Peekskill Democratic Majority’s Latest Target – The Volunteer Firefighters

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The Peekskill Democrats are at it again. It has been well documented over the last decade by actions, policies and public comments that the members of the Peekskill Democratic Party, especially those in public office, have utter contempt for local law enforcement. They treat the police as the enemy, and have gone so far as to appoint their friends as local justices just to prevent criminal convictions and fines imposed on their friends and family. InsidePEEK has reported on this pattern repeatedly over the previous year – most recently for their vote against accepting a donation of a new drone for the Police Department.

Now they are setting their sights on one of Peekskill’s most respected and VITAL organizations, the Peekskill Volunteer Firefighters. InsidePEEK has been barraged with emails regarding the attempt by the Democratic majority on the Common Council to oust the Peekskill Fire Chief, who has been dedicated firefighter for decades from a respected long-time Peekskill family. They claim it is a conflict for the Chief to continue because his son is becoming a member of the career firefighting staff. InsidePEEK has discovered that the Democratic Council Majority told the City Manager to demand the Chief’s resignation or the son cannot be hired for a career position. Why do this?

Come to find out Drew Claxton and Kathie Talbot were part of the Council during the Mary Foster administration that created a convoluted and poorly thought out nepotism policy. It has been the goal of Foster, Claxton and the Democrats to find a way to get rid of the volunteer firefighting force and they see this as an opportunity to make that happen. The new firehouse was the original vehicle to fade out the volunteers but that has taken too long to come about so this opportunity presents itself for them to take advantage of.

Their grand plan may have backfired on them in a big way.

Social media has been on fire since the Chief’s resignation came to light a few days ago. The general public is outraged about this issue, and rightfully so. InsidePEEK has received a record number of comments from our readers over this and they clearly show the backlash about to be brought against the Democratic Majority. InsidePEEK predicts they will not succeed in their attempt to have the Chief resign. Especially since it has been shown the policy as written does not apply in this specific case. The Chief is elected by the members of the department and has no direct supervision or influence over his son as a career firefighter.

It seems strange what Claxton, McKenzie, Noodle Rainey and Talbot see as a professional “conflict” requiring someone’s resignation from their elected post.

Hmmm, let’s look back over this past year: Claxton, McKenzie, Noodle Rainey and Talbot got caught holding an illegal meeting and taking an illegal vote to pass an illegal budget, they lose in court and violate the City Charter – did anyone resign? Nope.

Claxton got caught committing serious fiscal improprieties, illegally obtains grant funding for a building she owns and is the personal residence of her son, does not pay the money back when caught, admits she improperly signed the documents to obtain the ill-gotten funds – did she resign? Nope.

McKenzie gets caught red-handed sharing confidential emails regarding a Personnel issue, thus illegally exposing an employee to the press. The employee is humiliated in public and found to not have committed what McKenzie accused him of, violating his constitutional rights to due process and privacy – did she resign? Nope.

Noodle Rainey is discovered to have an outstanding warrant against him from an upstate New York town/college for purposely not paying a restaurant bill and fleeing the area. Once made public, Noodle’s Democratic Party “friends” went to the location and made a deal to pay the money owed and a fine to satisfy the authorities – did he resign? Nope.

These are just a few of the violations made by these elected officials who found no need to follow the ethics or criminal laws of the city –but – they want a sitting Volunteer Fire Chief to resign his position (with just 18 months left to serve) over the hiring of his son – who has earned the career position through taking a test and graduating from the fire academy. He has commendably accomplished this on his own. His father had nothing to do with his hiring and will not be directly supervising him in his job.

InsidePEEK agrees with Mayor Catalina who is upset over this situation and is calling on the Common Council members to vote to keep the Chief in place. Councilman Torres and Vesce support allowing the Chief to finish his term. Only one Democrat on the Council will be needed to make that happen. Only one Democrat will be needed to have the guts to go against their party and do the right thing for Peekskill. We’ll see if Claxton even shows up for the meeting. She misses so many and always seems to miss meetings where ‘controversial’ votes are required. Maybe she and her Democratic colleagues will be shamed enough to agree to let the chief stay.

According to a number of our readers – if the Chief is ultimately forced to resign, then the volunteer firefighting force is prepared to turn in their gear and walk away. That will be a very dangerous and expensive scenario for the citizens of Peekskill.

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3 Comments

  1. Steve

     /  February 27, 2017

    While I do agree that this policy should not apply to certain positions (namely civil service which is ranked through a testing process), I am disgusted by the way this was used to cause a public hysteria on social media. Some of the language used, the misrepresentations, insults and accusations… That’s no way to do business. Especially when a lot of what’s been put out there is, AT BEST, a half-truth. Don’t believe everything you read on social media. I guess some people will look at it as the end justifying the means, but I was raised to believe there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. God bless the dedicated volunteers who selflessly give their time and resources , but from my understanding the numbers aren’t quite what they’d like you to believe. On paper maybe and at social events maybe, but not at training or on fire scenes. It is well known throughout the county that Peekskill has a serious manpower/staffing issue with their Fire Department…ALSO a very dangerous scenario for the City of Peekskill. With all of that said, everyone speaks very highly of Chief Malaspina and it’s a shame that he & his son have had to deal with this at a time when they should be celebrating his son’s hiring. Congratulations to that young man and much respect to Chief Malaspina, hopefully this all works out.

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  2. As a Journalist on Internet Radio/Video when i learned of this I went bullistic; so moments ago I posted an Op-Ed/Message on my News Personality facebook page (facebook.com/firefoxnewsonlinejournalist)

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  3. Ded Yorick

     /  March 1, 2017

    Ironic that a good man like the Chief has to leave but moral slugs like Drew “Free Money” Claxton, Vivian “The Handler” McKenzie and Kathy “Cross-Armed Kathy” Talbot remain in office. Perhaps it’s time for the state attorney general to look into the situation here. As they say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire! Ha Ha.

    I wonder if Noodle ever ran out on a check at Paglia’s. Probably not since it’s never open.

    Who decked Morey?

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