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Hello everyone!

 

Thank you for visiting my website.  I especially want to welcome all the Springfield residents who are interested in our city's wellbeing and who are taking time to check out my background and past accomplishments.

 

I look forward to meeting you in the future. 

 

Please feel free to

e-mail me with any questions or comments.

 

Best regards,

Christopher M. Donegan

 

Springfield, MO - Skyline

 

 

Take a look at some of the articles that I have written and interviews that I have given in the past:

 

Firefighters Questionnaire

 

Community Free Press Response before Primary

 

News-Leader General Election Questions

 

Jakehammer Questions

 

Life of Jason before Primary

 

Life of Jason before General Election

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my web site and

getting to know more about me and my views.

 

 

City Council Candidate Questionnaire

2009

 

1)         As firefighters, we seek the opportunity to keep our members safe with a safe working environment and conditions.  Furthermore, we also want to ensure our members the benefits and conditions that the city agreed too provide.  There is currently a process that is utilized between labor and management that will become an agreement between both parties.

Would you support a collective bargaining agreement between Springfield Firefighters Local 152 and the City of Springfield without binding arbitration and without the right to strike?  YES or NO  Explain?

 

I support the use of mediation, negotiation, and conciliation which are non-binding.  After researching arbitration in other instances, I can see why binding arbitration is set up in a way to benefit the management. It is my understanding that Firefighters cannot strike.  In 2002, an amendment to the Missouri Constitution was put to a vote of the people to allow certain firefighters and ambulance employees to strike.  That amendment failed 51%-49%.

 

I support the right of firefighters to assemble in a union organization.  I also support unions hiring negotiators to ask the City of Springfield for better working conditions, higher pay, and appropriate staffing.

 

I do want the Local 152 to understand that, as public employees, you work for the citizens of Springfield, MO.  If arbitration does not work, I suggest taking an active role in informing the public on what City Management is doing to decrease the quality of fire safety and fire protection.

Signature  Christopher M. Donegan   Date 12-17-2008

 

2)         Springfield is the only fire department in the state of Missouri to be accredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence, and is one of only 123 departments out of some 30,000 nationwide to be accredited.

The Center for Public Safety Excellence is a non-profit agency governed by a board that consists of representatives from the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International City-County Management Association, National Fire Protection Association, and members of the insurance industry, the federal government and other international groups.

 

The process began in 2002 with a self-assessment, followed by an exhaustive on-site review by a team of peer assessors in 2007. The peer reviewers initially deferred the accreditation due to a several core issues keeping the Department from attaining the high marks necessary.

 

To address those issues, the Department underwent the largest re-organization in its history, requiring the reassignment of more than 90 personnel. This mainly affected specialty teams such as the hazardous materials team, technical rescue team, and the water rescue team. Other changes included implementing a strategic plan consisting of six long-term goals and going through a deployment analysis.

 

The peer review group returned in May 2008 for a follow-up assessment, and recommended the Springfield Fire Department for accreditation.

 

Formally awarded on Aug. 12, 2008.

 

These changes have helped streamline Department operations and ensure a more efficient operation. Springfield ranks third in the state of Missouri in total fire calls.

 

Springfield is now one of just 52 cities nationwide to have both its Fire and Police departments accredited by official agencies

 

Do you support the Springfield Fire Department in maintaining their accreditation?  If YES how?  If NO, why?

 

YES.  The more efficient our fire department is, the more bang the citizens get for their dollar.  Fire and Police should be the city’s first priority.  The only reason as Mayor that I would not continue to support the accreditation is if the time it takes for the Fire Department to collect all the necessary figures, paperwork, etc… were to increase response time.

Signature Christopher M. Donegan Date 12-17-2008

 

3)         Springfield has been growing with respect to residential, educational, commercial, and industrial over the last several years.  Springfield Fire Department currently has 12 fire stations and two of the 12 were put into service within the last 10 years.  According to the 2005 11 City Survey, Springfield ranks sixth in the amount in square miles a station is responsible to cover.  Furthermore, Springfield ranks ninth in the amount of firefighters per square mile. 

 

NFPA 1710 has established national standards that outlines the response time you must initially arrive at a fire 90% of the time.  Full alarm responses must be on scene within an outlined time 90% of the time.  Past practiced has been to separate a station that has two essential vehicles that provide essential functions on a fire scene.  For example: Station 3 housed Engine 3 and Truck 3 prior to the opening of Station 12.  Now Engine 3 has been moved out to Station 12.

We have been able to function at a fire incident, but sometimes the vehicle that provides an essential service is further away because it is housed at a different station.  Also outlined in 1710 is the minimum number of fire suppression personnel on an incident.  Currently we are able to respond within the standard, but by doing this it leaves an area of unprotected citizens.  Providing a safe and efficient service to the citizens is our priority. 

 

Providing a safe and effective response for our firefighters is important due to the dangers in responding to an emergency incident.  Fortunately we have had no life loss in several years due to an emergency incident.  Currently we are not allowed to make entry into a fire unless there is a back up crew at the scene ready or there has been a confirmed report of someone inside the structure. These practices exist because of OSHA regulations.  This could mean that property loss could increase or the chance of life loss of an occupant.

 

Do you support the opening of new stations without providing more staffing?  If YES, why?  If NO, how do you plan on staffing a new station?

 

No, I do not support the opening of a new station without providing more staffing.  I was unaware of the OSHA regulation that there has to be a back up crew on site before going into a burning building to confirm no one inside.  It is my understanding that the city manager has frozen hiring for five positions in FY 2008.  I would ask the citizens of Springfield to repeal the City Parks tax passed a couple of years ago, and possibly ask for a tax to fund current and new police and firefighters.  If we have to add to the tax burden to keep the citizens safer, I would also consider allowing the road tax to expire and not renew to save the taxpayers money.

 

A Note:  I think citizens have felt safer knowing there is a station close by, until they hear from Firefighters about how these stations are under staffed and under equipped.

Signature Christopher M. Donegan  Date 12-17-2008

 

4.)                Do you support a 1 cent or any sales tax initiative to fund the Springfield Firefighter’s and Police Officer’s Pension system?

Yes or No  Please Explain

 

I do support any sales tax initiative to fund the Pension system.  I do not support a 1cent sales tax increase in February.  My solution is to allow the new City Council some time to find cuts in other areas, and possibly repeal other city taxes before asking the citizens again for a sales tax increase to fund the Pension system.

 Signature Christopher M. Donegan Date 12-17-2008

 

 

5.)                Do you support any reductions in benefits to firefighters with respect to leave time and/or pension?  Yes or No  Please explain

 

I would support reductions in benefits.  No matter what Fire Department you work for, you are always going to fight management for more money, more leave time, more pension benefits, or more health/dental/prescription benefits.  It is the City Manager’s job to get the highest quality employees for the lowest possible cost.  Fortunately for firefighters, the public sees your work as valued, dangerous, and worth increased compensation.  This public view of value will increase as the size of buildings increases, there are more water and hazmat calls, and God forbid if terrorist attacks on citizens increase over time.  If the citizens want higher pay for firefighters and are willing to support fire and police as a top priority, I will vote to allocate the City’s tax revenue.

Signature Christopher M. Donegan Date 12-17-2008

 

Greene County, MO

Greene County, MO

Greene County, MO

   

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Paid for by Donegan for Council - Christopher Donegan, Treasurer