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Community Values: Protect Our Families Now

Will Radle says the incumbent chairman has not invested in our community's highest priorities.

Exactly three months prior to the inauguration on December 13, I advised the Board to address public safety as well as employee safety and compensation. I also advocated for proper funding of disability benefits for firefighters and paramedics injured in service to our community.

According to public safety advocates, Fairfax County needs to properly staff our ladder trucks with at least four firefighters.

The incumbent chairman has us standing alone as our nation’s only large locality who fails to meet this standard. We have responsibility to our community and to our neighbors as an integral component of our national capital region. We will take the responsible action firefighters have requested in serving our community.

We are consistently rated as one of the most affluent counties in our nation. Our Board has no excuse for failing to comply with staffing, response and operational standards when we send men and women into harm's way to protect the people and property of our community. 

What is the excuse the incumbent chairman gives firefighters? Funding. Who is responsible for funding? The Board of Supervisors. How much would it cost to create 42 needed firefighter jobs in this economy? About $4.2 million. What did the incumbent do instead? She hoarded $28.69 million for unspecified use in 2013. She did this two days after we commemorated the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.

Does President Obama know what our incumbent chairman did?  A million choices like this holds back our economic growth.  I support public safety and smart job creation.

I can be reached at FairfaxAdvocates@gmail.com or 571-358-9711.

 

Text of Radle's FY2011 Guidance to the Board of Supervisors:

I am Will Radle. With over 20 years experience serving on state, regional and local public committees as well as nonprofit boards, my focus remains working with people to create effective, sustainable solutions to the challenges confronting our community.

I am proud and thankful that Democratic and Republican senators and delegates helped me get on the November ballot for chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. I am honored Independent Greens trust me to address their concerns.

As you review the FY2011 Budget Carryover and our community’s priorities, I feel an obligation to share guidance for your consideration.  I offer four recommendations.

First, keep our employees safe. Review each department’s reductions in safety training and incidents of injury. As you know, Fairfax County employees have died and we have been found at fault. Our people, and their families, deserve everything necessary to ensure a safe return home. We possess a moral obligation to each of our employees.

Second, keep our promise to injured firefighters and paramedics. We will provide firefighters and paramedics who are disabled on the job, and their families, the support we promise on behalf of a grateful community.

Third, ensure our front-line employees have competitive compensation. The quality of life of our employees, and their families, have suffered with reductions of take home pay year after year in the shadow of rising health care premiums, food costs, gas prices and real estate taxes. Help employees keep pace by providing a 3.5 percent pay raise for the first time in years.

Finally, fund the creation of 42 new jobs in this economy. Fairfax County remains the only locality in our nation with a population exceeding 1 million citizens who staffs ladder trucks with fewer than four firefighters. Our Board has no excuse for failing to comply with staffing, response and operational standards when we send men and women into harm’s way to save the people and property of our community.

As I have said many times standing here, it is your privilege and responsibility to advocate the best interests of Fairfax County and our people. The question remains, of course, whether you will do this work or wait for new leadership.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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