Even though I often disagree with Alderman Forbes, especially on some of the positions he has taken vis-a-vie water and Sewer, he is spot on in decrying the process, or lack of process, culminating in the appointment of the new fire chief.
I don't know Captain Colina. I may have met him once or twice at some point in time, but I couldn't swear to it. He may be the best possible choice for the job, but I don't know that either.
I am of the opinion that there should have been a formal search committee that conducted hearings on this appointment. There should have been an opportunity for public input, union input, and perhaps even input from a professional organization that has experience and expertise in conducting interviews evaluating candidates for a position of this kind, and making recommendations.
One of the questions I have is whether the fire chief position is a civil service position. Years ago, the police chief position was removed from Civil Service, giving the Mayor the responsibilty of appointing a Chief without regard to civil service provisions. The chief signs an employment contract with the City that must be renegotiated. Over his tenure, the former Mayor dismissed three separate chiefs before the appointment of Chief Lyle. If the fire chief position is a civil service position, that appointment is essentially a life appointment, as under civil service a person can only be removed for cause.
The current mayor has taken a step into the past with this appointment - the past that saw these positions filled on a who you knew basis rather than on a what you knew basis, and that makes me uncomfortable.
GI is an Illegitimate Mayor who is in way over her head. This was clearly shown by how she handled the Fire Chief Appointment. She takes orders from Lynnfield and his minions who remain on the Melrose payroll. Van Camp, Mike, Marianne, Patrick and Brigid tell Infurna what to do. HR Long and Infurna have hurt the morale of the fire department, increased Union/Management distrust and tainted Mr. Colina's beginning as the Melrose Fire Chief. I don't know Ed Colina or any of the other Captains who applied for the job. Colina was hurt by the unprofessional process of his appointment. Alderman Forbes showed guts. I hope Scott and the other new BOA folks question, hold Department Heads and other employees accountable and demand transparency. The upcoming budget process is going to be hell and Gail does dot have the skill, ability or knowledge to be the Chief Executive of Melrose. Sad but true when we are in such trouble.
I just watched a repeat of last night's meeting. My blood pressure rose when Alderman Forbes stated that the Firefighter's Union asked to observe the interviews ( they did not ask to formally ask questions ) but their request was DENIED! I didn't have much respect for Gail in the past but her "leadership" on the Fire Chief process is beyond belief. DENIED? !!! Well lady mayor, your ignorance of labor law, group dynamics and the mental and physical health and needs of 1st responders is criminal. I thought the many posts labeling GI as an "Illegitimate Mayor" were a bit harsh but now I agree completely. She will be DENIED respect from more people than ever because of her inexperience, ignorance and arrogance.
Its refreshing to see Alderman Forbes take a stand and vote his conscious. He went against the Administration and seemed to be okay going down the unpopular path. I give him credit for that. With the amount of turnover thats occured on the BOA, there is a loud cry for leadership! I hope Alderman Forbes continues to take strong positions on important issues. It will be interesting to see how things play out when the budget is presented. I for one will be watching!!!!
Alderman Forbes was 100% correct - I just wish others on the BOA were willing to listen.
I do know Colina, and he is an unabashed butt kisser. He spent all his time sucking up to Dolan while he was here, and obviously has continued that same practice with Infurna. Dolan wanted the police and fire chiefs in his pocket. He got rid of three police chiefs who wouldn't roll over and play dead for him, and Lyle walks on a razor's edge every day.
I happen to like the police chief. He's a good guy, but he's beholden to the Mayor for his job. The two department heads whose jobs should never be political appointments are just that. I want a qualified professional in both of those jobs, not some butt kisser who is a patronage appointment.
Infurna can't hack it, folks. She's a mouthpiece for Dolan, who is still calling the shots from Lynnfield. Expect nothing else but more of the same. I give Forbes credit for having at least enough gumption to speak up.
Why on earth would anyone think that Infurna is qualified to evaluate and select any candidate for fire chief? What's her background in fire science? Lighting candles on a birthday cake?
I watched this meeting last week and was amazed that Alderman Forbes was the only person to voice an opinion. After hearing what he had to say, I was even more amazed that nobody on the entire BOA voted with him.
I 100% agree that a union representative from the fire department should have been present during the interviews. That way everyone knows there can be no favoritism, and the interviews & questions are conducted the same way. Also, as a hiring manager, Alderman Forbes was absolutely correct when he said to bring in some experienced people to ask candidates questions only they could think of asking.
I am glad to be a Ward 7 resident - thanks Alderman Forbes for speaking up.
How could ANYBODY walking into the position of Mayor be able to pick a Fire Chief with any confidence? She was on the job for only a few weeks!
"How could ANYBODY walking into the position of Mayor be able to pick a Fire Chief with any confidence? She was on the job for only a few weeks!"
Welcome to Melrose. Be patient, and you will see more of this if it's not entirely hidden.
And now Illegitimate Gail is calling for an OVERRIDE ! ? She was told what to do regarding hiring the Fire Chief by the HR Director, ML, and RD on his daily instruction call from Lynnfield. No, she is not qualified to be Mayor.
The players involved in this fiasco = Ugly process
1. The differences between the roles of a mayor and an Alderman are irrelevant to your argument. You asked how someone could walk into the mayor’s office and hire a fire chief with any confidence. By being an Alderman for 20 years is how. The Aldermen work closely with city departments and particularly public safety.
2. Many people were consulted, including 2 former fire chiefs. Not to mention the “panel” with ultimate authority - the board of Alderman. Anyone could have weighed in there if they had a problem. Did you?
The point about the lack of new public safety buildings was all that needed to be said to discredit the previous poster!
Such a straw man. (And a MM favorite!) The age and need of the buildings has nothing to do with whether the city government has day to day contact with the members of the public safety departments in the course of the work they do. There is a recognized building need that must be addressed, yes. That is a completely separate point from the fact that communication happens in the day to day work of a city’s operations. (And before you go there - yes the quality of the building impacts police and fire operations, but it doesn’t mean they do it without communicating with other city departments, aldermen included)
Gail doesn't have a clue about executive decisions. She is routinely told what to do by Dolan and his minions. HR Long is one of the biggest posers. She broke Union and HR protocols. GI wouldn't know the difference. Long should know the difference unless she has worked for the City of Melrose so long that she has lost all perspective regarding ethical employment practices. Long and PDR aren't trustworthy and GI is just their puppet.
I was impressed to hear at last nights meeting that Alderman Forbes recently took a tour of the 3 fire stations, and seems to be taking a position that the needs of our public safety buildings should be addressed immediately. I am ALL for that!
The quality of these buildings are dreadful, and plans to renovate or rebuild have been pushed back time and time again. It was encouraging to hear several people on the BOA speak up and finally start to talk about critical needs of the fire department.
Although Forbes didnt support Collinas appointment, he reached out nonetheless to visit each of the fire stations. That shows a lot in my opinion - that he is more interested in solutions and moving things forward. For that, Alderman Forbes has earned my respect.
Forbes was not against Colina the person. He voted against the process of the appointment which violated the best practices of HR and Union standards. The fact that he reached out to the new Chief and toured the three Fire Stations shows commitment and judgement.
Alderman Forbes has earned my respect.
I'm happy to see somebody on the BOA is making an attempt to keep the conversation of our public safety buildings at the forefront. The schools will be taking center stage from now until March (its already started), and all the issues regarding public safety will be forgotten yet again
Alderman Forbes was smart to tour these facilities now, and its my hope that he advocates for both Police & Fire Departments when it won't be the popular choice
I really hope Forbes doesn't cave under the pressure that will definitely be coming his way. A true test of leadership
GI has a reputation of being a mean girl and bullied often while an Alderman. There will be numerous attempts to stop Forbes and MacMaster for standing up for Public Safety. If MZ, MM and JT want to be Mayor, they need to show leadership as well and help design multiple override questions for all city government needs for November 2019.