Decaying By Design

The partnership between the Democrats and their favorite special interest, public employee unions, continues to reap great benefits for the unions, while doing immeasurable harm to taxpayers.

Last year, the Andover Fire Department’s nine-year-old ambulance broke down three times while transporting patients.

Public employees continue to be overpayed, underworked, and overcompensated years after they take their too early retirements, while the Massachusetts legislature continues to block reform.

Last month, North Andover Fire Chief Andrew V. Melnikas went before the Board of Selectmen to inform them that his department is operating with a 25-year-old backup engine truck that no longer meets national safety standards, and is in need of a new engine and radiator.

The unions are much more interested in keeping salaries and benefits inflated than they are about the ability to serve, so the decaying equipment comes second. Politicians like to trick us into approving tax hikes by focusing on the layoffs or the decaying equipment, while ignoring how they like to sleep with the devil that causes the rust.

Billerica Fire Chief Anthony Capaldo knows all too well the difficulty of competing for limited dollars. His department has not had any capital improvement projects funded in the past three years, he said. The department runs with a 17-year-old engine truck and a 22-year-old ladder, Capaldo said. The two reserve engine trucks are 25 and 26 years old, he added. Billerica has been among the communities hardest hit by foreclosure filings in the area.

"The Children" who Democrats claim to protect are placed in danger by the Dems conflict of interest with organized labor, which pours hundreds of millions of dollars to get those same Dems who sell us out reelected.

Mutual aid calls among communities have increased in the past few years, whether to borrow equipment or because of a manpower shortage, said Zbikowski. To make due with limited resources, fire departments continue to look for ways to share resources, such as regionalizing hazardous materials vehicles, he said.

A simple change like allowing plan design - giving municipalites the right to change health plans without getting the approval of their unions - would save $100 million a year statewide. The legislature reserves that right for the state, but sells out cities and towns to pay off their union partners.

“There are a lot of projects that need to be addressed that the town can’t do all at once,’’ Mansfield said. “There’s a prioritization of what projects are going to get funded. . . . We’re trying to get funds from the same pot of money, and it’s a competitive process in town.’’

The damage that the Democrats do to more affluent communities like North Andover will never being to catch up to the hell they inflict on urban dwellers, who they hold in permanent poverty with decrepit schools and dangerous streets. But perhaps as it starts to get noticed, people will understand just how destructive the Democrats are willing to be to hold on to power.