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A View From One Side of the Bonita Unified School District Fence : Fire Department Paper 'Intriguing'

September 22, 1988

There's no doubt that Monterey Park Fire Chief Jim Page is a great man. However, great men sometimes lose sight of what upsets "the great unwashed masses" and "the plantation owners" of the world.

"Countdown," the Fire Department's so-called rumor control communication, was actually quite intriguing. It was like stumbling onto a covert CIA operation complete with top-secret dossiers on unsuspecting citizens. If it was supposed to win me over to the department's side as an ardent rooter for its consolidation into the county Fire Department, it failed miserably.

I learned the firefighters are more concerned with the better pay, better perks and better pension the county offers than the "who, what, or how many" are going to protect our community.

I learned there is more interest in how the firefighters will acquire their seniority as county employees, or whether Jim Page has a good shot at becoming county fire chief, than what's going to happen to Fire Station No. 2.

I learned the firefighters, with Jim Page's blessing, were deliberately planning to manipulate important information concerning the possible consolidation. That information dealt with taxpayer dollars, and I find their scheming most offensive.

The firefighters must realize the department is not theirs and that their salaries and equipment are paid for by the plantation owners.

All the issues concerning the consolidation must be made public so that an intelligent decision can be made and supported by the great unwashed masses. Until then, I hope that Jim Page will become a member of the city's management team rather than just one of the boys!

IRV GILMAN

Monterey Park

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