HFRA Spring Meeting Next Tues., April 10th, 5 PM Hamden Elks' Lodge, 175 School Street
Idea for Memorial Plaques
Anything for the Good of the Assn.
Menu: Hamburgers, french fries and other sides - $6.00
Dozens of Fire & Police Retirees Attend Budget Hearing
Hamden fire and police were well represented on Tuesday evening at the Hamden Middle School, as dozens of retirees from both departments gathered to urge Hamden's Legislative Council to adequately fund Hamden's pension plan. The occasion was the Council's public hearing on Mayor Scott Jackson's proposed town budget for 2012-13.
The Mayor's budget calls for a $9.3 million infusion into the Town's pension plan. But the pension plan is likely to exhaust more than twice that amount during the coming fiscal year. The Town's contribution for the current fiscal year was only $3.3 million.
Speaking before the Council, HFRA spokesman Dave Johnson stated that the Town's pension funding has not kept pace with the rising number of retirees during the past 20 years, and emphasized that the problem was created entirely by the Town, not by Hamden's firefighters or police officers.
Police retirees Bob Maturo and Tony Mace also addressed the Council on the importance of maintaining the pension funding at proper levels and keeping the promises made to Hamden's police and firefighters. Maturo stated that, given the severity of the underfunding, the remedy may have to be combination of funding and bonding.
The history of Hamden's underfunded pension plan goes back to 1975, when the Town agreed to pay firefighters' and police officers' individual pension contributions in addition to its own - and then failed to do so.
Since 1992, the Town's yearly pension contributions have been either inadequate or nonexistent. Hamden's fire and police agreed to the resumption of co-paying their pension contributions in the late 90s. However, in the three fiscal years between 1999 and 2002 the Town's contribution to the pension fund was zero. (See full remarks and Ann DeMatteo's Register article by CLICKING on the images to the right.) We'll keep you posted.
Check out the two websites below to see how municipal pensions around the country are in jeopardy.
Website thanks go to Dick Carney for providing this photo, taken between 1961-63, showing a number of Hamden career and volunteer personnel at the Repair Shop being trained on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. CLICK on the photo for IDs.
This house at 39 Ives Street was heavily damaged on New Year's Eve 1965-66. In the 1930s, it had been the home of Fire Marshal Al Purce; in the 1940s it was the home of Firefighter Ray Carofano. And some years before this fire, Deputy Chief James Strain, who was in command of this incident, resided next door at #41. (Newspaper article courtesy of Chan Brainard)
Whatever happened to Badge 101? That's what Rich Maybury would like to know. He was the first Hamden firefighter to get that badge. Hamden firefighters were assigned numbered badges from the 1940s until about 20 years ago when, for some reason, new non-numbered badges were distributed. The lower your number, the higher your seniority. If you have #101, Rich has #92 to trade. Email Rich at email@example.com. (The above image is NOT #101, but it's exactly what it would look like. This image was photo-shopped from another badge.)
April 5, 2012 - Tower One crew: Ff. Daryl Osiecki, Capt. Ron Desroches and Ff. Dave Beaton.
THURSDAY!! Batt. Chief Sam DeBurra, shown here with Ff. Daryl Osiecki, continues a decades old tradition that started with Chief R.C. Spencer - delivering the paychecks on Thursday. This reminded a visiting old-timer of when his Platoon 3 buddies at 2's worked Thursdays, they had their checks cashed at a nearby bank. One of the guys named Ronnie would take the portable radio off Engine 1 and walk up the street to the bank with all the checks. On one such occasion, a fellow firefighter named Ray waited until Ronnie was inside the bank for about 15 seconds. Then, taking Engine 2's portable radio, Ray keyed it and declared, "This is a stick up!" Ronnie was not amused. (We thought it was a riot.)