Now into it’s fourth day in the news, an extremely important issue that’s been festering since October 31 has been brought to a close by Mayor Tom Coyne of Brook Park, Ohio. Or has it?
Mayor Coyne, livid that firefighters left the firehouse on Halloween to hand out candy to children, has decided the fate of those involved. After serving a five day suspension with pay, Lt. Matt Lynch is back at work with a letter of reprimand in his file.
It may not be over, despite the mayor’s edict. That’s because the union is planning to file a grievance on behalf of Lt. Lynch.
Doing a little research, we’ve learned that Tom Coyne doesn’t hate Halloween. We found this story where he agreed with a petition by some school kids to allow Trick or Treat to continue for thirty minutes extra in Brook Park. So if he doesn’t hate Halloween, what’s the mayor’s real problem?
My guess is he hates firefighters. Just look at his original argument when confronted by WJW-TV reporter Ed Gallek earlier this week: “I can think of no compelling reason that an officer in charge of a shift would take our emergency folks out, whose job is to protect this town, on a trick or treating expedition.”
Of course there are plenty of compelling reasons. How about serving the community? Or being a role model to children? Or looking out for people’s safety on Halloween?
Where you can’t find a compelling reason is in trying to justify Mayor Coyne’s actions. The mayor said in his initial interview this was about protecting the community. No it wasn’t.
If this was all about protecting the community Mayor Tom Coyne wouldn’t have sidelined a trained fire officer over some petty BS? Which do you think impacting the safety of the citizens more, leaving the firehouse to hand out candy or suspending Lt. Lynch for five days?
And then there is the question about who tried to do more to further the image of the Brook Park Fire Department with the citizens it serves? Was it the lieutenant who took his firefighters out in the community on Halloween or the mayor who is on TV trying to justify his childish behavior toward the department?
My experience tells me this was all about ego and settling some sort of score. Could this all go back to firefighters opposing Coyne closing a fire station in 2014?
I don’t have that answer and don’t pretend to have any inside information. What I do have is evidence of a very foolish mayor who has negatively impacted public safety and the image of the fire department.