You know, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that our top leadership, who have served this city so well for so long, would risk so much at the end of some long and honorable careers.
So now interim chief Chris Rea is out. Temporarily replaced with a tried & true leader from our distant past... John Reinhardt. Having served as Fire Chief from '91 to '98, John is no stranger to the position, giving Mayor Gallo the chance to search for a qualified and trustworthy Chief.
Gallo announced that chief Chris Rea was suspended without pay for attendance record issues. He walked us through what many of us think as a culture of corruption. When talking about how the city appears to the public, he said “The entire city work force has a black eye.” An image that we, for the most part, don't deserve. And he's right. I work with some pretty damn efficient and trustworthy people in City Hall and have worked side by side with many in other departments.
That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. If the public ever had any inkling of what was ahead and who would really step up in the task of cleaning up our city, they sure got the idea now.
Gallo closed with this thought; “I'm pretty sure there will be more doings in the fire department that might be questionable.” I can understand the Mayor's plight and expect him and the District Attorney to fully investigate the issue, but above that, my hope is that a suitable leader will be brought in and build upon the expected turn around by Reinhardt. Our city needs a proud workforce.