Just a couple hours after being sworn in as a City Council member, new-comer Austin Allison gave us all an extremely clear view of where his priorities lie when it comes to doing business for the City of Eureka.
When it came time, at the City Council meeting on December 13, 2016, to assign Council members to various boards and commissions, there was only one that Allison really wanted to be on. It was the Joint Powers Authority for Humboldt Bay Fire Authority – and Allison wanted to be on the JPA so that he could get the firefighters more money from the City.
Both Allison and fellow Council freshie Heidi Messner desired to get on board for negotiating with the HBFA. Of course, as we know from Highlander, there can be only one.
So how did the titans of intellect that comprise Eureka’s Council elect to decide on the member who would be appointed to the JPA? With a frickin’ coin flip!
You can watch the full meeting here: Eureka City Council Meetig 2016-12-13 (Allison’s comment below begins at 3:45:06)
Anyway, here’s Allison’s comments from the City Council meeting:
“So, uh, for the JPA for Humdoldt Bay Fire Authority, I’d like to just say that as a union member of NUHW, um, I’m pretty well-versed in contract negotiations with my union, and I think I could be very helpful to other fire fighters in contract negotiations and helping them move forward with good contracts.”
Uh…helping the firefighters get better contracts? That ain’t your job, Austin.
When the genius of City of Eureka management, Greg Sparks, clarified that the negotiations were on behalf of management, aka the City and the taxpayer money they’ll be forced to give up, Allison insisted his vast wealth of experience would be of great help to an already cash-strapped city.
This was the look on Frank Jaeger’s face when he heard Allison take such a vocal and unequivocal stand against the City he was elected to represent, with the intent of ensuring fire fighters get paid even more.
Oh, you’re wondering just how sweet of a deal the HBFA’s fire fighters and employees already get? Well, you’re in luck. Here’s a link to the current MOU between HBFA and the City of Eureka: Humboldt Bay Fire Authority MOU
It’s a lot to wade through, but pay special attention to the overtime section. It is the overtime policies that really, really f*** the rest of us tax payers over.
And here’s another link, which will take you to the pay for firefighters and HBFA employees from 2014: HBFA Compensation – 2014
Here’s something interesting about that list: of the 24 listed employees, 7 of them make under $100,000 per year in total compensation. By comparison, 17 of them take in over $100,000. And that number has only gone up since. Yikes. Remind us again…what part of their contract is bad, Mr. Allison?
Although, maybe we are reading too much into this since the NUHW employee contracts aren’t nearly as lucrative as the current MOU for firefighters. So THC supposes there’s a chance Allison won’t be able to screw us too much more than we already are.
But, we also shudder to think what Allison could possibly mean by getting these firefighters better contracts. Their contracts are already ludicrously lucrative, and will assuredly go up even without Allison’s asinine help. THC wonders – when reflecting on Allison’s comments in his very first Council meeting – just what side he’s working for, and whether he will truly have Eureka’s best interests at heart.
Early indications are that Allison does not, and nor does he have the experience to conduct business favorable to the City rather than to whatever ideals he holds.
Allison should go ahead and get schooled just like this guy! (new version!)