The Concerned Citizen

::: Deep inside the DC Government :::

Seriously Chief Dean!

Commentary by: Jillian A. Cohen |  ja_cohen@theconcernedcitizen.net

While contributing reporters at The Concerned Citizen rarely, if ever, comment on events that occur outside of the Norman-BrooksDistrict of Columbia, we must say that a decision to reassign and investigate a city firefighter, because of comments posted on his personal facebook page that may have violated department policy, is utterly ridiculous and has garnered our complete attention and concern.

Although we, as law abiding citizens, may not agree with the use of words posted in protest by firefighter Norman Brooks, following an obviously intense and emotional incident involving the shooting of a African-American man in Louisiana, we do; however, support the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, by law, supersedes any local agency’s internal social media policy and gives firefighter Brooks the right to his freedom of speech.

The First Amendment: prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances”

Here’s a thought Chief Dean. How about investigating real issues such as; arson, mismanagement (the need to use contractors to service city residents due to a lack of manpower and medical apparatus), the inability of your department to keep up with the supplies and equipment necessary for personnel to perform their jobs efficiently, etc.

Maybe city officials need to investigate you Gregory Dean, considering that you, as Fire Chief, are ultimately responsible for the department’s fiscal inefficiency. Oh, did I mention the moral issues that have been allowed to permeate throughout the department for years. Maybe you, Chief, should investigate your management team to discover why the department has been managed so poorly over the years. In other words Chief Dean, citizens of the District think have a few more pressing issues that need to be addressed.

Furthermore, myself (recent law school graduate) and others at The Concerned Citizen believe that DC residents should not have to sit back and watch their hard earned tax dollars go to lawyers who are trying to defend the Fire Department against another law suit that is simply impossible for them to win.

Chief, firefighter Brooks did not commit a crime or break any laws that would warrant any criminal prosecution by the US Attorney’s office or punitive action by your department. Surely you don’t think that internal department policies can override rights guaranteed to every American by the constitution of the United States, do you? If so, let me tell you, that battle has already been fought and won in the highest court of the land. So let’s not infringe upon or deny fighter Brooks or any US citizen his or her constitutional rights, even though we may not agree with what is being said.

America is great, let’s keep it that way.

Filed under: Commentary

20 “At-Will” Employees Dismissed!

paulWMATA General Manager, Paul Wiedefeld, announced in an in-house email, that the firing of 20 non-union managers Friday, in what the agency’s top executive described as a step toward “restructuring”, was effective immediately. Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said those terminated managers were among approximately 650 “at-will” employees of the transit agency, meaning they could be let go at the general manager’s discretion.

It appears that DC finally has at least one Agency Head/Public Servant who has the courage to due the right thing for the safety of our citizens and visitors who use the transit system daily to traverse the Nation’s Capital.

The Concerned Citizen applauds and supports Mr. Wiedefeld for taking this decisive and long overdue action.

Filed under: Public Servants

Major Metro Shutdown

The first major shutdown of the Metro DMV subway system begins today.

metro

The blue, orange, and silver lines will be closed entirely between the Minnesota Avenue and Eastern Market stations. The shutdown runs through July 3rd and will affect the commute for tens of thousands of people, particularly those who take Metro from Prince George’s County, Maryland. Metro will offer bus service between the two closed stations, but general manager Paul Wiedefeld cautioned riders that the buses simply will not be able to handle the number of people who usually ride the subway during rush hour.

Government agencies are being urged to allow workers affected by the shutdown to modify their work schedules.  Contributed by:  p_smith@ccindc.com

Filed under: The Watch Desk

DC to help residents pay for surveillance cameras.

ThinkstockPhotos-493570595-1880x1254

Police say surveillance video helped track down the man charged in the shooting on North Capitol Street due to images captured by several Security Cameras on private residences and businesses in the area. Chief Lanier said that the North Capitol Street case is a perfect example where cameras can be extremely useful to police. So, the District has now adopted a Security Camera System Incentive Program that will reimburse up to $500 of camera costs to residents who purchase and install video surveillance equipment. The program was initiated by the D.C. Council earlier this year with a limited pool of resources.

Mayor Bowser said “Our security camera program continues to have funds available and we want people to call us so if we have an incident we can make a swift arrest.” DC residents can contact the program at security.cameras@dc.gov or, by calling 202-727-5124.

The Concerned Citizen urges residents to call the number listed above and take advantage of this program while funds are still available.

Reported by:  Jillian A. Cohen |  ja_cohen@theconcernedcitizen.net

Filed under: Around Town

Metro’s GM drops the hammer!

Today, as DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx considered issuing an order to shut wiedefeld_managers_KKIdown the entire subway system, Metro’s new GM, Paul Wiedefeld, met with 650 of the agency’s mid and senior level managers in a closed door meeting. During the meeting, he ordered them to put safety first.

Weidefeld told his managers that certain phrases being stated such as; “They didn’t tell me”, “That’s not the way we do it”, and “This is the way its always been done” are now banned from Metro vocabulary.

At the close of the meeting, a flyer was handed out to each manager as he or she walked out and he reminded them that they are At-Will employees who can be terminated at any time without notice.

As Wiedefeld was leaving, he told members of the press that Metro managers now know exactly where I’m coming from. I laid out very specifically the types of things I’m expecting, so if they can manage to that level fine. If they can’t, they’re probably not a good fit for Metro and will be let go. The Concerned Citizen has learned that some managers are already pounding the pavement.

Maybe now Metro will finally turn a new leaf with Paul Wiedefeld at the helm.

Filed under: Public Servants

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