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February 17, 2019
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Summary of 2013
Jan 10, 2014
Brothers & Sisters As we enter 2014, the Executive Board of Local 3666 hopes everyone had a joyous holiday season and Happy New Year! The Local has seen many changes occur in DFRS during 2013. Traveling around the county and working in different stations, discussions usually are focused on these changes.
Twitter - @Local3666Prez
Jan 29, 2013


I have now set up a twitter account to post information.  Today is a good example of when I need to get timely information out to the membership. The use of social media like Twitter will add another dimension to do get information out.  The Twitter account is @Local3666Prez.

I will also be using this along with code messaging, facebook and the website email to get information out like reminders for meetings, messages needing a timely response and Local 3666 events.  This is coming about because not everyone apparently receives group text messages or their contact information is not up to date on the website. Meaning the membership is not always informed.

One of my goals is to see an increase in participation from our membership. As we grow and create the HISTORY known as the Frederick County Career Fire Service. In addition to strengthening the “Brotherhood/Sisterhood” of Local 3666.  I am hoping that each member will want to have a hand in creating that history. This will only happen if you participate. We should be proud of who we are and the accomplishments we are achieving providing a professional fire and EMS service to the citizens of Frederick County.

Stay Safe

Pres Neary


012913Email regarding torn W-2's
Jan 29, 2013

From: John Neary []
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 11:20 AM
To: Young, Blaine; 'Hose, Mitch'
Cc: Owens, Thomas; Doug Brown Staus, Molly; Kurtz, Jody; Lori Depies

Page 1 of 1


Commissioner Young & Director Hose

I am currently receiving calls from some of my members regarding torn W-2’s. It is my understanding that payroll knows about the problem and reissuing new W-2’s. By concerns go past this in regards to identity theft and false tax returns. The calls I have received to this point. The employee has only received a portion of their W-2. This means their name, address, social security # and wages for 2012 can be in someone else’s hands. Identity theft can be as simple as paying for these employees to acquire Life-Lock Identity protection.

The issue that has far greater consequences is the filing of a false tax return as part of the identity theft. The IRS has published annually they receive thousands of falsely e-filed tax returns as part of identity theft schemes. The missing part of the employees W-2 has provided all the necessary information for a thief to file a false return. The thief now has to enter a bank account for direct deposit. They receive the electronic deposit and close out the account. As you can expect the IRS places the problem on the individual whose identity has been stolen. In  many cases, these returns are for thousands of dollars. When a false return is filed, the person not only loses their refund, but also responsible to return any excess amount claimed on the false return, basically guilty until proven innocent. In every case the taxpayer usually has to pay out of pocket for an attorney to represent them to avoid paying the excess refund plus any penalty and interest charges.

My members are coming to Local 3666 for direction. Since payroll has notified these employees the W-2’s were torn in the production process and still mailed. I am hoping Frederick County is formulating a plan to help or assist these employees in the case their identity is stolen. I look forward to hearing to your response on how the county will work to protect their identities and assisting with future costs associated relating to restoring their identity if stolen.

John Neary
Career Fire Fighters Assoc of
Frederick County, MD Inc.
IAFF Local 3666
P O Box 371
Frederick, MD 21705-0371
Cell # 240-674-4295

June 2010
Jun 06, 2010

June 2010 - President's Page Update

It has been an interesting couple of months. While most of you are going about your shift or day, this local is moving forward. I am going try to address some of the issues facing our local. I am still challenged as to what it will take for many of our members to get involved. As this local grows, so does the need for all of us to participate to make it stronger. Changing the minds and educating the 200,000+ citizens of Frederick County is going to take more than myself or a small number of union members to do so. It will take all of us.


As stated earlier, the following are issues I have been working on or been involved with since my last posting.



Since November the negotiations team has been working on our first contract. Everyone knows our list of items made it to the papers. Some members let it be known asking for a 4% raise and other items that would have cost the county money were greedy requests. But in negotiations it is important to ask for everything on the chance it will be accepted. As a committee, we realized monetary requests would probably be denied. We looked to achieve as many non-economic requests in order to achieve a better document. The county’s theme of the negotiations was the word “No”. In addition, we were informed many of our requests were not “wages and benefits”. Though there is a difference of opinion. Knowing we had no friends on the BOCC, only meant fighting these issues would be to no avail.


What became even more interesting some of our proposals were either cost neutral or saved the county money. The county is providing 80 hours of union (administrative leave). This item requires cash outlay by the BOCC. We proposed a union leave bank supported by the membership. Union leave banks are how many of the surrounding local IAFF leaders use leave for union duties. This was a cost neutral proposal. Another item was a Post Employment Health Plan. The County is required to put a 3% contribution to the plan. We provided a way to make the contribution without costing the county money. In reality they would have saved money. The proposal pushed across the table would have created a savings in payroll taxes however, it was denied.


On April 27 & 28, 2010 the contract was presented and accepted by a vote of the membership in attendance. I will be the first one to admit we are nowhere near contracts of surrounding locals. But we needed to start somewhere! I am hoping with a new Chief and a new slate of commissioners, our next contract will build on this current one.


A formal signing of the contract has been placed on the BOCC agenda for Tuesday morning, June 8, 2010. All are invited to attend, but I strongly encourage our membership to attend. We are trying to make an impression this political season. This would be an excellent start by filling the 3rd floor meeting room.


Retirement Committee


As I wrote in my last letter, Commissioner Thompson is pushing an ordinance to have the plan divest from investments in Iran & Sudan. This has a potential fixed cost to the plan of $40K per year in research fees and other related expenses. In addition, the plan will have investment losses which will compound over the years. The retirement committee voted against the proposed ordinance. The BOCC had a public hearing on the ordinance on April 6, 2010. If you haven’t seen it, take time to look at it. It is amazing to watch the ultimate conservative Comm. Thompson admit he is willing to cost the tax payers money to fund this. He openly admits he knows it will cost the plan. Plus, he is even willing to make the taxpayers cover the cost. Before going in we knew Comm. Gray was for the ordinance. He is the liaison to our committee. He attempted to sway us at the retirement committee meeting in March.


The goal was to find three votes during the presentation to kill the ordinance. Tracy Lobuts had already talked to Comm. Gardner. She understood the cost to the plan by following through with the proposed ordinance. Finding two more would be challenging. My goal was to talk in Comm. Young’s language – from a business perspective and the taxpayers footing the bill. Comm. Hagen proved to be for the ordinance as well. In the end, Mary Claire Cheshire, the consulting attorney to the committee, proposed several changes to the ordinance. These changes were added and voted into the ordinance as requested, with Commissioners Gardner, Hagen & Young voting for the changes. This changed the ordinance enough to give us leeway to avoid the divestiture process. We as a committee are also looking at changing the way we invest to avoid this as well.



Service Delivery Committee


The BOCC has mandated Chief Owens to come back in August with a way to revamp the way the county provides fire service. The Service Delivery Committee (for a lack of a better term) has started to meet. Chief Owens has provided an outline. The committee is to fill in how the outline will work. I attended the first meeting which had a wide range of dialogue. But the dialogue had a common tone to it. The commissioners have created part of the looming deficit through various motions over the years. This has been created by purchasing equipment that was not budgeted, moving expenses into the tax districts not originally budgeted, and reducing both tax rates by a penny. By FY13, there is a budgeted deficit of $18 million. This committee has been tasked to provide an alternative way to provide fire service to the county. In addition find ways to reduce costs in the process. At this point everyone appears to agree to not reduce the workforce. Some discussion has occurred about using volunteers to fill our spots. This is one area the chief already knows the union is against.


Originally the chief wanted to create sub committees to do some of the work. It was determined by the committee to do all the work. The committee was in consensus, to not have sub committees. This would stop the sub committees from doing a lot of work. Only to have it shot down at the committee level.


If you have any suggestions or questions please feel free to contact Brothers Chuck Scott 1-C, David Lal 2-A or Joe Chlebowski 31-C.


Sick leave donor program


On June 12th during the DFRS/Union meeting, we discussed the ability to do work swaps to cover sick leave. Since we are a young department, meaning the majority of our work force has less than 5 years on the job. It is a lot easier for someone to do a work swap to cover instead of donating leave. Past directors have been unwilling to discuss this process. Chief Owens understands the concept. He is willing to help us set a process or policy to allow this to happen.


This discussion became important on June 13th, when the BOCC voted to eliminate the sick leave donor program. After June 18th, an employee will not be able to request Sick Leave Donor hours. I will continue to pursue this change. I have requested Chief Brown place it on the agenda for our June meeting.




During the month of May, the local has attempted two different fundraisers. On May 8th we held a gun raffle. I want to thank Larry Kessler for organizing this event. We haven’t attempted a gun raffle for a couple of years. So unlike other gun raffles, we haven’t built a following for ticket purchases. Like any fundraiser there is always a learning curve. We will attempt to do another gun raffle later this year or early next year. If you have any suggestions or would like to help please pass them on to Brother Kessler.


The locals’ golf tournament for MDA was held on Friday May 28th at Hollow Creek Golf Course. I want to thank Brother Kevin Schmidt for taking over chairing the tournament. He also had help from Brother Mike Cole. Like many other tournaments in the area, golfer participation was down, along with the number of hole sponsors was also less than previous years. Overall the funds raised were down $1,700. I was discouraged to see a reduction in the number of members playing and the lack of hole sponsorship purchased by shifts. Ultimately those who attended the event had a good time. Please pass on any suggestions about improving the tournament to Brother Schmidt.



County Election


The number of candidates who have filed compared to my last post has risen from 4 to 7 candidates. The political groups are estimating up to twenty candidates are expected to file. The filing date is July 6th with the county and state election boards. My understanding several will be announcing in the last week of June and first week of July. Currently, I have started dialogues with one filed candidate and one prospective candidate. So far both candidates have little education on how the fire service is run in the county. This union will have a large task in front of us educating twenty candidates.


Over the last several months, I have had discussions with some you who are thinking about going to other jurisdictions. Many of you are discouraged on how the system is currently being handled. I have rarely, if any, had members come to me praising the way our current system is run. At this point, though there is a committee reviewing service delivery, and discussions have been had on the management of the system or lack there of. The fire service is going to be a political hot topic during this election. If you want to see a change and want to be involved in trying to make changes, let me know. The more we have involved in the process. The greater the opportunity we will have in bettering the fire service in this county.



Personnel Issues


Over the past several months, the local has been involved with several different personnel issues. A reoccurring problem is when you are notified of a disciplinary action you have a right to representation. DFRS is now calling the employee two hours before an action is to take place. They are advising you will either receive a visit or are requested to come to 340 Montevue Lane. Once this phone call is received the clock starts ticking on the employees two hour time limit to contact the local and obtain representation. Once you have been notified your next call should be to your union representative. If you are unable to contact them then call me. If you are unsure of your representative, the assignments are posted on the union webpage under “Officers & Staff”. You do not need to login to open this page. Every attempt will be made to have someone there at the time the disciplinary action occurs. This phone call should also be made if you are be investigated or interrogated on an issue. You need a second set of eyes and ears in the room that is on your side. Your representative is not emotionally involved in what is going on at the moment. They are there to protect your rights. Calling after you have been interrogated or received a disciplinary action only makes the next step in the process harder for you.



In regards to the actions, I have been involved in several disciplinary appeal actions over the past couple of months. I have been hearing negative comments about representing members at these appeal hearings. First, everyone who pays dues to this organization is provided representation when they request it. Next, representing these individuals makes sure that not only are they treated fairly, but consistent with past practices of the DFRS. In addition, as with any personnel action, not all information is published. With that being said, it is inappropriate for any other member to judge these individuals. There have been people who have been released because of their actions. But if we are successful in returning someone to the floor, means DFRS may not have considered all the facts on an original action. Some times it doesn’t take a lot to be put in a disciplinary action which your job is on the line. I will speculate if you anyone of you were these individuals position. You would want the local fighting for your job as well. We are all not perfect. One aspect of this union is to protect your rights.


Another issue I have seen crop up on a routine basis “What to do if I get hurt while working?” Whether in a recruit class or a day away from retiring, if you are hurt on the job, you need representation. These injuries need to be documented properly. If they are not, and you reinjure yourself, the workers comp insurance can argue it is a preexisting condition or non-work related injury. If they establish this defense, then you lose numerous benefits. When in doubt, contact Berman Sobin, & Gross, they will provide you with accurate information.


As always:

Get Involved!

Make a difference!

Attend a meeting!

Support your Local!

Make this a Stronger Union!


March 2010
Mar 28, 2010



Brothers & Sisters



We are now into the third month of this year and many changes have occurred with many more to come. During the month of January we saw the promotions of 11 lieutenants and one battalion chief. The local would like to congratulate each one of them for accomplishing this achievement. In February we started the month with a new director. He started off coming into a whirl wind with a fire in Brunswick on his first day. So he was inducted early on how the fire service operates. Then we all were able to live through the big snowmogeden. Each one of us felt the pressure this weather event placed on the county and the division. The members who worked during this time period did a tremendous job. Chief Owens praised everyone in his opening comments at the “Meet & Greet” meetings. These meetings provided excellent feedback to the new chief. He is looking forward to doing them in the future. Many of you have even seen him stop into stations and spend some time talking with the shift. I know he is also making an attempt to make it to all the volunteer corporation monthly meetings. So don’t be surprised if you see him stop by the station. In March we have seen commissioners start to use the meetings to grandstand and make “shock” motions. Just so they can bring the fire tax districts talk to the forefront. So as I started this paragraph we are in for an interesting year.


On a more serious note, the membership has been involved in an increasing amount of disciplinary actions. I understand we all make mistakes on occasions. But what is even more interesting is many of you have taken on DFRS without union assistance. Some of you have been investigated only to have the investigation be used against you. I cannot reiterate enough when a supervisor – lieutenant or battalion chief brings you into a room to ask questions about an issue you have the right to ask for a union representation (DFRS SOP Section 2 Subsection 2.00.02). It is at this point you need to ask for a union representative. Unfortunately, this is not occurring and some members have made some critical mistakes creating a bigger problem for themselves. You have rights you need to know those rights. They are known as Garrity, Loudermill, & Weingarten. I have posted them in the past. Many locals have made a page on their websites as reference points. We will be adding them as well to the website. You pay dues for a reason! Make the call! Protect your rights!


In the up coming months you should start seeing changes to the website. We are looking to add the ability to buy union clothing online. We are also going to add more station pictures and work related photos. Bob McCaa is currently working to create a PR committee to assist with promoting the union in the community. He has placed a thread on the forum. Let him know if you are interested.




The local is going to start asking for your help at BOCC hearings. The first hearing will be on the evening of Tuesday April 6th at 7PM. This BOCC will be entertaining an ordinance drafted by Commissioner Thompson. This ordinance will restrict the retirement plan from investing money in companies who invest in Iran & Sudan. Restricting investments in these companies will result in a loss of income to the plan. A loss in income to the plan would require the county to make up the difference in their annual contribution. In a tight budget time why is the county even entertaining this idea? Unless they plan on making us pay for the losses out of our paychecks, I don’t think any of us are willing to do that!



Though, the intention is admirable because of the problems with the governments of these countries. Our plan does not have the assets to make a difference like New York State Teachers Plan, State of Maryland Retirement Plan, and California Retirement system. These plans have significant assets which can make a business think twice about pulling out of investing in Iran and Sudan. Our retirement plan will have minimal effect on this issue. We can join the others at a later date. But it makes no sense to be a leader in this process.



Finally, we are now at the beginning of the election season. Currently, the candidates are slim. The local will be watching as candidates start to announce. We will be looking at the commissioner race and the state house races. If you are into politics and want to be involved, give me a call. We will need to put a group together to come up with questions and prepare to interview each candidate. It is time to get serious about working towards selecting candidates we support. In addition, seeing who is willing to commit to helping raise funds, knock on doors, and hand out flyers to get our candidates elected. I have talked with the new FOP president. We both agree, a change is needed in the BOCC to respect the public safety employees. He is going to start looking to his members to prepare for the upcoming elections. Please get in contact with Chris Mutchler or myself if you would like to help out with this effort. REMEMBER WE HAVE NOT HAD ANY FRIENDS IN THE BOCC! IN ORDER TO SEE CHANGE, WE WILL NEED TO MAKE THESE FRIENDS & HELP THEM GET ELECTED!





Page Last Updated: Jan 10, 2014 (23:02:53)
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