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My Commentary on Bill Petro Running for Selectman
You often hear our fire department telling us that their job is dangerous. Why would a Framingham fire fighter, Bill Petro run for Selectman in order to help sonny boy get in the Framingham firefighters. To put his child in the path of danger? Talk about misguided ventures.

This is really confirmation that people will kill to be a firefighter because it is the cushiest job in town. Imagine working a 48 hour shift (during which time, you may or may not be called to snuff out a small fire), then have a 6 day vacation before you have to work your next 48 hour shift.

Imagine the possibilities of having great public sector pay, superb benefits and almost no concern about getting fired for incompetency. Each 8 day cycle, you have six days off and you can have a second job on the side.

No other public sector job comes close to this.

Is fire fighting dangerous? Framingham only has less than 60 structure fires per year, 400+ car fires per year, and the rest are small trash fires. Close to sixty-five percent of all calls to the fire department are either false alarms or help me, I've fallen and I can't get up type calls.

My observation of news reports on fires indicates that most fire fighters get injured doing stupid things to themselves.

My bottom line analysis of why Bill Petro is running for Selectman is for pure selfish family needs. Like Sannicandro for his son and Spilka for her sister.

It's another embarrasing episode for the fire department like their actions to promote dead people.

Bill Petro Sr. takes out nomination papers for Framingham selectman January 14, 2010
Dan McDonald 508-626-4416 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- Firefighter William Petro Sr. has taken out nomination papers to run for the board of selectmen.

Petro joins incumbent selectmen Ginger Esty, Charles Sisitsky, town resident Harold Wolfe, and Planning Board member Tom Mahoney, who have all taken out nomination papers from the Town Clerk's office. Of that group, only Sisitsky has returned his papers. Esty has publicly said she's running for re-election, while Mahoney has yet to go public with his plans.

Calls to Petro were not immediately returned today.

Nomination papers are due Jan. 26. Candidates must collect signatures of 50 registered voters to appear on the April 13 ballot.

Issue spurs run for office January 16, 2010
Dan McDonald 508-626-4416 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- Bill Petro's intention to run for Board of Selectmen is based on an intense desire to put Framingham residents first, especially when it comes to the town payroll.

Petro is angry town residents - specifically his son, who is also named William and who works for Public Works - is getting passed over for town jobs.

A Framingham firefighter for 17 years and previously a Public Works employee for eight years, Petro thinks the town should only hire town residents.

"I'm seeing Framingham kids passed over for Framingham jobs...and I just don't see how it benefits the town," said Petro.

He says his son has been trying to become a firefighter for more than three years and has been passed over.

"He's an Iraqi war veteran. He's a great kid. He can't get a job because they're hiring kids from other towns," said Petro.

When questioned about a range of matters facing the town and its Board of Selectmen - such as the state of downtown, proposed growth at the Tech Park, a $200 million operating budget and the numerous, costly lawsuits the town is involved in - Petro said he was not ready to tackle such issues.

If he runs for selectmen, Petro will likely face stiff competition.

He would likely oppose incumbent selectman veterans Ginger Esty and Charles Sisitsky, longtime Planning Board member Tom Mahoney, and town resident Harold Wolfe. All of those people have taken out nomination papers from the town clerk's office.

Of that group, only Sisitsky has returned his papers. Esty has publicly said she's running for re-election, while Mahoney has yet to go public with his plans.

Nomination papers are due Jan. 26. Candidates must collect signatures of 50 registered voters to appear on the April 13 ballot.

Petro says he does not blame the police or fire departments for hiring practices.

"I blame the hierarchy," said Petro.

But police and fire department hirings are distinct from every other department in town, as those two departments cull candidates from the state's civil service list, says Town Manager Julian Suso.

"Those positions, frankly, are overseen and regulated by the state," Suso said.

Petro's son, Fire Chief Gary Daugherty noted, is in the next queue of eight or so on the list scheduled to be hired.

But Petro, who's 53 and a Marine veteran, says he is particularly upset with lateral transfers, which allow already trained firefighters to transfer into departments from other towns.

Daugherty said management has a "fiduciary responsibility," to save the taxpayer's money, and sending candidates to a fire academy costs time and money.

Lateral transfers candidates, however, come to the department ready to go.

"A lot of chiefs choose to go the lateral route," said Daugherty.

Petro said he likes Daugherty, though he has taken umbrage with the town for not promoting an in-house deputy chief to run the department.

Daugherty was interim Hopkinton town manager in addition to running that town's Fire Department when he was hired to run Framingham's Fire Department in December 2008.

Daugherty said he was not going to get in a "squabble about what he thinks about my credentials."

Petro: Framingham's hiring practices February 2, 2010
Bill Petro Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- Recently the fire chief said he had a financial obligation to the town regarding sending new kids to the fire academy and liked the idea of hiring firefighters from other towns. I fully understand the frustrations in these tough economic times. But, as a homeowner and taxpayer, I feel all departments owe us a brighter future for our town. Let me explain.

Every household in the state pays one quarter of one percent of their taxes to fund the state fire academy. So, if Framingham is paying its share to run it then why not use it. Why help pay for other town's kids but not ours?

I'm very passionate and believe I'm right when I say to build a strong community you start with your own people and I meal all the people in town. This current town administration doesn't think its that important. Here's why I think it's essential.

If you hire one of your own and he buys a house here and he or she should want to because our selectmen have made this such a nice place (right)? Well then the town stands to collect over $180,000 in property taxes the next 30 years. He or she will visit local restaurants, buy cars here, go to local hardware, tire, pizza, hair, coffee, convenience stores. they will use local mechanics, plumbers, carpenters ,electricians and landscapers.

You get the picture.

Over the course of a lifetime, he will have put more than a million dollars into Framingham's financial district. Never mind just the money. He will take and build pride in the community. He will take interest in our school system as they send their children to school here. they'll bank and go to church here. And, what a better way to say thank you to our young veterans and I mean young, 18 and 19 years old, than to reach out and get them started in life the giving them a job and opportunity to contribute to the town they left to serve our nation on its toughest battlefield. I will say thank you all, right now.



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