Suddenly Albero wants to play nice with the police and firefighters. He claims to have nothing against the rank & file of these departments but I would ask everyone to look at his track record. With the exception of a very limited few Albero has nothing good to say about the firefighters nor has he censored derogatory comments from others while it well known among others he has absolutely censored favorable remarks. In the true light of things he has indeed reveled in the apparent distaste he has created against these fine men and women. Now he wants a truce with them while at the same time continues to attempt his destruction of the force by reaffirming his declaration of war on the leadership.
He continues to falsely deride the cost of the new fire station. It’s been said many times and I will say it again, it is not just a fire station. It is an administrative office complex, a fire station, a well thought out training facility, a heritage center to preserve the departments rich history and a quartermasters supply depot. This city has grown tremendously in the past twenty years and the demands placed on its fire department have grown at an exponential rate. What the city has built on Cypress Street is long overdue and with any luck will last at least the 80 plus years the old station served. I have invited everyone to visit the old station and see the conditions there. I have posted photos of the conditions and still Albero finds fault with the new building.
Albero also claims 5 fire trucks were hidden from the taxpayers in the budget. I challenge him to prove this. The budgets are public record and to hide as much money as required to buy 5 fire trucks is an impossibility. I can’t even say at this point that the trucks are in the budget. My guess is those trucks are being proposed. Equipment replacement and long term planning for such is all part of the process and is ongoing. If Albero digs deep enough he will find many more trucks in proposals for years to come. Albero again mentions an $800,000 fireboat. That figure was reported by the Daily Times but it is inaccurate. The Daily Times was referring to a fireboat in Baltimore and simply stated that a boat such as that could cost that amount. Nowhere was it stated that this was the type or cost of a boat being considered for Salisbury.
Albero certainly has no concept of what it takes to be a firefighter and even less of what it takes to be a department head. He feels the chiefs should demand pay raises and more staffing for their departments. Demand? Sorry but this is no way to run this ship. Demands by a department head would surely earn them a place in the unemployment line. The budget is limited thing. Each department head wants their fair share to meet their needs and careful planning, short term and long term, is dance each of them must perform every year. Demands are not made. Requests are made and justifications for said requests are submitted and considered by the mayor and the council, individually and as a whole. From that it is decided which department gets what and for what and that includes the pay increases for the staff. Albero would have you think that he is almost single handily responsible for the raises earned last year by the police and firefighters. This is merely chest thumping on his part. Those raises were decided in the entire budget process of the city and though he may have spoken up at a council meeting I can assure you the likes of Albero’s voice alone did not force the hands of the city government to grant employee raises.
Albero’s call for a truce is hollow and meaningless as long as any destructive criticism emanates from his being. Should he wish to explore the facts of a given situation instead relying on partial information given him, and should he ever decide to become open minded enough to at least look at an opposing view, then his truces and apologies are nothing more than a smoke screen.