Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Promise Made

In the almost 40 years Don served as a firefighter, working an off-duty job wasn't an option.

It was the only way "to raise my kids, send them to college, put food on the table, and not just live a measly existence" that the city thought its public servants deserved, Don said.

Don was fortunate to survive years of not receiving raises from the city because of the income he received from off-duty jobs.

"When I was a Paramedic, I would work as many extra ambulance shifts, and later, hire-backs as possible, in order to supplement my income. Even though my wife worked, there were some pretty difficult years we faced," he said. "I truly believe it was the grace of God that guided us through them. I still believe this."

Don always plodded on because there was "always the promise that someday, in retirement, it would be different."


Promises that Mayor Mike Rawlings, the city of Dallas and the Taxpayers For A Fair Pension are attempting to break. 

Promises Don counted on when he decided to retire in 2012.

"I sustained an on-duty back injury early in my career from which I still suffer today," he said. "For over 30 years, I seldom had a day in which I didn’t have pain. In fact, it was what caused me to retire. I couldn’t feel my legs and was afraid if someone needed immediate help on the fire-ground, I wouldn’t be able to help them."

"I found out early in my career in 1978-1979 that the City was not our friend and never skipped a chance to tell the rookies at our station about it," Don said referring to a decades old pay lawsuit that the city hasn't settled and have dragged on for 22 years.

“It is the longest case pending in Texas right now,” Ted Lyon, a former Texas state senate and house member and police officer who's now a plaintiffs attorney representing thousands of the city’s first responders against their employer, told WFAA news.

“The city has filed so many (pretrial) appeals that it is really ridiculous,” Lyon said.

"Sadly, those men and women who probably didn’t believe me then, are finding out first-hand what I was talking about because many naively assumed the city was going to take care of them like promised," he said.


"I don’t know where this issue will land, but when the smoke clears," Don said, "the City of Dallas will have a black mark on it that will take decades to erase. The present government officials think public servants are below them and do not try to hide it now."

#PoundOfFlesh #savethepension

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