Report From Virginia Fire Fighters President Mike Mohler:
“Fourth District, be on the lookout at convention for an announcement that DVP Taylor may be stepping down for health reasons. Coinciding with this is an intensive campaign effort by my Local President, John Niemiec. Filling Billâ€™s position, who is a rubber stamp for President Schaitberger, would be a very high priority if this is true. Now Eric, how do you expect resolution 10 to get out of committee if 13 DVPs are bought and paid for. Ugly business weâ€™re in huh”
My first reaction on reading Mike’s note is whether or not anyone would notice Taylor’s departure. Â Assuming that vice presidents are paid via electronic funds transfer, years might pass before the vacancy was discovered.
But, the midterm health resignation is a proven Schaitberger tactic used in the case of former secretary treasurer Vincent BollonÂ so that he could install Tom Miller as his hand-picked replacement. Â (Miller could also go missing without being noticed.)
The orchestrated middle-of-the-night change alleviates the tiresome aspects of democracy where convention delegates actually get to campaign andÂ vote on principal officers.
John Niemiec, who by the way calls Schaitberger “uncle Harold”, should be wary of hisÂ uncle’sÂ promises. Â Schaitberger has a way of making them but not keeping them, including for the fourth district seat.
Of course, in a healthy organization it would not be Schaitberger’s to give away in the first place. Â His meddling in district elections is well known.
If Taylor is really leaving he should hold out for a cushy deal, also a Schaitberger favorite tactic. Â When uncle Harold says, “It’s time for you to go” he may send you off with a yearly $40,000 or $50,000 stipend so you go quietly and stay “on the team.”
But beware: what the uncle gives he also takes away, once he feels you are no longer a political threat.
Disclosure: Â Mike’s note to me referencing Schaitberger and Niemiec is ironic. Â All Â four of us were or are president of local 2068. Â All of us but Niemiec have been president of the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters.
Mike has said before that no one will mistake he and I as friends and others have asked how two past presidents of Schaitberger’s own local can hold him in such low regard?
It’s because we know him.