Thursday, February 2, 2017

Broken Promises: Blue Voice Does Research on Dean Angelo Pledges, Practices...

“I don’t lie,” thundered Dean Angelo at the meeting of election candidates last week.

So the Blue Voice Team did some research. 

Remember this slogan?

“Seven Pledges for Lodge 7.”

Three years ago, when Dean Angelo was first trying to get elected as President of Lodge 7, this was his campaign slogan on his website.

So let’s take a close look at Dean’s promises…

Pledge 1 Lower Field Rep Salaries and Eliminate Stipends

Reality: Field Rep salaries have remained the same.  Stipends have remained in place.

Sure, Angelo, often referred to as “Disability Dean,” did reduce his own salary, but he was also collecting a hefty disability pension payment and free healthcare for more than a decade while working full-time as FOP President. So Angelo’s cut in salary was more symbolic than substantial.

Angelo also hired an additional person to work in the FOP office, a total of eight staff members. Every prior administration worked with only seven.

For the first time, the Lodge is paying $600 a month for parliamentarian, John Dineen, to attend meetings. Angelo is also paying Bill Nolan $600 a month to be immediate past president, even though Nolan is not the immediate past president. Nolan hasn’t been president since 2002. There is no reason for Nolan to still be on the payroll.

Pledge 2 Membership Training Sessions

Reality: Members were going to get educated on a host of issues, from legal defense to work site rules. Zero. Zilch, Zippo.

There were a total of two training sessions for the Unit Reps. That’s right, two. There have not been any additional training sessions for the rest of our membership.

Pledge 3 Mandatory Roll Call Visits

Reality: Roll call visits were never made mandatory during Angelo’s term.  Angelo and his team rarely, if ever, made visits to roll calls.  When was the last time you saw him at yours?

Pledge 4 Eliminate In-House Attorneys to Save Money

Reality: Angelo’s decision to remove in-house attorneys has almost doubled the legal bills for the FOP, while diminishing access to legal services. In fact, our Legal Defense Fund has been significantly depleted since Angelo took office.  A dues increase may be needed to replenish our legal defense fund.

Attorneys are now present at Lodge meetings, another unnecessary expense.

Pledge 5 Webpage, Blog for Members, Info Page

Reality: The webpage is slow to be updated.  A blog for members was never created.  Info page was never created.  There is less information coming from the Lodge now than there has ever been in the past decade.

Pledge 6 Address Promotional Testing Process

Reality: The process has remained the same.

Pledge 7 Begin a Healthcare Fund

Reality: Not only did this fund never take shape, Angelo never challenged the City when the City made the decision to eliminate healthcare for certain retired members.  Angelo went so far as to allow the City to shirk its responsibility to provide healthcare for our retired members, who sacrificed a lifetime of service, and then placed insurance benefits in the hands of private insurance companies without any guarantee of future costs.

Other Broken Promises: Angelo said he would staff the FOP with officers elected by members.

Reality: Keith Carter, Marlon Harvey, and Tom McDonagh are all working at the FOP even though they were not elected by the members. That’s three of the eight officers working in the Lodge offices who were appointed by Angelo and not elected by the members.

Even worse, Second and Third Vice-Presidents Frank Di Maria and Dan Gorman, respectively, were not allowed to give monthly reports at General Membership Meetings, even though our by-laws require them to do so.
Recording Secretary Greg Bella originally made the decision not to be a Field Representative and work at FOP.  Bella then changed his mind and decided to work at the FOP without accepting the responsibilities of a Field Rep.  Bella petitioned the FOP Board of Directors for a $50,000 annual salary.  The Board denied his request, but the same Board did approve a $25 per hour rate of pay, which is the equivalent of $52,000 annually for a full-time employee.

Angelo pledged that his team would be proactive in scheduling and staffing

Reality: Angelo, without the consent of the membership, added a Memorandum of Understanding regarding staffing at the units. This memorandum has effectively limited the number of officers who can take a day off every day of the year. The result is that members are having as much difficulty as ever getting time off.

Angelo agreed to let the City include an adjustment week in the police calendar. The city chose to make this adjustment week in the middle of the year at a time when many members want time off. This decision effectively limits vacation time during a prime time of the year.  Why would Angelo allow this?

“I don’t lie,” Angelo thundered last week.

When ballots go out February 15, members can decide if they believe him.