“I want to get back to where the eight council members run this city. Not the fire department, not a church, not a bunch of developers, not Mr. Winkler.” stated former alderman Bill Huntress at the Committee of the Whole on 2.1.10.
During the special election in December, uniformed firemen, were according to Huntress, “going around in the 3rd district rapping on peoples doors asking them who they were going to vote for, and telling them who to vote for….They were out campaigning against a setting alderman ( Mayor Chesen’s nemesis Tom Spellman) …..This is absolutely unethical, I’m not blaming the firemen, I’m blaming the Chief Connelly and the President of the Police and Fire Commission Mr. Storms……I know it’s unethical… and I’m trying to figure out if it is ignorance or arrogance or both.”
Huntress stressed that, “maybe Mr. Storms can explain the difference between ignorance and arrogance.”
Fire Chief Brent Connelly made it perfectly clear that “I don’t condone any political activity of anyone in fire department uniform. John Peters the head of the union also doesn’t condone any political activity in fire department uniform.”
“What was going on is our department has an active smoke detector program we offer to replace the batteries or put up a smoke detector in those neighborhoods.”
Tom Spellman was recalled for “not voting according to his constituents” in that special election. His replacement, Bill Motts, was recently appointed to the personal committee by Mayor Chesen on 2.22.10. The Personal Committee is in the process of negotiating the union labor contracts of the Police, Fire, Street, and Office employees for the next three years.