Robert McManus: The aroma of fire politics

February 1, 2014 

Something stinks here in Modesto. In the six months that Chief Randall Bradley was on the job he gained the respect of his rank-and-file firefighters and staff. He identified resource duplications and cultivated relationships with adjoining departments to improve service to the citizens of Stanislaus County. Chief Bradley had no disciplinary problems, yet the board that had unanimously voted him in went behind closed doors and chose to terminate his employment within six months.

I’m sure that very well qualified fire officers will not be lining up to fill his position if they’re going to watch their careers ruined by a board that meets behind closed doors and seems to carry out others’ wishes.

The credibility of the Modesto Regional Fire Authority, the elected officials of the city of Modesto and all parties connected to the joint powers agreement will be tainted. Word spreads rather quickly throughout the fire services and it won’t take long before Modesto will be regretting this knee-jerk reaction.

When we are struggling to fill positions with qualified people, let’s all remember that we had good people at one time then chose not to keep them here.

The board members need to openly discuss the problems they had and how they came to their decision. Then maybe the people will be able to decide if the right person was asked to resign.



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