Perhaps some enlightenment is warranted here, and you might want to do a bit of research and amend your response.
The way you addressed Mr. Meiche as “LA City Firefighter Steve Meiche” is not appropriate. He has been addressing you and the Management of the City of Encinitas, as a concerned resident of over 20 years, homeowner, father, and member of the ETA. His 30 years of experience in the Los Angeles Fire Dept gives him knowledge, experience and credibility of his concerns. He is not representing the Los Angeles Fire Dept in his inquiries.
Bloggers note: Meiche has been active in watchdogging and organizing going back to the 90's and the majority of the issues he has championed have not been related to FD management.
“The actions the City has specifically taken during this time period in response to misconduct or violations of policies within the Fire Department have been made available to the requesting party. I do not know of any other city that has allowed this type of information to go public (including the City of LAFD).”
This is inaccurate. The Los Angeles Fire Dept has a practice of making employee misconduct and corrective action public record.
Please refer to
“The process that led to the release of this information was very deliberate, since it involved personnel matters. The city consulted with the City Manager, City Attorney, Personnel Director and other individuals as to the extent of the information that could legally be released. The City could not officially comment on these cases of misconduct until it was determined that doing so would not violate individuals’ rights. Care was taken with the release of this information—which Mr. Meiche unfortunately characterizes as a “cover up”.”
Under the “Brown Act”, you are mandated under state law to release the requested information no later than 10 days after request. This release of information took [a long time].
bloggers note: Written requests for information on the incidents were sent to the Chief in February. The Chief refused to share any information at that time. He wrote that such information was confidential. Most of the council, including Barth, did not act on the requests for assistance in gaining information on the incidents. Stocks responded strongly, but was not exactly helpful in releasing the documents. The city changed its mind months later on the cusp of the Cummins legal victory and the support of Calaware.
“As an Encinitas resident, I am very active in volunteer efforts and organizations serving our community (personally raised many thousands of dollars for both the Encinitas Library and Quail Gardens; as well as contributions to many other local charities).”
blogger's note: As fire chief he's does have a lot of disposable income!
“I expressed an interest in becoming a member of the Encinitas Taxpayers Association (ETA) in an e-mail to Kevin Cummins on December 31. Within a week’s time, I was invited to the ETA’s January meeting and asked to speak for 15 minutes, answering questions about specific fire department issues (response time/staffing, management practices and fire stations). As with my involvement in any other community group, my interest was not related to my position as Fire Chief and I envisioned my participation in their group strictly as a private citizen--not representing the Encinitas Fire Department and independent of my job duties.”
As the Fire Chief you are subject to the “Hatch Act”, and are to maintain an apolitical position with respect to the city that employs you. Soliciting or maintaining membership in any political organizations and/or activities within the city of Encinitas either on or off duty is inappropriate, unethical and quite possibly illegal. As a member of City Management you should be willing to attend meetings to discuss your official duties and responsibilities. Your avoidance of the ETA meeting as a guest speaker due to potential uncomfortable questions is simply cowardice and unprofessional.
bn: Caring Encinitas Resident