After hearing remarks addressed to the CRFR board from a concerned citizen at a CRFR monthly meeting in June 2016 and witnessing hostile actions by CRFR personal prompted me in writing this letter to the CRFR board.
The apparent problems of an employee Ron Youngberg whose revolting actions were directed to his fellow CRFR firemen were detrimental to the morale of the entire department spilling over to the firemen's families for decades. The many incidents which have plagued the CRFR District for the past 25 +years are problems which have been covered up by three CRFR Fire Chiefs (Chief Rowe, Chief Dunkel, and Chief Tappan) all in order to protect one their own at the cost of the rest of the firemen.
As information unfolded and became public through reporting by the local Scappoose Spotlight newspaper it became obvious to me that the CRFR administration choose to continue to protect the individual whose actions were disgusting and revolting, and simply should not be tolerated in any way shape or form in any work environment. These actions caused many firemen to leave the community and seek employment elsewhere. The community lost valuable people. And what did CRFR do to resolve this issue they retired the individual so he could receive full pension and by retiring it stopped the investigation. Even though this employees actions adversely impacted many individuals and CRFR families.
The CRFR board should take it upon themselves to answer to the public with information regarding this issue and not depend on the local media to do their job.
The leaders of the CRFR ignored the many complaints from its employees regarding this individual, in doing so they added stress to an already stressful job. And to make matters even more unbearable the Chiefs took retaliation action against some of the victims as is apparent by testimony given to the CRFR board at meetings. The hostility toward us against them is obvious by e-mails which some of the public have gotten through public disclosure of public records. The verbal castigation by the Fire Chief towards certain board members in a public meeting is unacceptable and should not be tolerated by the rest of the board, the Chief answers to the board not the other way around.
The dissension between retired firemen and current firemen who attends these meetings often results in hostile discord in the meeting room and outside the meeting room in the main office of the CRFR with the turmoil being heard by the rest of the public who are attending the meeting. In my opinion if the board would have taken appropriate action with the problems which has plagued the CRFR because of Mr. Youngberg the discord in the CRFR would be gone.
In no way should a board sit idly by and allow the incidents which were reported, a board should not be disallowed to read incident reports, a board should not sit idly by and allow a Chief to harass and retaliate against those employees whom are seeking justice and deserve to work in a non-hostile work place. No way should anyone try and circumvent an election like Chief Tappan did. That is why he received an election citation---the board should have reprimanded the Chief and at least order him to apologize to the individuals which he tried to damage.
I help support the CRFR through my taxes and I expect the administration to carry out their duties honorably and to do what is necessary to protect all employees from an employee whose actions were toxic to the function ability of the department, as I expect all people in the CRFR district does. I expect the CRFR board who is elected by their peers and taxpayers to stand up and take charge and reign in a Chief and HR person who apparently would not do their job and protect the firemen in the department.
As e-mails from these people, certain board members prove to be hostile toward certain firemen and certain individuals from the public who have questioned the actions or I should say non-action of the board and Chief Tappan. It is also deplorable when a fireman goes to HR for help and they are chastised and degraded by the department which has been created to actually help and protect them from unwanted harassment.
Each and every one of you know what has been going on for years--- just as some of us in the community knows as well ---as one board member has been on the board for decades and knows this issue is not new yet sat idly by and still sits idly by and allows the horrid actions of this employee to demoralize the entire department for decades. E-mails prove the dissention between the firemen, the chief, HR, and board members.
It is pretty pathetic when a board ignores another board member when they ask questions, or ask for documents, or try to persuade a board member to change their vote when the vote does not go their way. If the board cannot work together with differences of opinions without open hostility or complete indifferences when a board member has questions or wants to discuss an issue. If the board cannot take control of these situations then the CRFR district will remain a hostile, turbulent, poor functioning district with good employees who turn into miserable employees who move elsewhere where they can do their job without fear of reprisal.
As a board rewarding a chief and the head of HR with substantial wage increases for less than professional performance is apparent the board is continuing to support less than honorable actions and behavior that has plagued the CRFR for decades, which has reduced the standings of the CRFR in the public domain.
I encourage you to do the right thing and stop the business as usual which has transpired for decades in this organization. Stand up and bring back respect and dignity to the CRFR. Make the CRFR a place where firemen can work without the fear of retaliation and where the CFRF is supported and respected by the community.
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