The Red Truth Hezitorial
YONKERS, NY — April 10, 2018 — It was back in July of 2014 when the Yonkers Tribune reported upon learning that one-time Yonkers Fire Commissioner George Kielb, a 30-year veteran of the YFD was appointed by Mayor Mike Spano upon the mayor’s accession to office in January 2012. Yet six months later, Commissioner Kielb resigned. By August 31, 2012, Robert F. Sweeney, a 33-year veteran with the New York Fire Department, who served as NYFD Chief of Operations, overseeing the day-to-day operations of 11,000 Firefighters, took office as Yonkers Fire Department Commissioner. Yonkers Tribune then learned that Commissioner Sweeney, expecting to stay with the YFD had gained a waiver to maintain his $100,000 pension earned with the NYFD and still earn his $200,000 salary with the YFD. Why would there be a need for Mayor Mike Spano to hire Sweeney when there were and to this day still are other qualified personnel in Yonkers that are qualified and available to fill that responsibility?
It should be noted that a waiver is most often exacted when the expertise sought is not available by another. Would would need to be blind and dumb to not recognize that Commissioner Sweeney is not unique, he is after all a consummate “Yes Man” bobble head who is tethered to the Spano Administration by the very fact that he has gained the ability to maintain his $100,000 pension and additional $200,000 salary from the City of Yonkers. Lest anyone forget, the cost to the taxpayer will upon Sweeney’s retirement from the YFD will embellish his pension that the taxpayer will be saddled to pay.
Then there is the insult of Yonkers Fire Commissioner Sweeney giving the City of Yonkers two-week’s advance notice of his departure so as to pursue what he hoped would be his opportunity to become a future New York City Fire Commissioner. New York City found a more qualified individual to take on the responsibility of the 11,000 plus Fire Fighters who project New York City.
To sweeten the deal for Sweeney, the Queens resident was given a top of line Chevy Suburban Truck that he drive to Yonkers and back. The City of Yonkers pays the insurance on the truck, the gasoline, and the Easy Pass.
The position of Yonkers Fire Commissioner was posted again by Carlos Moran, Commissioner of Human Resources back on February 16, 2018, not in search of a qualified person but to maintain hold over Sweeney, the taxpayer be damned.
The City of Yonkers is seeking a qualified candidate to serve in the position of Fire Commissioner. The incumbent oversees the Fire Department operations and is responsible for a force of approximately 430 firefighters and officers servicing the fourth largest city in New York State, which includes a diverse community of approximately 200,000 citizens.
This is a high level position with responsibility for the command, control, administration, disposition and discipline of the Fire Department. The incumbent in this position has responsibility for the general direction and supervision of all appropriated funds. The incumbent plans and coordinates the activity and efficiency of all fire fighting units of the City. The incumbent also has responsibility for the overall fire prevention and fire fighting activities. The work is performed in accordance with established policies and objectives permitting considerable exercise of independent judgment. Does related work as required.
TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES: (Illustrative Only)
- Commands, controls, administers, disposes and disciplines the Fire Department;
- Directs and supervises of all funds appropriated to the Fire Department;
- Plans and coordinates the activity and efficiency of all fire fighting units of the City;
- Assists with overall fire prevention and fire fighting activities;
- Plans, coordinates and directs the overall activities of all fire fighting units;
- Assumes command at all major fires and extraordinary emergencies;
- Assigns individuals to perform specialized fire fighting and fire prevention duties;
- Supervises the investigation and determination of causes of fires;
- Directs the inspection of buildings for fire hazards to insure compliance with fire prevention ordinances;
- Maintains discipline and promotes the morale of the Fire Bureau;
- Directs and inspects the maintenance and repair of all fire fighting equipment;
- Reviews reports and makes inspections to determine the condition and efficiency of all fire fighting units;
- Directs the preparation and maintenance of personnel and activities, records and reports;
- Directs the training of Fire Bureau personnel;
- Recommends purchase of supplies and the replacement of deficient fire fighting equipment;
- Attends meetings and conferences and addresses interested groups regarding fire prevention and fire fighting activities.
QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates should have between 10 and 15 years of experience in fire prevention and or at a high administrative level working within a Fire Department. Thorough knowledge of modern firefighting and fire prevention methods and equipment; thorough knowledge of the City’s building code and fire prevention laws and regulations; thorough knowledge of the geography, building conditions and major fire hazards of the City; thorough knowledge of safety precautions used in firefighting; thorough knowledge of current trends regarding the administration of firefighting and fire prevention activities; ability to plan, coordinate and direct fire fighting and fire prevention activities; ability to maintain discipline and promote morale; ability to develop cooperative relations with the public; initiative; resourcefulness; integrity; dependability; good judgment; tact and courtesy.
Either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a related field is also preferred.
Each interested candidate is asked to submit their resume along with a cover letter that specifies how they meet the minimum requirements to:
Commissioner of Human Resources
1 Larkin Center, 2rd Floor
Yonkers, NY 10701
Or e-mail to Ted.VonHoene@yonkersn