As a fire captain and 24-year employee of the San Luis Obispo Fire Department, I found no small amount of irony and hypocrisy in the Pro A and B Viewpoint on Aug. 18 by retired chiefs Bob Neumann and Jim Gardiner, who were both identified earlier this year as being members of the over $100,000 pension club.
Both men enjoy a retiree medical benefit none of the current employees will ever receive. Both men, more so than anybody, were directly responsible for their employees seeking impartial binding arbitration as a conflict resolution procedure in the first place after years of broken promises and bad faith bargaining that prevailed during their tenures.
It was Neumann’s weak, laissez-faire leadership and unwillingness to advocate for his employees, combined with Gardiner’s dictatorial management style that compelled their employee groups to gather more than 7,000 registered voter signatures, not once but twice, in an effort to achieve fair bargaining, a level playing field and a real voice at the negotiations table.
Conflict was the prevailing atmosphere then and is the legacy of their time at the top. They both seem to have conveniently forgotten what benefits they currently enjoy and their role in pushing the firefighters and police toward seeking impartial binding arbitration in the first place.
San Luis Obispo
Facts on rape
Responding to community backlash of The Tribune’s “Morro Bay man allegedly raped woman at Cambria Park,” on Aug. 12, the Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center (SARP) of San Luis Obispo County would like to clarify facts about sexual assault:
- People known to survivors — not strangers — commit the vast majority of sexual assaults. They include “normal” people: intimate partners, spouses, family and acquaintances. Acquaintances are friends, friends of friends, neighbors, someone met at a bar, on a date, etc.
“Victim blaming” makes us feel safe — it won’t happen to us because we’d act differently. However, rape, which is an act of power, not sex, can happen to anyone. And the perpetrators are to blame.
San Luis Obispo