In which Mike Fitzgerald continues his quest to piss off every city employee ever

You know what? Fitzy’s column today is pretty bad. So bad that I’m going to FJM it. Something we haven’t done in a while. Let’s just dive right in to the horrible goodness.

Today: items.

We warned you it was going to be bad didn’t we? And with this…umm..sentence(?), Fitzy warns his readers too. Anything that starts off with some variation of “A few items” is like code for saying “I couldn’t shit out a whole column on one topic.” I know it’s the pot calling the kettle black here since the Quick Links are like 70% of our posts. But again, I’m an unpaid blogger. Fitzy does this for a living. But anyways, let’s check out these items.

1. A budget-busting deal

Oh this should be rich.

One of the last things the Ed Chavez City Council did was bullet-proof the Stockton Fire Department from budget cuts the city desperately needs to make.

Oh hey, Fitzy’s smarter than the Recordnet commenters. He realizes that the City Council mostly responsible for this mess isn’t the current one. But, something seems off about his claims that the budget’s fucked because of SFD. But I can’t quite put my finger on it. Let’s continue, I bet it’ll come to me.

On Dec. 16 – when the city’s budget tsunami was already crashing down – the council approved an amendment to the Fire Department’s labor agreement.

“There shall be no layoffs, alterations in total daily staffing, or company closures” until June 2011, reads the agreement.

Can somebody send this part to the Police Department? This is why PD has to deal with layoffs. And why FD’s sitting pretty. I guess this means Fitzy agrees with us, which just makes us feel dirty. Wait, what’s this…

The deal, yet another instance of insufferably bad city negotiation, was cut two weeks before most council members left office. The turkey has been handed to the new council.

So wait, Fitzy’s pissed off pretty much every government worker by bitching about their paychecks and their pensions. Now he’s going after FD because they can’t be laid off? Is this part of his grand scheme to piss off every public worker ever? Next thing you know he’s going to be bitching about coffee breaks or some other petty bullshit. But what does this mean for the city? Let’s ask the City Council’s resident Fitzy stooge Dale Fritchen!

“It completely gave away any flexibility the city has,” Fritchen lamented. “As it stands, the Fire Department can be $6 million over budget, and there’s not much that the city can do.”

Oh, so we’re fucked? If there’s one thing you can say about Fritchen it’s that he’s consistent. We have yet to read a quote where he hasn’t said something about how completely fucked the budget is. So unbending union enjoying a sweetheart deal from the Chavez Council. Next verse same as the first. Tell me something I haven’t heard.

(Fire Chief Ron) Hittle predicted the union would further renegotiate in the interests of the city.

Oh, so they’re going to be flexible. That’s refreshing. Hey wait, that nagging feeling is coming back. What’s this over here?

“We will make no further concessions – we’ve made plenty – until every other labor group in the city has matched the concessions we’ve made,” (FD Union President Capt. Dave) Macedo said.

Snap! RACE WAR!!!!! Ok, well, PD/FD war. I thought this only happened in movies and on Reno 911. Wasn’t PD just bitching about FD’s lack of cuts? Wish you had taken cuts last year when the Council was passing out promises it had no intention of backing up don’t you PD?

But we’ve been talking about all these layoffs way too much lately. Plus, it looks like they’re finally realizing pay cuts are better for the public than layoffs. So let’s check Fitzy’s next item that will assuredly be another great idea to cut excessive government spending.

2. A mountain of Folgers Crystals

Oh shit. Are you fucking kidding me?

I asked the city to account for its coffee intake, mindful that in most offices employees buy their own coffee.

2008 tax dollars spent on coffee, etc.: $34,938.24.

I could make some sarcastic joke about how that’s some crack investigative journalism right there. But I have a bigger bone to pick right now. You can bitch about pay rates, you can put a hit out on pensions, but you do NOT fuck with the java dude. Especially over 35 grand. We have a $30 million budget shortfall. 35 grand is a drop in the hat. That pays for what? Half a cop? It’s just not worth pissing off every city worker ever. Apparently Fitzy doesn’t mind waiting 6 hours any time he wants to use a city service. What do you think’s going to happen next time you call the city to help you cut a particularly big branch that’s up too high on one of the trees in front of your house Fitz? Or what about the next time you need a permit? Fuck that, what about the next time somebody from the Record needs to go to a source working for the city? They’re going to say “Fuck you” while they struggle to keep their head up because some pompous fuckshovel brought their coffee budget to the attention of the public.

I want my city workers to be as alert and awake as possible. If that means paying so each office can have their own Starbucks barista on call to Irish up their coffee then so be it. But pointing out a small perk that really has a microscopic affect on the budget just seems short sighted and stupid. Not to mention it’s a blatant violation of coffee code. Coffee drinkers look out for each other. Considering Fitzy’s in the journalism field we can assume he enjoys a hot cup of mud from time to time, so he should know better. If I don’t get my cup or two in in the morning you’d better not talk to me because I will punch you in the face. I don’t care who you are. Coffee is the fucking lifeblood. You don’t fuck with the lifeblood.

I can’t even continue. I’m just too pissed off at this blatant, petty violation of common decency. I’m too angry to talk about the fact that half this article is just a word for word reprint from his blog. What a lazy fucker. I bet if he had coffee he’d put enough effort into his job to not just republish old shit. Plus, the 3rd item is just cheesy and weak. Also it’s not funny. Ok, the “Misery Loves Company” one was pretty good, but still, don’t fuck with coffee.


~ by Slick Diaz on February 11, 2009.

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