October 5, 2015 5:12 pm ET
“Office of Fred” causes an issue at 9-1-1 call center
Fred Homan at the center of controversy for the 911th time.
Before I get started on today’s episode of, “As the Office of Fred Turns,” I want to note that this post almost didn’t happen. Another matter (cough*Fort Howard PUD*cough) had my attention, but the 9-1-1 call center story is too important to put on the shelf.
So, while I wait for the county to deliver the PUD I have requested, on with the show…
In today’s Baltimore Sun (yes, I do give attribution), an article deals with what the workers at the 9-1-1 call center term “unsafe conditions.” And that term, folks, is backed up by union officials.
The problem deals with county officials (namely the “Office of Fred” Homan) who want change at the center through the practice of rotating shifts—something the union strongly opposes.
The Sun piece includes this statement by John Ripley, who is the head of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees. “Our calculation is it’s over 230 years of experience, and that’s something that’s not replaced easily.”
The irony to this boondoggle by county administrator Homan is this quote from the article, in which the he states, “…that the experience gap…became dramatic and had to be corrected.”
That is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black!
The “Office of Fred” wants to stop losing experienced 9-1-1 operators, yet he is adding to the loss of experienced operators.
Mr. Homan has a long record of controversy in the county with some notable gaffs in his checkered career. Yet, Councilman Todd Crandell said the council did their due diligence before voting on Mr. Homan’s reappointment to another four-year term under County executive Kevin Kamenetz.
I think Mr. Crandell and I have a different definition of the term “due diligence.”
Let’s begin a brief look at the Office of Fred. *Note: Fruit of the Loom denies any resemblance to this issue.
During one incident, a county employee walked into an office and saw Mr. Homan and the then-county attorney. I’ll let the Washington Examiner explain the incident:
County Attorney John Beverungen has asked a federal judge to dismiss a $1 million lawsuit filed by a former county employee who said she was fired after catching Administrative Officer Fred Homan in an “inopportune encounter” with Assistant County Attorney Suzanne Berger after work hours. Miriam Grice, 55, said she was demoted, twice suspended and ultimately fired in June after the April 2005 encounter.
Hmm, where have I heard the name “John Beverungen” before? Ah yes, I remember. He was the Board of Appeals Judge that heard the Dundalk United Appeal.
Small world isn’t it? Or, as Edith Bunker would say, “It’s all in the family.”
Another Homan blunder was the Mainsail scandal. That was one of those deals where a broker says you “can’t miss,” and the county fell for it hook, line, and sinker (or is that “stinker?”). As a result of that blunder, the county lost $25 million in less than a month with no recovery or tort case possible. Another fleecing of the taxpayers, but it isn’t Fred’s money, so why should he care?
Here is one for the books. Mr. Homan was made aware that he was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by forcing out anyone who became a potential liability for the county. Hundreds of employees were thrown to the wolves with this quote from Homan: “Let the state take care of them.”
I know of one particular police officer who was hit by a drunk driver while investigating a DUI crash; that officer was fighting to save his leg as Mr. Homan made that famous quote.
As a result of Mr. Homan’s obstinacy, the county was whacked by the feds and has paid out $20 million and counting to the victims thus far.
Guess what, folks? There are hundreds more lined up for their share, so the well will have to go a little deeper.
Yes, there are some who will try to scam the system, but there are many others—like myself—who have looked into the eyes of the grim reaper and still wanted to work. A lot of people live for their jobs; when you take that away and kick them aside, that becomes a huge problem.
I know that I have a problem with that, and so did the feds.
Let’s hear it for the “Office of Fred,” folks.
Now, I’m not a heartless person, but the last time I saw Mr. Homan in the council chambers he was walking with a cane very slowly. Mr. Homan, maybe you should practice what you preach and seek retirement.
That could save the county a pretty penny since, according to Sun Investigates, Mr. Homan is the second highest paid county employee, right behind Chief Johnson.
So, to summarize this mess, the “Office of Fred” has made more gaffs than the number of Orioles losses this season, yet he is still there. Now he wants to mess with the 9-1-1 center. I happened to be in the council chamber when that discussion came up. In speaking to the council, Mr. Homan’s tone was condescending and arrogant.
This video clip sums up the relationship of two political leaders—the “Office of Fred” and Kevin Kamentez.
Or, as the saying goes, two peas in a pod.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to waiting for the county to deliver my requested PUD on Fort Howard. Now where could that be?