I read both parts of your article related to discontent within the ranks of Seminole city employees.
First off the ongoing negotiations with the fire department: It does not sound like the city is dealing in good faith at all.
The special magistrate is an independent negotiator who looks at facts and renders a finding. Some of those facts involve wages and benefits compared to neighboring departments. Any reasonably intelligent city citizen must realize the increased workload this department has seen in recent years with development and the opening of Seminole Town Center.
As for how the city manager handled the complaint involving the use of the fire truck, she was obviously planning on blindsiding the fire chief. She wanted that info concerning the location of the truck, prior to asking about its use. Also, anyone with any professional training in employee evaluations knows that the rating period is throughout the year, which means a deficiency is brought to the attention of an employee immediately. This gives the employee a chance to fix the deficiency immediately. The city manager then would make a note that the deficiency was addressed with the employee.
Instead it appears Toney-Deal let the deficiency go unaddressed for a year and then blindsided the employee. Also, the way Toney-Deal handled the investigation concerning the fire truck shows she obviously doesn’t set the example for department heads and their subordinates concerning proper communication. To have that big of a turnover with employees shows a glaring problem. Look at the lost money spent on training employees who then leave for a better work environment.
To ignore a survey where 78 percent of Seminole Fire Rescue employees show discontent with management — how in the world is that not a glaring problem needing immediate attention. These employees deserve a positive work environment with a reasonable wage, which would allow them to live within the city they work. I blame the mayor on down for this obvious negative environment with city employees.
I would then remind the citizens of Seminole and portions of unincorporated Pinellas County that these employees are the people responding to you and your loved ones’ medical emergencies. These employees are the ones charged with supervising your children. These employees are the ones addressing your daily needs. Do you want the best employees doing these things or constant turn over and disgruntled workers? You have the power to let these elected officials know you’re not happy with their obvious poor supervisory skills and lack of respect for the true people who make your daily lives better, safer and trustworthy.
Mark Farling, Seminole