|Local 188 Responds To
Criticisms Of Reese Influence
October 19, 2001
When a Richmond citizen of unquestioned
integrity criticized Firefighters Local 188 for their failure to support
incumbent Rev. Charles Belcher in his bid to retain his seat on the
Richmond City Council, the following response was generated. If a little
editorializing will be indulged, I believe what Captain Colvig is saying
is that Belcher failed to kowtow to Reese's demands that he
unequivocally support the Firefighter's demands for a "3% at 50"
agreement that would bankrupt the City of Richmond. I will not identify
the recipient of this letter unless the individual consents to be
My name is Dan Colvig. I am a Captain on the Richmond Fire Department and I currently hold the elected position of Business Agent for Local 188 of the International Association of Firefighters. Your e-mail regarding Reverend Belcher was forwarded to me and I feel strongly that I must respond to your false assertion that Richmond City Council candidate Charles Belcher lacks the support of Richmond Firefighters due to, as you say, his having "challenged Darrell Reese."
Your assertion is simply not true and you do your friends a disservice when you perpetuate such untruths in an e-mailer like the one I am referring to. When misrepresentations such as you made are asserted as facts, it is the public that is cheated. Reverend Belcher, simply put, has proven himself to us to be a man who says one thing in public and then votes another way in private after being easily manipulated by opposing political interests. He has, through his words and actions and his voting record shown himself to our rank and file firefighters to be unreliable and untrustworthy. We give every candidate a chance to prove themselves to be supporters of our firefighters and improving our fire department. Reverend Belcher assured us he would support our efforts to improve our ability to respond to emergencies and that he supported our concerns about our current contract.
For all his promises and grand statements when we supported him and lobbied for his appointment to the City Council, Reverend Belcher has voted against us subsequent to political manipulation. We cannot support a flip-flop candidate who lacks independence and votes the way he is told.
Our decision to support Lynn Wade was based on the same criteria that I'm sure your friends and constituents would use in choosing a candidate for office. Honesty, independence, integrity and ability (she is a professional auditor for Chevron) count. She will vote the way she says she will vote and will not be a pawn who's vote can be manipulated the way Reverend Belcher's has.
We know that Lynn Wade, like your wife, will make an excellent City Councilperson, while Reverend Belcher has had his chance and has proven himself to us to be little more than a malable shill vote for those we oppose.