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Jerry Galland

Jerry’s Point of View

SKF$R pulled off fine balancing act

August 16th, 2012 at 5:37 am by Jerry Galland
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An amazing feat of slight of hand, tight control and intense communication lead up to the news released last Friday.

 

Eggs on knife edge*

Going one better than Joe Steinmetz in 1939, this administration balanced your fire department safety future on their ability to withholding vital information and convince voters to pass an EXCESS LEVY.

 

We know better than you attitude

 

Once again, this department shows their contempt and distrust of an informed public.

Carefully presenting a $3.5 million annual revenue increase measure to the people while deliberately hiding their application to get a ‘gift’ from the feds for another $1.8 million is disgraceful.

I for one, want to know the true cost of our emergency services, and have some assurance that responsible people are making those services available, not have it subjected to some sleight of hand chance accounting method based on the whim of higher government.

This administration is sighing in relief that they were able to pull this off.  Telling the voters that there is a dire need to pass an Excess Levy while secretly advocating for millions in additional funding is flawed at best and deceitful at worst. Coming too late in the campaign blitz, I exposed this charade in an earlier post, resulting in the department having been successful in hiding their duplicity until the grand unveiling last Friday.

Now, they can rejoice in the spinning the case of the card up the sleeve slipping undetected into their hand.

 

Supposedly unscheduled workdays mean thousands in bonus pay

And continue to jack the annual salaries and  life-long retirement pensions of their own to expansive levels. (Details to come.)

 

But we know better.

 

*Joe Steinmetz doing an egg balancing act on the edge of a knife. (Joseph Janney Steinmetz , Photographer, 1939)

Forget telling you the truth, let’s just increase our revenue with Manna

August 10th, 2012 at 7:31 pm by Jerry Galland
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With every new count, it looks like the Excess Levy will pass. That is great.

 

 Any other news?

What bothers me though is the completely hidden $1.8 million that the district sought from FEMA without disclosing it to the voters, until AFTER the levy passed! (sure, there was a short note, AFTER I researched exposed the truth weeks ago)

 

While most of us want to know the real cost to us for our services, the district in their infinite wisdom has decided not to tell the federal tax money you paid might come back as 9 new firefighters.

 

I say we deserve to know how much of our hard earned money is actually going to fire protection.

 

When the district did both an Excess Levy and asked for your tax dollars to be overcharged by the IRS, given to FEMA and then, after several administrations skimmed off their ‘administrative’ fees, sent the remainder back to the district.

If SKF&R had made their case directly to the tax-payers, we would have saved all that unnecessary overhead and voted to tax ourselves a much lower rate and still getting the same value for our dollar.

Instead, just as I predicted weeks ago and wrote about in-depth last Friday, the district effectively managed to delay release of the FEMA grant news until AFTER the election.

Fair and open administration? I think not. What say you?

 

$3.5 million in local taxes collected every year and $1.8million from federal taxes taken from you, filtered through a government handling office then ‘returned’ to you as a manna from heaven grant.
I wrote earlier about the duplicity of the Excess Levy and the FEMA firefighter grant. And how I asked the chief if the 9 firefighters each is asking funding for are the same.

 

Crickets

Government agencies working together…

August 3rd, 2012 at 10:21 am by Jerry Galland
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…to take more money from you better.

 

Crickets from FEMA and SKF&R

$3.5 million in local taxes collected every year and $1.8million from federal taxes taken from you, filtered through a government handling office then ‘returned’ to you as a manna from heaven grant.
I wrote earlier about the duplicity of the Excess Levy and the FEMA firefighter grant. And how I asked the chief if the 9 firefighters each is asking funding for are the same.

In a showing of his true leadership skills and dealing with adverse opinions, Chief Church has taken the child-like preschool stand.  He has decided to totally ignore me and vowed never to talk to me again. No letter or phone call will ever be answered. Kind of like hands over the ears and singing loudly whenever  I speak.

Suffice to say, no answer.

The FEMA grant office was also contacted weeks ago and after a few terse ‘please call our office’ ceased written communication without answering any of the simple and concise questions. Kind of like the Fast & Furious fiasco, or education records of our “most transparent” president.

FEMA grant

Every Friday morning, FEMA updates their grantee list. SKF&R applied early enough that we should have heard by now.

Does anyone else think it ‘convenient’ that FEMA is not sharing their decision until AFTER the election?

With all the great publicity and awards we have seen given out by the department, many making the evening news, there stands a good chance this levy will pass, giving our department millions more each year for paying those generous pensions.

And next week, AFTER the election, when FEMA announces their grant of an additional $1.8million to SKF&R, we will hear Chief Church crowing about how hiring 18 firefighters will save more lives.

Shortly after that, I should have copies of the lavish contracts with several commanders and battalion chiefs that grant them thousands each year in bonus pay and help promote thousands of dollars in extra pension payments.

http://www.fema.gov/award-year-2011

 

Property Rights Defender? – None other than Jerry

July 31st, 2012 at 3:42 pm by Jerry Galland
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Want a candidate that is endorsed by the only recognized state-wide organization actively protecting Property Rights?

Look no further.

Jerry Galland, with an OUTSTANDING Rating, is in fact the only 30th District candidate rated by Citizens Alliance for Property Rights.

No election should be unchallenged. Officials need to earn their position.

July 25th, 2012 at 11:04 am by Jerry Galland
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My ballot arrived recently and I am sure yours has also.

 

And I am again asking for your vote to represent you in Olympia.

 

I have also information about a write-in candidate that needs our support.

 

This applies to EVERYONE in Washington State!
 

When you vote on your ballot the State Treasurer only shows one name, Jim McIntire, running un-opposed. 

No one should be unchallenged, they need to earn the position.  

DO NOT VOTE FOR HIM!!   Instead, send a more conservative candidate.  
PLEASE fill in the oval next to “Write-in” and enter this name:

 

Sharon Hanek

 

In addition to her years of hard work voluntarily educating our state officials on a variety of subjects, particularly education, Sharon holds seminars during legislative session for citizens to become active in the political process.

 

By the time ballots are being counted Sharon will be qualified as a Write-In candidate. Reach out to your address book and send this everyone, ask them to forward it on to their friends and we can pull in over 20,000 votes for her.

 

I am not sure how many more than 1 she needs to become the second highest vote recipient to get listed on the General ballot due to the top two primary, but we should be able to make it happen.

 

Sharon is a qualified candidate who has many years of experience.
I personally know and have worked with Sharon.

Sharon Hanek has my support and endorsement.
Also, if you are in the 30th district, I would appreciate your vote, too!
Best Regards,
Jerry Galland
Candidate for State Representative, GOP
30th District, Position 1
 

Is SKF&R involved in a cover-up? With an outright lie?

July 17th, 2012 at 1:19 am by Jerry Galland
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After I broke the news almost TWO WEEKS AGO about their telling you one thing to raise taxes and also appealing to FEMA for grant money, the fire department issued a mystifying News Flash at 12:06am this morning.

SKF&R is continuing the claim the grant was applied for in January, while the copy they gave me through the Public Records act clearly proves it was filed February 21, 2012 on several pages.

 

Arrogance at it’s best

They stubbornly insist that because they say it, you will believe it. Never mind that they also provide the facts that expose their charade and attempted coverup.

 

Let’s review who knew what and when

WHO: Donna L. Conner is an employee of SKF&R. Ms. Conner is also the district Public Information Officer. Conveniently, Ms. Conner is also the FEMA SAFER Grant applicant signatory.

WHAT: The FEMA SAFER grant was conceived of and applied for earlier this year. Today, the fire department wants you to believe this application took place in January, prior to authorizing the Excess Levy.

WHEN: Page 3 of the grant reads: “Originally submitted on 02/21/12 by Donna L. Conner”

Also read pages 23, 26 and the bottom of page 28. On each of these pages appears the name Donna L. Conner on the same line as the application date which reads 21-Feb-2012

 

Deliberate Omission

No mention of the Excess Levy, passed by resolution on January 26, 2012 by unanimous board of commissioners, when applying to the federal government for the FEMA grant.

Adversely, no mention to the voters (until I exposed the issue of the FEMA grant,) asking for $3.5 million TAX INCREASE to hire the exact same number of firefighters.

 

Perjury?

So then why would Ms Conner , Public Information Officer for SKF&R, issue a News Flash lying about her having filed a grant in January? Is Ms Conners complicit or has someone taken it upon them selves to rush this News Flash to print without her knowledge?

 

 

An answer from the chief? 

 

A few days ago I sent a letter to Chief Al Church asking if the 9 firefighters paid for with the Excess Levy tax increase were the same 9 firefighters they were pleading grant money for.

I guess this answers my question. YES!!!

“Due to a continued decline in revenue, the staffing maintenance requirement during the award period may preclude SKF&R’s acceptance if a source of additional funding is not obtained.”

 

How much more proof do you need that the department is trying to pull a fast on over an the taxpayers? And jerking the fireman’s hat down on FEMA to boot!

 

While this will surely be sent to the press, read this News Flash both here and on the official SKF&R web page:

South King Fire & Rescue News

Posted on: July 17, 2012

South King Fire & Rescue hoping for SAFER Grant Financial Assistance

South King Fire & Rescue hoping for SAFER Grant Financial Assistance

South King Fire & Rescue (SKF&R) continues to await word on a 2011 SAFER grant request made last January. 238 fire departments around the country have received these 2011 funds to-date after ten rounds of awards have been announced. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate implements and administers the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants. SAFER Grants provide financial assistance to help provide funding directly to fire departments in order to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities through the hiring of new firefighters, or filling of positions that were vacated through attrition. The goal of the SAFER Grants is to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies, assuring communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.

SAFER intends to improve or restore local fire departments’ staffing and deployment capabilities so they may more effectively respond to emergencies. With enhanced or restored staffing levels, grantees could see a reduction in their response times and an increase in the number of trained personnel assembled at the incident scene. While not required for a SAFER Grant, it is preferable that the enhanced or restored staffing levels of all SAFER Grantees should improve the safety of firefighters by ensuring all first-arriving apparatus are staffed with a minimum of four qualified personnel (to meet NFPA standards) who are capable of initiating the suppression response. Due to current revenue levels and projections, SKF&R will rarely be able to achieve this preference and responds typically with only three firefighters.

Due to a continued decline in revenue, the staffing maintenance requirement during the award period may preclude SKF&R’s acceptance if a source of additional funding is not obtained. A Maintenance and Operations levy is being considered by the district’s citizens at this time. This measure may allow the district to meet the staffing maintenance requirement and to fund the additional position after the two year SAFER funding period is completed.
If the M&O levy fails, the district will reconsider any award from 2011 SAFER funding and instead look to a 2012 SAFER grant request based upon current conditions.

 

Because things tend to ‘suddenly change’ on the SKF&R web page, here is a screen shot of the SKF&R Website at 12:59am 07/17/12

 

Commissioner will not honor the Flag unless you pay him to attend!

July 14th, 2012 at 8:58 am by Jerry Galland
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The fire department says they are in a budget crisis. Some of your elected ‘leaders’ say hogwash.

 

Pay me or I won’t show up.

June 6th Federal Way celebrated Flag Day. Commissioner Fossos attended and charged you $104 dollars for the “honor”.

Ever month Commissioners Fossos and Rickert insist getting paid for mileage to attend in-district meetings and meals while at ‘dinner’ meeting every month in Bellevue.

These two so-called leaders are not getting the message. If the firefighters are taking wage cuts, if the district is not hiring, if the administration is getting laid off, why are they still demanding and getting paid for perks?

I have every meeting reimbursement form for all of your commissioners for the past two years. And every month these two commissioner have gotten paid unnecessary mileage. Just because it is legal, they make sure they get theirs. Essentially saying “Screw the taxpayers”.

 

Those who get it

Some in the department get it. Thank you Commissioners Mark Freitas, Mark Thompson and Bill Gates for NOT charging mileage and meals.

Link to the latest scanned proof of why I claim there is arrogance, denial and waste in your fire department.

http://southkingfire.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SKFR-June-Fossos-and-Rickert.pdf

Sent a Letter to Chief Allen Church

July 13th, 2012 at 3:09 pm by Jerry Galland
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The fire department says if you have any questions, please direct them to the district.

 

Backstory

During an exchange with Ryan Herrera, president of the local firefighters union, related to a letter in the Federal Way Mirror, he revealed an intimate knowledge of the FEMA SAFER grant policies and workings, but, when asked the same question I later put to the fire chief, suddenly became evasive and wrote “I don’t believe that the 9 firefighters are the same”.

As the president of the firefighters union, keenly interested in the firefighters he represents, I question the accuracy of that answer.

Decidedly not very informative, to say the least, considering these two funding mechanisms are both expected to burst soon.

Truly, it seems a shame that someone can not state for sure if the 9 firefighters of both proposals are the same, especially since they otherwise seemed so well informed about the two funding requests, including recent changes to the requirements.

 

Many I have heard from actually expect the otherwise YES/NO answer to be elusive for at least the next several weeks; conveniently coinciding with the election returns.

 

Letter To Chief Church

I was able to get a direct email address for Chief Al Church and sent him this question on July 12, 2012 at 3:50pm

 

 

Chief Al Church,

 

 
There appears to be two funding requests for nine firefighters from South King Fire & Rescue approved by the district in the first two months of this year.

On January 26, 2012, the district administration presented to the commissioners, and the commissioners passed resolutions to place the Excess Levy on the April ballot. The Excess Levy, in part, is described as funding one additional Aid Unit, requiring the hiring of nine new firefighters.

Also earlier this year, in an application dated February 26, 2012, the district applied for a FEMA SAFER grant, for an amount of about $1.8 million, also identifying the need to hire nine firefighters.

Can you clear up some confusion about what these two funding mechanisms are addressing?

 

  • Are the nine firefighters the FEMA grant is seeking to fund the same as the nine firefighters that the Excess Levy is seeking to fund?

 

  • If the Excess Levy passes, SKF&R has stated they intend to hire nine new firefighters to staff one aid unit. If the FEMA SAFER grant is approved and accepted, SKF&R is required to hire nine new firefighters. Does this mean that, should both funding measures be approved, SKF&R will be hiring eighteen new firefighters?

 

Regards,

Jerry Galland

SKF&R – Raising taxes and getting federal money/with strings

July 5th, 2012 at 10:32 pm by Jerry Galland
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The fire district has forgotten to tell the Federal Emergency Management Agency they want to raise your taxes.

Grant application filed on February 26, 2012, one month AFTER the commissioner voted to put the Excess Levy on the ballot, failed to disclose all “other actions the applicant has taken to meet their staffing needs”.

Do you agree with me that appealing to the public for a tax increase for 9 new firefighters and raising wages of existing personnel  is an action taken to meet staffing needs?

Would you be easily forgiven if you ‘forgot’ to mention a $3,500,000 tax increase on your government application?

Remember, these are the people you trust to save your lives.

Read the entire article here

 

 

The Muni League

July 5th, 2012 at 12:07 pm by Jerry Galland
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Let’s put my rating from the Municipal League of King County on the table.

During my 2010 run for 30th District Representative, I was mocked in the rating process because I spoke so highly of self-sufficiency, self reliance and commitment to carrying through on goals.

  • Involvement in the community – hundreds of hours dedicated to defending rights of property owners. Hundreds of hours saving up to 1.200 lives. Years of active and successful political activity. Attended more fire commissioner meetings that any one of the commissioners. Muni-league view = Not Qualified
  • Effectiveness – 60% vote against annexation. 1,200 lives saved. Collaborate with legislators drafting bills. Only the 72nd person in state history to question the  legislature. Muni-league view = Not Qualified
  • Character – The only candidate who tells it like it is without sugar coating the truth, speaking the same platform regardless of the audience. Willing to take the right position even if controversial.  Muni-league view = Not Qualified
  • Knowledge – Knows who to contact when major decisions need to be made, how to communicate to get action accomplished and promises to Read the Bill Before Signing it. Muni-league view = Not Qualified

 

Narrow mold

Apparently, unless you are eager to raise taxes, impose restrictions and regulations on the citizens or expand government services, you are not qualified to represent the people by Muni-League standards.

The Muni-League discounted my unfettered dedication of the citizens of this district against unfunded annexation, excessive taxation and over-regulation resulting in denied personal rights.

The Muni League thought nothing of my wife’s and my accomplishments while building our home, and still working a full time 40 hours/week job, from the dirt up with our own hands in less than 16 months from submitting the drawings to moving in. Only contracting out a few specialty items, we were designers, architects, excavators, foundation builders, plumbers, electricians, construction framers, window setters, tile setters, radiant floor heat system designers and installers and more.

Coordinating with health, building and electrical inspectors along with the few contractors we needed. Because we did not depend on the labors of other, the Muni League wrote a critical review and mocked me in their rating. Self-sufficiency, scheduling, budgeting, determination and resourcefulness are not qualities they are looking for in a candidate.

This year I chose not to partake of their games, did not attend the interviews and instead let my dedication to doing right by the citizens of this district for many years stand as my testimony.

 

What else the Muni League thinks nothing of in Character, Knowledge, Involvement, Effectiveness

I choose not to spin my way into a positive review, anxious to please a biased board of self-appointed ‘evaluators’, which you will find my opponents were apparently eagerly willing to do.

Here is what the Muni League knew about me but refused to even consider in their “unbiased candidate evaluation”:

  • Successfully represented  and defended property owners of the Potential Annexation Area from calculated annexation attack by the city of Federal Way in 2007;
  • Trying to get the right to vote on annexation back by drafting HB 2674 – 2009-10 for the citizens after the city secretly bundled taking it away with a contract negotiation bill (ESSB 5808) legislating the right to vote away from the property owners;
  • Filing Referendum 72 in an attempt to reverse the sneaky actions of the city and the legislature. hoping to return property rights back to the people. I am only the 72nd person in the history of the state to challenge the state legislature and governor;
  • Being the voice of the over 80,000 residents of the city of Federal Way saving residents an annual million dollar tax burden which the unfunded annexation would have cost them;
  • Educating the voters about a possible 66% increase from the South King Fire & Rescue Service Benefit Charge (SBC), saving tax payers over $5,000,000 EACH YEAR! The fire district said that yes, while they would have the authority to raise the rate, they would never do it. If you believe that read this article about the Kent fire district. (Kent implemented the SBC at the same time we turned it down. Now rates for residential property has jumped from $1.50 to $2.00, or 33% increase while the commercial property tax rate has exploded by 100%, currently at $3.00);
  • Saving as many as 1,200 lives by donating over 400 units of blood products at the Puget Sound Blood Center. Years of dedication to the community meant nothing to them.

So it comes as no surprise that this year I was again rewarded with another Not Qualified rating.

The Democrat biased Municipal League of King County is only concerned about how well you can spin your talents to conform to their narrow view of what public service is, or how much you are willing to tax the citizenry for that goal.

 

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About Jerry Galland

I am active in the arena of government accountability. In order to stay on the pulse and help keep the public informed, without compensation, I have attended every regular meeting and almost every Special meeting of the Board of Commissioners since October 2010.

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