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(Denver Post)   Colorado Springs residents may be rethinking the decision to cut firefighters rather than raise taxes   (denverpost.com) divider line 181
    More: Obvious, Colorado Springs, austerities, road surfaces, neighborhood commons, lidos, Colorado City, hillsides, youth service  
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8774 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jun 2012 at 1:42 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-30 02:02:07 PM

Spare Me: You guys are funny. All those firefighters are Union racking up huge amounts of overtime while Colorado Springs burns and people die.

Just so you know, this private company, owned by a bootstrappy Conservative, was told to stand down. They've only been fighting fires for 30+ years and spent 50 million of their own money developing a fleet of 747 super tankers that can put that fire OUT.

Evergreen super tanker

Oh wait, they're non union. Go figure.


Evergreen is too busy flying extraordinary rendition flights....
 
2012-06-30 02:03:11 PM

Giltric: So you don't have an answer?


What, exactly, do you want an answer on? This thread is pissing me off.
 
2012-06-30 02:03:13 PM
"Broadmoor luxury resort chief executive Steve Bartolin wrote an open letter asking why the city spends $89,000 per employee, when his enterprise has a similar number of workers and spends only $24,000 on each."

Because the city actually provides benefits to its employees and doesn't exploit undocumented workers you dumbass.
 
2012-06-30 02:04:55 PM

make me some tea: Having a few more firefighters on hand may have saved a few more of these

[wrcb.images.worldnow.com image 600x450]

Let's see, $60K salary * 3 = $180K. That's the replacement cost of one 3-4 bedroom in CO Springs.

It'd be better to give 3 guys a job than have to sacrifice one house.


I feel like that's a gross oversimplification.

You'd need to consider how frequently fires are, how many houses would be impacted with and without the fire-fighters, and the total cost of the fire-fighters (salary is the amount an employee gets; but the employer is often spending a lot more with benefits and taxes. Particularly when you start looking at jobs with pensions and other benefits).

Beyond that - you'd probably find that the risk due to fire is heavily localized by individual locations. There might be a town with 100,000 people - but only 1% are considered 'high risk'. That 1% is also likely to be new construction - and owned by well-to-do citizens. Does it make sense for everyone to subsidize the risk of these new McMansions - when their household income is almost certainly well above the median for the area? Or do you let the homeowners who purchased those houses assume the risk and mitigate it themselves (you know, with homeowners insurance?).

When an individual has to pay higher premiums for living in a dangerous area, it discourages people from living in the area (at least people who can't afford it). When you make distribute the burden to EVERYONE in a city/town - the individuals have no incentive *not* to live in a dangerous area, since everyone's tax dollars will protect them.
 
2012-06-30 02:05:37 PM

Party Boy: Dinodork: I'm shocked that so many homes were actually saved. I thought for sure my entire neighborhood was going to be ashes.

Youll be more shocked to find the large swaths of seasonal guys who busted their ass to save your neighborhood don't have insurance for their families.


Dunno. Are you shocked that I don't have that either?

The seasonal guys spent 4 days busting their ass saving Cedar Heights (the gated community on the south end). Our hood was protected by the city firefighters and the tankers, only starting on tuesday morning. There was hardly any wildland crew activity on the northwest side of the springs. Nary a dozer line.
 
M-G
2012-06-30 02:05:58 PM

paygun: Cutting taxes isn't even in the same neighborhood as making government efficient.


From interviews I heard a while back, the outspoken ones in CS don't care about making government efficient. They have the attitude that anything that _can_ be done by a business should be, even if it costs more.
 
2012-06-30 02:06:04 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Good government costs up to 20% of GDP. The results of skimping on government can be seen clearly in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Colorado Springs.


Aren't we running at 23-35% right now for Federal?
 
2012-06-30 02:06:53 PM

Giltric: Spare Me: You guys are funny. All those firefighters are Union racking up huge amounts of overtime while Colorado Springs burns and people die.

Just so you know, this private company, owned by a bootstrappy Conservative, was told to stand down. They've only been fighting fires for 30+ years and spent 50 million of their own money developing a fleet of 747 super tankers that can put that fire OUT.

Evergreen super tanker

Oh wait, they're non union. Go figure.

Evergreen is too busy flying extraordinary rendition flights....


And dumping chemtrails...yeah, I saw where you got that.
 
2012-06-30 02:08:23 PM

Party Boy: violentsalvation: I'm sure those 3 firefighters would have made all the difference when over 1000 wildland firefighters assisted by slurry bombers and helicopters couldn't keep the fire out of town.

You ever been part of a type two or type 1 incident?

I'm not about to even argue this with someone who is going to talk out of their ass.


Sorry to hear the voices are back. Good day.
 
2012-06-30 02:10:14 PM
No watering the grass at parks...no mowing the grass at parks except for evey two weeks.......


Its almost as if once you hand people something they become used to the handout or the new status quo...take that away and people wonder how the fark did this grass median used to get watered....it's the end of the world.
 
2012-06-30 02:11:32 PM

GAT_00: Dinki: Not as long as they have the Federal government to fall back on. Because that's what all bootstrappy conservatives do.

That. They got HALF of all NPS firefighters to help save their town. They didn't do shiat for themselves.


Are these the same neo cons who were criticizing all the Katrina victims in New Orleans for not being boot strappy enough to 'swim to dry land' and such???

But they corrected themselves when remembering that black peoples don't/can't swim...
 
2012-06-30 02:12:00 PM

M-G: From interviews I heard a while back, the outspoken ones in CS don't care about making government efficient. They have the attitude that anything that _can_ be done by a business should be, even if it costs more.


I believe it, and it's lazy at best but more likely just plain old retarded. I lean right on pretty much everything that has to do with government finances. But I actually believe some of the things the right has to say about business. Mainly, that the purpose of a business is to make money. So what happens when all this stuff is privatized? The goal becomes profit because that's what the purpose of a business is.

I think most of these talking points about outsourcing all these government functions to private businesses are just that, and they know that their audience just isn't very bright and they'll accept what they're told without really questioning it.

On the other hand, that's also why I think this health care "reform" law is going to be a disaster.
 
2012-06-30 02:12:48 PM
Um, does no one care that this article is more than 2 years old?
 
2012-06-30 02:13:10 PM

M-G: paygun: Cutting taxes isn't even in the same neighborhood as making government efficient.

From interviews I heard a while back, the outspoken ones in CS don't care about making government efficient. They have the attitude that anything that _can_ be done by a business should be, even if it costs more.


Right - it is a purely ideological stance - they want the world to conform to their stupid theory. No different than those who believe in the dictatorship of the proletariat.
 
2012-06-30 02:13:15 PM

Sabyen91: Giltric: Spare Me: You guys are funny. All those firefighters are Union racking up huge amounts of overtime while Colorado Springs burns and people die.

Just so you know, this private company, owned by a bootstrappy Conservative, was told to stand down. They've only been fighting fires for 30+ years and spent 50 million of their own money developing a fleet of 747 super tankers that can put that fire OUT.

Evergreen super tanker

Oh wait, they're non union. Go figure.

Evergreen is too busy flying extraordinary rendition flights....

And dumping chemtrails...yeah, I saw where you got that.


The Air America wiki?

I saw nothing about chemtrails there.
 
2012-06-30 02:13:20 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: You'd need to consider how frequently fires are, how many houses would be impacted with and without the fire-fighters, and the total cost of the fire-fighters (salary is the amount an employee gets; but the employer is often spending a lot more with benefits and taxes. Particularly when you start looking at jobs with pensions and other benefits).

Beyond that - you'd probably find that the risk due to fire is heavily localized by individual locations. There might be a town with 100,000 people - but only 1% are considered 'high risk'. That 1% is also likely to be new construction - and owned by well-to-do citizens. Does it make sense for everyone to subsidize the risk of these new McMansions - when their household income is almost certainly well above the median for the area? Or do you let the homeowners who purchased those houses assume the risk and mitigate it themselves (you know, with homeowners insurance?).

When an individual has to pay higher premiums for living in a dangerous area, it discourages people from living in the area (at least people who can't afford it). When you make distribute the burden to EVERYONE in a city/town - the individuals have no incentive *not* to live in a dangerous area, since everyone's tax dollars will protect them.


Very good points. I stand corrected.
 
2012-06-30 02:13:22 PM
Glee over watching people lose everything and the forest burn, to be able to try to make points for your team over 3 employees. Hope the smugness of saying "bootstrappy" keeps you warm. Don't confuse butthurt with disgust.
 
2012-06-30 02:14:26 PM

Dinodork: Dunno. Are you shocked that I don't have that either?



You on the line?

Dinodork: The seasonal guys spent 4 days busting their ass saving Cedar Heights (the gated community on the south end). Our hood was protected by the city firefighters and the tankers, only starting on tuesday morning. There was hardly any wildland crew activity on the northwest side of the springs. Nary a dozer line.


Its a bigg assed incident. Sounds right.

violentsalvation: Good day.


Go talk shiat about something else.
 
2012-06-30 02:20:33 PM

Giltric: Sabyen91: Giltric: Spare Me: You guys are funny. All those firefighters are Union racking up huge amounts of overtime while Colorado Springs burns and people die.

Just so you know, this private company, owned by a bootstrappy Conservative, was told to stand down. They've only been fighting fires for 30+ years and spent 50 million of their own money developing a fleet of 747 super tankers that can put that fire OUT.

Evergreen super tanker

Oh wait, they're non union. Go figure.

Evergreen is too busy flying extraordinary rendition flights....

And dumping chemtrails...yeah, I saw where you got that.

The Air America wiki?

I saw nothing about chemtrails there.


No, this is the only site I could find that made a connection. Link Very Alex Jonesish.
 
2012-06-30 02:21:00 PM

zorlack7: Um, does no one care that this article is more than 2 years old?


No, sort of the point...

Short sightedness.

Oh, and when you cut FF's you are also cutting paramedic services, since the vast majority of big city departments all the personnel are cross trained.
 
2012-06-30 02:21:28 PM

Errk: It's mostly state and federal crews fighting those large fires.


Now, that it's going to burn down FEDERAL INSTALLATIONS!

/shiat head!
 
2012-06-30 02:21:30 PM
I always wonder why the first things a state cuts budgets for is everything that's vital and helpful: education, police, fire department, infrastructure, etc. Then they complain about rising crime, stupid students, disintegrating roads, and homeless people without a shred of irony or realization.

Come on, humanity, I thought we were supposed to be intelligent.
 
2012-06-30 02:24:13 PM

make me some tea: Having a few more firefighters on hand may have saved a few more of these

[wrcb.images.worldnow.com image 600x450]

Let's see, $60K salary * 3 = $180K. That's the replacement cost of one 3-4 bedroom in CO Springs.

It'd be better to give 3 guys a job than have to sacrifice one house.


When a wildfire becomes a firestorm, nothing man can do will stop it.
 
2012-06-30 02:24:36 PM

BSABSVR: miss diminutive: Community business leaders have jumped into the budget debate, some questioning city spending on what they see as "Ferrari"-level benefits for employees and high salaries in middle management. Broadmoor luxury resort chief executive Steve Bartolin wrote an open letter asking why the city spends $89,000 per employee, when his enterprise has a similar number of workers and spends only $24,000 on each.

$89,000 per middle manager? (plus benefits, I presume)

No wonder the city is cash poor.

That would include benefits. that's how that particular sleight of hand works when calculating government salary. Calculate the Bateman minimum cost for the private sector, then calculate the theoretical maximum for the public sector. Sometimes they even count accidental death insurance to bump those "cadillac" numbers up.

Also, I'm pretty sure that the city isn't typically hiring el salvadoran housekeepers to run their police department.


This and I would bet my left nut that the figure is an average. You think Juan the shovel boy at parks makes 90K, I don't farking think so.
 
2012-06-30 02:24:48 PM

Keizer_Ghidorah: Come on, humanity, I thought we were supposed to be intelligent.


What on earth ever gave you that impression?
 
2012-06-30 02:27:22 PM

Party Boy: violentsalvation: I'm sure those 3 firefighters would have made all the difference when over 1000 wildland firefighters assisted by slurry bombers and helicopters couldn't keep the fire out of town.

You ever been part of a type two or type 1 incident?

I'm not about to even argue this with someone who is going to talk out of their ass.


Your a idiot!

/and a prick!
 
2012-06-30 02:28:01 PM

Linkster: This and I would bet my left nut that the figure is an average. You think Juan the shovel boy at parks makes 90K, I don't farking think so.


Youll need to also add in the trend of private contracting. Lots of contracting, and a lot of your lower GS or WG employees aren't there.
 
2012-06-30 02:30:01 PM
I'm as liberal as they come, but I don't believe that emergency responders should just be given every penny they ask for. California is a perfect example of what happens when you do, that corrupt piece of shiat Gray Davis handed out favors to all of his favorite unions in exchange for election, told the pension system to go invest in equities instead of bonds to make up the difference, and in less than 6 years the pension system was bankrupt at the first market crash.

I have no problems with unions negotiating. That's what they're good at, and employees tend to suck at it compared to their employers, so it keeps everyone honest. I have a big problem with big groups being able to get themselves in power and just hand themselves all the money they want. Colorado Springs decided to play hardball, cut them instead of giving raises. Their mistake was not bringing in new hires from out of town to take over for less money, at least as a bargaining chip against the regulars. (And being Colorado Springs, they were probably anti-tax fundies who would like nothing more to dissolve the city into a township with homesteads and privatize all city services, but I digress. Probably not the best choice of guys to defend.)

Part of the problem goes back to firefighters all being forced to be medical professionals, though, so I don't blame them for wanting more money, but in that case the manpower needs to be extended into the massively overburdened routine care business, not just emergency. Plus I really don't understand why firefighting and ambulance services aren't yet integrated in most of the country, other than ambulances being an incredibly profitable lobby.
 
2012-06-30 02:31:40 PM

Linkster: Your a idiot!


Try this again.
 
2012-06-30 02:32:02 PM

violentsalvation: Most city firefighters are not trained to fight a forest wildfire, unless they first started fighting fires for the FS. Also, would those few extra Colorado Springs firefighters have been out on state and federal land with a wood chipper taking out all the down wood and thinning the forest? Can't let a crisis go to waste, eh submitter?


THIS. And now that the surrounding brush/trees are gone and with fewer houses to protect, they can cut City fire services for a few years, right?

20/20 foresight, how does it work?
 
2012-06-30 02:32:15 PM

Keizer_Ghidorah: I always wonder why the first things a state cuts budgets for is everything that's vital and helpful: education, police, fire department, infrastructure, etc. Then they complain about rising crime, stupid students, disintegrating roads, and homeless people without a shred of irony or realization.

Come on, humanity, I thought we were supposed to be intelligent.


Cut what people see and depend on, not the shadowy deals they think are bullshiat, so that you can force them to give you more money to expand the backroom corruption. It's a pretty well-established cycle, and works as long as the public only gets to vote on specific measures, not everything that happens.
 
2012-06-30 02:34:16 PM

foxyshadis: I'm as liberal as they come, but I don't believe that emergency responders should just be given every penny they ask for.


When does this actually happen?

foxyshadis: Plus I really don't understand why firefighting and ambulance services aren't yet integrated in most of the country


The wildland structure is rather flexible and integrated.
 
2012-06-30 02:34:23 PM

Party Boy: Linkster: This and I would bet my left nut that the figure is an average. You think Juan the shovel boy at parks makes 90K, I don't farking think so.

Youll need to also add in the trend of private contracting. Lots of contracting, and a lot of your lower GS or WG employees aren't there.


Well except that they are Contractors and not City Employees, so take them off the table. They don't have a place in that part of the City Budget.

/Try harder
 
2012-06-30 02:35:11 PM

Party Boy: Linkster: Your a idiot!

Try this again.


meme much
 
2012-06-30 02:35:33 PM

Linkster: so take them off the table.


When you take them (lower GS and WG's) off the table, the average salary does what, exactly?
 
2012-06-30 02:40:15 PM
Nothing since they are FEDERAL WORKS not City Employees.

/did you have a civics class in Jr High?
 
2012-06-30 02:40:25 PM
No, no. I think we can use Colorado Springs as a great control group to see what happens to a typical US town when they decide to decimate their municipal infrastructure instead of raising taxes. This will yield valuable data for political scientists and sociologists and other science-minded people.

/D'oh! Those GOPers don't believe in that science-y fairytale. My mistake.
 
2012-06-30 02:41:34 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Good government costs up to 20% of GDP. The results of skimping on government can be seen clearly in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Colorado Springs.


ROFL !!
 
2012-06-30 02:43:23 PM
$89,000 per employee...

BSABSVR:
That would include benefits. that's how that particular sleight of hand works when calculating government salary.

I just hit the City of Denver web page, and there's a list of jobs and pay scales.

Link

From browsing through... you're wrong. There are quite a few jobs with lower pay scales, but there are more than enough "professional" jobs to make up for it. For example, an "Associate City Inspector" makes about $50,000 a year on average, and can make up to $60,000. A painter makes about $44,000. These aren't senior or management positions, either - they're mainstream jobs.

There are also a lot of really high-paying jobs - most of the basic manager positions are in the $90-100,000/year range. You need to remember that Denver, like a lot of city governments, has a bad habit of front-loading with "management" positions that aren't needed as such. In a business, you'd expect to see one manager for every ten to twelve workers. In governments, it's closer to one out of three or four...
 
2012-06-30 02:43:34 PM

RibbyK: THIS. And now that the surrounding brush/trees are gone and with fewer houses to protect, they can cut City fire services for a few years, right?

20/20 foresight, how does it work?


LOL

force everyone to build their houses out of BRICK and STONE
NO MORE WOOD!!!!

Slate, metal or ceramic roofs. No more asphalt shingles.
TADA no more houses starting on fire from the outside.
(yes, the idiots inside can still burn themselves)
 
2012-06-30 02:44:00 PM
What most folks aren't taking into account is that municipalities and states have huge retiree pension and health care costs that don't go away during a recession and don't get reduced when property tax values plummet.

There are lots of municipalities hit hard by the drop in property values (and the resultant property taxes) that find themselves in a situation where pensions and health care for already retired workers went from a third of their budget to 2/3 and, in some cases more. That means that all current city services must be paid for out of less than a third of total revenues. States have their own budget woes and many have had to slash funding to cities. The result is that cities can't afford to do diddly squat.

Promises made to existing retirees are inviolable but any politician worthy of his or her office is planning for the future and trying to renegotiate contracts to bring them more in line with the private sector. Of course, when they do that, the unions treat them the way they did Walker in Wisconsin.

Public sector unions are especially pernicious considering that the management team charged with negotiating with the unions aren't even dealing with their own money. When times were good and governments were expanding exponentially, they happily negotiated extravagant contracts on the assumption that the good times would never end. If you look at the examples of GM, Ford, Chrysler and the UAW, you may note that the business model is seriously flawed in the event of a downturn, loss of market share, or even diminished growth. When the tax base receives a triple-whammy (precipitous drop in real estate values, drastically reduced payrolls to tax, and the accompanying drop in discretionary income to spend in the local restaurants and shops), cities and states find their revenues decimated but their expenses constant. The result is layoffs of existing employees.

It might be more just to confiscate the wealth of every politician at every level who ever signed on to the public sector union business model but, since those are the guys still passing laws, it probably won't happen.

Oh, and this isn't a partisan issue. Politicians of every stripe and even the non-denominational politicians have all eagerly embraced this spending model. I fear the only hope of real change is 2 new parties.
 
2012-06-30 02:45:43 PM

make me some tea: Let's see, $60K salary * 3 = $180K. That's the replacement cost of one 3-4 bedroom in CO Springs.

It'd be better to give 3 guys a job than have to sacrifice one house.


Why did you use their per annum salary there? A house lasts some 20 to 50 years, so shouldn't you likewise multiply firefighter salary by twenty (or so), or were you planning to layoff those three guys after 12 months? Big meenie.

Apples v Oranges.
 
2012-06-30 02:45:47 PM

Giltric: No watering the grass at parks...no mowing the grass at parks except for evey two weeks.......


Its almost as if once you hand people something they become used to the handout or the new status quo...take that away and people wonder how the fark did this grass median used to get watered....it's the end of the world.


Nobody was handing anybody anything. They were paying for it through taxes.
 
2012-06-30 02:46:05 PM

cirby: Link

From browsing through... you're wrong. There are quite a few jobs with lower pay scales, but there are more than enough "professional" jobs to make up for it. For example, an "Associate City Inspector" makes about $50,000 a year on average, and can make up to $60,000. A painter makes about $44,000. These aren't senior or management positions, either - they're mainstream jobs.


golf professional and assistant golf professional??
why are these even on the chart?
 
2012-06-30 02:46:31 PM

make me some tea: $180K. That's the replacement cost of one 3-4 bedroom in CO Springs.


Damn, that's farking cheap.
 
2012-06-30 02:47:38 PM
Over 100 posts and only one person has pointed out that this article is from 2010? Yes, they made cuts, and yes, they're probably suffering for it, but... this isn't exactly "current".
 
2012-06-30 02:47:44 PM

Linkster: Nothing since they are FEDERAL WORKS not City Employees.



This incident is, largely, about Federal resources.

This article is from 2010.

I am talking to a guy who has spent exactly how much time fighting wildland fires?
I guess zero.
 
2012-06-30 02:49:23 PM

neppyman: Over 100 posts and only one person has pointed out that this article is from 2010? Yes, they made cuts, and yes, they're probably suffering for it, but... this isn't exactly "current".


its possible to talk about the issue topically and ignore the dated components.
 
2012-06-30 02:52:25 PM
Very relevant and the first thing I thought of when I heard about the fires:

This American Life 459: What Kind of Country
Originally aired 03.02.2012

Audio: Act Three. Do You Want a Wake Up Call?
Transcript: Act Three. Do You Want a Wake Up Call? (scroll halfway down the page)
 
2012-06-30 02:54:21 PM

namatad: RibbyK: THIS. And now that the surrounding brush/trees are gone and with fewer houses to protect, they can cut City fire services for a few years, right?

20/20 foresight, how does it work?

LOL

force everyone to build their houses out of BRICK and STONE
NO MORE WOOD!!!!


Slate, metal or ceramic roofs. No more asphalt shingles.
TADA no more houses starting on fire from the outside.
(yes, the idiots inside can still burn themselves)


Wood, STRAW and brick. Now we're on to something!
gatheringbooks.files.wordpress.com
 
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