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Patch Question: Does the City Need a Public Safety Commission?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


After a number of fatal accidents in recent years in Long Beach, as well as the establishment of a city-wide bike rental-sharing program that will start this year — not to mention a few vocal residents who have turned traffic safety into their pet cause — the new Democrat administration at Long Beach City Hall has created a Public Safety Commission.

According to a resolution the City Council approved on Feb. 21, the Public Safety Commission will consist of eight members — six residents and two city employees — who will serve two-year unpaid terms, meet once a month and make recommendations to the council and city manager, who will appoint its members and chairman. The resolution reads:

“The objective of the Public Safety Commission is to establish a dialogue between citizens and employees of the city in order to create more awareness about safety concerns within our city.”

The commission’s recommendations would pertain to matters with the police and fire departments, emergency medical services, animal control, emergency preparedness, pedestrian safety and “such other matters as directed by the City Council,” according to the resolution.

City Manager Jack Schnirman said the commission is open to all. “[I]f anyone is interested in joining this particular commission, or ultimately any commission, we’re going to be advertising and soliciting folks who express interest via the city’s website,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting.

What are your thoughts on the city establishing a Public Safety Commission in Long Beach? Let us know in the comments below.

archie bells March 04, 2012 at 03:05 AM
DAN - take your medication,you must have missed a few days,
LB Resident March 04, 2012 at 03:41 PM
"Rob", your assessment is quite incorrect. Yes we are all entitled to our opinions but when they are damaging to a persons character civil action can be taken. It would be very easy to prove if the posts on here are actually Mr. Gusler's. It is quite easy to track where and when they were entered from, even from a mobil device. If there are lawsuits brought about by Mr. Gusler's comments on here the lawyers investigators would be to determine where these comments were imputed. Also it would be very difficult for Mr. Gusler to dispute that someone else was at the hands of these comments given the personal information about his career that he stated here and the facts about the union, training, numbers and statistic, facts and figures when it comes to the city, the paid fire force and the volunteers. As a side note I do not personally know Mr. Gusler, but I do wonder that if he has stated his disdain on here as avidly as he has done here, that there are probably other outlets that can prove the same of the views that he has expressed here. That will also fuel and further any possible suits filed.
LB Resident March 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I am here as a concerned resident of the City of Long Beach. Also, I am not on here pulling this legal knowledge out from the sky. I am not here to debate or belittle. I am just stating my concerns and the possible consequences that Mr. Gusler left himself open to with his comments. I am concerned with the fact that given his comments on here about the volunteers, if he can successfully perform his job duties having to work aside them. I am not confident as a resident with Mr. Gusler and any others on here that have shown such disdain for the volunteers that if it came down to it and my house was on fire that he could effectively work with the volunteers in saving my house and my family members. You should be able to defend your job with facts and figures, not pointing the fingers at other and pointing out what is wrong with them and why you are better. This is not acceptable in corporate America, nor should it be in civil service.
Liz March 04, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Slate of felons? I think the only felon is with the democrats, mr. fagen.. also, its so entertaining that you think anyone who disagrees is mr. hennessy. Many people agree with the posts about the paif fire dept being way over paid for barely fighting fires. Jay, keep spewing your nasty comments- you and macnemara fight our battles for us and turm people off... Keep it up, please.. it makes it so much easier to dislike the LBFD. Also, would you mind humoring us and anwering Maria's question, number by number- u never had trouble in the past reiterating answers, so could you enlighten us?
Liz March 04, 2012 at 04:11 PM
why are volunteers sufficient enough for every other town on LI, but not us? I think its certainly sufficient as long as we contract out an ambulance service for a mere 100k a year- we would then have the EMS services provided (which is 99% of the calls our paid men get) and save money!
Jay Gusler March 05, 2012 at 01:45 AM
It is astonishing to me that you characterize my statements as "hateful and disrespectful". What they are, are recitations of fact. As such, they defy characterization. You may subjectively take them that way, but that's your choice. As far as bringing these comments to the attention of the City and the Union, McNamara is on the executive Board of the Union, so they're quite aware of both his, and my comments. As for the City, feel free to relay anything you want to them. There's nothing inappropriate about any of these comments. You (and others here) seem to be under the impression that public employees are not entitled to express themselves freely. One does not shed the protection of the First Amendment as a condition of working for the government. As citizens and taxpayers we continue to enjoy the constitutional right to robust participation in all matters of civic discourse on anything of a public concern. The formation of the PSC is just such a matter. I can also assure you that my protected expressions do not, and have never, encroached upon my ability to function as a member of the LBFD team. I'm sure many will challenge this assertion, but I think my 18+ years of working within the structure of the organization proves otherwise.
Jay Gusler March 05, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Dan, Can you tell us where on LI any volunteer FD has implemented "duty groups"? can you tell us how many departments are doing it? Can you tell us their call volumes, response times and budgets? Remember, I'm talking LONG Island, not FANTASY Island. I won't even address the rest of what you've posted because it's complete nonsense.
Jay Gusler March 05, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Let me assure you that I am JAY GUSLER, not someone posting under my name. Unlike yourself, I post under my own name. I do so, in order to lend credibility to what I post. I post off-duty, off City property, and in my capacity as a taxpayer and resident served by the LBFD. That I work for the agency does give me a greater insight into it's internal operations, but I don't represent the LBFD, the LBPFA, the City, or ANYONE other than myself. Now, who's suing anybody? Over what? I'm hiding in plain sight. Anyone that takes issue with my comments is free to contact me to discuss their objections. If they want to sue me, then best of luck to them. As you point out, I've posted some pretty caustic commentary both on the Patch and elsewhere. I've been doing it for years. Despite this, no one has seen fit to initiate a lawsuit against me. Why do you think that is? I'll tell you why; it's because any decent lawyer would laugh at the notion. There's nothing wrong with anything I've posted, and thus no reason to hide behind a pseudonym. There are also whistleblower laws that forbid retaliation against a public employee that exposes things that he/she has a good faith belief exposes the public to danger. So really, I'm not sweating being sued. I appreciate your concern, though.
Jay Gusler March 05, 2012 at 02:25 AM
How about you accept the possibility that everything I say is true. Working from that perspective, what do you think the effects are on your family's safety? You seem all to willing to adopt the belief that the things I've posted are not true. Why is that? Look, you're wrong on the law, and you're wrong to assume that my comments are made out of "disdain" for anyone. My comments are made out of my desire for myself, my family, and the residents of this City (yes, even you) to be as well protected as they can be. Period. You can ascribe to me whatever motives you choose, but it's really that simple. Now, unlike 'corporate America', the City of Long Beach, like all other government entities, is constrained by the First Amendment in how it reacts to certain forms of expression. Corporate America can just fire an employee in order to silence him/her. Not so a government entity. It's not a 'civil service' matter, rather it's about the fundamental right of citizens to criticize their governments. Maybe you'd rather we had a good old-fashioned dictatorship where all dissent is violently crushed. Well, we did, but those guys just got voted out of power. I think the new administration will be a lot more sensitive to its constitutional constraints than the last regime. We'll just have to wait and see.
LB Resident March 05, 2012 at 04:06 AM
"Mr. Gusler", the WPA only protects those that can prove their statements and they must be done so in good faith. Your comments on here to not show themselves to be in good faith since you have not offered us any proof. Where is your proof when it comes to the statements as "What about the Truck Co. you ask? They're usually left with nothing much more to do than destroy whatever the fire didn't." So as a resident I am led to believe that the truck company offers nothing when it comes to fighting a fire except to distroy what you have salvaged? So they are out to distroy, not save? And what about when you verbally attacked residents who did not agree with you? Stating that one's posts portrays her "as a s mere shill for the volunteer side."
LB Resident March 05, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Once again where is your proof that any of what you say is true? Especially when you state in your last comment "accept the possibility that everything I say is true." If there is no proof for ALL of your comments, it is indeed defaming the volunteers. You are saying on here that they are not competent enough to protect the community. If you have concern for your fellow residents and proof of ALL that you say, have you gone to the city and your union in good faith with proof prior to these posts? If so why have they not righted what you say and can prove is wrong? Most on here that has disagreed with you want proof of your claims. We all deserve that as a community. And the numbers of how much the paid force costs each tax payer each year is not going to cut it. It is your right as a citizen to voice your opinion, but when you represent a department that you are criticizing (even though you are paid and they are not) and that you obviously have inside knowledge about, you are indeed required to deliver proof. It is not the new administration's job to do so, nor is it the PSC. You made these allegations, you must prove them true. So I ask you to post ALL of proof here, the same forum that you used to make such claims. We are your fellow residents deserve at least that.
Jay Gusler March 05, 2012 at 04:48 AM
JimmargaretbobbyjasonLBResidentliz, (I'm sure I missed a few), You were once a member of the volunteers, so you know well the truth of what I assert. Anyone else that wants to refute or confirm what I say goes on within the LBFD should sign up and join the volunteer FD. You can do so by calling (516) 431-2434. Tell them you're interested in volunteering and they will guide you through the process. Then all of you that really want to know how things work will be able to find out for yourselves. That's the only way to "prove" my claims. I hope lots of you take me up on this. Jim, as for your demands of proof, just how would you propose I prove the things I say? Can I predict where the next fire will be and position a camera crew there? Can I go back in time and allow you to observe the actions of the FD at the scene of past incidents? You ask for proof of the unprovable. And, I have no idea what the "WPA" is. Again, I get that you're bitter, but this assault on me isn't going to change the past either. Perhaps you'd feel a little better if you just sue me? After all, in your estimation I've provided ample grounds for you to do so.
LB Resident March 05, 2012 at 11:22 AM
"Mr. Gusler", So you have no proof to show any of the residents of this city when it comes to your claims that you have made above? Well you cannot be protected under the WPA and indeed what you have stated above can be classified as defamitory and damaging. You seem to be nothing more than a disgruntled employee since you cannot produce any proof of you claims. I can not speak for the other residents of this city but I do not feel safe with you in any position where the residents safety is in your hands. I think you have said enough now Mr. Gusler.
Tideline March 05, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I just spent 20 minutes reading this. It is a shame that posters can't respect the right of others to disagree, because they will anyway. I would like to see the Paid guys have a better working rapport with the vollies, they are not going away, so why not try to work in harmony. I would like to hear what Water specific related Ocean Rescue Pass/Fail training the Paid guys receive, that qualifies them to be making the Ocean Rescues. If they are not receiving Dept/Academy training for that, there is liability being incurred by the City, if they are allowed to enter the water.What testing standard do they have to meet ? Since I live on the beach, I have seen numerous O.R. over the years, while I won't say that the paid FD guys do not enter the water, it seems clear to me that the lion's share of the rescues are done by off duty LB LG's, Surfers, Vol. LBFD Water Rescue and even on duty LBPD Police, who were former LB LG. Anyone who thinks that whether Mike Fakin is NYFD or not, matters to anyone, they are kidding themselves if they think any agency is going to expend time and resources to investigate what someone wrote on the internet, expecially this site, where I have seen more people posting under fake names and making fake claims, it would be a huge waste of time. Saying he is going around posing as a Fireman, where is the evidence of that? Just an attempt to expand on what is a waste of time, to make it seem more important that it is.
Tideline March 05, 2012 at 01:47 PM
No one is going to sue J. Gussler and win. Proving damages would be a huge obstacle. There is good reason no one has even tried to bring a suit. I only hope that one night in a dark parking lot, there is not an incident between Jay and a Volly, who has taken issue with the many comments here.That would not be good for the City, as the infighting here is also not good for the City, nor the morale and relationship of all LB Firemen. Can't they all just get along ?
Jay Gusler March 05, 2012 at 02:50 PM
@Tideline, This may seem a tad disingenuous, but there is no infighting as such within the LBFD. In reality there are perhaps 4-5 people that post to this thread. That a multitude of different screen names are used is just a weak attempt to obscure that fact. What precedes this post is the opinion of maybe two individuals with fire service background (concerned and Dan?). All the rest are the bitter and disgruntled Jim Hennessey who feels the need to call for the abolition of the paid force due to our vigorous advocacy on behalf of the victorious Dems presently in power. As such, this really isn't this 'civil war' that its being portrayed as. rather, the divisiveness and vitriol promoted here springs primarily from the political agenda of one deranged individual. As far as the things I write, I stand behind them 100%. I've been making similar statements for years. Calls for proof of my opinions and observations are nothing more than weak attempts to undermine them. Only those within the LBFD (of which I am one) know its true inner workings. Any member of the general public that really wants to know if I'm telling the truth or if I'm just a malcontent is welcome to join the volunteers and find out for themselves.
Jay Gusler March 05, 2012 at 03:00 PM
As this isn't very likely to happen, the proposed PSC, a Committee 75% comprised of civilians, is the next best thing. I think that any such commission will come to many of the same conclusions I have regarding the inner workings of the LBFD. This is why I so welcome the formation of the Commission. That's what this whole discussion started as. Unfortunately, the minute I chime in and participate in a discussion, Jim Hennessey and his slew of pseudonyms are sure to follow and impede any effort at constructive discussion. So, to Tideline and others following these posts (except for you, Jimmy), rest assured that the nature of this discussion DOES NOT impair the operations of the LBFD one bit. When the bells ring, everyone (myself included) sets aside whatever political divisions we may have and focus on the important work of making this City the safest place on LI. It's been that way for the past 18+ years I've been involved, and will always be that way.
Clark March 06, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Vollys and Aux. are Buffy wanna be cops and firefighters. Who in their right mind would leave their family and risk injury for free. I have better things to do with my time than drive around with a dumb blue light on my dash. And stop blowing through stop lights all over town. The paid guys are already there doing their job.
Nancy Mc. March 07, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Here is a political payoff my neighbor (a LB Cop) just told me about. The PBA President sues the Republicans in City Hall, then he supports the opposing Democrats. The election comes, Democrats win. Now the new Democrat controlled city council, settle the case (before a judge even has the chance to look at the case, for $24,999. Coincidentally, the city council doesn't have to approve the settlement because only awards of $25,000 have top go to a public hearing before the city council and this is $1 short of that requirement! If that's not bad enough, the Plaintiff also is getting a promotion tomorrow, actually 2 promotions, to Detective and Lieutenant! This new administration is absolutely disgusting. I voted for them, and they are 10 times worse than anything we have ever had before. LB needs to wake up! No wonder the city is broke!
joe March 07, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Acting Commissioner Tagney's 60 days are up today ! What is happening with the exulted Search Committee? Let's get rid of this bum soon!
UpnDown March 08, 2012 at 11:25 AM
This has nothing to do with the article written. Stop trying to cause a propblem. Seems like someone is trying to cause some further issues. You dont like the vollies or auxiliary pd? Good for you. Your post is pointless.
Dan March 08, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Wow. You figured me out, huh. What gave it away? The D A or N? I talk about my volly house with everyone, family and co-workers. My partners at work are also volunteers and our ambulance company would be more than happy to pick up your ambulance calls. And, No, were not union. We get paid less than you but are willing to do the work. I highly doubt you do know who I am, I only know a handful of the LB Paid men if their even still active. So, once again, your wrong.
Dan March 09, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Jay, I'm working on your question. There are ALOT of departments who have implimented Duty Groups. I'm looking into their budget, response times and call volumes but, once again, Long Beach is NOT the busiest on Long Island. Come out of your bubble!
Jimmy Hennessy March 09, 2012 at 12:40 AM
The Democrat Clubhouse Family & Friends Hiring at City Hall Goes into High Gear: Tangney to be sworn in tomorrow! But here is the kicker. The appointment has to be approved by the city council and the have to have an emergency meeting to do it. An emergency meeting has to be announced at least 12 hours in advance of the meeting, the meeting isn't posted yet, but only "insiders" know about the meeting. The city won't post the meeting until exactly 12 hours before, so it won't be posted until the middle of the night tonight! The question is: 1) Why the secrecy around the emergency meeting? 2) What happened to the transparency we were promised? 3) What happened to the promise not to hire "family and friends" 4) Regarding the so-called "search committee" • When did the committee meet? • How many applicants did they have? • How many interviews were held? • How come they were not open to the public, as promised? • What recommendations were made to the council? • Are the recommendations available to the public? 5) Now that Tangney is the official Commissioner, not acting, will he be paid out for his unused sick, vacation, and other time since he is not longer a member of the PBA? 6) Does he have a contract? If yes, what are the terms of the contract? 7) Is he taking a leave of absence from his current position
Ex-LB Dem March 13, 2012 at 01:44 AM
That Jay Gusler guy sure got quiet all of a sudden. I guess they blew him out of the water with pinning him down on specifics, I also hear that the Democrats (that he helped get elected) are completely ignoring him now too. When is he going to realize he is a tool. " Thanks for all the help in the election Gus Gus, now hit the road, your ideas are moronic, and you're a liability."
Mike L. Fakin April 06, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Can someone tell me why Long Beach is the only town on Long Island with a paid fire department? It costs us over $4 million a year and on average we have about 10 fires a year? Let's get rid of it and replace it with an EMT/Ambulance service and save millions!! Our medical insurance will pay for the service and our taxes will drop. In these tough times let's think of ways to cut our bloated city budget and the paid FD with over 20 paid people making over $150,00/year while working a few days a month is a good place to start!
Candygram for Mongo April 06, 2012 at 11:55 PM
20 making over $150k? That is just wrong
J.S. April 22, 2012 at 11:04 PM
And that is the point ....... A volly will lay his life on the line to protect you so you can bash him/her on this very website. A volly is not a wanna be ...... They are firefighters. A public safety committee will not get rid of them.
J.S. April 22, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Democraps ...... Republicons ( yes I mean to spell them like that ) All the same ...... Independents maybe?
J.S. April 22, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Its like 32 I think ...... Hired a group more about 6 months ago.

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