Fairfax: The Willie Bailey Effect

So Much For Political Credibility

IAFF Local 2068 President Ron Kuley’s Stanley Cup fire engine joy ride is mostly noted for who was with him and who wasn’t.

But the real issue is where the engine was supposed to be that day.

Kuley had promised it to Willie Bailey, a member of the Alexandria City Council and a longtime member of local 2068 in his council re-election bid.

He reneged on his promise, and Bailey lost.

Kuley said, “I did inform will [sic] Bailey and Alex Local of this once in a lifetime opportunity” as if riding in a sports parade somehow superseded his responsibility as local president.

That decision now haunts Kuley and the Local.

As a public employee union, we operate in an anti-labor state without any bargaining rights.

Because of this, our bond with elected officials is through mutually earned trust.

In order to survive, our word, our promise, must mean something.

In one move, Ron Kuley has sent a message to the people we count upon that a sports parade is more important than supporting those who support us.

It doesn’t matter that Bailey wasn’t a Fairfax politician, in fact, it’s even worse that he wasn’t.

Members of our Board of Supervisors will say, “If that’s how he treats his own members, imagine how he will treat us.”

What official, elected or otherwise, would now take Kuley at his word?

Yes, actions and decisions have consequences.

The first consequence is the fire chief vacancy.

Sources say that the Local is advocating for IAFF headquarters’s Lori Moore for the position.

Whether or not she is qualified, having Kuley endorsing your candidacy is hardly a feather in your cap.

Better that he is saying he is against you given his lack of credibility.

But, why would the Board of Supervisors and the County Executive trust your opinion anyway?

A longtime observer of the scene recently said, 

“2068 has worked for decades to craft a reputation for being strong and consistent advocates for their members…Now the ‘leadership’ has devolved to being juvenile, on their way to being a joke.”
At the very moment that the Fire and Rescue Department is in crisis the Local is also suffering from a near total absence of effective leadership.
In one high profile action, Ron Kuley has shown his complete lack of judgement and maturity.
It will now be up to the executive board and the membership to take turns watching the “wee one” to prevent him from wrecking the house, raiding the larder or worse.




1 Comment

  • Craig Summers says:

    There is nothing that can be said that hasn’t already been said. The proof of irresponsibility, lack of judgment and lack of leadership skills is in the behavior, credibility and integrity of the local’s leadership.

    This type of embarrassing activity only leads to the local’s efforts to achieve benefits for its DUES PAYING membership being disregarded by the political bodies. I’m not sure who bears more responsibility for this ridiculous, disappointing behavior…the President or the Exec. Board. Is this really how membership dues should be allocated, buying a fire truck?

    Remember it’s “Professional” fire fighters and paramedics, not some sort of local VFD hoot owls organization.

    Step up your game Ron……

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