Tell Me What You Really Think.
Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis, showing his kinder and gentler side, has cleared his judicial calendar for much of the week in order to hear from those who may be affected by his efforts to open up FDNY to minority applicants.
Curiously, the NYT reports that of the 180 who signed up for Monday, only 36 testified. Perhaps rage, like beauty and color, is only skin deep.
Garaufis has cut a wide swath, throwing out exams, creating new ones and mandating back pay and retroactive seniority. The seniority provision, which is tantamount to the awarding of punitive damages, is a stinker since you can’t create experience retroactively.
One applicant reported that he had scored 94% on the 2002 exam yet never heard back from FDNY, surely a missed opportunity if broadening the department is a serious leadership goal.
Most firefighters can keep two ideas in their heads simultaneously: advance on the fire while being alert for victims. Two similar ones would be to create a diverse and professional FDNY. Why is FDNY so good at the first set of ideas and so bad at the second?
The answer, of course, is failed leadership at all levels. In New York, the “leaders” don’t.
Thus, the way was paved for a Federal Judge, one Nicholas Garaufis, to lead from the bench.
Time for FDNY members to be REALLY pissed, at themselves, for their communal lack of leadership.
Sources: NYT, NYDN, Gothamist