Posts Tagged Public Safety Director Al Popp

Layoffs coming to Carpentersville

The Daily Herald has an article about a budget shortfall in Carpentersville and subsequent layoffs:

Carpentersville officials have announced villagewide layoffs and other cost-cutting measures to help plug a projected $400,000 deficit.

The village intends to lay off two full-time firefighters, a part-time records clerk in the police department, a community service officer and a part-time ambulance billing clerk in the fire department, Village Manager J. Mark Rooney said Thursday.

“At this time, this is all that I foresee,” Rooney said of the layoffs, adding that things could change depending on the state’s financial situation and declining sales tax revenues in the village. Carpentersville officials have not laid anyone off since 2011.

There is a chance the village could hire the two firefighters back, depending on the outcome of a federal grant for four additional firefighters. The village is amending its application by asking for two extra firefighters and money to keep the other two, Rooney said. Moreover, the union that represents the firefighters will fight to keep them employed, said Lt. Rick Nieves, president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4790.

In addition to the layoffs, the village will not fill three part-time positions in the finance, IT and fire departments, Rooney said.

Two code enforcement officers in the community development department will be cross trained for two community service officer positions and do both jobs as a hybrid, Public Safety Director Al Popp said.

The two firefighters have eight years of combined service and are the least senior of the 32 in the department, Nieves said. Their last scheduled day is March 28.

The village expects to save between $235,000 and $245,000 with these moves and more money in subsequent years, Rooney said. Declining property values, the economy and increasing costs of union contracts are the reasons Carpentersville finds itself having to cut staff, Rooney said. The pending layoffs in the fire department come almost two months after the village and its full-time firefighters settled a contract dispute that primarily focused on staffing levels at the three stations.

If the union is unsuccessful at retaining those two employees, there would be 30 full-time firefighters and 28 part-timers in Carpentersville. “They claim that there’s a budget shortfall and we’re meeting with them again the seventh (of March) to look at the issues, like how this is going to actually affect the fire department,” Nieves said. “We’re very surprised (about the layoffs) after the recent (contract) issues we’ve had with them. We didn’t see this coming.” Rooney said the union had two chances during negotiations to save the firefighters on the verge of being let go, but instead chose to “protect the lieutenants’ pay and hours over protecting their two junior members.”

Nieves said he thought the language in the contract was already enough to protect the two firefighters.

Rooney said the layoffs will have no impact on the community’s safety, pointing to the current complement of fire personnel, mutual aid and the village’s capacity to use as many part-timers as they see fit.

thanks Dan

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Fire departments discuss consolidation

The Daily Herald has an article about discussions between Carpentersville and West Dundee to consolidate their fire departments.

Carpentersville and West Dundee officials have started preliminary discussions on consolidating services within their fire departments, talks that come at a critical time for West Dundee’s finances. The nature of the consolidation, the services involved and the money it could save have not been determined, but future talks are expected to lay out that groundwork.

“There will be a math problem that shows all the communities why we should do it,” Carpentersville Village Manager J. Mark Rooney told the audit and finance commission last week. “The political will’s the back half of this.”

West Dundee is projected to lose between $300,000 and $400,000 in annual sales tax revenues once its Target store closes in May. Village officials are expected to discuss the financial ramifications next month during budget proceedings, Finance Director David Danielson said.

Carpentersville budgeted more than $5.5 million for its fire department in the fiscal year ending April 30. The department fields 32 full-time firefighters and 29 part-timers. The West Dundee Fire Department, meanwhile, consists of 11 full-time firefighters and 30 part-timers. Officials there budgeted almost $2 million for the fire department, Danielson said.

The consolidation talks started about a month ago with a meeting between West Dundee Fire Chief Randy Friese, West Dundee Village Manager Joseph Cavallaro, Rooney, Village President Ed Ritter and Public Safety Director Al Popp, who oversees both the police and fire departments in Carpentersville.

Three years ago, discussions on consolidation among police departments in West Dundee, Sleepy Hollow and East Dundee fell apart after Sleepy Hollow pulled out over autonomy issues and after concluding the village wouldn’t save as much money as officials hoped.

thanks Dan

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Firefighter terminated by Carpentersville FD

The Daily Herald has an article about the termination of a member of the Carpentersville FD.

Jason Elders, a part-time firefighter accused of beating a woman at a Christmas party he hosted, was terminated from the Carpentersville Fire Department Tuesday evening, after an internal probe found he met with the victim after his arrest and lied during the investigation, officials said.

“The police and fire departments see first hand the devastating consequences that physical violence can have in the community,” Public Safety Director Al Popp said in a statement. “It is completely unacceptable for our own employees to contribute to that cycle of violence.”

Elders’ ouster came nearly three weeks after he was fired from the West Dundee Fire Department over his alleged role in the fight — he had been a part-time firefighter there for three years. Elders, 39, spent five years working for Carpentersville and was paid $15.81 an hour before he was placed on administrative leave Dec. 26, pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the fight.

That probe, which involved interviews with witnesses, Elders and photographic evidence, showed he acted inappropriately during the fight, lied to the village about his actions in the altercation and met with the victim after he was released from jail in direct violation of his bond, all violations of the department’s rules, said Popp, who conducted the investigation.

Meanwhile, Elders served as vice president of SEIU Local 73, which represents the village’s 29 part-time firefighters.

Elders could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but he will fight to secure his job and back pay through an arbitration proceeding, Rooney said. His back pay could range between $6,000 and $10,000, depending on how long the case drags out, Rooney added.

SEIU Local 73 will furnish him with an attorney once he goes the arbitration route, said Adam Rosen, a union spokesman.

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