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Support for the fire chief

Dear Editor:
What a disgrace! The Downey Firemen’s Association had the exact same opportunity that Chief Lonnie Croom had to present their interpretation of the feasibility study to the City Council. (“Firefighters Union Claims No Confidence in Chief,” 6/6/13)

If Mr. Rasmussen felt that Lonnie “…knowingly and deliberately distorted and misrepresented the facts…” why didn’t he simply set everyone straight and clearly and deliberately undistort and property represent those very facts? He was given over 45 minutes to counter and explain his interpretation.

Lonnie simply did a better and more accurate job, as he has for 28 years with the fire department, and a dedicated and involved community leader.
This is the kind of strong leader we need in Downey. He has the courage, the strength and the ability to stand up for what is right, despite the personal consequences to himself. I applaud him and all of his efforts.

Keep up the good work, Lonnie. Most of Downey sees through the union’s truly desperate attempts to achieve their self-serving goals.
Jim Rodriguez
Downey

Dear Editor:
Lonnie Croom is a very good friend of mine and he is a friend of Downey.

I know Lonnie through our Downey Los Amigos Kiwanis Club and I serve with him on the Downey YMCA board of managers. I know him to be a man of strong character. He walks the walk. Lonnie is a worker. He is always looking out for what’s in the best interest of Downey.

As a real estate broker I can say that it’s very important to have our own police and fire departments. One of the main reasons people buy and live in Downey is because of our school district, our police department and our fire department. Having an excellent school district and our own fire and police departments also helps maintain home prices.

Lonnie does not play the political game. He looks out for the citizens of Downey.

I, for one, have all the confidence in the world in Lonnie Croom.

Steve Roberson
Broker/Owner, Century 21 My Real Estate Co.

Dear Editor:
I was completely disgusted after reading last week’s paper regarding a “no confidence” vote by the Downey Firemen’s Association directed towards our fire chief, Lonnie Croom.

Having served on the City Council for eight years, I have had many opportunities to work closely with all our department heads. This includes Lonnie Croom.

Chief Croom’s only concern has always been the safety of Downey’s citizens and his personnel. This is just another attempt to “bully” the city council into doing what the Association wants. What is truly disgusting is the Association is failing to politically gain their way and is now resorting to attacking the city staff personally.

Personal attacks, fear tactics, ballot initiatives using false statements to obtain signatures (I personally heard the signature gatherers state this is to save the Downey Fire Department with no mention of County involvement) – where does it end?

In addition to working with all department heads, I also worked with all the labor associations of the city of Downey. I can positively state that, with the exception of the Firemen’s Association, they all understand the issues and are willing to work to an equitable conclusion on all pertinent issues.

Please do not get me wrong, all of our rank and file fire personnel are wonderful people who risk their lives for us without regard to self and should be commended. I only wish I could say the same for the leadership of the Association.

David Gafin
Former mayor, city of Downey

Dear Editor:
“No confidence” is what we have in Downey for DFA Local #3473.

What Capt. Dan Rasmussen needs to do is disband the Downey Firemen’s Association and allow those fire people who would like to be unionized to transfer to any organization who would have them.

Those of us citizens who moved to Downey 50, 40 and 30 years ago because Downey had organized their own city council, police and fire departments, and school districts have paid for, and benefitted from, those services.

There is no doubt that L.A. County has much more in the way of resources, much further away from us, but we enjoy local resources and local control of our services.

One of the benefits of our free democracy here in the USA is that our citizens are free to work anywhere, so anyone who doesn’t like to work in Downey are free to work elsewhere.

Donald Souza
Downey

Dear Editor:
This letter is addressed to all Downey firefighters who are in favor of Downey switching to L.A. County fire service.

If you prefer to work for Los Angeles County, whether it be to work closer to home, more pay, promotional opportunities, variety of assignment, then why don’t you each individually lateral to that department?

If you are so unhappy working for the wonderful city of Downey, then leave and stop using the excuse that you want to switch to county services because you really care about the community’s safety.

There are plenty of eager, motivated and hardworking young men and women who would love to step into your boots and take your position working for Downey.

So if you’re not happy here, lateral. But don’t try to disband a department that the community loves and supports.

Go to the L.A. County Fire Department website. There you will find an employment application that you can each individually fill out.
Hugo Martinez
Downey

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Published: June 13, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 09



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