Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bossier City Firemen underpaid $1,000,000+ since 2008

A controversy was stirred up at last Tuesday's City Council meeting when Councilman Don Williams asked for an investigation into the fire department payroll.  Williams had been approached by several firemen who reported discrepencies in their pay since 2008.
The council voted no but agreed to take the matter up after next Tuesday's regular meeting.
Yesterday, it was announced that the special meeting dealing with the pay issue had been cancelled.  I was told it was due to a couple of people not being able to attend next week.
After talking to a couple of people, I have been able to learn that the problem arose in the way the 2008 pay raise was implemented.  Civil Service has strict rules regulating the way it is to be handled and apparently these rules weren't followed, resulting in short checks for virtually the entire department.
I was told by one source that the amount being looked at is over $800,000, and by another source that it is more likely between $1,200,000 & $1,400,000.
I have also learned that Mayor Lo Walker plans to ask the council for $700,000 at next week's meeting.
Depending on the amount that is finally determined, that might well be short of the total due.
This brings a lot of questions, not the least of which is why the City was not aware of the rules governing pay.
It also raises the same question that the incorrect report of Deputy Sheriff's income last year.
That question is, doesn't anyone double-check and assure that things are being done properly?  Isn't the city audited?  If so, why wasn't this caught?
if not, why not?
I'll have more next week as this begins to flesh out.

55 comments:

  1. It has become obvious that Bossier is just not the sort of place that I was told it was before I invested in a home here. When I grew up in Bastrop, I knew Bossier as the center of vice and corruption in North Louisiana, under the control of the Carlos Marcello crime syndicate. But as I made plans to retire, and move back to the warmth of Louisiana, I was told over and again that all that was changed, that Bossier was now a Mecca of good solid conservative family values. I expect competence. I expect things to be done well, and just as they should be done.

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  2. This is pathetic.

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  3. I wonder now if I'm going to be told quit crying and move to Shreveport? Come on Bossier Utopians where you at now? You voted for this now let's here you keep defending them.
    There is no way the firemen let this go for so long without notifying someone. I'm telling you from personal experience they were probably told to "shut up" if they know what's good for them.
    Lo Walker is no doubt the worst Mayor Bossier City has ever had. It's one thing after another with this guy.

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  4. Bossier City and the parish play politics in hiring and promoting. The person may be incompetent but if they know the right people they will get the job. I think this is true in the city, the school board, and especially the S.O. If we keep electing the same leaders (Lo, Larry, and the present school board) we should expect the status quo to be maintained.

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  5. Funny how a lot of people thought George Dement was a doddering old fool, which he wasn't. Everyone thought the people he had running the city departments were old hacks who were incompetent boobs. There were a few mistakes made back then, but not like the one after another f'ups that have been happening since George Dement left office and incompetent Jimmy Hall and Lynn Austin boot licking Masons and Shriners have retaken control of city government. It is time to clean house and get the "Rue" McClanahan Masonic Lodge and El Karuba Shriner Temple out of city business. These people are so damned inept except for covering each others butts.

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  6. I used to have the blinders on too and see change is-a-comin... HOWEVER... who's out there to take the jobs? sure lots of also-rans have gone for jobs but i'm talking competent people with no one that own's them.

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  7. Anon 11:30 must have applied for membership in a masonic lodge once and was rejected. Masons have been around a long time and played a big part in making our country what it is. I am not sure that all of Bossier City's problems are due to masons.

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  8. Nope, never tried to be a mason. I saw what phoneys most of them were and didn't want any part of it.

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  9. I don't think the problems have anything to do with Masons or Shriners, more with incompetence. I can't believe that there are not safeguards built into the system to prevent such as this from happening

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  10. Look at who are in positions of responsibility in Bossier City. Just about everyone of them are Masonic and Shrine buddies, and because they are Masonic and Shrine buddies they are obligated to cover for one other regardless of how incompetent they are. Because of this code of loyalty to say Mansons and Shriners aren't responsible is absurd. (More likely they know too much about one another and are force to cover for one another for fear of having information revealed about themselves.)

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  11. Dude, in all respect you are really beginning to sound like a nutty conspiracy theory type. Concentrate on the problem, not your fixation.

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  12. Dude, the problem lies with who is responsible. Get rid of them and it will be easier to fix the problem.

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  13. Why hasn't the current finance director been replaced? Since the last one retired there has been one expensive mistake after another: the police retirement shortage; the $6 million that was there, now it isn't, now it is, now it isn't, city budget deficit; now the shortage in fire department pay. I wouldn't have this man manage a set to play money you can buy at Family Dollar.

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  14. I agree with Kartman! If we keep electing the same ole ones then we will get the shaft every time. It's all about power and the spoils of government that come their way. I still say vote no on every tax renewal and increase that comes along. I am not against progress but am for responsible government. Vote the stooges we have now out and vote in responsible folks to replace them. Look at the BBPJ and voting themselves payraises. The school board asking for tax increases when they have proven they can't handle past bussiness such as the ac scandals which got some promoted. Now we have the BCFD pay scandal just after the BPSO pay scandal. It all stinks and I am not moving across the river. I am going to vote no and keep striving for good government.

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  15. I wonder if the Bossier citizens now that the police roll out of shift meetings somedays with as few as 6 officers patrolling the streets? I wonder if the Bossier citizens know of a great concept the city has of forcing their people to volunteer for meaningless duties (sometimes on their days off)? I wonder if the citizens know that there is a police sgt that has been involved in 12 or more wrecks and has never faced discipline? I wonder if the citizens know about the double standard they keep for the police and fire...meaning fireman MUST be in shape. I wonder if the citizens know that there is 5 chiefs within the police department? I wonder if the citizens know that racial profiling DOES happen in Bossier (but to clarify its only a select group of them that do it). I wonder if the city citizens know their tax money pays for off duty officers to drive patrol cars to the gym and walmart (and I'm not talking about on call detectives or k9 units that can be called at any time). Point is when I moved here years ago I was told this is the place to be cause its the safest place to be. Well the crime stats are understated due to a DEMAND for officers to do meaningless activities just to call it a call for service. Bossier city is becoming a joke. I don't know about all that mason stuff some of yall are talking about but I know a friend of mine got really screwed by this city government. To the men and women of the pd and fd ... I hope you all stay safe cause ultimately I appreciate yall but the people that pull yalls strings are down right criminals

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  16. LOL! I have read several times on this blog where someone said we will see more mess as time goes on. Either those people had a crystal ball or they knew something. I'm leaning more in the direction of them knowing something.
    What's even funnier is how the ones defending the screw ups telling the critics to move. Hell, if I had known the truth about how government is run in Bossier I would have even moved here in the first place. Maybe one day the residents of Bossier will have enough and vote out and replace these homegrown Bubbas with people who have the real qualifications to take care of the people's business. If not, then I hope to find a sucker to buy my home and I can move.

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  17. 11:48, Why don't you enlighten us as to what is the meaningless actives you speak of and what are the names of the 5 Chiefs you have thrown out there as fact! Why don't you tell us where you get all your facts you quote?

    Are these actual facts you are quoting or you spouting nonsense?

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  18. 4:30, Please rent and move as quickly as possible!

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  19. By all means, 5:09, I imagine that you want any opposition to the status quo to move on out of here!

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  20. Joe Buffington is the finance director and he is a puppet like the rest of them. He supposedly found 6 million dollars but the mayor and Jimmy Hall made sure Mark Natale got on the news the next day and explain to the people how Buffington "misspoke".

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  21. 5:09, there are actually one chief and three deputy chiefs. The chief is a puppet for Jimmy Hall and chosen because he would be easily controlled, and he does exactly what he's told. One is deputy chief because he was next in line before they did away with the civil service requirements that prescribed how a deputy chief is selected. The other two are drinking buddies of the chief. It is said that when when the senior deputy chief retires the next one in line will be named on the qualifications that he is the chief's cousin.
    Damn I guess I'll have to move now!

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  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  23. From Anonymous at 9:18 - just made one little change and here is your comment.
    Well I thought this article was about the firemen but I'll say this about McWilliams. I like him as chief but after he being named chief he told several officers how he wasn't going to be like the last chief (Halphen). Yet since he has been named chief, he has named his buddies as deputy chiefs and when you upset him, he transfers you another shift just for spite . It seems to me he is doing the exact same thing Halphen did. It didn't work out to well for him and I'm afraid if Shane keeps it up, it won't work out well for him either.

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  24. 5:38, Just want to hear real facts, not the ravings of someone who wants to spout off this and that without any real knowledge. They try to make us believe they know something they don't, makes themselves feel powerful!

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  25. I'm not wait you call a genius but I know that the men and women that actually work on the streets in the fire and police departments are under paid, under appreciated, over criticized, and most of that comes from the administration. And before anybody starts flapping their gums, yes I know from first hand experience. I don't care who runs the city or the departments but if they don't start supporting their first line responders then morale is gonna dip even more then when I was there. Does anybody stop to consider why that officer is upset, outside of his/her peers I would say no. I understand why the fire dept. is upset cause if they are getting shorter then I don't know a single person that wouldn't be. I remember one higher up that it didn't matter what you'd said when he asked how you were doing ... His answer was "good, good, good" as he walked on by. Your answer could of been that a family member could be deathly sick...I exaggerate but it was the same over and over. The people who are paid (little) to help others can have issues as well and from what I saw a lot of it boiled down to 2 things .... Money and politics. Can it be changed I don't know but I do thing encouragement goes a hell of a lot further then threats of discipline even before someone.e does something wrong. In closing I still love the men and women that help us out here but I think the several of the higher ups (both dept) could use a reminder from time to time that their people are important and not just when something bad happens to them during the course of their duties. I don't care if anybody agrees with me or thinks what I have said is trash but trying doing the job before you criticize the first responders. Stay safe to all bcfd and bcpd men and women

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  26. As long as I can remember there has been a those in the department where a few were being taken care of and the rest got what was left over. Some were hired to sit on there butts and the rest were hired to take up the slack. But I have never seen things as bad as I do now. Morale is the lowest I've ever seen, and the rank and file employees have been told to tell when asked by the public to "put on a happy face" or face the wrath of God only knows who. Can you believe that? That goes to show you, that when orders are given to tell people things are wonderful, the adninistration knows things have gone to Hell, but instead of making improvements they make threats forcing employees to lie about the morale.
    For God's sake, people of Bossier, WAKE UP! In the past few years it has been one fiasco after another and no one has been held accountable. The only responses we get from those responsible or their supporters are "If you got the proof, do something."
    "If you don't like it, move." "At least we're not Shreveport."

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  27. Well now KTBS is reporting that a special meeting on this matter will take place tomorrow. It seems like the people calling the meetings don't even know whether or not they will meet.

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  28. The Special Meeting is cancelled. We will still have an agenda meeting at 3pm. Everything will be discussed then.

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  29. Keep up the good work Bubba. Please hold someone accountable for this mess.

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  30. Keep up the good work Bubba? LOL! Hell, he's part of the problem. Now you're going to see everyone on the city council acting like he had nothing to do with what happened, because they have s litttle over a year to pull the wool over the eyes of the citizens of Bossier City, and the sad part is the dumbasses of Bossier City will fall for it again.

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  31. 9:10,
    In this particular matter I don't believe the city council did have anything to with it. Although I may disagree with Bubba Williams from time to time, I do believe he is honest. If it wasn't for him we would have not known about this incident. The firemen obviously trust him. The biggest test is going to see how this all happened and will anyone be held accountable. I'm curious to know if Jimmy Hall's handpicked fire chief knew about it (I'm sure he did) and why didn't he handle it. Stay strong Bubba. I'm sure the more you dig, the more your going to find. Oh by the way, I'm still upset you voted for that 2nd building at CIC.

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  32. You're all welcome to comment as you wish. I will point out that a few months ago we were having basically the same conversation. One commenter was giving Bubba hell. The end result was Bubba invited him to lunch, they spent about three hours ironing out their differences.
    Anon at 10:10 - Good comment, give credit where due and get specific with your differences.

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  33. Anon @ 10:10, You say Bubba isn't part of the problem yet you're upset he voted for the second CIC building? The first CIC building is a huge part of many screw ups that has occurred recently in Bossier City. A second building is just a continuation of those screw ups. Yet, Bubba and the rest of the city council isn't part of the problem? Hunh, go figure.

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  34. 11:40 - I believe the comment was that 'in this matter', referring to the firemen's pay, the council had nothing to do with it.
    Bubba brought it up. Had the council not brought it up, then everyone would be criticizing them for doing nothing.
    It is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't.

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  35. Jim, I beg to differ. The council knows there's a turd in the punch bowl and has done nothing to remove it. Therefore, by refusing to do the right thing they are responsible. There has been too many finamcial errors which tells me there's a common denominator, yet the common denominator is still there.

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  36. Anon 10:10 and 11:40. Thanks for your support. I didn't vote for the first Cyber buiding. It was grouped in the 2007 Bond Transportation Plan and alot of the items in that I disagreed with and voted NO on the whole plan. The second building hasn't come for a vote yet. We voted to match our 25% of the state's share of money but not to build the building. Anon 2:37am, we don't do payroll, we don't oversee functions of the finance dept. or any other department. That's the Mayor's job, not ours.

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  37. Bubba, Fair enough, but you have to admit there is a problem, a big problem. Can you guys at least ask for an investigation or an audit? I know I haven't been easy on you from some of my posts, but at least you have the courage to come on here and address issues and not by telling me to live with it or move to Shreveport,

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  38. Anon at 12:20pm on Tuesday. We will introduce our investigative powers again today and vote on it next week. We had 5 that agreed with me but it takes a unanimous members of the council to add it on to the agenda. We plan on hiring a third party auditor to come in and research all the numbers again that the Mayor had done in 2-1/2 days which in my opinion couldn't be done by a CPA firm in that amount of time. Again, the lack of involvement by the Mayor in these departments is why we are finding all these screw up's and I appreciate the city employees coming to me in confidence and talking about these
    issue's so we can look in to them.

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  39. Bubba, thanks for the info. I don't mean to sound like conspiracy nut but it is funny how the mayor does little, if any oversight, of city business and Jimmy Hall does. It's funny how any time city business is conducted it has to be run past Jimmy.
    And there is NO doubt that Jimmy, not the mayor, has more influence on people chosen for department heads and their fraternal associations. It makes makes one wonder who the CPA was who looked over the books and if he'll be at El Karubah have a few drinks with Jimmy on lodge night.
    That's why there has to be a reputable CPA firm that is independent from any influence. Things in Bossier stinks and it's getting worse.

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  40. The mayor is too busy trying to find companies to move into CIC. He is more worried about what is going on at Barksdale than at city hall. Jimmy Hall runs Bossier. I have heard that for years. He'll even tell you that himself.

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  41. Mr Williams, while you are here, please be aware of the other departmental employees in the city.

    The forgotten ignored and pushed aside employees. Departments that are also twenty four hour, seven days a week, three hundred sixty five days a year essential, employees.

    The average raise was $8.00 to $10.00 A WEEK!!! FOUR YEARS ago. You have employees that make sacrifice for little return.

    In perspective $8.00 a week is one gallon of milk and one loaf of bread a week.

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  42. It takes a unanimous vote to put an ivestigation on the city council agenda? WTH?
    So Bubba, you're telling me just one Shriner Clown buddy of Jimmy Hall on the city council has veto power to stop an investigation and allow the idiocy to continue?

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  43. @4:24pm, please pay attention and take English comprehension classes if necessary. He said it takes unanimous agreement to ADD to the agenda. That is why it is on the agenda for next week rather than added to the agenda for last week. What I want to know is where have the state auditors been during all these payroll problems in the city and the sheriff's department.

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  44. I feel sure the policemen were done the same way. Look into it.

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  45. Ok, so I misread it. If I were one of Jimmy Hall's buddies I would have qualified for one of the high paying city department heads.

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  46. Obviously none of you - incl Bubba - are aware that the fire dept. does their OWN payroll, separate from the city so where have all these wonderful, upstanding firemen been for the past 4 years? Perhaps these disgruntled firemen have tired from sitting around waiting for a fire or maybe this past summer's drought cut into their lawn cutting revenues. This was nothing but another attempt by Bubba to get his name in the public in preparation for his run for mayor. Hope he enjoyed the stories in both the Times and the Press Tribune.

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  47. Heads of departments are appointed by, and report to, the Mayor.
    The Mayor shall be required and have the power to:
    Exercise administrative supervision and control over all City departments.
    Are you saying that if a councilman has knowledge of this he should not bring it up?

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  48. 7:34 - In this day and age you can't just hush something up. I'm sure they would have preferred putting their own spin on it, but he beat them to it. Maybe he should be mayor.

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  49. If it comes down to bubba Williams and Lo Walker. I'm choosing Bubba everytime. I'll say it again. I might not agree with everything he says or does but I believe he is honest. I believe he is starting to see what we have been trying to tell everyone.

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  50. I will vote for the candidate who PROMISES to fire Jimmy Hall, fire all of Jimmy Hall's cronies, and restore Bossier City from the damage created by a mayor who abdicated his resonsibilities to the likes of Jimmy Hall and Lynn Austin.

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  51. Unbeliveable!! Finally you people are seeing the light. I've been ranting for over a year that all the politicians in this parish are crooked. From the Sheriff to the lowly city councilman. This past year, a young man took on the machine, and even though he did not win, Larry Dean will now be unemployed. I wish there were more like him, men with real guts. It is unfortunate that he did not win and Larry's cousin will be sheriff. I guess when it comes right down to it, if he had not run, Julian would still be calling cousin Larry, "Boss". Looks like Julian owes Mr McConnel a vote of thanks. But, mark my word, his days are numbered as well and I hope everyone will see that Julian is just as dishonest. Our mayor along with Jimmy Hall, members of the city council and the police jury all need to be voted out. That is the only way this mess will be fixed. And, I'm not talking about voting in the next generation of good ol boys either.

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  52. And oh yeah, one other thing. This crap about Larry making a mistake about his deputies not paying enough taxes. I find it very interesting that this comes up right before he leaves office. Sounds like he is trying to cover up some misappropriation of tax payers funds. Ten years to be exact and it doesn't suprise me. Julian... you know anything about this... sure you do! Weren't you suppose to be over the tax department! Looks like family apples are falling closer to the tree all the time!

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  53. Sorry Bill. I believe the Bossier Utopians are still out there. They just know to keep quiet. They know they can't keep defending these idiots. Really and truly they never really defended them. All they would ever say was "move to Shreveport".

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  54. Bill R.

    I hate to burst your bubble, McConnell did not force anyone out of the race. He never had a chance to start with! Deen dropped out for other reasons which I am sure most people would not care to understand!

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  55. Mason or not, City Attorney Jimmy Hall is the kingpin. Not a thing is done in any other office without his say-so.

    So far, Bossier City has spent nearly $3Million on the Walker Place lawsuit, and it is expected they will spend $5Million before its over. All of the money is paid to outside law firms to do the job, but we still pay Jimmy Hall an annual salary.

    One problem with voting in bossier city is that there aren't enough good people running who have the money to compete with the "good old boy" system. The good old boys fund each others campaigns, use whatever government resources and employees they can to campaign for them, whether legal or not.

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