City Council To Discuss Tait Conversations With OCFA About Possible Take Over Of Anaheim Fire Department

ocfa afd logos AB FeatAt the request of Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray, the city council on Tuesday will take up the matter of conversations between Mayor Tom Tait and Orange County Fire Authority officials about the possibility of OCFA taking over the Anaheim Fire Department.

During council comments last month, Murray objected to only learning in a sideways fashion that the mayor has been exploring on the Q.T. such a significant restructuring of a basic city service.

According to the staff report:

Staff became aware that there had been conversations between Mayor Tait and OCFA Chief Jeff Bowman sometime in April or May regarding the interest of OCFA to provide services to Anaheim and to gauge the interest of the City in exploring a potential outsourcing of Anaheim Fire & Rescue. In addition, staff later learned that OCFA Chief Bowman also met with at least one Board Member of the Anaheim Fire Association (AFA) to gauge the union’s interest in requesting a study to evaluate outsourcing. City of Anaheim Executive Staff was not notified in advance of these discussions and did not take part in any discussion with OCFA, with the exception of Anaheim Fire Chief Randy
Bruegman sending correspondence to Chief Bowman after he became aware that these discussions had taken place. Staff has not engaged in any work effort to explore, research, or evaluate the feasibility of any outsourcing and; therefore, staff is not aware of any perceived violation of applicable labor law or protocol.

Although the City retains the decision to outsource as a management right, the City is obligated to provide any impacted labor group notice and the opportunity to bargain the effects of any decision made. Historically, the City’s assigned Labor Representative would always provide advance notice if any evaluation of contracting out was underway and continue with an open dialogue throughout the process. The City’s Labor Representative, while currently conducting general contract negotiations with AFA, was not aware of any conversations taking place and, as a result did not engage in any formal discussions with AFA regarding outsourcing.

In response to a public records request, we were provided this text message exchange between the mayor and OCFA Chief Jeff Bowman (a former chief of the Anaheim Fire Department) over April 5 and 6, 2017, (the blue text is Mayor Tait’s):

Bowman Tait text 1

Bowman Tait text 2

Bowman Tait text 3

It’s interesting that it’s the outside agency advising the mayor to be transparent with staff about their conversations, and the mayor apparently disagreeing with that advice. There’s nothing wrong with exploring options for more efficiently providing city services; city leaders ought to continually be on the look out for opportunities to do so. But given the current council majority’s ostensible emphasis on transparency, this appears to be another example – remember the ultimately unfruitful exertions to exempt the Welcoming Anaheim task force from open government requirements – of the talk not being walked. This reached the point of the Anaheim Firefighters Association board taking a vote on the matter, and the city manager was still being kept in the dark.

12 comments

  1. Tom Tait is a tyrant. He is literally going to take the city apart at the seams for his own political games. as residents we have to come together and say no more. I will be calling and emailing city hall to appeal to the council members. They have to vote against these measures or face recall.

    • YES WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT MUST BE OUR RALLY CRY… Because we cannot take it anymore. Call and when the time comes we must speak with our votes.

  2. Michael Morrison

    The thought of AF&R (a Class I department) being run by OCFA is outrageous. I’ve contacted my councilman Dr. Moreno to help stop Mayor Tait from pursuing any further contact with OCFA.

  3. Dr. Moreno is buddy to Tait and does his bidding. Tait endorsed Moreno, helping to get him elected. Watch the voting, Moreno and Tait are the same, better contact someone else. When Moreno’s election time comes, speak with your votes.

  4. Why would a wealthy city like ours with a world class fire rescue operation want to sell out to a bloated hyper unionized county organization? Anaheim tax dollars would get shifted to other jurisdictions in a massive red distribution of municipal wealth to other cities that contract with Ocfa.

  5. Thank you and keep the heat of publishing their dirty dealings in the spotlight..ALL OF IT. You will be busy!

  6. God Bless all the firemen fighting fires today!

  7. Anaheim Resident

    Perfect… You have not damaged enough in this city. Now you can dismantle the Anaheim Fire Department. You are so sneaky and dishonest.
    The City of Kindness… Hi Neighbor !!
    Ruthless Criminals… All of you.

  8. Takeover Public Works Department, fire Rudy Emami, or pave our streets!

  9. Yes, We’re tired as Hell and we ain’t going to take it anymore! Leave our Fire Department alone! What’s next? Farm out our Police Dept. to OC Sheriff’s? Time for Tait to be called out for his shady, behind the scenes antics. It seams like Kris Murray is the only person on City Council to have the “balls” to do it and she would have the backing of many, many citizens. Go Kris!!!

  10. Seems pretty dirty to me. At a glance, it appears Tait and Bowman are trying to manipulate the system for their benefit. Looks like Tait is trying to help bail Bowman out of his Irvine disaster and he needs another city to bankroll OCFA because it is poorly managed. Thanks Tait for volunteering Anaheim ‘s tax dollars to fund fire services in other cities in exchange for less services in Anaheim. Anaheim Fire is an amazing department. Why would Tait trade that in for less? Let Bowman find another way to pay for the services they promised to other cities that they can barely pay for now. Research Irvine and OCFA and all of this makes sense.

  11. something of a fan

    A public records request? lol 😅

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