12th District Vice President Larry Osborne and members of the Jacksonville Association Fire Fighters Local 122 hosted AM600 WBOB Radio yesterday.
Randy Wyse, president of Local 122 and fire fighter Mark Treglio discussed issues affecting America’s 14th busiest fire department.
Take a listen to the radio interview here.
Below you’ll find highlights of the radio interview.
• One caller asked a question about pensions and how easily they are being politicized in the debate over how to balance city budgets today.
The fire fighters said pensions are a hot issue nationwide and the debate can be taken down a notch if people would stop using inflammatory language.
“Yes, there are pensions across the country that do have problems and need to be addressed,” said Treglio. “Just because pensions are bad in one city it doesn’t mean they are bad and evil everywhere. People should stop taking words like that and degrading it because it only makes the situation worse.”
• Fire fighters and unions aren’t a drain on their communities.
“We are committed to the city,” said Wyse. We live here and raise our families here and we want to keep it healthy. We buy cars and homes here. We pay taxes. A lot of people want to say we are a big drain on the economy, but we are big part of the economy.”
DVP Osborne said Jacksonville’s new mayor is trying to move forward and create good jobs and business growth for the city. He added “It is always been to our benefit when business is good in Jacksonville,” he said. “It is good for us and it is simple and we do get that and understand it.”
• A caller from the private sector made a statement that public safety officers can negotiate with the city and usually get their way (effectively holding the city hostage).
“There is never a point when any benefits that we get that we somehow figure out to get without Council approval and mayoral approval (because he can veto it). It is more about being in-tuned with the facts of the argument and not the rhetoric,” Wyse said.
The Jacksonville Local has a website dedicated to dispelling rumors about police and fire pensions in Florida. Check it out here.