Sunday, June 10, 2007


What's really going on in New Albany?

Wake up New Albany, your lives may be in danger. Our New Albany Fire Department is in such turmoil because of poor management.

Our New Albany firefighters are being harassed, intimidate and they are refusing to discuss the current state of our NAFD. The current management of our Fire Department is setting our city up for future lawsuits.

Freedom of Speech challenges any blog or the current administration to prove what we are saying is wrong. It is time our City Council calls for a full investigation, and for the council to step in and do what's best for all the citizens of New Albany.

You decide...

History & Events ~ Ambulance & Hiring of Firefighters:

Vision differ for N.A. ambulance service~10/11/2006

New Albany City Council clashes over ambulance~11/09/2006

New Albany Fire Department ambulance returns through 2006~ 11/17/2006

Hiring vote for New Albany Fire Department on hold~12/22/2006

Letters: January 6, 2006 Reader: Reducing scores to allow minorities is insult~01/05/2007

New Albany Fire Department receives $187,000 Homeland Security grant~02/09/2007

Panel: NAFD ambulance mismanaged~03/06/2007

FIRE STORM: New Albany Board of Works enacts new fire-hiring process ~04/04/2007


A new wrinkle in the saga of firefighter employment has prompted New Albany's executive and legislative bodies to trade accusations of illegal activity.

On Tuesday, the Board of Public Works and Safety enacted a firefighter-hiring procedure, effectively trumping a City Council that Mayor James Garner said has been "making a mockery of the democratic process" ...

But...we have the real story!

Because of the executive board and the EMT's raising such awareness when Squad 10 was taken off track is when all this started. The New Albany Fire Chief is holding EMT's basically hostage on the ambulance stating, "that ambulance personal should have not taken the course and if they don't want to be on the ambulance to give up their numbers? This way the Chief can get rid of the ambulance stating he does not have the individuals to work it.

What the taxpayers of New Albany doesn't know, all 11 of the EMT'S assigned to the ambulance volunteered to take the class on their own, to better the service for the fire department and to better serve the citizens of New Albany.

And with the size of our city, the citizens of New Albany deserves an ambulance service of this caliber, regardless of what the Garner administration and Chief's office thinks.

The individuals working the ambulances along with the executive board are trying to fix the problem, but the Chief and the Mayor refuse to do anything about it because they want to get rid of the ambulances all together.

The Chiefs office called the EMT's whiners and punished all personnel who holds the EMT certification by placing them on the ambulances regardless if they were 5 year veteran or a twenty year veteran.

All anyone on the ambulance is asking is that all new recruits have to become EMT certified, this will enable the Fire Department EMS Service to thrive and grow.

The current contract states all new recruits must become BLS and all the union is asking that all new recruits become EMT's.

Really not that complicated is it?

Especially, when the class can be taught for free by individuals on the fire department.

Freedom of Speech would like to ask:

Why in the last 3 1/2 years not one grievance has been passed by Fire Chief Ron Toran, or his son Tony Toran President of The Board of Works against the Fire Department. And why not? How fair is this set up? Does the words Conflict of Interest apply? Or is Tony just covering his dad's legal ass?

Furthermore, the Chief's office refuses to promote any ambulance personnel assigned to ambulances. Why?

Chief Toran where is the Accountability System that was granted by Homeland Security? This equipment was obtained by grant, which is used to save fire fighters lives. It has yet to be put into use and we want to know why?

The state of the fire department has been in the gutter for nearly 16 years now thanks to poor management. The people on the department are accustomed to turmoil, friction and unnecessary BS.

It did not take citizen's advocate Valla Ann Bolovschak long to figure out what is being done to our firefighters is illegal, immoral, and opening the city up for potential lawsuits. After weeks of research and verifying the ordinances and several calls to Indianapolis, she knows that if an ordinance is established it precedes all other ordinances thus nullifying the 2003, 2004 hiring list which is part of what is being used to select our new 12 recruits.

Valla Ann again demostrates she is not afraid to rock the boat in order to stand up for us taxpayers!

From what we have verified this is going on, and it's illegal. There are people who got interviews who were not on the current hiring list. They themselves were confused because they had given up, thinking they were never going to be called because a new test had been administered.

At this point, if nobody is going to step up and take action we the taxpayers of New Albany will.

It's time the council takes action, don't let them do whatever they want. It's sickening and sad how this community operates. It's equally sickening and sad how the Council, Board of Works and any others in a positions who could take action just sit and watch because they don't have the guts to do something about it, or at least try.

Shame on you...All of you!

Plus, there is a union President, Dick Duggins, who is trying to get his son hired so he isn't going to try and stop them. We ask why piss off the people who could give your son a future? What kind of a future will he have on the NAFD if things continue to be managed the same old New Albany Good Ole Boy ways?

There are grievances stacked waiting to go to arbitration (which the membership has already voted and approved to do so) but are seeing no action by this President for some reason. Hmmm. Wonder why?

His course of action seems to be working.

We did verify his son did get an interview. Can't call him stupid...just irresponsible and untrustworthy in a leadership role. And wait, there's more...Duggins is apparently running around telling everyone that HE is going to be the next Fire Chief...Ain't gonna happen Dick!

It's going to take alot of work by someone who actually knows how to manage people, to bring those folks around and make the NAFD what it really should and can be. These are good people.

It's the management that is beyond highly questionable!

The fact that the mayor can stand before the city and everyone else and say Ron Toran is the best man for the chief's job and the best chief the department has ever had is ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous.

That is just wrong and totally misleading. If our mayor truly believes that then I would highly question his ability to make good decisions...Oh, all makes sense now.

It all boils down to irresponsibility and sheer ignorance...Literally.

Where is the checks and balances of this city?

Unfortunately it looks like the fire department is not going to be getting the top recruits like the ordinance dictates and the city will be getting "sued once again" by those individuals who are more qualified for these 12 positions.

Freedom of Speech selected these 3 New Albany Officials because of:

* Illegal hiring practices, that opens the door for future lawsuits

* Wasteful spending of taxpayers dollars, this department will require additional appropriation to cover additional over-time which is about $1 million dollars by the end of 2007.

Freedom of Speeches Fleecing award goes to:

Mayor~Jimmy, Fire Chief~Ron Toran and (Kroger Boy) ~Tony Toran.

The good news is that the Fire Department has been around since 1872 and will continue to thrive regardless of the Mayor, Board of Works and the Chief's adminstration seeks to do!

Freedom of Speech recommends if you support our New Albany Firefighters contact:

Council President Larry Kochert @ 945-7652

It's time for some accountability Council members...

Sources: State Board of Accounts, Atty. General of Indiana, DLGF, Karen Davis Public Access Counselor, Valla Ann Bolovschak Citizens Advocate

Footnote:All reports that are maintained by a Mayor's office are public records. All public records are disclosable unless exempt under the Access to Public Records Act. All one need do is request the record from the office of the Mayor. Please try to identify the record that you request with reasonable particularity. Contracts, executive orders, e-mails, and meeting minutes are all disclosable public records.

Karen Davis
Public Access Counselor