Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Burning up an Election

It is axiomatic that government wants to grow. Knowing that people are loathe to see their taxes raised, government workers' often unionize to see that whenever public dollars are spent, more of those dollars go to pay and benefits of the workers than to actual services. To do this, they support and oppose candidates for their governing boards. One public union, in a curious locale has quietly created perhaps the tightest lock on a board in the country, and has taken opposition to their opponents to an entire new level.

Chesterfield Missouri is a solidly upper middle class municipality in suburban St. Louis County with a media family income well over six figures. While one might expect their "Monarch Fire District" firefighters to make a good living, you would probably not expect their pay and benefits package to outstrip their patrons. The pay and benefits package for an individual firefighter is over $112,000 after five years. How did they do this? They have managed to win every single election over the last twenty years. As the affluent area prospered, they prospered. Rather than new equipment or new buildings, they demanded more pay and benefits, like a health insurance plan with plastic surgery benefits. Then it happened. A board member turned on them. In fact, every board member who turned on them was turned out of office, except one. They made sure he paid.

At a press conference today, an angry resident will reveal some startling documents. The firefighter's union needed a scandal. They created one with an audit of the health plan. Making bogus charges of criminal misconduct they called for the resignation the two citizen board members who opposed them; a doctor and a businessman who they had originally endorsed for office. The documents make reference to an investigative reporter as "in play" and reveal a complex plot to so harass the elected office holders as to "secure (their) resignations".

All told, the union has spent over $60,000 on the audit, over $70,000 taking out the last board member, and has so well-funded their current candidate that she is running ads on network TV running as a "taxpayer advocate" and, ironicly making reference to her opponents' pilot union membership. The plot appears to have worked. The physician, although fully exonerated has chosen not to run for a second term.

The legal bills to defend the board members from the audit and the criminal allegations has cost taxpayers upwards of $200,0000. The board in its fiduciary role, has sued the union's pr company in order to recover those tax dollars. The documents to be revealed today came from that discover process.

Stay tuned.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Herman Kriegshauser
Phone: 314-223-4555
Email: herman63005@yahoo.com

Legal Exhibits Prove Residents’ Suspicions

CHESTERFIELD, MO March 24, 2009 – Herman Kriegshauser, member of the Monarch Fire Protection District Citizen’s Advisory Committee and 42 year resident, will hold a press conference at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25 at Chesterfield City Hall (690 Chesterfield Parkway West, Chesterfield, MO) to present documentation that Monarch Firefighters and Paramedics conspired to subvert the electoral process by creating a campaign designed to force two well-respected elected officials to resign in order for the Union to take control of the Monarch Fire Protection District Board of Directors. This effort, which Mr. Kriegshauser recently uncovered, appears to have begun in December 2007 and it continues today.

Mr. Kriegshauser, who retired from his family’s funeral home business, came across this information as a result of a Sunshine Law request to see the Fire District’s files pertaining to a lawsuit it filed against Independent Insurance Auditing Service. The documents detail how the Monarch Firefighters and Paramedics Union hired a public relations firm and created a plan with a stated written objective to “Secure Resignations of Gans and Terschluse” (refers to Board President Richard Gans and Secretary Dr. David Terschluse).

Mr. Kriegshauser brought the documents to Board President, Rick Gans attention. Mr. Gans was aware the public relations firm was deposed as a part of the lawsuit, but he was appalled at what was contained in the documents. Gans said, “while I suspected all along that the Union was engaged in an effort to take control of the Board, I had no idea how far they went by hiring a professional P.R. firm to phantom write the Citizen’s Comments that were being delivered during Board meetings, or the Letters to the Editor that were supposedly written by concerned taxpayers. They clearly crossed the line”. Gans went on to say that Monarch firefighters and paramedics are among the highest paid in the country, yet they seem unsatisfied with current wages and benefits that exceed $100,000 for most and $140,000 for some. “At a time when the economy is suffering and tax dollars are so precious, the audacity of this Union to continue its efforts for double digit increases is absurd”.

Mr. Kriegshauser will provide copies of the documentation to those who attend the Press Conference on March 25. Additional information about Monarch Fire District wages and benefits may be found on the District’s official website at www.monarchfpd.org.