Another One Bites the Dust
Word on the street this week is that local 2068 president John Neimeic, a Harold Schaitberger protege, has been unceremoniously kicked to the fourth district curb.
Some background is called for.
The IAFF’s 4th district includes Virginia, Maryland, DC, West Virginia and Delaware.
(All of the professional firefighters in Delaware would fit in my apartment, comfortably.)
The current district vice president (DVP) Â Bill Taylor of Baltimore, Â is well into his dotage. His chief (only?) attribute has been that he is always and forever a Schaitberger “yes” vote, though a waking nudge may be required.
(Thank god he’s not the first district. They have a bit of time to wake him up for the roll call.)
It sounds like General President Schaitberger has decided that it may be time for Brother Bill to move on.
Some may be asking, “But why does Harold Schaitberger have a say about who is the 4th district DVP?”
Democracy? You’re Too Funny.
That’s the way the politburo works.
It’s long been common knowledge that Schaitberger is nose deep in all IAFF district politics.
He is directly responsible for who sits, or rather, is propped up, in 1/2 the board seats.
He is endlessly working behind the scenes to build a compliant and malleable board.
He has a distinct preference for the geriatric set.
They are usually content with a nice hotel room and an occasional expensive meal though not a late one, say, 4:30, or so.
Loyalty: What’s That?
Many are those throughout the IAFF who have felt the intense adoration of Harold Schaitberger as he chose you as the heir apparent for this or that position.
You were the guy.
Until, you weren’t.
Mr. Schaitberger expects or demands complete loyalty (his version of loyalty, anyway) but extends it to no one deemed guilty of independent thought.
John Neimeic is a superb example.
John has been a Schaitberger “lapdog”, also described as an “empty suit.”
At convention, among other transgressions he voted the “wrong” way on a resolution and for that he is on the rubbish heap.
On some level this must conflict Harold as he is rather much a fan of empty suits on the board.
It makes his job so much easier.
Life After John
Sorry, just kidding.
I almost feel sorry for John since he knows a number of people who have felt the embrace, both warm and fleeting as Harold perhaps took you out for a fancy dinner, sized you up and then sized you out.
It was Mike, and then it wasn’t.
John was next.
Then Ed Smith, I heard.
Now, Andrew Pantelis from Maryland’s PG County is the guy.
Question is, does Pantelis want to be his own guy and actually represent the 4th or does he just want to sit on Harold’s lap, playing a Charlie McCarthy?
Pantelis may be able to sling enough votes together to win the seat though his biggest mistake would be to allow even the appearance that he owes his win to Schaitberger.
(One wonders how many 4th district votes Schaitberger actually controls, anyway. Â If the DVP pay raise tally is an indicator, the answer is not many.)
Still, Andy shouldn’t get his hopes up.
Two years is a long time and anything can happen.
Just ask John, or Mike, or Art…