stop feeding us all this bull just so you can collect 8k per month at my expense while you retire at age 51. And don't tell me it does not happen.

Mr. Bob Marshall is a living example who is a physically healthy marathon runner who retired at age 51 from the City of Naperville. He is currently collecting 8k per month in pension while collecting twice that from the city for being an assistant manager. I think he should be laid off as part of the cost cutting. We don't need an assistant city manager in these rough times who is double dipping at taxpayer expense. If you want to continue to work, you should be allowed to but your pension should be delayed till you retire. That is why it is called a RETIREMENT PENSION!!

pensions are still used in many blue colar industries, such as carpenders, plumbers, electrians, truck drivers, service workers, airlines, steel workers,manufacturing(whats left of it). Many corporations did away with pensions,becuase they didn't want the responsibilty or burden. So the payed their workers a little more and told them to invest their money on their own. And I have never heard of a pension that requires you to work over 40 years to collect. Most trade jobs are too phyiscally demanding for that to be possible. Those of who suggest fire and police work until their 65 don't realize how demanding these jobs are. Does any one remember the st charles cop that droped dead of a heart attack while running after a teenage suspect. Is that the kind of fire and police you want responding to your house in an emergency. The military I believe has a mandatory retirement of either 55 or 60 for the same reason. Even a 55 or 60 year old in good shape is not going to keep up with someone 15 or 20 years younger.

Anonymous 11/25/08 12:42pm, you are wrong. The civilian population does not feel that the fireman pension system is outragous. Bitter people like you that have lost their pension because they meekly went along with their corporate bosses feel outraged. Most of the civilian population realizes that the firement are willing to put their lives on the line to save them and deserve their pension. Firemen risk their lives while you risk a paper cut, and you can't seem to see the difference. Firemen have a physical job which doesn't allow them to work untill they are 65 while you can push paper untill you are 80, yet you can't see the difference. The difference is that the firemen took a dangerous job partly because of the benefits, but mostly because they want to help and serve people, and you want to reward them by taking away the paltry benefits that they recive for risking their lives because you and the sheeple let the corporations do the same to you.

Frankly it is very troubling for me to read the spin that many of you put out that we are some how responsible for robbing the taxpayers. Or that after 20-30 years of service we can't recieve a pension. I sure some of you are truly concerned for the economy, but I can't help but wonder if some of you just plain hate us. I wish I never wrote on this blog. I fear that in the eyes of my coworkers I my have contributed to our unpopularity.


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Fireman Sam,

No one hates you. There is simply a new world order. In the old days, most corporations paid pensions. They were given after 43 or 44 years of laboring...not 20 or 30 as you expect and desire. They all stopped except for the UAW and expect those to end soon as the car companies are in dire straits on the verge of bankruptcy.

I am all for putting you in the Social Security System. I am all for helping you set up your 401k and giving you matching contributions like the rest of the country.(2-4%) That would be about 10% in contributions and there will no such thing as a pension with a deficit to boot despite annual 21.16% matching contributions from the hard pressed taxpayers.

When I retire I am looking forward to a check for 1500 bucks if I am lucky. Look at Bob Marshall and Drew Peterson taking home 7 and 8k at the expense of taxpayers while in their young 50s. The civilian population feels this is outrageous. Your characterization that this is a robbery of the taxpayer is very well spoken. I don't understand why all this is going over your head. No one is spinning anything. It seems like your head is spinning in denial!

Can any of you look at the illinois municipal retirement fund. Which provides benefits for naperville's administrators, concil members, naperville park dist. borad, local school board members, etc. They are fully funded, from your taxes as well.

Well said, Jemel. To bad Melissa had to illustrate what Fireman Sam was saying right after your post.

No one hates you Fireman Sam.

We are simply trying to figure out how to balance the $61.4 million dollar pension deficit.

We know it is not your fault.

But it is City Hall's fault for making promises no one can keep or can afford.

I just can't believe this deficit got almost 10 million dollars worse in one year while we were ordered by the state to decrease it. It seems like Mr. Marshall was asleep behind the wheel while he was double dipping and somehow you have to pay the price along with us the taxpayers. Just seems so unfair!

Something is wrong with those in charge at City Hall. Maybe they are just not qualified. Maybe we should have got an outsider to run the city instead of an insider who was in finance and should never have let this mess escalate to this point and level.

Hang in there Fireman Sam! We will work through this mess! Let us pray there are no layoffs and only small paycuts and pension cuts.

Fireman Sam,

Don't take all this personally. I sense you are a nice guy defending your job and department. You should be proud of yourself.

But in reality anyone in your postion will be biased and not have any objectivity.

The bottom line is the city has a problem in all departments and especially in the pension fund area.

I think what you fail to understand is that even if you feel you deserve 75% after retirement, the taxpayers simply can not afford it.

Now keep in mind despite making huge 21.16% matching contribution for you and the fine police officers, the pension deficit sunk another $9.7 million in just one year. I hope you understand as much as we like and respect you this current pension system is not practical or affordable. No one in the private sector can retire with a 75% pension. We survive on less in retirement...much less! You need to also learn to survive on less in retirement. Do you think Social Security will give anyone $86,000 dollars a year like former police officer Bob Marshall? Not a chance in a million. When you pay that kind of money out for 40 years to anyone, you will bankrupt any pension system.

It is scary. I don't know what to tell you. But you have to buckle up a little bit and maybe consider a 10% reduction in salary. I would rather see that than see lay-offs in your department. Everyone living on 10% less is better than laying any fireman off. If you can't live on 10% less, how can you expect your fellow fire officers to live on nothing after they are laid off and their unemployment beneifts run out.

You also really need to consider 50% pension after 30 years instead of 75% so the pension system can break even instead of fall deeper into a deficit each year. You still will get a much better retirement package than any civilian gets.

Sometimes, Fireman Sam, you say selfish things but I know you don't mean to. I know you have a good heart but your choice of words has not been the best for the taxpayers or your fellow fire fighters as you noticed yourself.

Next time take a deep breath before you spill your guts out. I think you will make more sense and not be so offensive to your fellow fire fighters and the taxpayers.

I think you are frustrated just like the rest of us. Our city council and state led us to this massive dilemna. They should get us out of it. They are causing all this friction between public safety employees and civilians. They should have never made promises that the taxpayers had no ability to deliver on.

I wish you luck, Fireman Sam. One thing I feel about you is that you are sincere and have a big heart. I don't care that you chose the wrong words in trying to explain yourself. You meant well and that is all that counts.

To all Naperville Firemen,

Please do not get caught up with the anonymous rantings of a few people on this blog. It is a forum where people sit behind their computers and spout off about whatever topic they want. I was a witness to a horrible accident on Route 59 recently where a car was overturned. The victim was upside down with her back through the windshield - the NFD arrived in 4 minutes. Try telling this woman that a few more minutes to wait would be acceptable.

I also drive on Naperville Plainfield road frequently and passed the accident site where a Bolingbrook 5 year old was killed last week. In this case there was probably no hope, but arriving on the scene of this type of accident, extracating a 5 year old and his father is something that I would probably never recover from, yet, we ask you to be ready to do this on a daily basis.

Your task is great, and a vast majority of the Naperville population thank you for this effort. Please don't worry about responding to your doubters, nothing you say will make them stop. Do take comfort, however, in the fact that they will remain as they always do: anonymous, powerless, and full of threats and inactivity.

The economy has affected many people in many different ways, let us not take our aggression out on those who are helping make our city great. To those inclined to see this as a reason to respond that you are simply trying to lower taxes, reduce waste, stop government spending, etc. Save it. If all you can come up with is that lowering police and fire dept salaries and stop funding their pensions will somehow make everything better you are not grounded in reality.

Thank You to the NPD and the NFD for your fine effort - very little has been said along these lines and I just want to remind you that you are doing a fine job.

During good times, a well-run entity uses a scalpel to refine their budget and spending.

During bad times, the same well-run entity (possibly an oxymoron?)uses a hatchet.

These are bad times, we created much of it ourselves here in Naperville, and they need to start with a hatchet.

For years, they have taken the easy path when dealing with employees and vendors (a lot like the last 35 years of Big Three management). All we did was grow, so the path of least resistance made life easier for all officials.

Now? It is time to buck-up and get down to some serious work. A scalpel will not do --- start with a hatchet, then earn the right to use a scalpel!

I can't collect pension benefits until age 50. Average age of new firemen is 30, like me I'll be 60 after working 30 years, not 51 Our social security is taken away becuase we have a gov. pension. But I think you know this already. I beleive your just anti firemen.

My pay is not high, I live paycheck to paycheck like most americans. If you cut my pay 30%, I won't be able to cover my mortgage(would you). The city isn't proposing any new taxes. And by their own addmission they chose not to fully fund the pension. And yet you insist on cuting my pay. The city can't break labor contracts without declaring bankrupty. So the likey hood of that is slim. Also pension benefits won't change any time soon. So the city is doing the only thing it can do, layoffs. Next year I expect many city empoyees(fire@police included)will be layed off. This is not a rescession proof job. Firemen in this town pay taxes and have families the same as you. And more of us will feel the pinch as time goes on.

Frankly it is very troubling for me to read the spin that many of you put out that we are some how responsible for robbing the taxpayers. Or that after 20-30 years of service we can't recieve a pension. I sure some of you are truly concerned for the economy, but I can't help but wonder if some of you just plain hate us. I wish I never wrote on this blog. I fear that in the eyes of my coworkers I my have contributed to our unpopularity.

I came to this job becuase I wanted to help my community, and you are trying to make me hated by it. I didn't decide what my benefits would be. Somebody long before is responsible for that. I thought by writing on this blog I could clear up some myths about this job. Instead I get hounded about bleeding the city dry. I understand your fustration, We firemen did not create this pension sys. But we have grown to depend on it. So I can't agree you on changing it (sorry). And I couldn't withstand a 30% pay cut any better than you could.

This recession is not the end of the world, we will recover. And in the mean time many of us will lose our jobs(firemen too). I wrote in a prev. post a list of options the fire dept. could do to save money. Many Of which I'm sure they will do. And yet they still will have to lay many of us off. I think we have said all that can be said. I can see now that we will simply have agree to disagree.

Goodbye

Fireman Sam

Anonymous you wrote...
"I don't think you live in the real world. Most people would kill to be able to retire at age 41 after working 20 years with a 37k pension! How sweet!

You can get a real job like the rest of us at age 41 and can easily make 63k annually as a private paramedic. With both amounts you are making 100k. What are you complaining about? When you retire you will collect Social Security and with your Fire Pension probably amounting to more than 75%. How sweet!"

GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT AND STOP SPITTING OUT THIS TRASH...

First, Firefighters CAN NOT RETIRE at age 41. If they retire at age 41, THEY GET ZERO.

Second, In the Chicagoland area private paramedics move grandma from nursing home, to doctor visit, and back. They are generally new paramedics, just out of school and most get paid the same amount as the fry cook at McDonalds.

Third, Firefighter/paramedics do not get Social Security. THEY ARE NOT eligible.

Fourth, They do not get insurance after retirement. Have you ever priced health insurance after retirement. Can you handle an extra $1000 a month for family coverage in your family budget. They can't either !! Most firefighter / paramedic continue working until their bodies can no longer keep up with the requirements of the job. Have you ever tried to carry a 225 lbs man down a flight of stairs. They do it on a daily basis. And don't throw out the BS that they just have the new kids do it. That also is just plain wrong. ALL personnel are required to perform the same job and there are not enough new people to go around.

Fifth, Check the average age of the retired firefighters from naperville. 99% of the people that retire from naperville are retiring at age 60. Also, 99% of the people receiving a pension from naperville are over 60 years of age.

The naperville firefighters simply can not retire at 41 or even 51. Their family budgets can not afford it. MOST people, including you, can not afford the extra health care insurance costs associated with early retirement.

Look at all the angles, look at all the costs, and get the incomes correct...

Dear Napergatians,

I believe you calculated wrong or estimated wrong when you came up with 8.4 million as the pension deficit increase.

If you review both of CM Bob's post you will find the pension deficit increased from 51.7 million to 61.4 million dollars in the last year. This is a difference of 9.7 million dollars.

The fire fighters are only responsible for 3.4 million of this deficit. The police are responsible for 6.3 million of this deficit. So let us take it easy on the firefighters. They are only responsible for one third of this mess.

So the situation is worse than what the Napergatians are painting. We almost have a 10 million dollar deficit pension increase in ONE SINGLE YEAR. This despite a warning from the STATE to reduce and not increase the deficit. Maybe CM Bob can recommend a solutiion. At least he is being very tranparent. Kudos to him! And thanks to him we don't have to file Freedom of Information Requests to get this disastrous news that none of us want to hear but must know.

If only the Napergatians speak up while the majority of town remains sleeping, we will have a 20 million pension deficit increase in fiscal 2009. We just nearly doubled from last year. Who says it can't double again.

We really should be thankful to the Napergatians for continuing the role of the Napergate Man which was to be a WATCHDOG on the city.

If the Naperville Sun would step up to the plate, the Napergatians may not have to play the role of WATCHDOG. But the Naperville Sun has historically been hesitant to take on the Establishment despite claims to the contrary.

But one has to give the Naperville Sun credit for allowing the Napergatians to challenge City Hall on its blog site. To me this is a signal, that sooner or later, they are going to take on City Hall in the print edition which will be many times more effective, as we have seen with those old Napergate ads that were published in the Naperville Sun in the Napergate Era.

Councilman Bob,

Thank you for providing us with the truthful facts.

Your facts have caused lots of controversy because it seems like they can be interpreted in more than one way.

The Establishment folks seem to think a rise in our pension deficit from 51.7 million to 61.4 million in one year is not a big deal. They feel if you can not afford it, just leave town.

The Napergatian folks seem to think this rise is unacceptable and unaffordable and is only going to get worse if remedies are not in the making.

The State of Illinois put all cities on notice last year that they want the pension deficit brought to 0 by the year 2033.

If we ingore the Napergatians and Establishment folks and focus on the State of Illinios, it would seem like the State would be very disappointed in the City of Naperville for making the deficit much worse after it demanded that it be improved year by year until it was eliminated by the year 2033.

How can you get out of a pension deficit if you make it worse by 9.7 million bucks in one year? How can other revenues be used to close this deficit when other revenues are experiencing an 11 million shortfall to allow the operating budget to be balanced.

Can you try to analyse this pension deficit situation as you understand it, Councilman Bob? Did we take a step in the wrong direction this last year? Whose fault is it? Why could we not knock off a million or two a year so we can achieve the state goal by 2033?

How can we achieve the state goal when in one year we made it 9.7 million bucks worse? Something just does not make sense.

Personally, I feel as many befor me stated that the contrbutions from both parites are not enough. I don't see the p and f wanting to increase their contributions. I don't see the taxpayers wanting to increase their contributions which is already over 21% and more than 10 times what they may be getting from their private employers.

Sadly, I see the only solution is a decrease in pay across the board followed by a resolution by the City Council demanding that the state reduce this 75% pension to something affordable. Maybe they can come up with a joint resolution that includes all the towns in Will and Dupage Counties in order for it to carry more weight and be effective. Maybe 25-50% pension pay-outs are more affordable after 30 years than insane 75% pay-outs. Maybe we need to increase the retirement age to 60. I just feel something has to be done on the expense side since I don't see either side budging on the contribution side. Is the council willing to force the fire fighters and civilians to both contribute significantly more in these recessionary times that are testing the best of us?

What are you thoughts and opinion CM Bob? I am sure you understand this mess better than both the city employees and the city taxpayers. Could you lend a hand and try to heal the wounds between us which may simply be a result of a misinterpreting of your data and facts.

Thank you CM BOB!

Fred,

Mr. Marshall was Assistant City Manager before being pro-tem City Manager. He has been involved for nearly 4 years.

That is like saying Cheany can't be blamed for anything. That it is all Bush's fault.

Unlike Cheany, Mr. Marshall was at the top for a year or so besides being vice presidenrt in the sense of the word.

He needs to take partial responsibility. So doe the new city manager who was the finance director. So does the city council who over saw the whole mess and approved.

There is enough blame to go around. I don't think Mr. Marshall should be made the scape goat for the actions of many. But he does have some responsiblity. Let us not exonerate him fully.

He was not qualified for the postion. Who put him there! The city council. They need to take ultimate responsibility for the failure of both the budget and pension system. Not all of them, but the ones who always vote wrong.

I assume CM BOB and CM DICK are always watching the bottom line for us but they may be in the minority. We need 3 more CMs to join them so we can begin controlling our expenses properly.

Fireman Sam,
I don't think you live in the real world. Most people would kill to be able to retire at age 41 after working 20 years with a 37k pension! How sweet!

You can get a real job like the rest of us at age 41 and can easily make 63k annually as a private paramedic. With both amounts you are making 100k. What are you complaining about? When you retire you will collect Social Security and with your Fire Pension probably amounting to more than 75%. How sweet!

You want people who get pay cuts to leave town. How insensitive! Many of us are being laid off, not getting increases and in many cases getting pay cuts.

You don't mind that the civilian population is encountering pay cuts. You solution is they need to move....leave town!

Well, we are also trying to give our public safety employees a pay cut due to the severe economic conditions. I guess following your path of arrogance, we should now ask you to move out of town since you can not afford it after your pay cut. That is not very nice to say. We are just asking you to buckle up a little, be more frugal on less pay, and continue living in Naperville. We want you to spend your money here! That makes sense.

We don't want you to move out of town. We are just trying to make the town more affordable for you and us.

No need for your arrognace and selfishness on this blog site. The world does not revolve around you. Get real and be ready to make the necesary sacrifices like the rest of us. Tell us how you expect us to plug the new 8.4 million pension defict that is in additon to the 53 million deficit in your pension fund. Since it is your own pension fund, have you considered allowing the city to withdraw 30% of your pay instead of 10% of your pay to go in this pension fund.
You fire fighters and police officers want 75% pensions upon retirement but basically don't want to pay for it. You want the taxpayers to pay for it almost in full. Well, we are paying over 20% in matching contributions and you should not expect anything more than that. That is 10 times what corporations pay in matching contributions. This year my corporation cancelled the matching contributions into my 401k until further notice. It was only 2% so no great damage.

And really Fireman Sam, if John Q. Public is right, you guys may be losing your pension money in the stock market due to taking on risky investments. Why did you just not keep it in the bank?

The problem with this pension system is you guys can lose all your money investing it, and the taxpayers have to play FDIC and reimburse you for all your losses in order that you get your 75% even if it is not there.

The system sucks. The city council needs to lobby the state to get rid of this system or jump out of it. Aurora jumped out and entered a new system that limits its matching contributions to 10%. Under home rule we can also jump out of the state pension system and enter the new option the state offered a couple of years back. You take our 10%, invest it wherever you want, and pay yourself according to what your pension can afford to pay....not how much you can milk the taxpayers for! That is much more fair! No more this ridiculously unaffordable 75% at taxpayer expense! It borders on insanity that any employee could receive this kind of retirement pension at age 51 after 30 years on the job. That is the real reason the pension system is bankrupt. It is simply making insane pay-outs that it can not afford!


City pensions account for 2.49% of your tax bill, Right?

IF your tax bill is 5000, 125 goes toward city pensions
IF your tax bill is 8000, 200 goes toward city pensions F your tax bill is 10000, 250 goes toward city pensions

If that amount has already got you on the edge of brankrupty, maybe you should find a cheaper house in another town. Becuase that is what your asking me to do if your reduce my pay and pension. why should I have to move and not you. you chose to live in this town knowing what the tax rates are. If your salaries are cut you should move. I am grateful for my job, and I am sensitve to tax payers( I am one too).I chose to live in town becuase I wanted my salary to go back into the city. I didn't want you citzens critizing me for living in another town that benefited from my money that comes from your taxes.

This guy cost us nearly $19.4 million bucks in one year

Here we go again, more grandstanding/drama.

Get real Maryann, the pension deficit nor the budget deficit are Mr. Marshall's doing. That would be like claiming next June that Obama is the reason for the condition of the economy now. Mr. Marshall wasn't around long enough to implement the changes you are calling for.

If you want any credibility, stick with fact, these personal vendettas against anyone connected to the PD won't get you anywhere.

Where is my lucrative pension? If I retire now after working 20 years, I will be making 37,000 per year. I won't be able to say in naperville, and support my family for that amount. I supose you think I don't even deserve that much, right?????

If I work 20 years in naperville for 50% of my pay, and 10 years somewhere else for another 25%, that equals 75% for 30 years. So wwy is it so wrong to work in naperville for 30 years and retire with 75% pay.

Mr. John Q. Public,

The city of Naperville has been paying matching contributions in excess of 20% for as many years as I can remember.

Yes, we fell 61.4 million dollars behind despite double matching the police and firemen into their pension fund. Just 8.4 million in this last year alone! Amazing if you ask me!

I think the problem is paying 75% of their final salaries(mind you not their average salaries over 30 years) for another 40 or 50 years depending on how long they live is just not sustainable or attainable based on the contributions we and they are making.

So you are correct it is a problem of underfunding.

But if you want to fund it properly it can only be done by increasing our contributions from 20% to 50% or increasing their contributions from 10% to 40%. As a taxpayer, I am not willing to increase my matching contribution to this level to make their pension system viable. Are you willing to increase your matching contribution to 50%, Mr. Public? My guess is you are not!

The current situation is going to get much worse. We only have 34 retirees and 200 firemen and the taxpayers can not afford them. We only have 34 retirees because our town was very small 30 years ago.
Pretty soon we will have 200 retirees and at most 212 fire fighters working assuming we break down and hire the last 12 for Firehouse # 10. I think the city is making a very wise move to staff this last fire house from the other nine. By doing this, the city is admitting their was excess fat in the other 9 stations. If there was not, they could not have taken this logical and sensible course of action! To bad they have to wait until we are 11 million in the hole to look for excess fat thoughout the City. But late is better than never!

Our pension costs will go through the roof when we have to find a way to subsidize 212 fire fighters and another 200 police officers. It does not seem there is any one in the City of Naperville who understands the depth of the pension problem...not even our former finance director who was just promoted to Manager. Our city officials don't want to believe what happened to the California cities and the car companies can happen here in Naperville. Who ever thought Naperville can dip in the national rankings from 3rd to 29th in one year. Well, it happened! All good things come to an end when city officials become lazy and stop reading their packets. Most rubber stamped whatever Mr. Marshall asked for and only after he gave us a total of nearly 20 million in deficits did they wake up and in essence terminate him...good move by city council even though again very very late!

Once the city council had a 500 page packet and they were done with their Tuesday Meeting in 54 mintues. I watched it on TV. I was in disbelief they could rubber stamp the whole packet that night with no debate or discussion. They must have had plans to go to a party that evening to be that much in a hurry!

I am sorry to say but bankrupty can and will happen right here in Naperville and at City Hall. Many of my neighbors have lost their jobs. They are in no position for any tax increases. The ones who still have their jobs will be drawing a line in the sand as far as these annual 20% increases. I doubt they will be tolerated and our city officials finally understand that. Thus our tax increase will only be 9.68% this year unless the assessors office decides our home values increased. Then they could be more! If our government officials had any conscience, they would decrease our home assessments as we all know our home values decreased dramatically in the last 2 years. If you call them they will give you some bull about why they can't decrease them or why they don't believe the value went down. Only in America!

In summary, while I agree the pension system is underfunded, I disagree that we the taxpayers did not make our fair contributions year after year. We made them! The police and fire fighters are just receiving too much in retirement at too young of an age. It is really that simple, Mr. Public! If you try to read too much into it, you will only confuse yourself. Our city officials want you to be confused. They want the next generation to worry about bringing the balance to 0 by the year 2033. They know they will be 6ft underground and it will not fall on their shoulders. They want to put the burden on our kids. How unconsionable!

We were trying to warn city officials during the Napergate Era about this pension expense and other expenses and they ignored us. It finally got to the point where not only Napergatians are concerned but everyone in town except a few bloggers who appear to be the recipients of the windfall from this excessive taxation.

Keep asking good questions, Mr. Public! Maybe one day a council member will take a shot at answering your questions. It seems like CM Bob is willing to give us the facts with no commentary. He may be afraid to get censured as CM Dick did if he gives comments and opinions on the state of affairs in the city. I think the time will come when our city council will be freed from the slavery of the establishment and can finally excercise their right to FREE SPEECH!

The comment about the fire station was to simply make a point. If pensions are so out of control, how could the city hire more firemen to staff a 10th fire station.

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The city can't afford more fire fighters, Fireman Sam! Did you forget it was staffing it from the other 9 fire stations because it is in an 11 million dollar operating deficit.

Pensions have been eliminated throughout the private sector. Where they remain such as in the UAW for the car manufacturers, their corporations are all on the verge of bankruptcy due to these pensions.

The GM Board met to consider filing bankruptcy in order to eliminate its pension obligation and once again be competitive with Toyota and Honda. They want to be viable again! Can you blame them.

Paying union file and rank, 95% of their pay when they had to idle plants due to weak demand, finally caught up with them. Personally, I think Congress wants to force the car manufacturers to file bankruptcy to teach these unions once and for all their demands have destroyed our country.

We the taxpayers also want to be viable. We gave our union guys 21.16% in matching contributions last year. The result was that the P and F pension liability increased from 53 million to 61.4 million. That is 1.4 million above the highest of the Napergatian estimates for this year which was only 60 million. The figure is from Councilman Bob, someone we all agree we can trust....both Establishment and Napergatians Folks alike!

Keep in mind the state warned the city to decrease its pension liability and have it down to 0, by the year 2033. What does that city do? Increase it $8.4 million in one year and put us in a much deeper hole to get out of.

I am just astonished that the city has so many supporters on this blog site when the report card is in and it states the city is operating like drunken sailers as one blogger stated.

It seems to me the supporters of the irratic and irresponsible city are firemen and police officers who are benefitting from this financial incompentence. It would make sense they would be fighting to save outrageous $90,000 pensions that are coming their way when they retire as early as age 51.

I am glad this site gets 100,000 views per week. I think the taxpayers can read who is telling us the truth and vote accordingly. Now that Councilman Bob came up with the raw and accurate data, it appears the Napergatains were spot on with their conservative estimates about how much these unaffordable pensions are costing us taxpayers year after year. The truth always come out sooner or later. Thank you CM Bob for bringing out the truth to the taxpayers! You will always have my vote in any election!

I also want to think the City Council for moving quickly to remove pro-tem City Manager Marshall from his temporary position. I can only speculate that the one year $8.4 million increase in the pension deficit liability had soemthing to do with it. The 11 million operating defict was just the icing on the farewell cake!

Next time the city council needs to be wiser as to who they appoint City Manager....even on a temporary basis. This guy cost us nearly $19.4 million bucks in one year while we gave him a salary of 175k plus a pension of 85k for a total of 260k. The last time I checked the Governor of Illinois was making less than 180k annually. Suddenly in Naperville we feel we are so rich we can pay our City Manager more than the Governor of Illinios. No wonder we are sinking in the Grand Canyon and can't seem to climb out.

Start flexing some muslce with your colleagues CM Bob. They don't seem to get it. You seem to get it! I am very proud of you!

Anonymous wrote:

"Most corporations will match a 2% or 4% contribution.

"The City of Naperville is being very generious and giving fire fighters a 21.16% matching contribution."

Private employers also make a 6.2% contribution to Social Security, a program in which the firefighters do not participate. An 8-10% city contribution is still a far cry from 21.6%; but seeing as how a big chunk of that is a catchup contribution to bring the pension to full funding, the real question is: how did we fall so far behind in the first place? Councilman Bob indicated that the city uses actuaries to compute it's contribution from year-to-year. Were we using lousy actuaries? Did the city not make the recommended contribution? Or did benefits suddenly get a lot more generous?

Councilman Bob,

Thank you for your informative posts.

You indicated a few months back that the city uses an actuarial computation to figure its annual contribution to the pensions. Do you know if this has this always been the case? If so do you have any idea how the pensions got so out of whack? I was especially wondering if the city might have had something of a "holiday" on its pension contributions in the 90's due to the stock market boom?

Thanks.

-JQP

As promised, I’m following up my November 9 post with current pension data for the Naperville Police Pension Fund. I’m going to set out the data in the same format I used for the firefighters’ pension data.

According to the report from the Police Pension Fund’s actuary, the unfunded accrued liability for the Police Pension Fund is $34.5M for 2009, up from $28.2M for 2008. The amount the City is to pay in 2009 toward amortizing that liability is $1.6M, up from $1.3M in 2008. (Under state law, unfunded pension liabilities have to be fully funded by 2033.) There are 187 current employees (143 vested; 44 non-vested) who are participants in the Police Pension Fund. There are also 34 retired employees and another 12 spouses/children/disabled who are Police Pension Fund benefits. For 2009, the City’s portion of the Police Pension Fund contribution is projected to be $1.8M; the employees’ contribution is estimated to be $1.5M (for 2008 it was $1.7M for the City’s portion and $1.4 for the employees’). So, according to the Police Pension Fund’s actuary, the City’s police pension payment obligation for 2009 is $1.8M (regular amount) + $1.6M (unfunded amount) + $0.2M (interest adjustment on the remaining $34.5M unfunded amount) for a total 2009 police pension contribution of $3.6M, which is to be passed on to the property taxpayers. In 2008, the City’s police pension payment obligation was $1.7M (regular amount) + $1.3M (unfunded amount) + $0.2M (interest adjustment on the remaining $28.2M unfunded amount) for a total 2008 police pension contribution of $3.2M. Since there are about 50,000 property tax-paying households in Naperville, the 2009 police pension contribution equates to about $72 per household, which is coincidentally the same amount recommended in the Firefighters Pension Fund’s actuarial report. Each Naperville household will therefore pay $144, on average, for both police and firefighters’ pensions if the City makes the contributions requested in the actuarial reports. As with the Firefighters Pension Fund’s report, I’d be happy to send a copy of the Police Pension Fund’s report to anyone who requests one (email fieselerr@naperville.il.us or leave a message at 630.305.5333).

Anonymous said

You don't really care about the taxpayers and residents. Your pocketbook is by far the most important of your concerns.

Isn't your pocketbook your first concern. You are so concerned with paying more taxes you happily want to take money out of my pocketbook.

Also naperville has been providing pensions for city workers for many many years, and you would let them out of their obligations to their employee's just becuase they say they can't afford it?
Every city under funds their pensions. Again tax increases are not needed here. I pay into the pension out of my paycheck and my taxes, were is the sence in that.

The comment about the fire station was to simply make a point. If pensions are so out of control, how could the city hire more firemen to staff a 10th fire station. I strongly oppose closing stations, is not the same as not adding additional ones. At least not until the city gets it's finances in order. By the way you could not do this job if you didn't care about the people, that statment is offensive. Your pocketbook is all you care about.

By fireman sam on November 22, 2008 8:24 AM
Anonymous

They can afford more fire stations, but not the pension is stupid. Hold off on the fire station, put that money in the pension over the next 5 years.


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Fireman Sam and Firefighter Friend,

I see a little hypocrisy here. You spend so much time on this blog preaching the importance of response time in saving lives and property.

Suddenly, you throw response time out the window and say your pension is more important than the lives of the taxpayers who you serve.

I think your true colors have finally been exposed.

You don't really care about the taxpayers and residents. Your pocketbook is by far the most important of your concerns.

Fireman Sam,

Most corporations will match a 2% or 4% contribution.

The City of Naperville is being very generious and giving fire fighters a 21.16% matching contribution. The firefighters have also been extremely generous giving up 9.45% of their payroll checks. Despite that, we have a $26.9 million pension fund deficit.

A liability and a debt which are pretty much similar or identical both have to be brought down to 0 sooner or later. No later than 2033 according to demands by the State of Illinois.

I don't think it is fair you blame the city, Fireman Sam.

The city has been extremely generous. You have also been extremely generous.

It is simply impossible to afford retirees that receive 75% of their wages unitl they pass away. The numbers just don't work. That is what I think is going over your head.

For those numbers to work, Fireman Sam, you need a much higher matching contribution per year by the city....that translates to higher taxes from the residents. That is not acceptable to the taxpayers in these very dire times and even in better times. The taxpayers need to keep as much money as possible in their pocket books to finance their own retirements which are not nearly as lucrative as those of fire fighters or police officers.

Please have some understanding, Fireman Sam!

Anonymous,

Yes, Joliet, Aurora and Elgin have casinos. Naperville also has a median house value that exceeds 300,000 and a median income that routinely places in the 90,000 range. For years the city has collected large sums of money from the car dealerships that sit in the city, I understand that industry is lean now, but so are the gambling profits, check the numbers. Naperville enjoyed years of soaring home values, Joliet home values still lag far behind.

I simply addressed those three cities because of the fallacies and inaccuracies that swirled through previous entries. One blogger wanted to know one city over 100,000 population that paid there fireman more than Naperville. I couldn't show one, so I showed you three.

In your reference to Rockford "making half what Napervile does" again an untruth.

Rockford FF's base salary was just north of 60,000 dollars for a topped out senior member. Naperville's is 77,000. 60 is not half of 70. Rockford FF's make between 10-15% less than a Naperville FF at the top level of pay. I also believe they do not have paramedics in their employ.
And the median income ( 46,170) and median home value (164,344) is significantly lower than Naperville's Median income ( 96,548) and Naperville's median home value ( 408,300). This is all 2007 data.

So the average Rockford resident does make half of the average Naperville resident. Had that been the statement you made, you would have been 100 % accurate.

Here is one more city that lacks a gambling " cash cow" that has a population close to or over 100,000

Bolingbrook, 2008 FF pay in the 1st year - 65,775.00 ( this includes pay for paramedic)

If more are required, I await with anticipatory excitement for your request.

Please cite actual facts and avoid the emotional side of the argument, rage blinds common sense every time.

First let me apoligize, that last post I wrote I was a little steamed at the suggestion that there is a crisis in the pension fund.

Let me try to explain the pension the way it was explained to me.

Liabilty is not debt. The pension liabilty is determined by the number of firefighters eigible for retirement now, and what they would be payed. While there is around 20-30 firefighters that are eligible to retire, that fact is only about 6 on average retire per year. That's why we hire only about 6 per year. Each year retires die(sorry guys), so the average number of retires doesn't change much. The city pays the pension fund monies equal to what it currently pays to retires. The city doesn't want to pay any more than that. The pension board has carfully managed it's assets over the years, and is not paying benefits out of it's assets. The pensions assets have grown over the years, which shows how well it is cared for. SO THERE IS NO CRISIS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous

The firemen don't have the power to fix the pension, it is the city. That doesn't mean that we don't want to see it fixed, or don't care. And for the record I have never supported a tax increase for anything and never will. The pension doesn't need to be fixed in one year. The city only needs to up its contributions to the pension a little each year to get caught up. The city has not shown any interest in properly funding the pension. The city doesn't need to increase taxes to do this. they can realocate monies very easily. They can afford more fire stations, but not the pension is stupid. Hold off on the fire station, put that money in the pension over the next 5 years.

Firemen have very Little overtime, especially when compared to police. Besides overtime is prefered to hiring more personel, becuase it saves the city money. The city saves money on health care premiums, insurance, training, vacation, sicktime, and pension contributions.

If the city approached us and said they need us to contribute more to prevent the pension from collasping we would, but they don't.

IL won't decrease wages or benefits, and neither would I. Your not going to increase retirement to 65 either. Actually if anything we should require firemen to retire at age 60. I've seen some 60 year old firemen, and their slow, more prone to injury and heart attacks. I personally would not feel comfortable if my partner is 60 plus.

Again, I don't expect the taxpayer to bail us firemen out. The city simply chooses to spend it's money elsewhere. Pensions are not new, they have been around a long time. The city and the state is responibile for this mess. This town is not even close to going bankrupt. Why didn't they properly fund the pension when the economy was hot. Becuase they didn't want too. Now they want you to think they can't afford to fund it, that is bull.

Aurora, Elgin and Joliet are loaded with cash cow casinos. Joliet has 4 cash cow casinos on the river generating cash galore.

Naperville does not even have one casino sitting on the West Branch of the Dupage River.

Those towns can afford to waste their money as it is not coming from the taxpayers...it is coming from the loser gamblers.

In Naperville, the taxpayers pay for everything. We need to be frugal so we can afford to pay our real estate taxes.

In those 3 towns they just got to get the gambles a little drunk and they can squeeze all they want for their fire fighters including OT to go study.

This is a terrible comparison.

Let us compare ourselves to one town that does not have a casino.

Try Rockford where firemen make about half what Naperville fireman make.

Let us not try to live in fantasy land since we do not have a casino. We don't have their kind of money to burn. We have to live within our menas. Wake up folks!

THANK YOU FIREMAN SAM....Your point about "the night shift" is well taken. Firefighters working the night shift could not do, or complete their required duties, ie.. training, inspections. In order for them to complete their local and state mandated training, they would have to return during the day and GET PAID OVERTIME. The general public, as well as the neighbors living next to the fire stations would complain about the noise from training at night. Working 24 hours is the only way that ALL shifts can complete required training, and other duties, equally and without further overtime.

Also, Wake up people. 911 Calls happen night and day. Emergencies DO NOT make appointments, they just happen anytime of the day or night. If you close a station at night, you may be having to wait 10 plus minutes for an ambulance or fire engine to arrive. Are you willing to take that chance? Brain damage, from a lack of oxygen occurs in 5-6 minutes. Naperville fire can have a vehicle to your home in 4-6, in most cases, when you call. That could make the difference. I am not willing to take that chance!!!

As for station placement.... The city hires outside consultants to comfirm and support the fire departments needs before approving the building of new fire stations.

"Our pension has a totaly liabilty of around 60 million. It also has about 45 million in assets which equals 15 million in unfunded liabities. Again the city can fix it if they want to. the union is willing to work with the city on this issue. But as past practices shows any money left over in our bugdet at the end of the year just gets dumped into the general fund. We curruntly contribute 10% of pay to our pension fund."

Fireman Sam,
I think your information is inaccurate. Councilman Bob is on record stating your unfunded liabilities are $26.9 million up from about 23.5 million last year.

The police unfunded liability number is expected to be in the range of $32-33 million. CM Bob promised to post the results so we will be awaiting him. He always keeps his promises.

There is no money ever left over in your budget and it is not dumped in the general fund. You guys have a deficit in your pension fund year after year. You operate at a deficit each year due to extreme OT just like the police dept. How can you contribute to the deficit when you have nothing to contribute? Be real, Fireman Sam!

You do contribute 9.45% towards your pension. We contribute 21.16% to your pension. Despite these numbers you firemen need another $26.9 million just to make ends meet to subsidize 30 retired firemen. How do you expect us to support your crop of 200 firemen and firewomen when they finally retire?

You want the city to solve this deficit by increasing our contribution to 50% instead of 21.16%. The taxpayers are unwilling to do that.

You have 3 options Fireman Sam:

1. Lobby the state to decrease pension retirement from 75% to 50% and let us see if we can afford that.

2. Lobby the state to increase retirement age to 65 and let us see if we can afford that.

3. Lobby the city council to decrease your wages by 33% and let us see if we can afford that.


Please don't expect the taxpayers who lost half their life time savings in the stock market in the last year to finance a bail-out for your excessive compensation. It is not on the table and not acceptable.

You need to find a way to bail yourselves out by being more reasonable. By not using the unions to black mail the taxpayers with fear and terror during contract negotiations. Since just about every dept. in the STATE is struggling, please don't compare yourselves to others with the same or worse problems. How does that solve the problem? It does not!

The bottom line is the STATE more than the city that got us in this mess by agreeing to give police and fire unions the kitchen sink in retirement benefits. You guys really have to smell the coffee and make some sacrifices. I know it is hard but it has to be done Fireman Sam unless you prefer bankruptcy and no pension. Be smart and do something before bankruptcy. Lead your fellow fire fighters to real financial sacrifices as you lead them in sacrifices to heroically put out fires throughout Naperville. Show some leadership Fireman Sam. So far you sound like you are whining for a BAIL-OUT. The Big 3 whining before the Senate got 0 dollars. The Senate wanted sacrifices like selling of jets and GM is now selling 2 jets immediately. They already sold 2 and will have 5 left. No wonder they were broke with 9 private jets flying executives to nowhere. Holy Toledo!

The bad econonmy forces the private citizen to make sacrifices in his retirement. You guys expect 75% of your pay when you retire even though the economy crumbled and the money is not there. Again how the hell can you expect the taxpayers to plug the hole when they are losing their jobs, their homes, their 401k savings and their health benefits.

I am a little astonished how uncompromising and cold you are Fireman Sam. You need to show some reason and compassion to those who worked hard to subsidize you the last 50 years. The world changed on a dime. We were all living on borrowed money. We used this borrowed monpoloy money to make promises to you through our dumber than dumb city council and now we unfortunately can not keep them.

We are in a crisis, Fireman Sam! It is not a fire but a crisis. You can not hose it down. You have to swallow whatever sacrifices you can and try to live in this new world order! Good things all come to an end for both the private and public sectors. The private sector understands it is all over. When will the public sector also understand it is ALL OVER!

I did some data research to exactly see what Naperville pays for FF's and paramedics and how it relates to Joliet, Elgin and Aurora. I wanted to see if these "comparable size communities" were getting their services cheaper. I was quite surprised.

Aurora Firefighter base rate of pay
2008 1st year wage - 61834.35 ( plus 5,213.00 in paramedic incentive pay)
2009 1st year wage - 63998.55 ( plus 5,313.0 in paramedic incentive pay)


Joliet Firefighter Base rate of pay

2007 entry level wage for - 59,801.00 ( includes paramedic pay)
no 2008-2009 numbers ( a new contract awaits City and Union approval)

Elgin Firefighter base rate of pay

2008 1st year wage - 53,298.00 ( plus 3,800.00 paramedic incentive pay)
2009 1st year wage - 55,707.00 ( plus 3,800.00 paramedic incentive pay

and........
Naperville Firefighter/Paramedic starting pay

2008 -57,582.66 ( Naperville does not have paramedic incentive pay)
no 2009 data, contract in negotiations.


So, what does all this pay data mean. Of the three major cities that Naperville is often compared with, FF's here are the lowest payed. Naperville FF's do not make an extra incentive to be a paramedic, yet it is required that they have a paramedic license to apply. Aurora and Joliet send new FF's to medic school in fact.......all on overtime ( a collective gasp is appropriate here), for 14 months and then pay an incentive pay. All of this information is 100 percent factual taken directly from the labor agreements of the Cities mentioned.

The lesson. While Naperville firefighters make a good wage, relax Naperville you are getting away cheaply....shhhh....don't tell the firemen or all of our talented ones will leave to apply in Joliet or Aurora.

That website was very informative. Thank you for providing this information.

To JQP

I looked at travel times, and traffic is only a issue on a few roads during rush hour(5pm-6pm). And your looking at maybe an extra 30 secs to 1 min. and thats only if that fire engine is traveling in the same direction as the rush hour traffic. Even then we can drive in the opposite lanes if needed. Also our traffic lights turn green for aproaching fire engines to keep traffic moving ahead of us. We are also good at using alternate routes when certain roads are backed up. Shuting down a firehouse at night will create a hole in our coverage, and our stations won't be able to make up the difference in time If the station closest to you is closed, the next ambulance could be 8 minutes away. And you have to consider in a town of this size there is always an ambulance on a call somewhere. If the station by your house closes at night and the next closest ambulance is busy, now your waiting maybe 10 mins or more. If your having an asthma attack that is a really long time. What do you say to the taxpayers who's fire station you want to close everynight, do you tell them to just suck it up and wait?
You talk about call volume. We get roughly the same volume of calls during the day and night, your just asleep in bed and don't see us.
Also most fires I have been too were at night. And they tend to be more labor intensive to put out. Becuase there bigger fires that have time to grow becuase nobody spots them right away becuase they are sleeping. Also chances of be trapped by fire are greater becuase again your sleeping. And fire is not the only thing we do. Most of the serious car crashes(dui's) happen at night. And Ems calls happen when they happen, they is no pattern.
It's the city that decides how many stations are needed not us. They have to besure that every day calls can be handled quickly with out exhuasting our resources( multiple calls,etc) If we get to busy or to big a fire other towns assit us at no charge to you, and we do the same for them.

Also that refernce to 1950's plan is not true. The city has always developed it's own plan, and is also continuously revising it. Besides why invest in a station and equipment and then not use it, were is the sence in that. The city doesn't build fire stations if they don't believe there is a need.

Chicago doesn't want to do away with of 24/48. That is just not true. There paramedics work 24/72. They and we like it becuase nobody gets stuck working nights. If we did work nights, the night crew wouldn't be doing inspections,public education, and many other things that can only be done during the day. So to be fair we would have to rotate between day and night shifts which would create more overtime. Allowing us to work 24 hours, lets us share the work load evenly. we have fewer shift changes per day which lessens the chance of being held over on a call at shift change(which equals more overtime). crews learn the diferences in their terriorty during the day and at night(shopping centers,traffic,etc.)

To maryann

Toyota and Gm both have 20% market share. GM has 18 brands and 7000 dealerships. Toyota has 5 brands and 1500 dealerships. It's not all the unions fault. you have to look at the whole picture. In the 1950's the US was the only country producing cars. Now the USA allows other countries to import cars to us without insisting that we be able to export cars to them. Korea imports to us 750,000 cars per year, we only export 1500 to them. I will conceed that the union (uwa) is part of the problem. But they are not the only part, and they are not the biggest part either. The big 3 have been poorly run for a long time.The government has also contributed to the problem, but the majority of the blame will have to fall on the CEO's as it is their reponsibilty to their share holders to operate a profitable company. And I do not support a bail out of the big three. If needed they should go into bankrupty were they will have strict oversight while the company is reorganized.

Also lets stay on topic

Our pension has a totaly liabilty of around 60 million. It also has about 45 million in assets which equals 15 million in unfunded liabities. Again the city can fix it if they want to. the union is willing to work with the city on this issue. But as past practices shows any money left over in our bugdet at the end of the year just gets dumped into the general fund. We curruntly contribute 10% of pay to our pension fund.

To marshall

When unions negociate pay it is top pay they are looking at. How departments pay new guys does very a bit. new guy here gets 58,000. New guy in aurora gets bumped up to 61,000 after only 6 months. Aurora tops out 76,000.We top out at 78,000. Stone Park has no full time firemen which is why you can't compare them, they hire only part-time fireman for 25,000. melrose park has full and part-time, as lisle woodridge is full time and they have a huge bump up in pay after only 1 year. SO we are not that far out.

Be Safe

http://www.iml.org/dbs/pension/

JPQ

The distances for firehouses were based on urban settings in the 50's. And times during peak traffic. You are right, the travel time would be more, but it would be less than the goal due to lower traffic levels.

But the relevant comparison would be whether the response times for further spread out stations overnight would be less than those during the pead traffic periods.

Bubo,

The fact that the City of Naperville Pension Fund is almost the same percentage as the School Pension as a percentage of our total real estate tax bill indicates that the P @ F pension systems are completely out of control as the Napergatians have been indicating.

If you can't see the problem with the fact that the 2 pensions are costing us the same amount, you must be blind.

The City of Naperville Pension Fund should be much much less than the Shcool Pension Fund.

It should be no more than one tenth based on the data you presented which I believe is accurate if everything was fair and square!

Where the money goes?

2007 Tax Bill %

Dupage County 1.81%
Dupage pensions 0.39%
County Health 0.60%
County Health Pensions 0.22%
Forrest Preserve 2.03%
Forrest Preserve Pensions 0.13%
Dupage Airport 0.32%
Dupage Water 0.00%

Naperville Township 0.78%
Naperville Township Road 0.67%
Nap Township Road Pension 0.04%
City Naperville 6.55%
City Naperville Pension 2.49%
Naperville Library 4.08%
Naperville Park Dist 4.28%
Nap Park Dist Pension 0.27%

Dist 203 69.34%
Dist 203 Pension 2.58%
COD 3.39%
COD Pension 0.06%

Total 100.00%

Fireman Sam,

Please respond to Maryann and Marshall! Would like to see you dispute their facts, analysis and theories.

I don't think we are beating a dead horse. The horse appears to have taken a life of its own and seems very alive and even kicking!!!!

I could not find any towns in Illinios that pay firemen a starting salary anywhere Naperville.....especially with our population. Pleae name one town! Please don't mix starting salaries of Naperville FF with average or final salaries of FF in other cities of comparable size.

Tuesday 11/18/09, 9am, DUI courtroom 4002/DuPage County. The 400 pound NPD jailer the resembles Del Griffith is collecting his 3 hours of weekly overtime like a big fat cat. This guy isnt even a cop, NEVER testifies, but continues to eat up overtime like its Purina cat food!!

Take a Hard Line,

Your idea of closing firehouses during non-peak hours sounds good in theory. The problem I have with it is that it will double the distance to the nearest fire station for many homes in the city. Even when traffic is minimal, this is going to substantially increase the time it takes for firefighters to arrive on the scene.

"My summary, what is a reasonable standard, it is not appropriate to assume the current levels are based on a 1950's standard."

Are you suggesting a 1950's standard may be too stringent? If so, how? Smoke alarms have probably saved a lot of lives, to be sure, but people still die in fires. And, yes, one can argue that there is no way to prevent ALL fire-related deaths. But that is not a good reason to take measures that will likely increase the number of deaths.

-JQP

By fireman sam on November 18, 2008 9:18 AM
Our comparables on salary and benifits are Aurora, Elgin, Joliet all of which make more than 60k. Look at cities with POP. over a 100K, not ones under 30K. Comparables does not mean Stone Park.

___________________________________________________________________

Fireman Sam,
With all due respect, you are wrong! Please go to Blueline.com and you will see thousands of fire and police jobs posted in Illinois and throughout the nation. Naperville is 50% over to double what most towns pay for a STARTING SALARY. In some case TRIPLE!

Please do not compare starting salaries of Naperville to average or final salaries of other towns. Compare apples to apples...oranges to oranges. Naperville is high and away above any towns which are not bankrupt(most in exception California) as Blogger Diana's detailed report indicated a while back. You may not have been bloggin with us at the time but it may be in the Napergate Archives of the Naperville Sun.

Most of your other knowledge has been extremely helpful and has made me understand and respect fire fighters more than I ever did in the past! Keep posting with us....you are very informative! And you are a very good typist and excellent writer!

Fireman Sam,

How do you feel about this union issue.

GM, Ford and Chrysler are asking you to bail them out to the tune of 25 billion dollars. I mean you because you are a taxpayer like the rest of us. This money will be coming out of your pocket as well as mine.

At the Senate Hearings yesterday, the Big Three were asked if the taxpayers would bail them out, if they would promise not to come back for more. They could not promise. Thus the Senators would not promise them a bail-out at the end of the first day of hearings for some of the below reasons.

1. When plants are idled because of low demand, the Big Three have to pay their employees 95% of their wages. In comparison Toyota and Honda are not required to pay their employees when they have to idle plants.

2. When the Big 3 have to permanently lay-off a UAW employee, they have to compensate him $105,000 as severance pay and then provide him his retirement pension which is about 90% of his last pay. Toyota and Honda have to do neither.

3. Because of these UNION CLAUSES, GM loses approximately 1400 dollars on each car it makes while Toyota makes 992 dollars.

4. The Big Three can not compete with Japanense Auto Makers producing cars in the USA using non-union employees.

5. GM share of the US Market has declined from 53% a few decades ago to about 18% now. (GM is profitable in foreign countries such as Russia and Brazil where they do not have to pay for union help.)

6. Basically because of the UNION CONTRACT the auto makers will burn thru 25 BILLION DOLLARS in cash this 4th quarter. If the economy does not turn till 2010 they will burn thru another 100 billion dollars in 2009. This 25 billion request is in additon to another 25 billion request they applied for to improve technology to save fuel. We are even subsidizing their techonology innovations from taxpayer money instead of their profit....they are a private business after all.

7. I forget to mention that these auto makers also pay the health insurance of their employees until they turn 65 and finally qualify for medicaid or medicare....not sure which word it is.

I guess my question to you Fireman Sam, is, are you willing to pay for this waste of money because the UAW is so powerful. Because it is a UNION we have to respect? Are you willing as a taxpayer to subsidize these Big Three even though there is no hope or end in sight to these crazy shenanigans and fiscal fiascos?

JFYI, the Senators suggested the Big 3 file bankruptcy and end this mess. The Big 3 were reluctant because research indicates they would lose 80% of their vehicle sales since consumers would not feel confident in a warranty from a bankrupt company.

The UAW Autoworker is not willing to budge. The President of the UAW was sitting next to the BIG 3 CEOs at the Senate Hearings. At one point a Senator asked the BIG 3 CEOs if they were holding back or fearful of something. The implication was if they were fearful of the UNION BOSS sitting next to them. I believe they were shaking in their boots.

The UAW just like the City of Naperville also has a huge pension deficit to the tune of tens of billions. They will soon have so many more retired employees compared to working employees due to downsizing and losing a huge share of the auto market and their pension deficit situation is expected to get exponentially worse.

Personally as a taxpayer, I can not see subsidizing these union workers who are causing the US Auto Dealers and Makers to be unprofitable in good times and on the cliff to bankruptcy in bad times. Do you think we should use your hard earned money, Fireman Sam to subsidize this mess at GM, Ford and Chrysler? I think not!

Maybe this will help you understand why many taxpayers feel reluctant to subsidize the retirement pensions of police and fire fighters that is $60 million in the deficit and getting worse as the number of retirees climbs from 60 to 401 one day in the next 2 decades. It really is not the taxpayers problems that some wachos agreed to give you 75% retirement pensions for 40 or so years after you retire. Did they agree to give you medical benefits too, until Medicaid kicks in, Firefighter Sam? Did they ever run the numbers to see if they are practical? Did they ever analyse if they could deliver on these numbers? I think not!

Just as recently as 2 months ago, the CEO of GM promised his employees that everything is OK and cash flow is strong. The employees were encouraged to buy GM stock at 17 after it dipped from 42. Well, the promise was empty, and GM employees are holding GM stock at 2 bucks. May the Lord be merciful and gracious!

Someone in the City of Naperville apparently promised you or the fire fighters as a total that everything will be alright. That everything is normal. Whoever made this promise to you, made a false promise. He or she will soon take their parchute payment and join Burhchard in Florida before the sh$t hits the ceiling fan. Don't believe these false promises....believe the handwriting on the wall Fireman Sam. You seem to be an intelliegent man who can decipher propaganda from reality. Don't let our city officials brainwash you with propoganda. Question them, challenge them, demand answers in BLACK and WHITE. REQUEST TRASPARENCY! Don't allow yourself and fellow fire fighters to be MISLED. The city will never be able to deliver when 189 of you are retired. We only have 30 retired fire fighters and we have a $26.9 million deficit just in the Fire Dept.

The police dept. is another story and Councilman Bob has already warned us the numbers are worse than your numbers. I am witholding comment on the Police Dept. until the numbers are released. I am sure the police dept. will have a knee jerk reaction and blame it all on propoganda from the Napergate Man and the Napergate Nation instead of addressing the facts provided by our wonderful Councilman who has given the taxpayers true transparencty for the first time in the 178 year history of our glorious town.

No one said this pension deficit is acceptable as one blogger stated or implied in an earlier blog on this thread. The State of Illinios wants it eliminated by the year 2033. This was demanded by the State last year. Instead of reducing our F @ P pension funds from $53 million to say $46 million and heading in the right direction, we increased it to 60 million. What is your reaction, Fire Fighter Sam to heading in the wrong direction instead of the right direction? If you drove your Fire Truck in the wrong direction and a fire killed an infant you would probably lose your job...justifiably. Our city officials are driving us in the wrong direction and no one is holding them accountable except for a few hundred Napergatian Bloggers. Otherwise, it is business as usual at City Hall!

And you can not blame the generous taxpayers who gave you 21.16% matching funds from their pockets while the fire fighters only provided 9.4%. We did our share! You guys made a very decent contribution on your own behalf. But we are still $60 million short in the P @ F pension fund system and the situation is getting much worse, as less public safety employees will be supporting many many more retired public safety employees in the near and distant futures.

If you think there is no problem looming in the horizon, Firemen Sam, I think you have your head buried deep in the sand and are in denial as long as the Nile is long.

You seem like a really nice guy watching out for yourself and you fellow fire fighters. I don't blame you. But the taxpayers have to also watch out for themselves. Please don't be offended. It is not personal. It is about affordability. It is about sustainablility. It is about SURVIVAL!

I don't think you could possibly be happy squandering your hard earned dollars on the UAW workers so they can earn 105k to be laid off and then 90% life time pension till they die. I don't think you can be happy that UAW workers can receive 95% of their pay when their plants have to be idled due to lack of demand. Only in America can we have such incompetency.

And now you see the financial crisis we are in, Fireman Sam. It is approaching the 1929 depression. In my opionion, unions are partly contributing to this massive financial crisis and making it worse because they are not willing to compromise. Politicians are afraid to stand up to the unions as the unions can bring out the vote....yes, they can...but no, they can not balance the budget with a vote. They are forcing bankrupting on both the taxpayers, the city and the hard working fire fighters with their non-action and fear of unions!

I do see the day coming when the American Taxpayer finally says we had enough of the UAW and forces the BIG 3 into bankruptcy. That day may be a day or two away. It all depends on what the Senate and House of Representatives will do in the next couple of days. My guess is they will give them the 25 billion if they promise never to return again and beg for taxpayer money.

I also see Home Rule being abolished in Naperville in the next election or a subseqent one. Taxpayers will no longer be able to contribute 21.16% to your pension fund annually. State Rule will limit that number to a statutory 5% increase. In other words, State Rule will impose a 5% cap to bring sanity to our tax structure and city expenses again. I doubt the taxpayers would ever pass a referendum agreeing to a 60 million bail-out to the P @ F pension system after their 401ks lost half their value year to date in 2008. Under State Rule, your only option becomes a bail-out thru referanda!!! Taxpayers are fed up and unlikely to pass such a referandum.

If that happens as I suspect and many Napergatians appear to have a plan to abolish Home Rule in the next or subsequent election, may I ask, Fireman Sam, what are you planning on doing? Are you willing to contribute half your pay from each paycheck in order to obtain 75% pay-out upon retirement? Or would you rather just contribute 25% and try to get a 50% retirement pension. Something has to give, Fireman Sam. This stalemate of checkmating the taxpayers year after year is simply not tolerable or palatable to Joe and Joan Taxpayers! They reached the point of Enough is Enough! They will tell you to sail your Denial Dreams down the Nile River!

We are not really beating a dead horse, Fireman Sam! You are dancing around the dead horse. You need to provide some serious answers and maybe consult with your superiors and get back to us.

I support fire fighters and think they do an excellent job. I think their role in society is very important. I think response time is critical. We agree on all that. The issue is justifying the compensation and benefits of fire fighters. That is the issue so let us please stay on topic.

I would like to see evidence that Joliet, Elgin and Aurora provide their staring fire fighers a STARTING salary of 60k. Research by Blogger Diana indicated these cities paid their police officers much less than Naperville. Why would they suddenly pay their fire fighters equal to Naperville? I simply doubt it! If I had time I would research it. I hope someone on this site has some extra time and can research the salaries of the above towns as they are being used as an indefensible defense. Even if true, two wrongs don't make a right. It just may mean the crisis effects a lot more cities than lonesome Naperville.

I suspect the State of Illinois knows the 75% annual retirement pension is simply unattainable and unsustainable. They will do something about the disastrous situation unless they want their prisoners to starve to death. Purveyors have recently threatened to halt shipments to Illinois Correctional Facilites all across the state.

However, let us not forget, the other part of the equation is contolled by the city council members and unions. That part is the salary that to a large extent determines the size of the retirement pension benefits. We also need to make sure our fire fighters are not given promotions in the last month before retirement to jack up retirement pension benefits. While there is no known evidence this is taking place in Naperville, it seems to be business as usual in the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Dept. and in some nearby School Districts. Could be another reason why Lisle Taxpayers abolished HOME RULE. Yes, Fireman Sam, if Lisle can do it, we can do it if we please and the abuse become INTOLERABLE. Maybe the City of Naperville is at least doing one thing right by not giving out promotions the day, week or month before retirement to jack up pension benefits. Let us do a few more things right and get out of this nightmarish financial tsunmani type budget fiasco! We must find a way to overcome and unite. Please join us in our battle, Fireman Sam!
We salute you and all your fellow fire fighters for all the lives and property you have saved in this town. That is UNQUESTIONABLE! That is UNDISPUTABLE! That is not the ISSUE! The ISSUE is COMPENSATION, BENEFITS and AFFORDABILITY to the TAXPAYER! SIMPLE!

Yes, let us not dance around the dead horse, Fireman Sam. Let us beat it and move on!

To JQP

And my summary.

What is the appropriate response time. Two answers. One for paramedics (and I don't buy 5 guys, like to see a national standard for that) and one for fires. Is 6 minute absolute?

My comment about time of day relates both to the frequency of fires and travel times as well. From 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM there is less traffic. In these cases, we might only need half to 75% of the fire houses. Chicago would like to end the 24 on, 48 off since they view this pay schedule as being inefficient compared to a regular 40 day work schedule, they could cut salaries by 10%. Reason not adopted, unions. If we could close fire houses during times when a larger area could be covered in the same response time, we could save more money.

My summary, what is a reasonable standard, it is not appropriate to assume the current levels are based on a 1950's standard. And could more efficiencies be achieved.

Take A Hard Line, I am not sure why you are confused by my position, as I think I've been fairly clear and consistent. I will sum it up here: I am in favor or saving money in the fire department budget wherever it can be done safely. Cutbacks that will increase response time, such as closing fire stations, do not meet this standard.

Things the city could to save money in the fire dept are

1 Put hold on new station
2 put hold on any vehicles due for replacement
3 hiring freeze
4 offer buyout to those eligible to retire to reduce payroll expense
5 reduce money spent on training
6 increase fines for repeat false alarms
7 increase fines for fire code violations

Note: less fireman will increase overtime to maintain min. manning of vehicles, but you have to limit it so it would still be less than paying full salaries and benefits.

Ok I've said enough, This horse is dead

Our comparables on salary and benifits are Aurora, Elgin, Joliet all of which make more than 60k. Look at cities with POP. over a 100K, not ones under 30K. Comparables does not mean Stone Park.

The pension has a board of directors, if they or the city and union don't feel there is an issue, than what I say doesn't matter cuase I know less about it than they do. If it is as bad as many of suggest I would have to believe the city, or union would bring it up at contract negoication time.

Pension benefits are set by the state, salaries by labor contract. The union won't offer to freeze or reduce salaries. Are you interested in aproaching your boss about reducing your salary?
I could argue that your company could save money, and reduce the price of your product or services. If the city wants to negoicate it, I'm sure the union will consider their options

Fire trucks have max 3 persons. fire trucks respond to EMS calls when
1. ambulance in that district is on another call
2. when patient is not breathing or in critical condtion

FyI A person in cardiac arrest requires
1 person to secure and manage airway(breath for the patient)
2 Perform cpr
3 establish multiple IV's ,administer drugs
4 hook up the heart monitor, comunicate with hospital
5 drive ambulance

If fire truck responds, but is relieved by the ambulance or not needed they put themselves available for another call. Just in case you need us!

By the way when a call comes in, Dispatch gets 1 minute to take the call and dispatch at the same time, firefighters have 1 minute to get out the door, and up to four minutes driving time. Which equals 6 minutes. And as a side note we are constantly striving to keep response time low for YOUR BENEFIT. We will even ask Another fire dept to man our stations when we are busy just for that reason.

I love these statements being made that have no basis in fact, coming from people who have never seen how and why we operate the way we do.

Have we beat this horse to death yet.

Anonymous You stated....

"My reseach indicates they make betwwen 25k in Stone Park, Bellword, Melrose Park and up to 45k in Lisle-Woodridge/ Warrenville etc. Name me one fire department in Illions where firemen make close to 60k."

You are only looking at fire districts or departments that protect MUCH smaller areas and respond to Less than 1/3 the number of 911 calls. Now that a look at Aurora, or Joliet. These are simular size cities with a simular number of calls. Further, continue to look for other fire departments that cover simular size areas. After doing "your resesearch" you will find that naperville is in the 50% range when compairing wage and benefits. Aurora just appoved a 2.2 million dollar budget increase, in wages, for their firefighters.

Take A Hard Line You stated.....

"Take a look on the east side where two multi million dollar mansions were destroyed because there was not fire hydrandts. Simple solution, get fire hydrants. The people are working on that. If there were hydrandts, losses could have been significantly contained,"

If you are going to argue about the naperville fire department and the naperville firefighter/paramedics, than only bring up fires that have happened IN THE CITY. The area on "the east side" is unincorporated. These homes are not in the city. These homes only have a naperville address. These homeowners do not pay for, nor do they receive any city services (ie, water or hydrants). These homes are in the lisle-woodridge fire district service area. The naperville fire department ASSISTED lisle-woodridge with these fires. These fires are not included in any of the naperville fire department "fire numbers."

JQP

You really confuse me. On one hand, you agree, then you rail against closing stations.

Let's bring this discussion back to an objective perspective. What is the standard? Is that standard still warranted? What are the implications of a lower standard?

A classic zero based budgeting technique forces government (and any other entity) to always question how work gets done. I read an article in the WSJ that Carl Icahn stated that EVERY ORGANIZATION has 30% waste. You know what? He made BILLIONS following that thought.

I wish I had the article on fire department from the WSJ addressing fire departments. Objective cost benefit analysis, as all of us have been addressing, is a starting point. You also have to take a look at a fire chief. He can't go to the state or national convention and said that he supported a reduced effort, he would be laughed out of the seminar. Peer pressure, bigger is better.

Take a look on the east side where two multi million dollar mansions were destroyed because there was not fire hydrandts. Simple solution, get fire hydrants. The people are working on that. If there were hydrandts, losses could have been significantly contained, three hours with garden hoses was not up to the task. They did not need quicker response time, they needed the fire hydrandt.

Government should always justify EVERY dollar, not just NEW dollars.

To: Take a hard line...

You wrote "Double the number of paramedics and cut fire men by 25%,"

Once again.... The firefighters are also the paramedics. It is one in the same job. The Firefighter/paramedics in naperville work one shift on the ambulance and than the next on the fire engine.

Also, you wrote "We don't need six firemen watching the two paramedics do their job." Again, the firefighters are also paramedics. In an emergency in which an ambulance and engine is dispatched, The firefighter/paramedics from BOTH the engine and ambulance work together to stablize a patient. Further, if both units are dispatched, that is only 5 firefighter/paramedics TOTAL on the scene. Just to point out.... There are 3 personnel on an engine or ladder truck and 2 on an ambulance.

Fireman Sam,

Most of what you say makes sense and I agree with you.

I do not agree that firemen in other towns make close to what Naperville firemen make.

My reseach indicates they make betwwen 25k in Stone Park, Bellword, Melrose Park and up to 45k in Lisle-Woodridge/ Warrenville etc. Name me one fire department in Illions where firemen make close to 60k.

I also disagree with your statement that our pension fund is OK despite being 60 million in the hole. I think retirement pensions should be decreased and age of retirement should be increased.

But you obvioulsy know more than we do on fires and their danger. I want all my firemen and stations but at a little less salary and pension costs. We need to compromise a little, Fireman Sam. You have been very helpful, though, and I respect your brutal honesty.

Reading the comments, let's try this.

Double the number of paramedics and cut fire men by 25%, a net cut of 15%. We can make sure we have enough paramedics for the 5,409 patients actually transported. We don't need six firemen watching the two paramedics do their job. In a worst case, the firemen could be called if there is a 1,000 pound patient.

All of these "practices" developed over time as the work for firemen went DOWN. And the firemen try to defend their positions. Now people are going to burn their houses down to collect insurance money in the "depression." BE SERIOUS. Better yet, the five firemen (or however many are on the truck) take credit for tagging along with the two paramedics.

We need to cut costs. There are fire fighter jobs, REAL ONES, in California. They are in short supply. It is a tragedy that trained firemen are sitting around the firehouse in Naperville when people are dying in REAL fires in California. Shame!!!!

Take a Hard Line wrote:

"Again, just make an informed decision."

Is that what you are doing here?

"We are talking about 15% reduction (not opening the new house and making one house part time). When do most fire occur? From 4:00 to midnight? Maybe all fire stations are open for that amount of time. Firemen work regular 40 hour weeks. Traffic is much less overnight, close 50% of the fire stations."

Can we close the fire station that is closest to your home? I'd be okay with that provided: 1) everyone in that station's coverage area is okay with it; and, 2) it's not the station closest to my home.

But, seriously, any moves like this will increase the danger of fires, especially given that all of our fire stations are already built and presumably situated in such a manner as to provide the best coverage to the greatest area. Close one station, and you may end up increasing response time by 50% or more to some parts of the city. This is not acceptable to me, and I am willing to bet it would not be acceptable to most taxpayers in Naperville.

Anonymous wrote:

"Even 6 minutes is not enough to save a life sometimes. Why don't we shoot for 1 minute and build 100 fire houses in Naperville. That would still not work since the Firemen need 3 minutes to get their gear on and get in their trucks and at least one or 2 minutes to get to the scene."

Well, according to your own argument, we can't make response much better than it already is. But that is beside the point, since the argument is not about decreasing response time; it is about increasing it.

And:

"I think we can afford a 15% cut in the Fire Dept. Response time will not decrease."

If you are right, then I am on your side. But I'll want proof, first.

"We may just initially have one less fireman arriving at the scene in the first few minutes."

This assumes that each crew currently has at least one more firefighter than it needs. If this is the case, then we can afford to cut back. If not, then we are cutting back on the department's effectiveness, as the first group of firefighters will be less able to do their jobs when they arrive on the scene.


"There has to be a cost benefit analysis at some point. We are spending 29 million to limit damage to 4 million. Maybe if we spent 58 million we could limit damage to 3 million. Should we do it? I think not as long as no human life would be in further danger. That translates to 29 million to save an extra million which is INSURED anyway in almost all cases. That is an unreasonable waste of taxpayer dollars. Fear should not be used to arrive at unreasonable conclusions."

Again, you are making a straw man argument, since nobody is talking about spending more. So, the cost benefit analysis here is not about whether and how many more lives we will save and how much less property damage will we sustain if we spend MORE; rather, it is whether and how many more lives will be lost and how much more property damage will be sustained if we cut back. If we can do it without increasing risk to property and, especially, to life and limb, then I am for it. But I will need more than just your opinion to convince me.

Are there any insurance agents that can tell us how much premiums will go up as response times go down?

There exists standardized charts for calculating the risk.

Crassus must have enjoyed negotiating with the home owners while their houses burned behind them.

http://www.roman-empire.net/republic/crassus.html

Using his wealth he also kept a troop of 500 slaves, all skilled builders, on stand-by. He would then simply wait for one of Rome's frequent fires to break out and would then offer to buy the burning properties, as well as the endangered neighbouring buildings. Using his team of builders he would then rebuild the area and keep it to draw income from rent, or sell it on with a large profit. At one point Crassus was said even to own most of the city of Rome. There was no doubt some who wondered, if some of the fires started in Rome might not actually have been his doing.

Mason:

Well said. Hard Line and others think we don't need a fire department because their house hasn't burned, or they haven't needed a paramedic. They make up numbers they make up science and claim it as fact. A little research shows that fire growth is exponential, so an extra two or three minutes isn't a little different it is massively different. Damage would be multiplied exponentially.

As to the no one has died idiocy. I would like Hard Line to go visit with the people at Martin Manor who were taken out of the building on ladders because of the fire there a few years ago and ask them their perception of how safe they felt waiting to be rescued. And then ask how they would have felt if it had taken two minutes longer and the fire had been two to four times as big as it was because of the wait.

I keep going back to the old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

First of all I am not a great typest, please forgive the errors.

The public is always welcome to stop by the station, or talk to us at the store. We all know we are here for you're (joe pubic) benefit.

I know Everyone wants to compare our jobs to theirs, but you can't.The fire department does not generate revenue for the city. And if the city didn't have to have us around, we wouldn't be here. I am sure they would rather spend their money somewhere else if they could. The bottom line is the city needs to have fire and police departments capable of making sure this city remains as one of the best places to live.

I realize that no matter what I say, most people's opinions will remain unchanged, but I'll give 1 more shot.


Another thought you might consider is history has shown an increase in fires during severe economic depression. Someboby might be tempted to burn their home to collect insurance monies out of desperation. Also there is a higher insidence of achohol abuse,depression, drug abuse,robberies,shootings, etc.

Do your homework, people don't only die in fires. reducing staffing because there is ONLY 83 fires is very short-sided. Increased response times also affect heart attacks,seizures, car crashes, etc.
The human brain won't last more than 5 minutes without oxygen. That is why response time is so important. Increased response times virtually doom anyone in cardiac arrest from being saved.

2 paramedics are required on ambulances, and 1 on engines. And again response time will very depending on location of the the call and who is avalible to respond. With 13000 plus calls, you can bet there are times when multiple calls are being handled at once.

Also fire doubles in size every 60 seconds, so an aditional 2 minutes means a 1 room fire is now 2 or 4 rooms . If the fire vents out a window the raddant heat is enough to catch the house next door on fire. A fire department with fewer stations and personel may have to sacrafice the first house to save the second.


Going to the store is so small an issue, It doesn't cost the city any money. We are out of the station anyway so stopping at the store has a negligible effect on fuel, etc. Shopping on our own time accomplishes nothing when we drive by the store while we are on duty anyway.

Our salaries are not high, except when compared to those who complain about them. look up what fireman are being paid in other towns around us, those are our comparables.

I've talked with some firemen from other towns, and my understanding is no city fully funds there employee pensions. The state does not fully fund it's pensions. In fact it's the state that allows cities to not have to fully fund the pensions. I also believe that any money taken away from the fire department would only get dumped in the general fund. And the pension funding would remain the same.

You would have to ask the city finance people, but I don't believe the city see's a problem with how it funds the pensions. The city and the union have both stated that we have a healthy pension fund.

Reducing starting pay for new guys would save only a very small amount of money. we only hire on average around 4-6 fireman a year. But that will have to wait until our current contract expires, before it can be negociated.

If you still want to lay me off and close fire stations. make sure it's the ones closest to your house, your parents house, your kids school. Because it would sure be a shame it you closed one near the home of someone who will need us.

Less fire stations...Less firefighters means longer times for them to get to you. Fire damage will increase. And as for insurance companies paying for the damage anyway, GET REAL. Insurance companies will raise your rates in a heart beat. Or, in most cases they will just drop you. Plus, there are keepsakes, photo, memories, and more in my home that insurance could never replace.

Also, you all keep forgeting..... The job is firefighter/paramedic for 99% of the people employeed by naperville fire. Are you willing to wait an extra 5 - 10 mins for help when you are having a heart attack. Everyone keeps talking about the number of fires being down in naperville.... NOT!! The number of fires per month has increased, the last several months. Also, the firefighter/paramedics do more than just fires, they respond to car crashes, medical emergencies, hazardous materials spills, water rescues and the list goes on....Looking back at prior Blogs, 13,000 times each year.

How much would the damage have been had the response be 8 minutes instead of 6 minutes. Also, how much would the cost been if it were four minutes instead of 6 minutes. Maybe we should double taxes to reduce the $4 million to $3.5 million.

I think you get the point. Thirty years ago, the response time was more since fire equipment was inferior, water pressure in mains less predictable. In today dollars, fire damages were the equivalent of $150 million. More fires, more devastation.

Again, just make an informed decision. We are talking about 15% reduction (not opening the new house and making one house part time). When do most fire occur? From 4:00 to midnight? Maybe all fire stations are open for that amount of time. Firemen work regular 40 hour weeks. Traffic is much less overnight, close 50% of the fire stations.

By the way, were 14 trucks necessary for a single house fire? This isn't the World Trade Center.

When there is 200k in damage to a home, it may as well have burned down to the ground. No one is going to rebuild a home with 200k in damage. Let the insurance companies pay for a brand new house. 8 minute response time would have been better here since the occupants were all safe and it is easier to rebuild from the foundation when you have a fire this big. That is the main thing.

I agree with Hard Line. Those smoke detectors and CO2 detectors are 98% of the battle. You can replace property....not life!

Even 6 minutes is not enough to save a life sometimes. Why don't we shoot for 1 minute and build 100 fire houses in Naperville. That would still not work since the Firemen need 3 minutes to get their gear on and get in their trucks and at least one or 2 minutes to get to the scene.

The best we are going to ever have is 5 to 8 minutes regardless of how much we spend. I think we can afford a 15% cut in the Fire Dept. Response time will not decrease. We may just initially have one less fireman arriving at the scene in the first few minutes. But hundreds can still arrive within 12 mintues from other stations in Naperville and surrounding towns.

There has to be a cost benefit analysis at some point. We are spending 29 million to limit damage to 4 million. Maybe if we spent 58 million we could limit damage to 3 million. Should we do it? I think not as long as no human life would be in further danger. That translates to 29 million to save an extra million which is INSURED anyway in almost all cases. That is an unreasonable waste of taxpayer dollars. Fear should not be used to arrive at unreasonable conclusions. Yes, I once had a house burn down so I know those 6 minutes seem like 60 minutes. The firemen came as fast as they could but it was too late. We had smoke detetors, no one was hurt and the insurance paid everything minus a 1000 deductible. Even if the firemen came in 3 minutes, it would have been way too late. Some fires have a mind of their own and have no patience for firemen. We can only attempt our best!

Under Mason's distorted logic, we should do double our expenditure and spend 58 million.. Maybe he is a fire fighter and benefiting somehow. But we need objectivity and reason here...not bias. We need logic and critical thinking!

Just my thoughts and I am no expert! Just have some real experience.

Take A Hard Line:

The fire on friday only caused $200,000 because the fire department put it out. Losses were only $4 million dollars last year because the fire department put the fires out. You said "How much would losses increase? And insurance companies would pay them anyway" I think that 100% (excluding you) of Naperville homeowners would not tolerate any additional loss to their home and contents. When your home is on fire 6 minutes to wait for the fire department is 6 minutes too long. Good luck with your arguement that each homeowner can save a $$$ a year by decreasing the fire department budget but those people who have a fire will have to sacrifice thousands more in property damage because of longer response times and less manpower.

John Q. Public

First, your questions are insightful and collectively as we address, we should refine a meaningful policy position (or that is what our City Fathers should do).

So I add two more points.

1. Life saving actions. The individual homeower takes 98% of the responsibility for personal safety through smoke and CO2 detectors. For example, the fire yesterday that caused $200,000 in damage did not require a life saving action. The house occupants (including pets) had already evacuated the residence BEFORE the firemen arrived. I think the smoke alarm did its job that was put in by the owner of the house, not the Fire deparment.

2. Cost benefit. Right now the Fire Department spends $29 million and losses were $4 million. If we cut spending, how much would losses increase? And insurance companies would pay them anyway. And insurance rates would not go up. The insurance companies charge the same insurance premiums to Class 1 through Class 3 Fire Deparments (Naperville is a Class 2). I do not think that a 15% reduction would cut Naperville to a class 4 department, but if it would, the lower taxes should be compared to the increased insurance premiums.

I restate, a thorough evaluation of the level of service should be done.

Take a Hard Line wrote:

"Will the 'higher' response time matter? Add it back, how many people would have died in the 83 structure fires in 2007 if the response time went from six minutes to 8 minutes? ZERO. In the last 30 years living in Naperville, the only time somebody died in a blaze was due to smoking in bed or a murder, that I can recall."

It will most certainly matter to the person whose home is burning. And how do you know that no one's life was saved in 2007 by virtue of the six-minute response time? Do you know for a fact that in every one of these fires the people in the buildings all got out at least two minutes before the Fire Dept. arrived? Even if this were true, are you really willing to take the chance that eight minutes will be enough to prevent fire-related deaths in all future fires just so you can save a few bucks on your property taxes?

TED SLOWIK Managing Editor,

You became so well known as Host Ted that no one remembers you as Ted Slowik the managing editor. Well, I have been a subscriber for a long time and know you as both.

I was very disappointed when I read your column in the print edition indcating you are moving on to the 3rd chapter of your life. The first thought was why at this crucial time in history when we are in the middle of fixing city hall with Mr. Slowik driving the bus.

I understand opportunities sometime don't come twice. I feel your current job is much more important to society than your new job. However, it seems you are departing because of compensation issues. I wish these compensation issues can be resolved in order that we can keep you at the helm of the Naperville Sun.

We were able to sustian the loss of Mr. Jim Lynch easily because we had you and you were willing to do both your job and his. Now what do we do?!?

Is Mr. Tim West willing to do your job and Mr. Lynch's job? Is he healthy enough to handle all 3 jobs. I understand he has unfortunate heart problems and recently spent some time at Edward's Hospital. He would not be a natural successor to Host or Moderator of this blog site. This blog site requires thick skin and a strong heart...he does not have either. This job would seriously be hazardous for him and his health!

Plus as so many of my fellow Napergatians stated, Mr. West is a very biased one sided editor who only takes but never gives on an issue. This man has no respect for the Napergate Pary or Movement. He has tried to hold us down for many years by never acknowledging us or giving us equal time to the Estahlishment Party. However, we have thrived thru our grass roots movement despite all of his failed efforts. In the end he is the one who failed himself. Look at his blog site...if I have ever seen a failure that is the mother of all failures. The Napergatians are strongly connected to each other through a lenghty e-mail address system set up by the Napergate Man almost 2 decades ago. I am sure it will be updated and ramped up in time for the next local election in April.

We appreicate your allowing us to participate on your forum, Host Ted. While we can communicate with each other all day and night, your forum has given us a chance to reach out and communicate with our fellow Naperivillians who are not Napergatians.

Your blog site has enabled us to get questions answered such as from the eloquent post by Fireman Sam that I already responded to. You blog site has become a very special thing for Naperville.

I hope you reconsider your decision to leavce us. I hope your bosses make you a counteroffer and find a way to keep you. And finally I pray to God that Mr. West does not take over the Naperville Sun and your blog site.

If he does, unfortuately, I will have to cancel my 30 year subscription to the Naperville Sun. I am not going to spend any time reading establishment propoganda. I did that for nearly 15 years. I only stayed on because the Napergate Ads popped up for a decade. And now I have been hanging on because of great editors like you and Mr. Lynch.

I guess the bloggers have no choice in this unfortuante scenario. The Naperville Sun is trying to save money so I can see them turning the reigns over to Mr. West. Your superiors have no clue why the Naperville Sun tumbled from its glory Napergate Era years of 22,000 circulation when the town was half the size. Now we have double the population and only two thirds the "old" subscription numbers. Penetration rates are dismal to say the least. Without your efforts, Mr. Slowick, subscription would be down to one third of what it is now, if even that!

Regardless of what you do, Mr. Slowick I wish you the very best. I am just hoping your superiors at the Chicago Sun Times can find a way to keep you and hopefully change your mind with a little more dough on the negotiating table. I know they probably think you write all these letters on your own behalf, but you don't. They are all written by your bloggers who have developed the utmost respect and admiration for you over the last 2 years!

Farewell, Mr. Ted Slowick! You did your duty to Naperville as the Napergagte Man did his duty. I wish you nothing but the very best in your new career and third chapter in your life. At least you are not going back in the cement business. Your picture in the print edition looks great. I am sure that cement business toughened and strengthened you!

To JQP

Will the "higher" response time matter? Add it back, how many people would have died in the 83 structure fires in 2007 if the response time went from six minutes to 8 minutes? ZERO. In the last 30 years living in Naperville, the only time somebody died in a blaze was due to smoking in bed or a murder, that I can recall.

As for food shopping, most of us have to get our food on our own time. The firemen should make up a list and purchase food outside of duty hours.

Pensions are higher in Naperville because salaries are higher. A lower pension percentage would fix that problem. But the City cannot do that now because pension benefits are set by state law. So you have to cut salaries.

And private sector jobs are harder, if you do not keep customers happy, not just in service, but COST (salaries a main component), your company loses business and people lose jobs. That control feature is not present in a government monopoly.

Fireman Sam,
Thanks for giving us the simple truthful facts. That is what we want to hear. That is what we respect. That is what we understand.

Firefighter Friend was giving us propaganda. No one respects propoganda.

I respect all you said and admire your statement that maybe we should hold off on Fire Station 10 until the economy gets a little better. I could not agree more. That shows you care and understand the taxpayer is currently suffering. It is nice to have some understanding.

Thanks for explaing the car/truck issue! If it is rare you have to chase your buddies, I think the car to the grocery store makes sense. If it often that you have to chase them, the fire truck issue makes more sense. It seems like it is a gray area and not as clear as the Anonymous who called everyone clowns for daring to ask this simple question.

I have a new respect for fire fighters after reading your post. I think what is lacking in this town is communication. Lack of communication brings unwarranted feelings. Maybe fire fighters need to have more open houses so the civilian population understands what they do and the populance will develop a better understanding as to why they command the compensation they earn!

Please keep communicating with us. Your post was wonderful and makes us understand what goes on in a Fire Station. Rather than deny down time exists, you simply admit it exists and explain its the nature of the beast. Who can not respect that whether you agree or disagree? What per centage of the day is down time? Would you say it is half and half on the average?

Could you please try to address how the fire fighters feel about this $26.9 million pension deficit and what we can do about it? Do you think in the end it is sustainable and that the taxpayers can make good on their retirement pension promises to the firemen? Do you see any possible compromises in dealing with this pension deficit so the entire burden will not fall on the taxpayer?

BTW I would like to say the Naperville Fire Department does a great job if not a heroic job in town. The majority of these posts do not question your performance. I think the only thing that is questioned is the starting pay for new fire fighters. Many feel if it was reduced a touch, it will help us as a city make ends meet? Maybe we can reduce it by not requiring every new fire fighter be a paramedic. If there is a fire truck with 3 fire fighters could it be possible to live with one paramedic. Don't ambulances usually come within minutes of a fire or accident to assist the fire fighers? Are the amubulance people fully fledged fire fighters or are they simply paramedics or both?

Maybe if we can all put our heads together we can try to come up with some solutions that make life better for both the fire fighters and the civilians.

Once again thanks for your informative and honest response. I wish all bloggers were like you. I wish nothing but the best for all our heroic Naperville fire fighters.

Take a Hard Line wrote:

"...human life losses have not been an issue..."

They might very well become an issue if we make cuts to the fire department that increase response time.

You can not compare corporate jobs with public service jobs. That's like comparing oranges and apples. Fire and police are here to protect the city and citizens. As far as pay naperville is not the highest or the lowest when compared to cities equal in size. Retirement benefits are the same for all firefighters across the state. do we deserve our pay-yes. trying to save people in car accidents and children that drown in pools is very stressful and emotionally taxing.And after a few years it changes you, and you find yourself yelling at some mom driving down the road with her kids not in seatbelts because you don't want to be called to pull dead kids out of wrecked cars again(yes I've done it more than once). Retirement is another yes. after 20 years you get 50 percent of pay. 30 years equals 75 percent. Most firefighters retire before that. If I stay for 30 years I will be 60 years old, I will most likely retire when I am 55.

There are many aspects of the job you will never understand, unless you do it. Yes we have down time. but we can go from sitting in the firehouse to pulling someone from a wreck, performing cpr or crawling down a smokey hallway in as little as 5 min. There is stress with just sitting in the firehouse trying to mentally prepare yourself for the next call, without having any idea what it might be.


Yes we go shopping once a day. Sometimes we use our personal vehicles, sometimes we take the fire truck. I personally would prefer to take the truck because, I don't want short staff the truck. I have been at the store in my personal car when my engine company gets a call for a fire and that is not a good feeling knowing that engine is staffed with only 2 firefighters. By the way the store accounts for 2 of maybe 20 miles a day driving the fire truck. We many times have to try and salavge a half cooked meal or microwave a cold food plate(no big deal).

Firefighters are not by design expected to stay busy all shift long, but when called we are expected to do our very best every single time. And if we have to compromise our own safety to help you we will. And your thanks is not needed or expected. And we vetern firefighters do not care anyless or work any less than the new guys.


If a firefighter drops his paramedic lic. he/she loses their medic pay. If you cut our pay in half. every firefighter under 35 yrs of age will leave for better paying jobs, and scores of senior firefighters would retire. Not good if you want talented, experienced professional firefighters. Station locations are studied by out side firms to be sure they are serving the city as they should, or if more or less is needed. NFPA is one of several agency that recommend how many stations are needed. we are fortunate the city is comitted to good service, and yes we should hold off on the new station until the economy improves

By Anonymous on November 13, 2008 7:19 AM

The corporate clown is not even smart enough to realize why the fireman have to drive their fire truck to the grocery store to buy their food. Now, that is one dumb individual and he has no common sense.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I think you are the dumb one. There is no need 4 for grown men to take a fire engine shopping. One fireman should go, while 3 should remain at the station in case that emergency call comes. The 4th guy could drive his car and meet them as long as he has his gear with them. This is much more practical.

These fire engines can cost up to a half a million dollars. There should be no wear and tear put on them unless it is for an emergency. Plus they are gas guzzlers.

If fire fighters are as busy as some would like us to believe, they should consider options such as ordering a delicious pizza or some chinese food that would also only cost 4 to 5 bucks per fireman. They make plenty of money and can afford to have inexpensive food delivered to them. It makes no sense that if all these non-stop emergencies are taking place that they could find time to shop, cook, clean dishes and do what have you. There is a contradiction of disbelief here.

You really sound like a dumb clown. At least Anonymous is asking a very good question. Instead of calling him a clown, you would have been wiser to give an explanation if there is one.

Good luck in your new job, Mr. Ted! I also object to Mr. West taking over your blog site. It would backfire! Mr. West would never let a Napergatian post. We all know that! He believes in 3rd world censorship. It is shameless that an editor in America can hold a job for 35 years while censoring. It is well known he censored Napergate V and Napergate VI....there is no other logical explanation since the Napergate Man agreed to have his ads submitted for review including deletion of any libel by both editors and Sun attorneys! You indicated they were vetted...so if they were vetted why were they censored, Host Ted?

Firefighters Friend,

You would think that Firemen were rocket scientists. Let's get the comment back on track.

We should evaluate the number of firehouses and firemen we need in light of 83 structure fires in 2007, impact of increased response time (fewer houses--faster with more), and the cost benefit to the physical losses (human life losses have not been an issue).

And everyone has hard training to get their job. People put up with the paramedic training since it leads to a very comfortable job. In fact, most firemen have another almost full time job based on the schedules.

And in times of employment shortages (excluding immigrants), we should not be using government jobs to reduce job opportunities.

Why debat any moron like the anonymous guy about issues concerning the fire department. I highly doubt this guy even has a corporate job and appears to be very jealous of the local government employees who have good jobs and yes make more money than him.

The corporate clown is not even smart enough to realize why the fireman have to drive their fire truck to the grocery store to buy their food. Now, that is one dumb individual and he has no common sense.

Keep the laughs coming...

Firefighter Friend,

It is me again, the same Anonymous as before. The fact that firefighters have time to go to Jewel and cook meals is a strong indication that they have a lot of spare time on their hands.

In the corporate world we are required to bring our lunch with us or buy it cooked. We get an unpaid half an hour to find a way to eat. Period! I can not imagine the work force in a corporation finding time to go out and buy food and cook it on premises. We do not have that kind time because we have work to do. Our corporations would never allow that kind of time for dining, eating or whatever you want to call it.

It seems to me if the firefighters have time to cook not one meal but 2 meals on the job per shift, they have lots and lots of free time on their hands. Who are you trying to kid, Firefighter Friend?

They spend many hours of the day watching TV. Is that allowed anywhere else in the corporate world? Not even the cushy police dept of Naperville allows officers to watch TV? How can you convince us they work so hard when they have all this time to shop, cook, eat, wash dishes, and watch TV all while the time clock is running on the taxpayer. I do not know if they have internet connections and can surf the net. But my guess is they do! The last time I visited 2 decades ago they had TVs but no internet. But they did play a lot of basketball outdoors while on the time clock. LOL... And you are trying to tell us they are soooooooooooooo busy! Show me one corporate employee who is allowed to play basketball on the job. He would be fired instantly! Yes, it seems like life is easy in the fire lane....kind of like New Orleans and easy street!

As far as how much they pay for their meals out of their pockets is none of the taxpayers business. If they want to spend 20 dollars a person or 4 dollars a person that is irrelevant and is of no concern to taxpayers. What is relevant is they have time to cook a meal from scratch at taxpayer expense including shopping for the ingredients and washing the dishes. Who cares if the meal is ordinary or gourmet! That is not the point, Firefighter Friend. If they were truly busy, they would run to a fast food joint and pick up a meal like the majority of the working population. Just for the record you can buy 3 double cheesburgers and an order of fries at McDonalds for 4 bucks. No need to waste time shopping, cooking, and washing dishes! Besides there would be no need for gas to cook and water to wash dishes which I am sure the taxpayer is paying for and not the firemen. This is a petty expense but it is the principal that causes me to mention it.

If so many emergency calls are coming in as you or someone indicated, how can these poor firemen ever find time to complete cooking their meal and eating it uninterrupted. It seems like they could never get a hot meal with all these nurmerous daily emergencies. It seems like the glove is just not fitting and if that is the case there is a need to convict and not acquit.

The point is unlike the rest of the workforce in America they have time to shop for food, to cook, to eat, and to wash their dishes all on taxpayer time. Yes, I have seen the firemen drive their big fire engines to shop at grocery stores. What a waste of taxpayer gas money to drive these gas guzzling 20 ton fire engines to pick up their groceries. The private vehicles of the firemen sit outside the station some getting 33 miles a gallon and they decide to drive a big red fire engine to the grocery store that gets 3 miles a gallon. Is this not an abuse of taxpayer money? Why are we putting all this wear and tear on our precious and very expensive fire engines that should strictly be used for fires and other emergencies like car accidents.

This inappropriate and uncalled for use of taxpayer fire engines will reduce their lifespan in half. The taxpayers will have to replace them after 10 years instead of 20 years due to all the wear and tear caused by taking them to the grocery store twice a day. All, I can say is how shameful that anyone would waste taxpayer money in this fashion. They need to be concerned about the budget as much as we are. Next time you see fire fighters using their(really our) fire engines to shop, I ask all citizens to approach them and remind them the city has an 11 million dollar deficit and it would be appreciated if they would do their share to reduce the deficit by being more cost conscious! Remind them politely that they also have a $26.9 million deficit in their pension fund and it can only be knocked out with extreme frugalness if at all possible!
(Personally I doubt it is possible, unless they take pay cuts and reduce their pension benefits to 50% while agreeing to retire at 65 instead of 51 to 55.)

Next time I hope when firemen go to the grocery store, they kindly drive their own vehicles and not the taxpayers' big red fire engines. Remember we own those fire engines and not the firemen. They are only in their care and custody for safe keeping and proper use! They are not toys or taxi cabs! We expect them to baby them for us and not to abuse them for personal chores to the grocery store or anywhere else for that matter. Thank you!!!!

Firefighter Friend,

Anonymous said firemen work hard or harder the first 10 years.

He stated the next 20 years they are allowed to let their certification to be paramedics lapse, thus easing their tasks and workload, without a corresponding reduction in their pay.

You failed to address why all these fire fighters are given the easy road in their last 20 years.

You failed to address if they deserve 75% pensions after they retire at age 51 or 55.

You failed to address the affordability issue of these retirement pensions at such young ages. You don't seem to understand that the firemen pension fund is $26.9 million in the red despite the fact that we give them around 21.16% in matching funds annually.

I like how you skim over all the important issues Anonymous raised while you provide us with one sided propaganda. Get real, my friend! This blog site is not Disneyland for fiction and entertainment!

Dear Anonymous,
Lets take another look at some of the "other" things you stated in your last post.....

Lets talk about meals.... You stated the Firefighters "cook gourmet meals." I asked about their meals and here's what I just learned. Naperville Firefighter / Paramedics pay into a collection, each morning. Each member gives $8.00 per shift for someone to cook lunch and dinner. Further, they take turns each shift and each member in the crew cooks. Lets brake that down further.... $4.00 per person, per meal. If there are 6 people on duty in that fire station that works out to be a budget of $24.00 per meal, to feed 6 people a balanced meal. When was the last time YOU were able to cook a gourmet, well balanced meal for 6 adults, for $24.00 ??? And, no the city does not pay for their meals ! Now, go to Jewel or Dominicks and try to keep on budget with the money they collect...GOOD LUCK !!!

While we are on the subject of meals.... Did you know that the firefighters donate "dinner with firefighters" to local charities. These charities than auction off these meals to raise money for the charity. And who pays for these meals, the firefighters out of their own pocket.

On the subject of charities... Did you know that our firefighters donate several thousand man hours to other local charities, like the MDA or St. Baldricks children cancer, just to names a few. This is public knowledge and has been written up in the SUN many times.

Now lets move on to age and hiring. YES, the minimum age for a firefighter / paramedic is 21 years old. The simple truth to the matter is, most 21 year olds do not have the other minimum requirements for the job. After 4 years of college, at 21 years old, you decide you want to try and become a firefighter. First you need to go take an Emergency Medical Tech (EMT) course and pass a state exam. Being an EMT you have been trained in BASIC LIFE SUPPORT. You can not and have not been trained to start IV's, given drugs, etc.... At this point you can go to work for a private ambulance company and take grandma from a nursing home to a doctors appt, in a BASIC LIFE SUPPOT (BLS) ambulance. At this level you are not trained in Emergency 911 level calls. After about 1 year your employeer MAY be willing to write you a letter of sponsorship into a paramedic program at one of our local hospitals (Edward or Good Sam).

Now you are in a paramedic training program, what does that entail. For the next 2 years you will be sitting in a classroom learning about the human body, pharmacology, cardiology, etc. Additionally you will be required to complete clinical, and hopital rotation time. You will train in the Emergency room and learn emergency care. Than, and only than, will you be required to ride with senior paramedics in an Advance Life Support ambulance. This ride time is meant for you to learn how to treat a person, in a moving vehicle. Now you are ready to sit for the state IDPH test. If you pass, you can start applying for jobs.

OK, 6 months EMT traning, 1 year working as an EMT and 2 years of paramedic school. You are now 25 years old and you have just met the very basic requirements to apply for a job with the naperville fire department. OH, Wait there's still more testing. State law requires that fire and police departments develop a hiring list every two years. To get a number on this list you must pass written, background, physical, psychological testing. Most people don't pass this testing the first or second time, if at all.

Lets say you pass this testing, using normal averages. You are now 30 years old, you have been working in the Hospital as a tech, or in a doctors office as an assistant, or on a private ambulance moving people from the hospital back to a nursing home. You now have 5 years under your belt working as a paramedic and your number comes up for entering the fire department as a probationary firefighter / paramedic. YOUR TRAINNG HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN.

For your first few months on the job you enter the training academy and learn basic firefightering skills. Once you have completed the academy you than are assigned to a fire station. At this point you are given a ringed binder with over one hundred pages of job requirements that you must complete before the end of your one year probationary period. The binder and the items in it must be worked on with you as the student and the rest of the crew as your teacher. You now will be required to sit for the state firefighter exams. If you fail to meet the requirements of your probation time, you are released. ALL OF THIS INFORMATION IS CONTAINED IN THE APPLICATION PACKET AT THE TIME YOU APPLY FOR THE JOB. LOOK IT UP, IT'S PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE !!!!

If you pass all of that.... the fire department has water recovery teams, haz-mat teams, fire investagation teams, public education teams, technical rescue teams ... ALL OF WHICH YOU MUST GO TO SCHOOL FOR AND PASS STATE TESTING TO COMPLETE. ONCE YOU HAVE PASSED THE STATE TEST, YOU ARE STILL REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN CONTINUING EDUCATION TIME.

THE NAPERVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS SOME OF THE BEST TRAINED, AND MOST HIGHLY QUILIFIED PEOPLE WORKING FOR IT. People that have given their own free time, OFF DUTY, to gain further education and state certifications. Also, several firefighters hold federal level training and have been deployed to new york, new orleans, and chicago as part of a federal assistance team. LOOK IT UP, THEY HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT IN THE SUN.

Our firefighters simply do not have the time to just sit around, as you stated. I for one would given the shirt off my back to any one of the great people.....

You need to do your homework before throwing stones. You are relying on something that ONE person, from another town, told you. You need to go out and get the facts, not rumors.

Anonymous: The only guy who seems out of shape during tuesday DUI court is the 400 lb jailer w/the cheezy mustache in the powder blue uniform. All the real cops seem to be very fit. Very fit but very tired from having to be in court after working a 12 hour midnight shift. Also, just curious, for as much venom as you have for NPD, were you ever one of the 700 or so DUI arrestees they make per year? Just wondering......

While I understand the large concern with the Police and Fire OT we need to look at the other departments like Electric and Public Works. Did you know the Electrical Lineman are always scheduled for Saturday work? This always falls into the OT catagory. Have you ever seen the Electric Department trucks on Saturday morning? I have, at your nearest Dunkin Donuts or GiGi's and even Grandma Salleys. Follow your local Electric service truck someday you'll see how productive they are.
As for Public Works, have you seen the New Castle they built. Millions and Millions have been spent here. Why if there is a budget shortfall?
All should take the time to look around and see our Public Employees and how unproductive some of them are. Maybe if they all tried alittle harder they could feel alittle more security in their jobs.

Thank you to Fireman friend,John Q. Public, and councilman Bob. The information stated has been invaluable.

Anonymous,
Your numbers are just a little wrong. A firefighter / paramedic can request to drop his paramedic certification after 10 years, IF and only IF minimum staffing is met under the fire departments state of Illinois license. What this means is, only one person working in any of our cities 9 fire stations can be a firefighter, everyone else in the fire station must be a paramedic. OK, so 9 people CITY WIDE can be non-paramedic. OR, to look at it another way, 55 firefighters per shift are paramedics. Further, the paramedics rotate time on the ambulance. One shift on the engine, one shift on the ambulance. Also, the median time on the job for the firefighters is currently 15 -17 years, and median age is in the mid 40's. Not as many rookies as you may think and you don't dump work on someone that may save your life one day. If you think the firefighters are that shallow, you have never met one.

Lets also talk about retirement. Do you want a 60 or 65 year old trying to carry someone, or pull hose into a burning building.... you may be in shape at 60, but not as fit as a 30 year old. Firefightering is a limited time career. A career that MOST people can not do later in life. Every year they are required take physical fitness exams and be cleared by a doctor to continue working.

As for work hours... fire prevention inspections can account for 5-6 hours per day. Add on top of that 2-3 hours of required training. And lets not forget 1-2 hours each morning performing vehicle checks and inventories. All paramedic equipment on both the fire trucks and ambulances must be inventoried and signed for. Lets not forget cleaning and disinfecting both the fire station and equipment inside the vehicles. Cleaning and disinfecting is required daily due to diseases that can be spread. Repairing anything that is worn or broken.

Yes, there is down time in the evening, if there aren't any of those 13,000 calls being handled. Every job and every worker is given a break or lunch time, no matter what career you are in, it's the law. The only difference is, when you go to lunch you are off work. When they go to lunch, they are on duty, available to drop everything and handle your emergency 13,000 times a year. Cold lunch at 3pm or dinner that was cooked at 5 and eaten at 8pm.

Yes, firefighters are allowed to workout. Being in shape is the nature of the job. Being able to safely lift people is a daily job requirement. Further, you try and carry 75 lbs of equipment on your back (fire clothing, air packs, tools, etc..) while climbing 7 stories in one of those highrises on the north side of town. OR, crawl into a burning building, with that 75 lbs on your back, and the temperature in that building is 200 degrees at the floor and over 1000 at the ceiling (look it up).

As for what I do for a living... I work in a hospital. I know firefighters, paramedics, as well as doctors and the staff in the emergency services office at the hospital. Unlike you, I know people that I can ask questions and get the REAL facts. You are just plan wrong with your 14 minute statement. Yes, there are benefits to being a firefighter. BUT, there are also just as many, if not more things on the down side. I have seen many of these fine people effected by watching another person die, or seeing another person so severally injuried that that they may never have a normal life again. They also willingly help people that have just lost everything they own in a fire.

I for one support these fine and caring people.

Anonymous,
Naperville is not close to being broke. A budget surplus is being projected. Salaries will not be cut. Most people value their safety. I dont think you would want a cop making $10/hr, let alone a firefighter responding to your house while your family is being sliced up by a murderer.

I say raise taxes. Let us continue to enjoy this great city.

You see...normal people don't agree with your views-outside of the blog. Last time i checked the city and council support law enforcement and are very happy for the bang they get for the buck.

Firefighter Friend,

Ok, you made your point! I agree it can't be done in 14 minutes.

Maybe it takes an hour or two per day.

It seems like the paramedics are working hard.

But keep in mind after 10 years, firefighters are exempted from paramedic duty. Maybe in the next 20 years before they retire they are only working 14 minutes a day.

It appears the firefighters make the newcomers work a few hours a day, while they work 14 minutes a day after letting there certification lapse after 10 years.

You talk about how nice it is to have many paramedics in the NFD. But you don't see a problem with over two thirds giving up their parmedic certification after 10 years. And yet we continue to pay them as if they are paramedic certified. Don't you see a problem here, Firefighter Friend???

If you point out all the positive and try to hide all the negative you will be deemed not credible on this blog site. You seem to be very knowledgeable. So ante up the truth and nothing but the truth without painting a rosy picture by attempting to hide all the problems for your friends at the Fire House.

Being as one sided as you are will only destroy your credibility and reputation. You remind me of Editor Tim West who is also very one sided and thinks Naperville can do no wrong. He has 0 credibility and his blog site is a DISASTER.

Now Host Ted presents both sides in a fair and balanced manner and his blog site is successful

Try to be more like Host Ted instead of Opinion Editor Tim West if you want to have any credibility.

Your propaganda post that exaggerates and adds salt and pepper belongs on Tim West's blog site where no one will see it, hear of it, or read it.

Now since you know so much, do tell how many hours they spend playing basketball, watching TV, play X Box, cooking gourmet dinners, lifting weights, surfing the net and whatever else. How many other jobs in America allow all these niceties. Not even the Naperville Police officers have such cushy jobs. The Naperville Fire Department are in a class by themselves....and they get paid very very well and can retire from paramedic duty after 10 years. They can skate thru the last 20 years and retire at age 51 with not even a sore muscle after having only average 14 minutes of work per day in the last 20 years, since they are having the junior do all the work for them. How very nice!!!

Car factory workers just lost all matching contrbutions to their pensions by Ford and GM. United Airline employees lost their entire pensions due to bankruptcy several years ago. Can you explain why we have to give the firefighters 21.16% matching contributions from your money and mine while they have such cushy easy jobs in a struggling economy. You need to call an ace and ace and a spade a spade once in a while.

And you need to stop pretending you are a Firefighter Friend why you are a Fire Fighter. No one approves giving the firemen all this money at their expense unless they are benefitting. Maybe I am wrong and your husband or wife is a firefighter. But for you to be defending them to this extent and be so one sided indicates you are the unjustified beneficiary of these crazy sums of money and benefits that we pay our firemen....during the first 10 years, during the second 20 years and during the 40 years or so of retirement! That is the reality, my friend!

I would like to address the misinformation being repeated OVER and OVER in these blogs.....

Many times, in several posting, many of you have stated that a Naperville Firefighter does nothing but sit around all day. Further you have stated that fires are down in Naperville.....

First, just look thru the Sun. In the past month there has been OVER 10 fires reported in the SUN and one building explosion. All of these fires reported in the SUN state that the Naperville Fire Department has arrived in less than 6 minutes and the average time for the fire to be put out is just 15-20 minutes. BUT, the FIRE damage has created an average dollar loss of $70,000. AND, the fire department has salvaged most of the homeowner’s belongings. YES, the fire department does salvage and overhaul work. They help the homeowner protect their belongings from further damage. They cover homeowner’s belongings with traps and arrange for the family to have somewhere to stay until their insurance company can get a claims agent out. Further, they help with closing the house up so Mother Nature and animals can't get in and do more damage. Think about those priceless family photos, clothing, furniture, etc... Ask any of these families what they think of the fire department.

Second, the job title is FIREFIGHTER / PARAMEDIC. OK, nationally fire are down, BUT ambulance calls are up. WAY UP. I asked a firefighter from Naperville how many calls they have run this year, the answer was over 11,000 to date, and that was at the beginning of November ( check this number out, I did ). If we average that out, they will handle 13,000 calls this year. Naperviile has seven ambulances. Further, all of the Naperville fire vehicles are paramedic equipped. Want does that mean to you or me? If and when the ambulance assigned to the fire station near your home is busy, and the next available ambulance has to come from another station, the nearest available fire vehicle will be sent at the same time. You may get a fire truck coming to help you first and the FIREFIGHTER / PARAMEDICS from the fire truck can start medical care while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Let’s do some math.... Seven ambulances, seven fire engines, one heavy rescue squad and 3 ladder trucks. That equals 17 PARAMEDIC equipped vehicles that are available to handle 13,000 calls this year. Do you think for just one second that a private ambulance company will supply Naperville with 18 paramedic equipped vehicles? The answer is NO. Glen Ellyn has one private ambulance, Elmhurst has 2. When there are more calls, and they need help, they call other towns around them for an ambulance. Now let’s look at that... The ambulance that YOU are paying for, to protect YOUR family is in the next town over helping someone else, what's going to happen if YOU need help. YOU are going to have to wait. AND, YES THIS DOES HAPPEN, ALOT.

Now, let’s do some time lines.... The average ambulance call takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete. WHY you ask.... again, I asked. This time I asked not only a FIREFIGHTER / PARAMEDIC, but also an emergency room nurse and doctor that I know.... 5 minutes to get there, 20 minutes to treat ( IV, DRUGS, OXYGEN), 5 or more minutes to move the person to the ambulance (think about the last time you had to move a piece of furniture from your upstairs bedroom, down to the driveway. Your dresser weighs 100 lbs and you may weigh twice that. Further, moving a human being takes more care to move). Now, you are in the ambulance. It takes an average of 7-10 minutes to drive safely to the hospital, OR more depending on traffic and weather. Once at the hospital you are turned over to the nurse that is going to care for you. This means giving a verbal report of your problem and what the paramedic has done to help you. WAIT... We are not done yet, Now the inside of the ambulance has to be cleaned and disinfected. Disinfection to clean up blood, urine, bowel movement and / or airborne germs that may be left behind. After that is complete, the ambulance needs to be restocked and a report has to be written. YES A REPORT. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) mandates that after every call, before leaving the hospital, a complete report must be written and placed with the person's chart at the hospital. Also, a copy of that report is placed on file at the fire department headquarters in case of any later legal action.

Legal action.... Car crashes, falls, fights, or just about anything else you can think of... people file suit against other people and FIREFIGHTER / PARAMEDICS are subpoenaed to testify. If the case goes to court years later that report is the only thing to document what was done and who was helped. Just watch TV and count that number of commercials you see every day for lawyers looking for your business.

Before I forget, In order to meet other IDPH requirements, a paramedic MUST have had continuing education. One hour is spent each work day reviewing medical subject matter and 4 hours are spent once a month in a class covering current medical subjects. These classes are instructed by hospital / doctor trained teachers.

While we talk about training.... The firefighters are also required to spend ATLEAST one hour each work day covering fire subjects. Also, once a month they are required to report to the Naperville fire department training tower, behind station 4, and complete 3-4 hours of training that covers.... cutting people out of cars, above and below grade rescue (OSHA requirements), live fire training, and repel from the top of their 5 story tower.

AGAIN...ALL OF THESE TRAINING HOURS ARE ON FILE AND MUST BE SUBMITTING TO THE STATE. Further, these files are kept as a protection against those lawyers I spoke of before.

Let’s move on.... What do FIREFIGHTER / PARAMEDICS do the rest of the day. The law requires fire prevention inspections of EVERY business, warehouse, office and multi-family home (apartments and condos) once each year. Take a look around, grab the yellow pages and look at the number of buildings this law covers. Who do you think does these inspections?? Just ask a store or business owner. For every inspection there is a form that must also be filled out. And, many of these inspections require a reinspect to check and see if violation has been corrected.

Walking thru these buildings can be a good thing. By doing fire prevention inspections, fires are down. And if a fire does occur, the firefighters in most cases will have an idea of the layout of the building.

After the training, inspections, and the 13,000 calls are handled, what else?? Did you know that the several of the firefighters handle equipment and tool repairs. Most of the equipment they use, is repaired in house. All of the firefighters, that do repairs, are factory trained. What does that mean to us? SAVINGS, big dollars !!!! To send an air pack out to be repaired, cleaned, updated or maintained at the manufacture is several hundred dollars. They do this in house, on duty, for no extra pay. The same goes for hose nozzles. To send a nozzle for repair to the manufacture would cost $400 - $500, they do this in house and on duty, for no extra pay. I could gone on about the items they repair, but you get the point.

Let’s not forget public education. These firefighters go to schools and talk with kids. Several of the fire crews have regular, weekly, programs that they do with our children. These programs have helped reduce the number of kids starting fires, again fires are down... Firefighters also do schedule tours of their fire stations. But, these tours are scheduled so they do not conflict with training or inspections. The firefighters want to schedule these tours so that they can spend time with these groups and give them the time they deserve.

Finally, let’s not forget staffing. Lots of numbers have been thrown around in this blog, so let’s look at that. Naperville runs 3 shifts. Each shift works 24 hours on and 48 hours off. There are 18 vehicles with 3 firefighter / paramedics on each, and one battalion chief, each day. That means that there are 54 firefighter / paramedics on duty at any given time. Another 10 firefighter / paramedic are off each day due to vacation time, sick time, workers comp, AND FEDERAL FLSA laws. So, that Naperville does not have to pay overtime, due to the number of hours worked, the firefighter are given one UNPAID day off each month. You can look this up, its call Kelly days. If you add the numbers, 54 on duty, 10 off duty, and multiply that by 3, you get…. 64 x3= 192.

Next, why 24 on and 48 off…..TO REDUCE OVERTIME PAID. By not changing crews every 8 hours, the possibility of overtime is greatly reduced. If an ambulance goes out to help someone just before shift change, and they are out for 2 hours, that would mean 2 hours of overtime would have to be paid. Limit the number of shift changes, limit the amount of overtime. Further, you can not switch paramedics during the middle of a call. In lawyer speak, it’s called continuity of care. If you do not provide a reasonable level of continuity to the care that you provide, you will be needing lawyer. And, if the fire department gets a law suit filed against it who do you think is going to pay???? YOUR TAX DOLLARS.

If all this can be completed in just 14 minutes, as some of you say, than I am just speechless….

By The Anonymous on November 10, 2008 11:10 PM
For your information...

The police have a UNION contract and would never agree to a salary decrease-neither would an arbitrator. So don't bother bringing it up-it is a moot point.


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What bold arrogance!

If they don't agree voluntaritly, the residents can vote to abolish home rule. With 5% limitations on annual tax increases which can not keep up since the 20% increases could not keep up and resulted in a 60 million dollar pension fund deficit, the city would certainly have to file bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy will exempt the taxpayers from having to pay the police and fire pensions they can ill afford to pay. The unions have no say in bankruptcy and can not stop it. If the money is not there, the Judge will permit bankruptcy to proceed.

It happened in California. What makes you think it can't happen in Naperville. We are both in the USA and operate under the same Federal Bankruptcy Laws.

Arrogance will get you, the union, the police and the fire fighters nowhere.

Compromise is the solution.

Wages need to be reduced 50% and pension pay-outs need to be 50% of the reduced salaries and not 75%. That will get us out of the hole we are in and lead us to solvency.

I am sure if the Napergate Man came out and started his 3rd petition drive he could get the signatures needed to abolish home rule. He was known to get 3500 signatures when the population of Naperville was half of what it is now.

Does anyone know if 7000 signatures on a petition will get Home Rule on the ballot for the next election? I believe if can get it on, it will be abolsihed. Can we get any help here from Council Members Dick or Bob who seems to care about these excesses that are killing our budget and our town!

I say let us get it on the ballot and show that ARROGANCE has no place in our lovely city. Only if we bankrupt the pension system by making sure taxes are not available for it, can we return to solvency.

Let us face it we have seen 20% increase in taxation annually only to see our pension deficit become substantially worse...not better. Is there anyone besides me who smells the coffee brewing!

Can you shed some light, Host Ted? When is your last day, we will miss you?

I believe the majority of your bloggers who read the internet edition thought Tim West is leaving as it was in his column with no picture of you as in the print edition. Only after I read my print edition of a few days ago this morning did I realize it is you who is leaving.

My greatest fear is Tim West will run the Naperville Sun again. As you can see his threads are a total failure compared to yours. He is lucky to get one post or two a week. Maybe a month is more like it. He is very unpoplular with his readers despite being around for 2 generations. One reason is he censures all non-Establishment views. I sent him many posts and none were published. My friends experimented and had the same results.

Tim West wants One Party Rule in town....the Establishment Party.
He does not recognize the Napergate Party. His failed blog site indicates readers do not tolerate biased one sided editors.

Anyway it is sad to see you depart, Host Ted. If you turn the reins over to Opinion Editor Tim West expect both the Naperville Sun and your wonderful blog site to fail within 6 months to a year.

I hope you turn it over to one of the ladies that assist you! I don't know their names or anything about them but no one can be worse than EDITOR TIM WEST! Sorry, if the truth hurts...but the truth is the truth.

I wish you well in your new career. Losing the Napergate Man, then Jim Lynch and now you is going to regress all we have accomplished over the years. With no watchdog left in town, expect our city officials to return to business as usual and destory Naperville. Mark my words! Your departure is a sad day in the history of this special town! I am personally very saddened today! I know many other bloggers will be when they find out! Including most if not all Napergatians! Nothing but the best wishes for you, Host Ted!

Your fairness will always be remembered and appreciated. You will leave a legacy just like Harold White did. I am glad you own his big desk. You filled his big shoes and are worthy of its ownership and safekeeping!

Johnny Cochran,

You are totally exaggerating. Since cops work 12 hours shifts, it is unlikey, this court time is sandwiched between two 12 hour shifts even though at rare times it may be.

Most cops who write the tickets, can choose what Tuesday they want them to be for. An intelligent cop will choose a Tuesday he is not working. These sessions are held every Tuesday and not every cop appears every Tuesday. Most cops appear one Tuesday morning a month in DUI court and one Tuesday morning a month in Traffic Court. In both cases collecting OT without ever being called to testify. In the rare incident they are needed to testify they do so in the afternoon or another scheduled date that is convenient for all parties including the cops. I have never seen the cops barely able to open there eyes. They look very fresh except for one who is out of shape and is always yawning.

Chief Dial needs to put this one cop on an excercise routine before he gets a heart attack like the other cop in the NW Suburbs if he ever has to chase down a suspect. I am a little surprised Chief Dial is not pro-active when a cop is completely out of shape that he is having trouble breathing. I would think he would care to do something for this cop before it is too late. Give him a 3 month leave of absence and tell him to hit the gym. Hire him a personal trainer to motivate him. Don't we care about the health and well being of our cops? Don't we want our cops to be competent on the job? This one cop would collapse if he ran 50 yards after a suspect. That I guarantee!

I would rather see money spent on a personal trainer to save a cop's life, than watch cops collecting OT in a jury box like a "potted plants." I can justify the former since we are saving a cop's life but not the latter since we are abusing taxpayer money unnecssarily.

With 12 hour shifts, they are working closer to 3 days a week than 5 days a week.

You seem to admit they are only there for 1.5 hours as the Napegatians have been stating but do not address, why they are paid for 3 hours.

You also fail to address, why if they are required to be there, they all get up and skip the second session which is a continuation of the cases of the first session that were not called due to lack of time.

The bloggers here are not complaining about their DUIs. It seems like they accepted them and suffered the penalty and consequences. They learned their lessson. The police should be commended for issuing the DUIs. I personally commend them. But that is a mute issue that is not in dispute!

You are skirting the issues of triple time for 1.5 hours of pay.

You are skirting the issue of whether they have to be there or not.

You say it is the Chief Judge's decision for them to be there, yet they bolt out like that Jamaican Sprinter Yussein Bolt as soon as the Judge calls a break and never dash back the 100 meters.

You do not explain why other towns don't have their cops sit like
"potted plants" in their court sessions. I am sure you are aware that Naperville is not the only town giving speeding tickets or DUIs. All police do that, Johnny Cochran! I thought you died so I guess you provided proof that Heaven exists. That is refreshing! ONLY ON TED'S THREADS CAN THE DEAD COME TO LIFE AGAIN!

What is the policy of the Chief Judge of Will County?

Many questions remain unanswered. The Sun does not have the manpower to seek answers and it seems like other than Napegatians there are really very few bloggers here....unless you want to count WooWoo and WeeWee as bloggers! And some dead folks writing from Heaven! Good to hear from you, Johnnie Cochran. How is life up there? How does GOD feel about you getting OJ off a murder charge?
Is he OK with that? Just wondering what justice is like up there? How was your day of JUDGMENT!

I guess your goal now is to get the Naperville Cops off abuse of TAXPAYER MONEY! Let me know if it works!

For clarification, why is the big 400 lb jailer with the cheezy mustache wearing the powder blue uniform in DUI court EVERY tuesday collecting overtime? He isnt even a police officer!!!!

Why is the big 400 pound jailer with the cheezy mustache there EVERY week collecting overtime??? He isn't even a police officer!!!

To: All you knuckleheads complaining about the cops in Courtroom 4002. Do you knuckleheads really think the cops want to be sitting in court? This is the Chief Judges decision, not Chief Dials. Most of the officers in that courtroom probably headed into work at 4:30 pm to start their 5:30 PM shift the night before court. He/she then worked 12 hours, getting off at 5:30 am the day of court. The poor sap then has to wait 3 1/2 hours for 9am court to start. Now lets say his court time ends at 10:30 am. That is 18 hours this guy has been up. Now, after being up a minimum of 18 hours, he has to get in his car, barely able to keep his eyes open, and drive home, to get maybe 5 hours sleep tops before he has to go back in for another 12 hour shift. All for maybe 3 hours overtime. I truly believe this guy would rather be home sleeping, or enjoying time with his family. I have a really good idea for all the drunks complaining about police overtime....take a cab drunkie, and maybe you wont have to to watch the police officer in the jury box fight to keep his eyes open from fatigue.

For your information...

The police have a UNION contract and would never agree to a salary decrease-neither would an arbitrator. So don't bother bringing it up-it is a moot point.

I don't recall the Napergatians calling for police cuts, Fred!
The city of Naperville wants to cut the police force. Blame them!
From what I read, the Napergatians want more police.

1. They would like to see policemen hired at 40k instead of 60k, so we can increase the police force up to 50% and have better security in town so 2 gas stations can't be robbed by the same guy before police show up. Increased police would eliminate most OT and we would be able to pay regular time for a change. This will allow us also to increase personnel by 50% if we have no money wasted on OT. All this at no extra cost to the taxpayers but as a result of savings.

2. This would also decrease the pension costs for each police officer by 33% and save taxpayers money.

3. They would also like to see the retirement age upped to 65. This would also decrease pension costs. If a factory work has to work till 65 and can, a police officer with a much less strenuous physical job can do the same.

4.The Napergatians also called for a decreased starting salary for a fire fighter to achieve the above. They did not call for any lay-offs. They did not ask for firemen to cut their pay in half from what I can recall.

5.Some guy named AA called for the 10th station to be staffed from the other 9 stations. His plan was implemented by the City of Naperville. Great idea that had nothing to do with the Napergatians unless AA is a Napergatian. Not sure!

6.The City of Naperville decided to eliminate 3 or so fire positions. Don't you read the Naperville Sun, Fred? What is that have to do with the Napergatians. Blame the city of Naperville!

7. The Napergatians and the Napergate Man have long tried to control costs in the city starting in the early 1990s. Why would you blame all this on his arrest that took 15 years later. Yes, they were upset how his arrest was handled. I think they got over it a long time ago. Why bring it up? Are you insinuating that this is all retaliation against the city because of one arrest? That is a very unwise conclusion! Makes you look immature.

8.The Napergatians would also like to see Police OT managed better in the courtroom. Many other bloggers feel the same way. Nothing to do with the Napergate Man being arrested 3 years ago, Freddie. I think you are trying to change the subject to shift the focus off of cost saving measures. Please stay on subject!

9. Your conclusion that all this is done because the Napergate Man got arrested is your personal hallucination. Most of it is done because Napergatians who are mostly middle class folks can continue to afford to live in Naperville and pay their real estate taxes. It is becoming harder and harder for middle class long time Naperville residents to afford to live in Naperville. While the city council is ready to surrender the city to the McMansion owners, the Napergatians are not and will fight for their right to live in their beloved city at affordable prices. What don't you get, Freddie? They simply can not afford to pay starting 21 year old firemen and police a 59k salary plus let them retire at age 51 with a 75% pension. Councilman Bob has stated that this craziness has led to a 26.9 million deficit in the fire pension alone. He states the police will be much worse. Now we may have a 60 million deficit instead of 53 million deficit. If you feel so strongly against any kind of cuts, why don't you come up with 60 million dollars and donate it to the city since the Napergatians appear not to have it. Talk is cheap, Freddie! Tell us exactly how you intend to fill this deficit gap that is only related to pension. Are you a firemen who does not care if the city has to file for bankruptcy one day? Do you realize you will lose your entire pension if we have to file for bankrupty. Think of the cost saving measures suggested by Napergatians as possibly the savior of your pension. You ought to be praising the Napergatians. They did not put us in this 60 million dollar hole. They are trying to make suggestions to get us out of it. The Establishment rules Naperville and they are responsible for creating this 60 million dollar deficit in the police and fire pensions. Are you a weakling that is afraid of the Establishment and blaming them for the mess they created? The last I checked PC Dial, CM Marshal and Mayor Pradel were not Napergatians. They have been involved in running the town for a long time. Why would they not be responsible for this 60 million pension deficit in addition to the 11 million dollar budget deficit?
Why are you trying to make the Napergatians the scapegoat or sacrificial lambs for what your buddies in City Hall created over the last decade. Even when the economy was booming your buddies in
City Hall had a 53 million defict in the pension fund and a $5.1 million deifict in the operating budget. So let us not blame the economy. Your buddies in city hall created the mess and the Napergate Man being arrested for a DWS has absoluting nothing to do with the mess, its discussion and the solutions being seeked here, Freddie!

10.Sometimes things are just too simple and plain, that a guy like you Freddie rather than defend the police and fire budgets which in my opinion are indefensible goes off on a tangent againt the Napergate Man. It really is silly what you are implying...very immature!


BTW, Freddie the Napergatians would like to see all government waste ended....no matter where. Not just the police and fire departments. It seems like you want cuts and savings everywhere but where you work. I think that is what your problem is. Your just one of those selfish guys that wants others to make sacrifices for you while you collect a 90k pension from age 51 till you pass away at 100 or whatever age. You think firemen work hard while factory workers slack off on the assembly line. You have a distorted view of the world. Go ahead and finsih shining your fire engine. I saw a rain spot on it the other day! That is what you call hard work!

The economy may have slowed down, but Naperville's population hasn't decreased. Why would you cut Police and Fire when the population is still increasing? And I agree with the above statement about Columbine, you seriously don't know how many people are on the edge these days. Maybe the presence of a police officer is all we need to avoid something terrible in Naperville.

With the population increasing, the economy decreasing and the chance of crime increase, it seems to be a bad time to reduce police and fire.

All I can say Ellen is I hope your house never catches on fire if the city implements your system. As far as insurance goes, every city is rated by the insurance companies as far as response time, among other things to determine the rate paid for fire insurance. The worse the score, the higher the premium. As far as sprinklers, yes, the newer commercial and office buildings have them, but most houses don't, which is where the majority of fires are.

Your 14 minute a day and firemen sitting on their ass all day comment is in typical napergatian fashion. It is too bad you have so much anymosity toward the police and fire dept, all over some guy getting arrested for DWS.

Maybe you should do a little research and look at how many home fires they respond to in a year and how many they save. As far as the cuts, no thank you. It is very comforting to know I live in a city that has one of the highest rated fire departments in the state.

The city can cut out a lot of fat in other places before cutting vital services. For instance, do we really need the landscaped medians that are popping up all over town, including the ones your and my tax dollars paid for on Plainfield Naperville road? A road that isn't even owned by Naperville? How about the money spent mowing the medians on Rt 59, again, not owned by Naperville, but the state? All for the sake of keeping up appearances. How about the money wasted on the Carrilon? There are many places to cut spending, besides the Napergatian favorite targets.

Does anyone truthfully know how many hours a day the police work? Are they on 8 hour shifts, 12 hour shifts, etc. Do these shifts rotate every few weeks like most police departments?

The reason I ask this question is because I am unfamiliar with how it works exactly.

When I lived out east the system worked like this. Police worked 8 hour shifts and every month the shift rotated. So it was one month of days, one month of evening, one month of nights, and so on.

Any time the police wrote a ticket they somehow used a scheduling system that caused the person who got the ticket to appear in court (if they challenged the ticket) on a date when the officer was working days. This scheduling system removed all need for overtime pay related to court duty.

Most of the remaining overtime was for city emergencies and to cover shortages for vacation or sick time.

If police overtime for court duty can be better managed thru scheduling of court dates it would seem to be in everyones best interest to come up with a scheduling system that works.

Ellen,

The reason why I'm not calling for cutbacks is that fires are no less hot and spread no less quickly today than they did in the past. It doesn't matter that there are fewer fires to put out today. When you have a fire in your house, the fire department can't get there too quickly (do you have sprinklers in your house, BTW?). A couple of minutes can make a huge difference.

I highly doubt there was ever a time when firefighters spent the majority of their time fighting fires. The main determinant in the numbers and locations of stations, as well as the number of people staffing those stations has not been the amount of time they spent fighting fires, but how quickly they respond when a fire happens. There has to be a cutoff somewhere, of course; we can't reasonably locate a firestation next to every home. But if you really think we can afford to INCREASE response time, I suggest you walk around your neighborhood and see if you can get your neighbors to sign a petition to close the firestation nearest your home.

-JQP

By mason on November 9, 2008 4:46 PM
COLUMBINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


If you had any common sense you would have deduced that when a school is used as a polling place it offers the opportunity for someone who doesn't normally have access to a school to get in and cause havoc should they so desire. I applaud the Police Department for their foresight in additional security at the school polling locations.


___________________________________________________________________


Mason,

If you had any common sense, you would be asking that schools not be used as polling places instead of trying to instill fear. It seems like fear is being used by city supporters to enrich police at taxpayer expense. This bolony has to end at some point! It is a little to easy to see through it.

Councilman Bob,

As far as Bob Marshall, it is the system that is screwed up and not Mr. Marshall who is taking advantage of the system.

I think there is a problem with Mr. Marshall. No other city would have hired him to manage a city. He was a police officer for 30 years....not a municipal employee who rose thru the ranks and learned how to manage a city. The fact that we are 11 million in the deficit should tell you about his expertise in adjusting before disaster looms.

There is a perception in town he got his position due to connections he has. If he applied to another city and got a job fair and square there would be no big fuss on this blog site.

In the private world, you can not collect a pension from the corporation you work by retiring and coming back to work in another department. That would almost be laughable let alone tolerable. Since most taxpayers work for the corporate world and not the municipal world, it is hard for us to understand that you council members and state legislatures pass these ridiculous laws allowing such loopholes.

As a publicly elected official, CM Bob, you need to take some responsibility for our broken system and try to fix it. The pension numbers you put up indicate we can not afford this chaos. And you are telling us the police situation is worse than the fire situation! Goodness Gracious! Holy Mackeral! Maybe you better not post the numbers. I can only take so much! Thank you!

Why do the Napergatians even have to push you guys to make changes? I am thankful for the Napergatians. If it wasn't for them yelling and screaming on this blog site, I suspect the situation would have detoriated much worse before any action was taken by the city.

They had the foresight 2 years ago to tell us this was coming right on Ted's Threads as some call them? Why are the city council who are elected to be watchdogs not able to forecast disaster before disaster comes? Did you not want your positions when you ran for office? Did you not promise you will watch out for your constituents' interests? Why do we have to push you guys to watch out for the interest of the taxpayers?

Let us face it! You guys did nothing to pre-empt anything. The writing was on the wall to the tune of $5.1 million in the RED for this year and a deficit of 11 million next year before you guys did anything. It was not all about the economy! It was about being asleep behind the wheel!

We had a $23.5 million deficit in the fire pension fund alone last year when the Dow Jones Industrial was at a peak of over 14,100 and the economy was booming. The pension deficit has nothing to do with the economy. It has a lot to do with the broken system...both the council who pay way too much for starting salaries and the state government who demands 75% payment on these ridiculously high salaries to P @ F.

Common CM Bob! How could you guys justify paying a 21 year old man or lady more than 59k for a public safety job. Why are you not paying them much less and explaining that you pay less than the private sector because you guys can retire in 30 years with a 75% pension till you or your spouse dies. What a benefit to compete against the private sector to recruit top quality public safety employees? Remind them the private sector employee gets no PENSION and has to work till 70 years old to get full Social Secuity benefits which are a small fraction of pension pay-outs that come 19 years earlier for police and firemen.

I agree with the Napergatians that the starting salary for police and fire fighters should only be 40k until all pensions are eliminated permanently Once there is no pension, I can accept the current starting salary at least reluctantly. I can't speak for Napergatians. Just speaking for myself!

Mr John Q. Public.

As you, I would love it if fire fighers never ever had to leave the station. One day as far as fires, they may never have to leave the station.

What I don't understand is why you are not calling for some cutbacks in positions if and when it gets to this point. It is definitely approaching this point.

Yes, we all need insurance. But our insurance rates decrease as we have less catastrophes. Why don't we have a reduction in fire personnal when we have less and less fires due to better technology such as sprinkler systems that put the fire out before the fire fighters even arrive?

I agree with the Napergatians we need cutbacks. We just can't have fear bankrupt us. It is always better to get quicker service. Maybe we should have 100 Fire Stations and 2000 firemen so we can get 2 minute service in the event we get a heart attack instead of a 5 minute response time. Are taxpayers willing to pay 1 billion for this service. I think not! At some point, reason and logic has to prevail over fear! Affordability has to prevail over fear! The fire fighters want to keep us frightened so they can maintain their cushy jobs of working 14 minutes a day. And how nice they can collect 90k in pension retirement funds for 40 years or until they die for doing absolutely NOTHING!

What a bankrupt system? I hope it does not bankrupt us!

BTW, Ted, congratulations on your new job/career, and good luck!

-JQP

Disabled in Naperville wrote:

"Interesting discussion. I had no idea that NPD officers get overtime for showing up in court. Why is that? Isn't appearing in court part if their job?"

It is a part of their job, but it is a part that is unpredictable as far as the time requirement from week to week. I believe it depends on how many tickets they write, and on how many people choose to contest their tickets. It might require four hours one week, and zero hours the next. This makes it difficult if not impossible to work into a regular schedule that requires a certain number of officers to be on patrol throughout the city at all times. And police officers are not considered exempt employees according the federal regulations, so they must be paid overtime for work that is outside their normal schedule.

That said, I have no idea why a dozen officers should need to sit around a courthouse for two hours every day doing nothing, as many have said here. If Naperville PD really is managing it's officers' court time in a way that unnecessarily increases the number of hours required, then that practice needs to end. Overtime should never be treated as a way to artificially increase officers' takehome pay.

Councilman Bob,

Thanks for joining us again. It is always a pleasure to have someone reputable here with us. I wish your fellow council members would care to join us.

I am disturbed about these allegations so called "Napergatians" are making regarding all this waste of taxpayer money in the court system.

Like just about any citizen in Naperville, I got my tickets and saw all the cops sitting in the jury box. I also got tickets in other towns and saw no cops in attendence.

What is the truth, Councilman Bob? Do the cops really have to be there during status hearings when they are never called collecting OT? If they trully have to be there based on a requirement of the Chief Judge, then why are they leaving after the break when only half the cases have been called for status? Are they playing games with the Chief Judge or are they really not required to be there? Why is Chief Dial not monitoring the situation and understanding how painful rising taxes are in a depression?

Something is really not adding up? Could you please ask Chief Dial for some clarification at the next council meeting. I watch the council meetings on Cable TV as many thousands of other Napervillians and Napergatians. Please keep us informed, CM BOB!

Again thanks so much for caring to join us and be so informative as usual? I will always be voting for you due to your honesty and transparency. That is what good government is about!

COLUMBINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is why police are in our schools! They are protecting our children in case some nut case decides to copycat some of the other school shooting atrocities that have occured in America.

If you had any common sense you would have deduced that when a school is used as a polling place it offers the opportunity for someone who doesn't normally have access to a school to get in and cause havoc should they so desire. I applaud the Police Department for their foresight in additional security at the school polling locations.

A quick web search will give you the names of 42 schools that have had shootings (not gang related) since 1996. Don't say it can't happen in Naperville. It can happen anywhere.

Thanks for giving us all this information about fire fighters, Mr. Bob! I never knew anyone who only worked a half an hour a day, could cost the taxpayer an arm and a leg.

Police suddenly look like they are hard workers when you compare them to fire fighters.

Why do we need 200 fire fighters manning 10 Fire Stations? Since fires are down drastically due to safer building materials, sprinkler systems and fire alarms, why do we need all these fire fighters to man the stations. Yes, I know we still have a few car accidents here and there. Yes, we have a few heart attacks.

But I believe 100 fire fighters in the 10 locations can handle everything just fine. We would have 100 fire fighters working one hour a day instead of 200 fire fighters working 30 minutes a day. What are the odds we would even ever need 25 fire fighters to put out a fire? We know other towns are willing to support us if we ever had a high rise fire!

You can only get so many fire engines within the distance needed to put out a home fire. 10 fire engines is as good as 50 fire engines. No need for them to be interfering with each other and in each others way.

Let us lay off 100 fire fighters. If we need more help, many people would love to volunteer to be in a fire station and help with the non-professional duties such as shining the fire engines.

Times have changed and we are unwilling to change. Look at how viciously the Napergatians are attacked here for daring to suggest change. We need change! Obama campaigned on change and got 63 million votes.

Does the city council not believe in change? Does the city council not believe in stopping the hemorrage of taxpayer money to the fire fighters and police?

Council Member Bob,

It seems like you want to blame it all on the state. Let me ask you when was the last time you and your fellow council members contacted anyone in the state about the unresonableness of the current pension system. It is simply unaffordable! It is taking and leading us to bankruptcy!

Have you asked Darlene Senger to lobby on behalf of increasing the reitrement age of fire fighters to 65 now that she is a State Representative....to redcuing the benefits to 50% from 75%?

If Naperville, the wealthiest town, can't afford this pension system, how can poorer towns afford it. Naperville should take a leadership role and begin lobbying the state for a rehaul of this unaffordable pension system. It is no longer in tune with reality.

All private corporations long ago abolished pension. Now they are abolishing their tiny matching 401k contributions. We must do something soon and quick, Councilman Bob!

Councilman Bob,

You post is very frightening. Why do we have to pay 3.6 million in matching contributions while the fire officials only pay 2.0 million for their own pension contribution. This seems so unreasonable and unfair.

If the fire offials are making a 9.4% pension contribution, it appears we are making a 16.92% contribution for them right when large American corporations such as Ford just cut out their 2-4% matching contributions as no longer affordable.

And sadly the firemen and the taxpayers can make these humongous contributions and the deficit is getting larger not smaller.

This tells me the Napergatians are right. We should never have paid them so much in the first place. We should have factored the pension in as a very serious benefit and demanded fairness by asking for reduced salaries which as a city we have a right to do.

Police, fire and municipal employee pension benefits are MANDATED by the State of Illinois; the City has no choice on whether to participate. The only real choice the City has is regarding headcount of the participating employees, and we’re doing what our best to reduce City employee headcount now and into 2009 and beyond, so that should help reduce pension obligations over time.

___________________________________________________________________

Dear CM BOB,

Thanks kindly for providing the information. It is very helpful.
Your above statement is only PARTIALLY RIGHT as far as ability to reduce pension obligations.

Besides headcount, the city also has a choice in what they pay police and firefighters. You and I know through simple mathematics if cops and firemen were paid 40k for starting salaries instead of 60k for starting salaries, we could REDUCE our pension costs by nearly 33.33%. Pension costs are a direct correlation of 75% of final annual salary in final day of employment. It is indisputable that the salaries are controlled by the City Council and not the state. Otherwise all towns would be paying cops and firemen 59k plus and just not Naperville!

Why is this option of REDUCING PAY not being explored and considered seriously since our deficit just increased from $23.5 million to $26.9 million in just one year? It appears the situation is getting worse and not better despite significant matching contributions totalling $3.6 million just for the FIREFIGHTERS. And you are hinting the situation will be worse with POLICE OFFICERS! May God have Mercy!

I see a slippery slope deveolping CM Bob! Do you see one? What can we do to stop the slide before we have to file bankruptcy?

Ken,

So in essesnce you agree with me. They are making a token appearance so the offenders will see them and thus plead guilty. It seems like you are agreeing we are paying them 3 hours for a token 1.5 hour presence all at OT.

1. Most people will plead guilty to a speeding ticket if offered supervision whether a cop is there or not there. That is a fact from observation in numerous other courtrooms of other towns where the police don't show up. The deterrent there is if you don't plead guilty you will have to come back in the afternoon and the cop will be there. Or the Judge can shedule anyone that wants a trial for another date forcing you to come back...that is almost standard operating procedure if the cop is not present and you want a bench or jury trial. It is not going to happen instantaneously. Again, when encountered with those options, the defendents plead guilty. The prosecutor also reminds him that he will be missing more time, endangering his employment, and probably risking an insurance hike as prosecutors win 99% of these cases especially when a police officer is called for the trial which very rarely happens just for the record.

2. I was not referring to the other courtroom which I can't remember its number where speeding, turn signal and seat belt violations are handled. I was referring to the DUI Courtroom 4002 where only status of cases is being considered. Sometimes a hearing takes place in the afternoon or on another day where it is arranged for the cop to be there since it is known he will be needed.

3.There really is no need to be paying cops triple OT for 1.5 hours of work in the DUI courtroom or any other courtroom as a deterrent, since everyone in the world knows that when you eventually want your day in court you will get it and the cop will be there. There is no way a cop is not showing up on a DUI case....so my point is why have 15 cops sitting as "potted plants" milking the taxpayers for TRIPLE OVERTIME since you seem to have observed what I observed in that they leave after the Judge calls the 15 minute break half way thru the status roll call.

4.If this is the case and it is acceptable, why did our city Council Members in their infinite wisdom agree to pay them 3 hours of OT for 1.5 hours of work in union negotiations? It is the council members who need to get out there and do some field work and not the Napergatians who already are! They are the ones who are not up with the times. The Napergatians obviously are not exempt from getting tickets so they have observed what is going on. Unfortunately, most cops will not give a CM a ticket so they have no clue what goes on in these courtrooms. Maybe the police don't want the council to see and that is why council members in Naperville will probably be given passes on most tickets.

5.If what you are saying is there presence there is just to be seen so defendants will plead guilty, would it not be better for them to be seen for 3 hours instead of 1.5 hours since we are required to pay them for 3 hours anyway. It just sounds like a racket to me!

6. In the end what speaks loudest is the fact that 75 other towns in Dupage County who do not have the wealth we have from McMansion Taxation, don't send their cops to the morning sessions and their residents plead guilty in the same ratio as our residents.

7. Thus my conclusion is that this is an abuse and waste of taxpayer money. I hope you agree with me, Ken. Our police certainly can do better than waste 1.4 million dollars of OT in the courthouse.

8. My stomach churned further when I learned of 2 cops at a school election booth. My election booth also had about a dozen staff of which half were decent size and fit men. Does the police chief think 12 judges can't handle a 1 in a 10,000 chance an obnoxious voter would come in. This is the age of cellular phones where you can pick up your phone and call the police almost instantly as opposed to wasting 3 minutes looking for a pay phone and searching for coin. It is a new age and Chief Dial is still operating like it is 1979. The world changes and police chief Dial and his methods seemed to be stuck in the cement of the old police station on Jefferson.

9.It is sad to see 15 Naperville PO in one courtroom and maybe 12 PO in the other courtroom while our streets are unprotected. Yes, they are unprotected when a robber could hold up 2 gas stations 400 yards apart before police even show up. What kind of response time do we have? The problem is not having enough officers but having officers in the right place at the right time. Those 6 bike cops should not be sitting on bikes downtown. They should be circulating in their patrol cars other parts of Naperville that also pay unbearable and yet rising taxes. We already have 2 beat officers downtown after the laying off of one, so what the H@LL do we need 6 more during only 2 months in the summer...do we need them just to pay them...that is LUDICROUS. As one observer said, if we are so worried about the downtown let us put up 6 video cameras instead of 6 "potted plant" cops sitting on bikes and sociallizing. They could provide indisputable evidence when a crime is committed and no cop needs to show up in court being paid TRIPLE TIME since the video would force any defendent to plead guilty. Video cams don't socialize like bike cops so they most likely will be a better deterrent. Plus they don't charge us time and a half on the street and triple time in the courtrooms. It is a practical solution to our serious waste of taxpayer dollars.

10. Finally, my many thanks to Councilman Bob. His post speaks for itself. No need to comment. I love facts. I would only like to ask Councilman Bob to request a city committee to investigate police waste at the court house. Since the Npaerville Sun must not have the resources for watchdog duties and the Napergate Man is apparently retired, it seems like that is our only option. Unfortunately, while bloggers are making honest and credible observations, city supporters are attackng them as not credible or being Napergate Cult members or whackos. Therefore we need a credible committee set up by city council to spend 1 or 2 days in a Dupage Courtroom. I believe a committee appointed by council would be shocked at how 1.4 million dollars of taxpayer funds is being squandered. We can do better! Let us hope there is not this identical waste in the Will County Court system. Maybe the Chief Judge there was more clear in his requirement of attendence than the Chief Judge in Dupage. Let us hope we are not being socked and soaked twice. That would really hurt!OUCHHHHH!

Vanessa 11/6 @ 8p – On the amount of the pension deficit, we just got a report from the Naperville Firefighters’ (FFs’) Pension Fund in which their actuary set the unfunded accrued liability for FF pensions at $26.9M for 2009, up from $23.5M for 2008. The amount the City is to pay in 2009 toward amortizing that liability is $1.3M, up from $1.1M in 2008. (Under state law, unfunded pension liabilities have to be fully funded by 2033.) There are exactly 200 current employees (129 vested; 71 non-vested) who are participants in the FFs’ pension plan. There are also 24 retired employees and another 23 spouses/children/disabled who are receiving FF pension benefits. For 2009, the City’s portion of the FF pension contributions is projected to be $2.0M; the employees’ contribution is estimated to be $1.4M (for 2008 it was $1.9M for the City’s portion and $1.3 for the employees’). So, according to the FFs’ actuary, the City’s FF pension payment obligation is $2.0M (2009 amount) + $1.3M (unfunded amount) + $0.3M (interest adjustment on the remaining $26.9M unfunded amount) for a total 2009 FF pension contribution $3.6M, which is to be passed on to the property taxpayers. Since there are about 50,000 property tax-paying households in Naperville, that equates to about $72 per household. I’d be happy to send a copy of the report to anyone who requests one (email fieselerr@naperville.il.us or leave a message at 630.305.5333).

I haven’t seen the Police Pension Fund’s report for the upcoming year, but the City’s pension obligation there will undoubtedly be greater than for the FFs, since Naperville employs more police officers than firefighters. I’ll post the numbers for police pensions on this blog once I receive the report.

On Bob Marshall’s supposed “double-dipping”, that really isn’t a fair characterization in my view. Part of BobM’s compensation while he worked for the PD involved the City (and him) making payments to the police pension fund mandated and operated by the State of Illinois. So BobM would be paid his pension by the state-operated pension fund no matter what he decided to do after retiring. Should he be disqualified from a city management or other position because of that, when after retiring from the PD he could have sought a similar position in any other city or in the private sector?? Police, fire and municipal employee pension benefits are MANDATED by the State of Illinois; the City has no choice on whether to participate. The only real choice the City has is regarding headcount of the participating employees, and we’re doing what our best to reduce City employee headcount now and into 2009 and beyond, so that should help reduce pension obligations over time.

Maybe the solution with police officers having to be in court is to just have them stop writing tickets. Otherwise, they have to be there as witnesses. If they are not there, the person who received the ticket is found not guilty because there was no witness. The officers leave after the first hearing because anyone who sees the officer that gave them the ticket usually knows to plead guilty, and the officers are not needed for the later sessions. The officer only stays if a trial is requested. I have witnessed this system used in the Downers Grove branch court, and the Will County court in Joliet.
Unless the police stop issuing tickets, the system will not change just to help out a town's budget.

Plenty-O-Fat

Totally agree. There is NO NEED for police in our schools. I resent that our children have to see uniformed officers in school. It sets a wrong precedence.

Now I may be conservative, but police in schools are policies you would expect from Stalin and Hitler, not in the United States.

And a policeman that does NOTHING all day. Should we hire a doctor to walk around the schools so our children can learn about health? What about a banker so they can be exposed to financial matters? A Jewel Osco film processing clerk is a double benefit--learn about film processing and how to beat a liberal running as a Republican.

If you don't think there is fat to be cut from the NPD, here's a first hand account to consider. I spent election day as an Election Judge at one of the Naperville Jr High Schools. There were two police officers in the school that day. One was an officer who is assigned to the school on a regular basis and another was there just because of the elections.

Sorry folks, Naperville is not Alabama in the 1960's. Was the city expecting riots to break out at the polling place? Come on. Both of these officers spent most of the day just hanging around with the election judges, eating doughnuts and drinking coffee. A few times their standing around actually got in the way of processing voters through in a timely fashion.

Maybe twice during the day, the cop assigned to the school made an orbit through the school halls. When I asked him what kinds of situations he encounters in the school he described the occassional
run-of-the-mill disciplinary encounter. Now when I was in Jr High School, that was the vice principal's job. We didn't have uniformed police walking the halls (and I attended a Jr High were racial fights broke out in the halls every day!)

Neither of these officers needed to be there. Was it nice to have them around? Did it give everyone a warm and fuzzy feeling? Sure. But it was a huge waste of taxpayer money (I really hope they weren't on overtime). In the unlikely event of trouble, there were 10 election judges who were the front line folks to keep the peace at that polling place. And every one of those judges knew how to dial 911 in case of emergency.

Yeah, there is plenty of fat to be cut at the NPD. Mind you, the city is only 'cutting' 3 NPD head count. And you can't even call that a 'cut' because it's only the elimination of unfilled positions. It's like saying a reduction in a tax increase is a tax cut. It ain't so, Joe.

You can really tell where the clout is in City Hall. Of 23 'cuts', only 6 from the fire/police who make up the lion's share of city employees. The Transportation, Engineering, and Development department is cutting a like number (6), but have a much smaller head count to start with I'm sure. But I'm OK with wacking 6 from TED when I see positions like 'records technician' and 'project assistant'. Those just cry out to be cut.

Interesting discussion. I had no idea that NPD officers get overtime for showing up in court. Why is that? Isn't appearing in court part of their job?

Several years ago I asked the NPD police chief to empower disabled citizens to issue parking citations in Naperville to cars which are illegally parked in handicap parking spaces. State law allows for local municipalities to grant this power to citizens and many municipalities do permit it.

When you think of it, it makes sense. Disabled citizens are the ones most likely to witness these violations and afer receiving a couple of hours of training by the NPD, citizens can then assist in this enforcement role freeing up the police force to respond to more urgent matters.

In a rather curt letter Chief Dial rejected my request claiming that he wanted police officers to issue the tickets themselves and to show up in court to press the charges. It did not occur to me at the time that the chief might have a financial motive for preferring that police officers make the court dates. Interesting, isn't it?

Certainly this was an opportunity for the Chief to enlist the help of the citizenry to keep costs down (at least in a small way). Yet he rejected it out of hand.

This town is 150 years old. A 20 year policy is "new" particularly since it took fifteen to twenty years to be become fully implemented (if it has, there are firemen with more than 20 years service).

The point is the paramadics handle the calls.
Further, the paramedic "certification" of all firemen who really do not practice the service simply pays them for something they do not do. And if the more recent poster is correct and these people let these certifications lapse, do they lose 20% (or whatever the premium pay is for a fireman with the certification is) when they let them lapse.

Sorry my "facts", more appropriately comments or reflections are not up to date of Aurelius. I think this also points to the need to question all aspects of goverment service. It is amazing what we learn. And I think that most people are "genuine" in their thoughts.

Take a hard line wrote:

"JQP I disagree with you. Should you blindly accept the current standard even if it is too high and not warranted?"

No, you shouldn't. But then, you seem to blindly assume that it is too high and not warranted. Where is your evidence?

"I think that government should evaluate services each year to determine the impact 1) Financially and 2) service of a change. And since the City cannot afford to maintain its current spending without tax increases, it needs to prioritize everything."

I think the government's first priority should be to see to the safety of citizens. If there is evidence that they can SAFELY reduce the budget of the fire department, then I am okay with that. But I am not okay with making cuts that would reduce response time in emergencies.

Naperville residents are losing their jobs. Naperville residents are losing their homes. Naperville residents are losing their life savings.

Young families can not afford to life in Naperville. Elderly residents on a fixed income are being forced out of town. Even working families are having more and more trouble affording Naperville taxes.

Our property taxes are simply out-of-control. Part of the tax problem is the city. Part of it are all of the other taxing bodies. Most of all it is the fault of the school districts.

Even though our homes are worth less today IF we must sell them the assessor continues to increase our appraised value. The assessor has to make the amount he needs to collect match with what the city wants to spend. If the assessor lowered all of our property values to their current true fair market value the bottom would fall out of city hall and the assessor and finance director both know it... the city would be laying off a couple of hundred employees.

The economy is terribly. We are in a recession. Yet the city wants to increase our tax rate and the assessor wants to increase our assessed value. This is a recipe for disaster that is going to push even more good people over the edge financially.

We can thank a city council that didn't watch the bottom line. We can thank city staff that stood by and did nothing while this problem started to brew and then were deliberately too slow in taking firm and swift action. City staff despite all the current indicators continue to protect their fellow co-workers and delay any lay-off's or actual reduction in force. Overtime is still being paid. For all practical purposes it is still business as usual.

I'm not sure what it is going to take for Naperville city government to get serious with spending... controlling and managing expenses, but at present our financial problems are not slowly getting better each day. In fact they are getting worse.

How bad are we going to allow city finances to get before we all demand change?

With home rule authority and the current cavalier attitude in city hall and the assessors office it is likely that the amount we pay for city services will at least double in less than 3 years. Mark my word on that. If nothing changes to cut costs and curb expenses the city portion of our taxes are going to be going nowhere but up.

Let me see if I get this!

There are status hearings in Room 4002 in Dupage County Courthouse.

1. These staus hearings which also including pleadings of guilt take place between 830am to NOON every Tuesday.

2. It is alleged that the Chief Justice wants the cops in attendance during these status hearing sessions.

3. There are usually 50-100 cases before the Judge every Tuesday morning. All Naperville Cases brought by Naperville Police.

4. The Judge takes a 15 minute break between 10-10:30am

5. The status hearings and pleas that take place before the break are similar to the ones that take place after the break.

6. The cases are either called by chronological order or alphabetical order or a combination of both.

7. The cops collect 3 hours of OT if they attend the morning session or 6 hours of OT is there is a trial or evidentiary hearing and they have to stay for the afternoon session.

8. Unless everyone on this blog site is lying, it appears the cops make a token appearance collect their full 3 hours of OT while attending the pre-break session and take off in the post-break session.

CONCLUSIONS:

1. How is it possible that the cops are required to be there for the pre-break session but not the post break session when identical or similar cases are heard in each session.

2. It seems like some one is not telling us the truth when they say cops are required to be there for status and plea sessions.

3. Or maybe we are being told the truth and all the cops are possibly law breakers or rule breakers who leave without permission after the break.

4. Or maybe the cops really don't have to be there, but are just appearing for the sake of collecting this OT as the Napergatians are suggesting.

5. Since the NPD gives 800 plus DUIs per year, there are hundreds of witnesses here. It is a solvable case!

6. It is a shame that our newspaper can't send one of their columnist or reporters to observe what is going on.

7. If Editor Tim West can find time to write about his cat and the hummingbirds in his backyard, he should find time to attend a court session and see if the Naperville Police Dept. is squandering 1.4 million hard earned dollars of taxpayer money on UNNECESSARY OVERTIME during these very rough economic times.

8. The Napergatians are reporting what they see. They are obviously engaged in fact finding missions. We have a bunch of whiners on this thread who waste their time attacking their leader, the Napergate Man, instead of responding to their factual findings.

9. Based on the above it becomes the duty of the Naperville Sun to do its on observations and fact finding. The Naperville Sun has claimed on this blog site, that this is a New Era and we will have a NEW Naperville Sun.

10. What I am seeing here is the old Naperville Sun covering for the establishment, the city, the police, the firemen, the city council and whomever else is squandering our hard earned dollars. What happened Host Ted? Did the bus stall? Are you afraid to take on the establishment? How could you sit idly by and not investigate these serious allegations that are provable one way or another?


These courtroooms have VIDEO SURVEIILANCE, Host Ted! Have your reporter go review the video tapes if you don't believe the Napergatians that the cops left after the break and in essence collected TRIPLE TIME for their token and possibly unnecessary appearances. Please take action, Host Ted! Your newspaper has credibility that the whining city supporters can not challenge. Plus there is a VIDEO TAPE that can seal the fate of this case one way or another! Good luck, Host Ted!

Don't buy the bolony that the Napergatians need to do the work themselves. They apparently have done the work and exposed the problem. All you need to do is verify it, and while there, please visit the Chief Judge and ask for the video tape of Courtroom 4002. Also ask him what his requirements are. Let us not believe everything Fraternal Order of Police Joe Matchett tells us. He is very biased and there is no evidence whether he is credible or not credible. A reputable newspaper needs to corroborate his so called "facts" as Blogger Ken refers to his one sided propoganda.

If it is proven that we have been wasting $1.4 million dollars a year either the Chief Judge of Dupage or the Chief of Police of Naperville or whomever, must step up and take responsibility and resign. They should also compensate the taxpayers for this waste of taxpayer funds. Whoever is guilty, if guilty, needs to also forfeit his fat future pension at taxpayer expense. Enough waste of our precious resources. We truly need a NEW ERA!

It seems to me like the Naperville Police Dept. needs to be under a microscope and evaluated for efficieny.

Neither the 2 locals newspaper, 2 regional newspapers, the city council or the city manager is willing to make the necessary changes to eliminate this 3.15 million in overtime.

We should feel fortunate that the Napergatians are willing to play the watchdog role at no cost to the taxpayers. I think what this group is doing is admirable.

Most of us fail to observe when we go to places. We look! It seems like the Napergatians have been advised to observe. We have all seen all those cops in jury boxes for umpteen years. No one ever questioned their need or requirement to be there.

Now the Napergatians have questions. They should be answered by city officials right here on this blog site. I was shocked to read that the Naperville Police attend the first half of the status hearings and leave after the break collecting 3 hours of pay for 1.5 hours of work. At overtime rates, mind you!

I have to agree with the blogger who stated that if they truly had to be there, they would not leave at the intermission the Judge calls half way through. They would stay there the whole session in case any of the second group of 25 to 30 status quo cases requires their presence.

I think the cops know their presence is not required. I think they also know in the very rare circumstance it is required, the city proseutor will call them. I am sure they have cell phones. They also know the Judge would be willing to wait till they get there. Dupage Judges have lots of patience for prosecutors and police. They are almost like buddies since they spend so much time together.

It seems like the cops are milking and abusing a system that has no controls or accountability. I do believe the US Attorney should be called in for an investigation to see if taxpayer funds are being abused!

By Howard on November 7, 2008 8:57 PM
So it is either compromises are made or we go to ending home rule and bankrupt the town and get out of our obligations to pay these ridiculous pensions to police and firemen. Ford Motor Company just stopped matching employee retirement contributions today according to CNBC. Why don't we follow suit to save some money since we have an 11 million pension deficit?


###################################################################

Howard,

For the most part I agree with what you said. But let us try to be factual. Our pension deficit is not 11 million. Last year it was 53 million and this year it is suppose to be much worse. No one in City Hall is excited about revealing the new number.

However, I heard through a reliable source who knows a city council member, that matching pension contributions increased 1 million dollars for city employees over last year. Imagine Ford as you say cut matching funds to zero, but our city increased them by a million during not recessionary but depressionary economic times. No wonder we are in so much trouble.

Again this is only the increase over last year. I believe we are paying something like 6 or 8 million in matching pension contributions to city employees most of course is going to the police and fire fighters.

This is all so they can retire at age 51. Why do fire fighters need to retire at age 51 when they only average somewhere between 14 minutes to 30 minutes on emergency or false alarm callsper day? What kind of wear and tear is on their bodies while they spend 95% of the day relaxing, eating and watching TV. Sure they shine up their beautiful fire engines once a week. I got to give them credit there. I have never seen a Naperville fire engine with even one spot of dirt on it in my life. That to me in an indication of how much free time they have on their hands. Hopefully, they are manually washing them and not using some special big truck car wash for 50 or 100 bucks a vehicle. I don't know!

But imagine the wear and tear on a Ford factory worker who is on an assembly line 8 hours straight. 12 hours with overtime. Imagine that poor guy gets to retire at 65 with a gold watch if he is lucky since Ford cut out all matching pension funds. Imagine our fire fighters. They work less than a half an hour a day and get to retire at age 51 with a 90k pension at TAXPAYER EXPENSE. Usually in excellent physicals shape.

Mindboggling if you ask me. And Mr. Public feels it is OK if they stay in their fire station 100% of the time. That is OK with me too, Mr. Public but if that is happening, we need to reduce the fire fighters from 200 to 60. That gives us 6 per station.

What everyone seems to forget, when there is that rare large fire, the first station that arrives can call the other 9 stations who will arrive within minutes. If we have a humongous fire, rare these days because all large newer buildings have elaborate fire alarm and sprinkler systems, the surrounding towns are willing to help us as we are willing to help them.

Being a fire fighter is such an easy job that 50 -100 years ago must fire fighters were voluntary. They enjoyed the comradiere of being in the fire station and socializing with their buddies. It got them away from their nagging wives. Now we pay senior firefighters over 120k and 90k to retire at age 51.

Many small towns and village throughout the USA still have voluntary fire fighters who do not get a penny and are not only content but HONORED and HAPPY to be a public safety employee serving his town. We are not asking for volunterism. But for God's sake, eliminate this early retirement age and outrageous pension to boot.

It all seems nuts. I wonder how many of our fire fighters are related to establishment family members in town?!? I wonder what connection you need to become a fire fighter in town?!? Who the hell would not want to be a Naperville Fire Fighter over a Ford Assembly Line worker???

As Anonymous said, any way you slice it they got a very cushy job. Even more cushy than a Naperville Police Officer.

No need to call anyone names, but the facts are the facts.

Speaking of calling people names, it seems like the Napergate Man is called the most names on this blog site including a criminal. I don't see any city supporters condemning that name calling even though he is a real person and not an anonymous fictional blogger like the rest of us.

No one is called any police officer or fire fighters any names. Bloggers have attacked their POSITIONS as overpaid and underworked. They attacked unnecessary OT. They attaked the performance of duties that are not theirs at private functions. They attacked police being in the wrong place at the wrong time such as being in a jury box instead of on the street fighting recent gas station robberies in town. That is not name calling. That is part of streamlining the budget to rid of us our 11 million budget deficit and 53 million pension deficit.

Now, what is wrong with you wanting your police out on the streets to stop robberies instead of being in the jury box unarmed and doing nothing. How could the Chief Judge and Chief of Police find this acceptable? If a cop needs to testify he should be given an hour to get there. Not being caged in a jury box for that 1 in a 1000 chance he will be needed for a STATUS HEARING for when the next scheduled date will be and what class or fine that defendent must attend or pay respectively before he/she returns. These are all arrangements worked out between prosecutors and defense attorneys under the supervision of the Judge. Police are not involved. They are only involved if there is an evidentiary hearing or trial in the afternoon. Any attorney from either side can tell you that. It is another no brainer for those of us who got a DUI and did some observation. And there are many observers since over 800 of us a year get DUIs and end up in that infamous Courtrom 4002 before Judge Pierce and observe the wasted OT taking place in the jury boxes right before our eyes.

No one is complaining about the city attorneys that have to be in court to prosecute. Sometimes, 2 or 3 are there. That is fine and they are working their a$$e$ off in there with all those backlog of cases. I never see them sit down. So we are not picking on city employees for the sake of picking on them. We commend the ones who work hard and we are asking for the ones who are NOT working to not be punched on the time clock, especially the OVERTIME CLOCK, in a depressionary economic time! Period.

Where am I being unreasonable? I just think the pro city bloggers are the firemen and policemen who are trying to save their cushy jobs and benefits. In the process, they are doing all the unprofessional name calling since they can not justify the wasteful STATUS QUO!

Anonymous

Your half right and half wrong. It is correct, not all fire fighters in Naperville are paramedics some have been here for more than 20 years, and some have been allowed to drop their paramedic status after 10 years. You are wrong in saying they weren't hired as paramedics. It is now and has been a job requirement since the 80's that they be one. Every fire department vehicle, engine, ambulance, truck or squad is staffed and equipped to provide paramedic level service to the people who live here.

My point is that "Hard Line" makes charges without facts. I didn't refute any of his other suggestions because I don't know the facts, he may be right, he may be wrong. If he and other posters would use numbers and post sources this would become less of a rant and more of an information exchange. I believe everyone who posts to these threads has something to offer be it Napergatian, Establishment, or just someone like me who isn't aligned with anyone, however, throwing out opinion or WAG without backing it up inflames people without making any effort in solving problems.

I can't tell you how dissappointed I was when I read about the sham to pay police overtime to the tune of 100,000 dollars of taxpayer money for private events like the Last Fling and Rib Fest.

These events make over 800,000 dollars each. If they are stupid enought to pay police OT instead of hire private security for one fifth the cost, they should do it out of their own proceeds...not taxapayer money.

How could our city council approve such heinous shenanigans involving sham transactions in the 21st Century?

The culture fund which should have never been started, should be abolished ASAP. Whether the city milks us for taxes on our real estate bills or by jacking up our sales tax 1%, we are still paying for all these excesses.

Culture should be a private thing. Not taxpayer supported. And to take this culture tax money that was promised for culture and give it to police officers in the form of OT money is simply UNCONSCIONABLE! It is SHAMEFUL!

As the Main Anonymous said on this thread or another thread, I am also in favor of Police Chief David Dial jumping in his car and meeting the Chief Judge to discuss all this police OT that is being expended unnecessarily during status hearings when they are almost never called.

I believe I read somewhere this results in 1.4 million dollars of OT annually. Throw in the $1,000,000 we are spending on status hearings and whatever else on the Dick Furstenau case and one begins to understand how we dug such a deep hole in our budget.

City Supporters on this blog site who are probably city employees, continuously attack the Napergatians because the Status Quo enriches them. But what they fail to understand is that the taxpayers are bearing the cost of this unentitled enrichment. They are no longer willing to bear it. So it is either compromises are made or we go to ending home rule and bankrupt the town and get out of our obligations to pay these ridiculous pensions to police and firemen. Ford Motor Company just stopped matching employee retirement contributions today according to CNBC. Why don't we follow suit to save some money since we have an 11 million pension deficit?

Something needs to be done. If Chief Dial does not want to drive to see the Chief Judge, let us drive him there. He must go! We can ill afford to lose another 1.4 million dollars on cops observing status hearings in RM 4002 and other rooms. There has got to be a better and more efficient way. We need to explore!

What I find very interesting is the people who complain about seeing alot of police officers in the DUI court room 4002. Im glad you complainers see a lot of police officers in court, because that means they arrested people like you for DUI. I don't care if they are there all day dealing with you, just as long as you can not drive and harm my kids or family. The news today, yet another DUI driver killed a lady and her two kids. Hey great idea, lets reduce the police force Naperville.

Again, if you ever notice the people who are most critical of police are the people who get in trouble with them. Next time ask your attorney why the cops are in court, and the attorney can explain the process for the statory summary suspensions ect or become cops or lawyers to better understand the process.

By WEEWEE on November 7, 2008 8:37 AM

Yes naperwackos.... maybe the napergate man can become napervilles lone police officer/fireman?

Ohh wait-He is a criminal and wouldn't pass the background exam.


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Hey WeeWee formerly WooWoo,

A Naperville Police Officer has to go thru a background exam and check once in his life....before he is employed. After that he could live a criminal life, have a criminal record and no one would know unless the press somehow found out.

The Napergatge Man who is a liquor license holder has to undergo a background check by the NPD annually in order to renew his liquor license or licenses.

Therefore this refutes your slur that he is a criminal and can't pass the background check. He has passed nearly 30 background checks dating back to the late 70s or early 80s! Not just in Naperville but also in other towns where he had liquor licenses. Altogether he may have passed 100 criminal background checks. Think about that Mr. WeeWee!

Can you pass a backgroud check WeeWee? Do you know how to PeePee?

If anything the Naperville Police should have the same standard for themselves as they do for Liquor License Holders in town. They should each undergo a background exam annually as they require and demand of all Liquor License Holders in Naperville. They should not be above the law. They should practice what they preach and implement what they enforce on others, also on themselves! Anyone licensed to carry firearms can be very dangerous to society if he is a criminal and undetected. I am not saying any Naperville Police Officers are criminals but with 200 of them, it is a POSSIBILITY one is!?!?

Most people knew you had no credibility Mr. PeePee. But it is nice to offer proof that you are the Wacko and not the Napergatians who have always supported their leader with good reason and for good causes.

Marcus Aurelius,

"Every Firefighter hired in Naperville since sometime in the 80's has been a paramedic as well."
Sorry, this is simply an incorrect statement.

Since the late '80's the hiring requirements have periodically increased to what we find today with a requirement for new hires to be registered as an EMT-Paramedic and to maintain that status for 10 years after hire.

Not all current firefighters are Paramedics, nor are they required to be. Even the newly hired Paramedics can let that rating lapse after 10 years with the department.

T.B. on November 7, 2008 12:33 PM
But really the bottom line is that drastic changes cannot be made based on the number of fires or calls. The staffing should be based on the number or size of potential calls.

Would you cancel your homeowner’s policy because you haven’t needed it in the past five years? Or do you keep it just in case you ever need it?

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TB, excellent point. I like the analogy using a risk management approach. I pay my homeowners insurance, life insurance and auto insurance premiums hoping that I won't actually need them (at least in the near term! - I know everyone eventually dies!).


Also, to some of those posting here who are trying to make the point about eliminating excess spending and waste. Can you please make your point without the personal attacks? Some of you tell us you are against waste and police overtime and then claim this is because our police force do nothing but sit around the courthouse like "potted plants" doing nothing. According to Jackie's post above this is a line used by the Napergatians ("An investigation needs to be done by our city council or local newspaper to get a better understanding of what Napergatians are calling "12 potted plants" in a jury box".)

Still others claim that the fire fighters do nothing but sit around the fire house all day.

I'm all for reducing unnecessary spending, but if the only way you can make your point is to personally attack our city service workers you won't get my support.

To Marcus Auerelius

Here are the numbers from the City of Naperville web site for fire activity

Activity Breakdown - 2007

Total Emergency Responses 9,633
Total Fire Responses 3,107
Total Ambulance Responses 6,526
Structure Fires 83
Fire Loss $3,961,738
Fire Related Deaths 3
Patients Treated 7,864
Patients Transported 5,409

You can interpret independently. Only 2.5% of all fire calls had a fire. Where are all of the false alarms? Even with the false alarms, the average station would go on a call no more than once per day. By the way, that is their 14 minutes of work, maybe 30 minutes.

If the ambulance calls are spread out evenly over the 9 stations, there are about 2 per day. This could be a problem if all of the calls happened at the same time each day.

These numbers look substantially lower than those in the Wall Street journal. As you would expect in a bedroom community that does not allow any heavy manufacturing. With 83 fires, you might only need four or five fire houses. Separate, stand alone ambulance service (two or three people) might be needed in another two or three locations.

Why would we need another fire station? That looks like money that could be saved.

I think everyone has raised valid points. More may I note than our City government. They just roll over to the Police and Fire Chief and raise our taxes.

JQP I disagree with you. Should you blindly accept the current standard even if it is too high and not warranted? I think that government should evaluate services each year to determine the impact 1) Financially and 2) service of a change. And since the City cannot afford to maintain its current spending without tax increases, it needs to prioritize everything. In fact, they may be able to eliminate 25% of all spending. That would enable a 15% tax cut instead of a 10% tax increase. It is better to put money in citizen's pockets than government. Particularly if the government service cannot be justified.

TB I think the wall street journal article included all of the "new" types of calls. (By the way, when was the last real haz mat call in the City?) And you are right, you staff base on a response and need standard. To be extreme (15% is not extreme), if you cut 50% of the fire houses, how many times would all of the houses be out at once fighting fires and taking care of other matters. When there is a bad fire, neighboring departments move to fill in empty houses, they spread out. Even in New York during 9-11, there were many firemen sitting in firehouses. Not all went to the World Trade Center.

To your point, payments for fire protection is like my insurance payment. In fact, drive down Halsted by Cabrini Green, the 1880's fire house is called the "First Insurance Patrol". The insurance companies formed some of the first fire fighting houeses to reduce premiums and losses. But to your point, I do not pay for the most expensive insurance policy. I also do not insure over the value of my house since I would never collect it. You balance these matters.

Hard Line

"Another new development is to make firemen serve as parramedics" really no kidding I'll bet nobody in Naperville ever thought of that. Except maybe 20 years ago. Every Firefighter hired in Naperville since sometime in the 80's has been a paramedic as well. Do you have any idea how many emergency calls the fire department goes on each year. Do you know how many medical calls they handle. Do you know that the criteria used for determining station location isn't based on mileage, but on travel time. You don't because its easier to make general statements unsupported by fact then to actually know what your talking about.

When you or someone you loves has a heart attack or worse, how long would you like to wait for trained medical personell to arrive at your door? 6 minutes, 8 minutes, 15 minutes, I promise however long you wait they won't be getting there fast enough. And don't worry, those "firemen" managing your medical care are under the direction of a doctor. Oh and who does the hospital call when someone is having a heart attack in the parking lot...gee that would be the fire department. Guess they don't know anything about medical care either.

Hard Line please don't post again until you have factual information rather than absurd opinion unhindered by fact. And by the way I'm still waiting to know what those firemen do with the 14 minutes a day you claim they aren't sleeping, eating or watching TV.

Take a Hard Line --

You say that the numbers of fires are down and less destructive, but this ignores all the other things we expect from our fire department. Firefighters also respond to car accidents, chemical hazmat calls, they have divers for water searches, and other calls such as carbon monoxide exposure. I would think the hazmat area is particularly important to Naperville given the train traffic that goes through the city.

I’m not sure of the wisdom of paying the first paramedics to respond to a call like you say Milwaukee is doing. Isn’t that going to lead to reckless driving on the part of some paramedics to be the first ones on the scene? Sounds like a recipe for trouble.

But really the bottom line is that drastic changes cannot be made based on the number of fires or calls. The staffing should be based on the number or size of potential calls.

Would you cancel your homeowner’s policy because you haven’t needed it in the past five years? Or do you keep it just in case you ever need it?

T.B.

While I am generally in favor of privatizing as much of government as possilbe, lowering, and eliminating taxes there are some things I do draw the line with.

Having competing ambulance companies sounds good at face value. From personal experience in Champaign-Urbana it can also have disastrous consequences such as ambulances colliding while racing to the scene of the same accident or, and I am not kidding on this one, litterally having a tug-of-war with an accident victim with each ambulance service trying to pull the victim out opposite doors.

Now if a for-profit or even a non-for-profit organization was willing to approach the City of Naperville with a proposal to provide ambulance service and if the service quality would be equal to or greater than present and the cost of the service was less than what we are currently paying I would support out sourcing ambulance and paramedic services.

Other communities near us do not have municipal ambulance service and rely upon the private ambulance services. The private services provide excellent service and there is no outcry about wait times, quality of service, cost, etc. Their personnel are trained at the same facilities as Naperville and must meet the same standards to be certified and licensed.

Paying a premium for a municipal owned service considering the salary, benefits, retirement, etc simply does not make good economic sense if the private sector is able and willing to provide the same exact service. In fact, government services shouldn't ever be competing with private sector services.

While this is but one example, there are many, many more examples of municipal services that could be out sourced and the entire bloat of the city payroll reduced.

The Chicago General Standard of Coverage for fire department is that a fire station is located within two miles of every building. In some instances, the radius is smaller due to density.

I understood the Naperville standard to be the same, but it would be best to get the exact standards from Naperville. With the lower density of Naperville, you could easily go to at least a three mile, if not a four mile standard.

There was a Wall Street Journal article on the inefficiencies of fire departments in the in the late 1990's. First, fires are down 80% from the 1950's due to construction techniques and modern preventative measures. They also noted that fires are not as destructive.

Another new development is to make firemen serve as paramedics. There are other alternatives. In southern Illinois around St. Louis, the paramedics are stationed and dispatched by Hospitals. I would feel more secure if the emergency attention is managed by doctors rather than firemen. Milwaukee has a total private ambulance service. The first crew that gets there gets paid. WOW. A private sector solution. No taxes for paramedics to sit around idle.

To make these changes you have to go outside of the Fire Chief. They protect their employees like a gang. They always want more, not less.

If a couple of the above changes were implemented, we could save the 15%. How many people died because the new fire house was not opened? Is it urgent? That said, one or two other fire houses could be closed, that would get to 15% in no time.

Take a Hard Line wrote:

"What is the response time now for 911 calls? What would it increase to if there were 15% fewer officers? What percentage of time are firemen fighting fires versus lounging at the fire house?"

Since you are the one proposing cutting the numbers of police officers and firefighters, YOU should be the one providing answers to these questions, rather than asking them. And in regard to firefighters, I hope they spend ALL of their time lounging around the fire house, as that would mean nobody's property is burning down. Most of us will never have to call on the services of the fire department; but when we DO need them, we need them in a BIG way, and having them arrive immediately is not fast enough.

It is really a shame regardless of whose fault it is when you have 15 cops sitting in a jury box doing nothing while we have 2 gas stations being robbed at a gun point in a span of a few minutes.

Yes, the second robbery did not succeed because the employee was so frightened he could not remember the code to open the computer register with a gun pointed at him. Otherwise it would have succeeded. At least this robber was not the killing type...the next robber may be the killing type who will have no mercy if you can't recall under extreme pressure.

Whether is it the fault of the Chief Judge or the Chief of Police, it is inexcusable that so many police could be in a jury box with no chance of being called while gas station attendants almost lost their lives. These police need to be on the street fighting crime. If the 1 in a 100 defendants in court wants a trial, the Judge should give the police officer the necessary time to arrive instead of forcing him to be caged in a jury box. We simply can't have all those police locked in a jury box regardless of whose fault it is.

An investigation needs to be done by our city council or local newspaper to get a better understanding of what Napergatians are calling "12 potted plants" in a jury box. I am not a Napergatian but have observed the same thing while going through many status hearings to resolve my unfortunate DUI case.

I will be honest at the time I did not think of the cost to the taxpayers who were paying the police time and a half. I was more concerned about the safety of our streets and homes when I saw so many police in one room. But both issues are important.

I don't see why everyone seems to jump on the Napergatians basically because they are demanding change and efficiency in how our city police function. Why are we not open to their ideas and demands for change?

Some things that worked in the past, may not work anymore.

If it is the Chief Judge who is demanding these police officers sit in jury boxes for 3 to 6 hours each day even if they are not needed, he should resign.

If Police Chief David Dial is allowing these police officers to sit in the jury box as a form of enriching them with OT, he should resign.

If is the system that calls for this nonsense, the system needs to be rehauled and tuned up. Our city council members do not seem to be on the ball of investigation. Our newspaper seems to be afraid to step on the toes of any city official.

Honestly, what I see here is a wimpy newspaper that wants the Napergatians to do all the dirty work to clean City Hall. It seems like the Sun designs these threads in a way to let the City know it is out of control. It is afraid to tell the city it is out of control, but it loves for others especially the Napergatians to tell the city it is out of control. The Naperville Sun does not want to be the messenger of bad news. They want the Napergatians to be the messenger of bad news. They want the Napergatians to take all the heat. We all know the Napergate Man took all the heat in the old days. Someone has to be willing to work in the heat of the kitchen to cook the right new recipes.

I think the Naperville Sun should go a little further and donate one full page each week in the print edition to the Napergatians to allow them to constructively criticise the city. Criticism is good and will bring change. While this one page has a cost associated to it, it will also have a benefit associated to it. Substantially ncreased circulation!

I think it is a well known fact in this town that the Naperville Sun enjoyed it highest circulation ever when the Napergate Man was running his unusual ads. His ads sold newspapers. Giving the Napergatians one full page would also sell newspapers. I think that is a no brainer! A win-win situation for both sides!

Thank you JQP, I appreciate the info given.

To: Tom, I appreciate your tidbit about couch potatoes,as I have never been referred to one in the past. Just a thought when you write about goofy 30year old shows and how they pertain to our police dept., please realize that there are many that will not take you seriously.

I am examining more factual info. to compare our city to others,if you have similar info please don't be shy and post it. Tom what I am looking for is factual info. and not here-say.

Great post by Marcus.

Yes naperwackos.... maybe the napergate man can become napervilles lone police officer/fireman?

Ohh wait-He is a criminal and wouldn't pass the background exam.

Take a Hard Line could you please point me to your references on fire department staffing. Where did you find the 50 year old study done by the Chicago Fire Department that talks about staffing levels? I "googled" it and couldn't find anything. Also, if the firemen are "eating, sleeping or watching TV" 99% of the day, what are they doing with the remaining 14 minutes of the day? If you are correct, why would we cut the department by 35%, we should cut it by 99%. Anxiously awaiting your fact filled reply.

Host Ted,

This is a good post I found on the police thread. It really shows how the police milk the Naperville Taxpayer for every last DOLLAR!


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Ken,

This article was a poorly written one-sided story that allowed Chief David Dial and President Joe Matchett to blame the 1 million dollar plus police OT in courtrooms, on the Chief Judge of Dupage County.

The reporter interviewed 2 officials from the same side and did not allow the Chief Judge to tell his side of the story. He did not even attempt to call the Chief Judge. That in my opinion is biased reporting that amounts to propoganda for the establishment.

It is highly doubtful that the Chief Judge requires the presence of police officers when they clearly are not needed during the morning status hearings held for example in Room 4002. He requires them to be there when they are needed and not when they are not needed.

The Naperville Police make a token presence to collect their 3 hours of OT at 830am knowing they are not needed. Let me explain! Once when I was in RM 4002 there must have been 50 or more cases. The Judges finished the first 25 cases and took a break at 10:00am. None of the officers were called on the first 25 cases.

After the break, the Judge finished the remaining 25 or 30 cases. All the Naperville police officers never returned after the break. They all went home collecting 3 hours of OT for working 1.5 hours. Thus in essence they collected triple time and not only time and a half.

Both the pre-break and post-break cases were all status or pleas of guilty. Almost identical in nature and very similar.

If the Chief Judge requires the NPD to be in these courtrooms, why did the 15 Naperville police officers leave after the 10am break! Obviously he does not require them to be in a courtroom unless they are called upon to testify. They know, I know, the Judge knows, the prosecutor knows and the defense attorney knows, that they will only be called to testify if a defendent demands a jury or bench trial and the Judge awards him one that afternoon or another day. But it will never happen in the morning amongst 50-60 status and plea cases.

Anyone can go and observe what I observed. You will see what I saw. Whether this practice will suddenly stop because I am pointing it here on Ted's Threads is possible. But it has been ongoing for I suspect years.

The Naperville Sun needs to cover Courtroom 4002 once in a while and obtain independent corroboration to what I am stating. Yes, a reporter in the right place at the right time making the right observations can save the taxpayers one million dollars. Believe me, Host Ted!!!

If I were you, I would have one of your reporters call the Chief Judge and ask him when a cop is required to be in court and when a cop is not required to be in court. He needs to ask specific and directed questions such is a cop required to be in court if a status hearing is only taking place?

He needs to ask the Chief Judge if cops are suppose to be there during status hearings, why are all the other towns in Dupage disobeying him except for Naperville. Is it possible 75 police departments in Dupage are all breaking the law for not being in these status hearing courtrooms and only Naperville is following the letter and spirt of the law??? I find that highly unlikely but I could be wrong. It is a possibility!

Here is what Matchett said,

"DuPage County requires police officers to be in
court," Matchett said.

This is a very vague statement that Ken is interpreting as fact. The reporter should have asked a follow up queston such as when does DuPage County require the police officers to be in court....all of the time, some of the time, when they need to testify or any time one of their cases comes up for status. We need some clarification here.

If his statement is true, then 15 Naperville Police Officers may have broken the rules(maybe law) when they left after the 10:00am break despite half their cases not being called or heard yet!

It appears to me, Host Ted, that TB and Ken spend too much time on your blog site reading, writing and posting. They need to get out in the real world and observe as Napergatians appear to do before posting.

TB and Ken want to be authorities on all subjects even when they have little to no knowledge. They can't even differentiate a statement made by a biased official from fact. They criticise with no basis. They attack others and wonder why they are counter-attacked.

A blog site is suppose to informative. Not a place where you start arguments with everyone. It is apparent to me that TB and Ken enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing as has been said by many others before me and will be said by many others after me. Those are my observations.


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Please send a reporter to Dupage Courthouse Rm 4002 to observe how police milk the system for a million dollars annually before your blog site tips them off, Host Ted. Chief David Dial says he does not read it. Let us see if next Tuesday in Courtroom 4002, the cops leave or stay after the 10am break.

If they leave, you will know they are racking up 3 hours of overtime for working 1.5 hours. You will also know that they are not required to be there for if they were, they would remain for the full session until all the cases are called and completed instead of half. You will also know Chief David Dial speaks the truth when he says he does not follow your blog site.

If they suddenly change their custom of leaving at the intermiission point and suddenly begin staying after the break, there is a good chance Chief David Dail in fact reads this blog site and took immediate and corrective action. At least by making sure they stay the whole session as they are paid to be there for for the whole morning session which is usually 3 hours not including the 15 minute break the judge takes.

However if they do stay the whole 3 hours, the question will still be looming if they are really required to be there in the first place. I doubt they are or they would have never dared to leave during the second half of the status and plea hearings during past sessions as observed by Anonymous.

I hope you send a reporter to observe, Host Ted. It appears the Napergatians sent their reporter or fact finder. It is time that your reporter corroborate or refute the Napergatians' fact finder!

Is it fair to assume you are not going to print anything from this blog site in your print edition unless you can verify? The city supporters are cry babies always demanding the Napergatians do investigative work themselves. Well, they did! But they are not believed so it becomes your duty Host Ted to seek and get to the bottom of the truth.

I hope you can do this for the residents and save us a million dollar a year in what appears unnecessary police overtime. While your reporter is there, maybe he/she can hit 2 birds with one stone by trying to arrange an interview with the Chief Judge to ask him about his procedures and rules for when a police officer has to be in court.

The Napergatians broke the ice for you Host Ted. You have to do some fishing through that hole they made for you in the ice and hopefully you will catch the truth.

Good luck, Host Ted and thanks in advance for seeking the truth.

Fact Finder,

I originally posted this on another thread, but it is relevant to your question:

"An interesting factoid from Bubo's link.

"'According to the FBI, the national average for sworn law-enforcement officers is 2.4 officers per 1,000 residents.'

"Per the Naperville Police Department's 2007 Annual Report, the NPD has 189 sworn officers. With a population of 145,000, this means Naperville has 1.3 officers per 1000 residents, just over half the national average. So NPD officers may be overpaid, but the department is not overstaffed."

What a load of horse hockey!

There is absolutely no correlation between paying high real estate taxes and having a low crime rate.

If you don't believe this statement try talking to anyone who lives in Southern California.

The garbage the fear mongers will spread is absolutely ridiculous. Don't be a sucker and fall for it.

Hey Fact Finder,

If you want to see policemen sitting around and doing nothing visit the courtrooms in Dupage at status hearing where they are not needed. They sit like potted plants and collect time and a half. They leave early during the court recess and the time and a half becomes triple time.

Have you not read the recent "police reduction thread" put on for us by Mr. Ted.

It is loaded with information about police sitting around.

Go downtown in late June, all July, and early August and watch the Naperville Cops sitting on there bikes clustered in groups of 2 to 6 doing nothing 99% of the time. Check out the 2 cops who are riding brand new shiny black motorcycles who think they are starring in the old Chips TV show. Check out the cop with the German Shephard who thinks he is on Animal Planet. Lets his dog bark madlessly at bar patrons....for what reason! Get out of the home a little, Fact Finder!

A true fact finder needs to get off his rear end and do some fact finding. You could have chosen another handle that could have suit you a touch better and more appropriately like Couch Potato.

Have a nice evening and get off the couch and observe the world! Don't let is pass you by before you pass on! Life is short!

The irony should not be lost on anyone that the pro-tem City Manager doing the cutting of positions is collecting a pension in excess of 85k while simultaneously collecting a salary of 170k and building a second pension to boot upon retirement all at the expense of the Naperville Taxpayer. Collecting a salary like is normal in the corporate world was not enough so now city employees have to suffer so he can get his double dipping in such rough economic times. He is double dipping while you city employees are lucky if you can even find some time to do some skinny dipping as you are busy sharpening your resumes.

It does not bother Mr. Marshall that a city employee may one day have to set up tent next to that homeless man on Chicago Ave just outside the parking deck....as long as he can DOUBLE DIP! How can you city employees respect a manger who is firing you while double dipping? You employees need to wake up and join the residents in standing up to all that is wrong with our city and state governments. Let us unite against bureaucracy once and for all!

Of course Mr. Marshall has to cut postions so the taxpayers can afford to keep paying him his pension, his salary, his benefits and his second pension which is coming in 4 more years. Wow! How could a city be so stupid to allow someone to use legal loopholes to milk them to this effect? Why do you guys in City Hall tolerate such a corrput and bankrupt system of goverment that allows some of you to retire at 51 while others have to be terminated so they can reap the ridiculous benefits at YOUR EXPENSE! Yes, you are now losing your jobs so the police can live high and mighty while you are unemployed. How is that fair! Now you guys are screwed as well as the taxpayer! When will you join us and revoke home rule? When will you join us and vote the establishment out of power? When will you stand up for your rights and fight for your jobs? Don't sit there and assume it is the other guy who will be fired so Mr. Marshall can double dip and police officers can retire at 51 with huge pensions. It could be YOU!!! Yes, it could be YOU next on the chopping block!!! Stand up for YOUR rights and fight before it is too late!

Do you expect the Napergatians to do all the work to save your jobs? You must participate in uncovering the truth that led to this financial fiasco. It did not happen in a vacuum! The Napergatinas warned us 2 years ago on this blog site that this would happen. How come they knew while your City Manager who is paid over 250k(much more than the Governor of Illionis and more than the President of the USA before he got his last raise) did not know this huge budget deficit was finally coming. Why did he not see the writing on the wall. How did the Napergatians see it? Why did he not respond to the numerous warnings of the Napergatians that were issued on this blog site 2 years ago. It is all in black and white in the Napergate Archives and elsewhere on Ted's Threads.

Why are our council members sleeping while these atorcities take place? Why are they not in Springfield demanding pension retirement funding should be reduced to 50% and start at age 65 instead of 51? Why are they not demanding pension reform? Did we not elect them to fight for us here and in Springfield? Simple reform of the pension system would possibly give us an 11 million surplus instead of an 11 million deficit each year. That could keep us from filing bankruptcy and foreclosing on your once wonderful city.

Did city officials not see Blogger Maryann's calculation on the Police Thread indicated a cost of nearly 1.5 billion dollars for the currently employed police and firemen pension costs when they retire assuming no more raises or increases of living adjustments. With any kind of increases she estimated a PENSION DISASTER of 2 BILLION BUCKS. Do you guys think President-Elect Democrat Barack Hussein Obama is going to hand this 2 Billion to Republican Naperville. And I assure you he will be a 2 term president as his world wide popularity is rather strong. A bail-out for our city from the Federal Government is off the table for the next 8 years. Our city sided with Joe the Plumber in the elections and we are not in the pipeline for hand-outs when we screw up as we currently are!

The city is lucky this blog site obviously does not have the viewership or power of the Napergate ads. If it did, there would be a revolution in this town.

Common Councilman Bob let us reveal the new defict in the police and fire pension fund. Last year you told us it was 53 million bucks. We know it got worse. What is it now! Do please tell us! Please be helpful as you were in the past! This is not the time to hold back! it is time for all of us to join in our mission to fix our town....to restore it to its glory days of the very distant past when Joe Naper founded it!

If there are folks with a background in public management it would be appreciated if you could offer some insight on staffing levels for police and fire dept., with respect to communities our size. Many on these sights keep going over emotional info. about "police on bikes" or fireman "sitting around" not doing much.

I personally have never seen either policeman or fireman sitting around doing nothing. Actually in the 3-4 times I have needed them or witnessed both departments in action they where very professional. Again it would be appreciated if some one in the know, could shed some light on this subject.

I guess living in the third best city in the country was done by all of the Departments doing nothing? If you don't like living here, move. Try a lower set of demographics, lower police presence and response time, lower home values, and higher crime rate...at least you'll have your lower taxes.

Ross Perot

What is the response time now for 911 calls? What would it increase to if there were 15% fewer officers? What percentage of time are firemen fighting fires versus lounging at the fire house?

We are safe bacause of the demographics of the area, not because of the police pressence. These officers should transfer to Chicago where there is a real crime issue. Plus, they would work for 25% less there.

In fact, didn't you advocate "zero based budgeting" in your 1992 election run? Every year, start from zero and rejustify every expense.

I wish I lived out of the City, taxes are lower. Also, there are no cultural taxes, utility taxes, etc.

I'll leave with this last question. What has the City of Naperville done directly for you in the last year? Then take a look at the City budget and take a look at all of the Departments that have done NOTHING.

"Police and fire are what taxes are all about." Really? Is that so? And which are you, police or fire?

Despite all of the claims to the contrary the police department in Napeville staffing of sworn officers could easily be cut in half and there wouldn't be any uptick in violent crime. Nope. No increase whatsoever.

The only thing that would be disrupted would be the revenue stream of fines that the police department collects from traffic enforcement and DUI. But then again the local watering holes are already seeing a decrease in patrons so there likely will be fewer drunks turned loose by the downtown watering holes on our city streets every evening anyway.

Despite having 200 sworn police officers on the payroll there is very little active traffic enforcement and even less "visibility" of police cars on patrol. If the police are out there they are not patrolling the neighborhoods... we all know that. They are not patrolling the major roadways or the worst intersections... we don't see them there either.

It would be really hard to say that police "visibility" would suffer... mostly because there really isn't very visibility at present. Of course we do know where a lot of the police officers who are on duty are at... they are sitting on their butts over at the courthouse collecting overtime and doing nothing.

In the corporate world workers who collect this much money for this little productivity would know instinctively that they have a layoff/reduction in force target painted on their back and that their jobs will be the first to go when and if times get tough.

Welcome to the real world NPD, times are now tough. Time to polish those interview skills and freshen up that resume.

I have two hatchets that I'll be glad to loan to the city if they promise to use them. I'll even come around every week or so and keep them in razor sharp condition too.

I'm willing to do my part. How about everyone else?

Which city department do you work in?

Can't you rightwing crackpots read the papers?

"Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Police and fire are what taxes are all about.

The food and beverage tax makes the most sense - it pays for the huge array of services needed downtown - extra police, snow removal, parking, etc.

due to the low crime rate

Doesn't it occur to you that the low crime rate is the direct result of having a good police presence?

If there is fat, then trim it. But cutting essential services is stupid.

Focused taxes that make sense ( like food & bev downtown to pay for extra services ) so that the costs are borne by those who benefit are the best of all. Culture tax seems like a lot, but should be shifted to pay for parking.


Take a Hard Line: Obviously, you do not live in Naperville. Cut 15% of the Police force???? The patrol division appears to be lean as we speak. Cutting the force would result in slower response times for 911 emergencies. Cutting Fire/Police might sound good if you live outside Naperville, but if you are a resident, I would be scared to death if the city starts cutting emergency personnel. You can only take the "do more with less" stance so far.....lets hope and pray these cutbacks dont cost some citizen their life.

City Staff,

It is sad that anyone has to lose their jobs.

However the abuse of OT in many city departments and most notably the police dept. has led to these unfortunate layoffs.

City staff have to understand if Chief David Dial could have found a way to avoid all that unnessary police OT in the courtrooms, all those bike patrol school cops that were not needed, and donating a 100k of police OT to all these private charities, none of you would have lost your jobs.

It is time you join the rest of us and stand up to waste in your police department. If we can stop the waste, we can stop the layoffs of innocent city staff who do not deserve to be laid off.

We can do better! "Yes, we can" as Barack Obama states repeatedly.

And the irony should not be lost on you that the pro-tem City Manager who is laying you off is double dipping by collecting a huge salary and a pension. Is that fair? How can you folks tolerate this crap! He should give one or the other up and try to save one city job.....assuming he has a conscience and cares about you like he tells you.

I hope city staff can join Naperville Residents and demand the City Manager and Police Chief stop wasting money. Please review the reduction in the police force thread and learn how the Chief wastes your money. You will find it very informative.

Can you imagine he has an internet cop busting a Wisconsin man for visiting a Japanese porn site? How the hell is that the responsibity of the Naperville Taxpayer? You are losing your jobs because your police chief can not watch his expenses and concentrate on his jurisidiction. No one asked him to police the world. We only asked him to police the City of Naperville. We can not affored to police the world. We are not the United Nations!

Smaller government is better government. Use the hatchet.

Totally disagree with your comments. Some departments need hatchets, in fact most. Some thoughts.

1. Development is WAY DOWN. And the City will not grow in the future. The planning and related departments should be cut by at least 50%. Don't believe their ideas that they need to convert to a maintenance mode. Also, if there are spikes in development, there are outside companies that could be contracted for peak work.

2. Downsize for a more relevant fire department strategy. Using standards for Chicago (more densely populated and higher intensity) from the 1950's results in at least 35% more firemen then needed. Firemen spend 99% of their time eating, sleeping and watching TV.

3. Same for police. Include court time in their base salaries and schedules. If they get done early, they could do other duties. In addition, due to the low crime rate, we could cut at least 15% of all policemen (with corresponding reductions in support personnel). Implement a salary freeze until police salaries are within 5% of the averages of surrounding communities.

4. For all other departments, roll back headcount to 2003 levels.

5. Exit the cultural funding business. This should be left to the private sector.

These actions would allow the City to eliminate the food and beverage tax, reverse the property tax increases in the last three years over inflation, and also eliminate other burdensome City taxes such as the utility taxes.

In short, LESS IS MORE!!!!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Naperville Sun editors published on November 6, 2008 6:00 AM.

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