West Valley View Have Fischbach Firing Completely Wrong


Talk about polishing up the apple and trying to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.  In a story and editorial that stretch the imagination of any intelligent reader, the West Valley View has crafted claims simply beyond comprehension for serious journalism. Reporter Sara Clawson and the editors at WVV have figured out how to put a positive spin on even the Fischbach resignation debacle, quoting city council members who would like the public to believe that Fischbach’s exit may have been planned all along because of “new directions” and quoting Stipp talking about a “new vision” from the new council.  Imagine the audacity to link the last election with this new group bringing about Fischbach’s demise.  Here is their article.

I realize that WVV endorsed all these incumbent incompetents on city council in the last election and I realize that they probably depend upon revenue from the city of Goodyear’s legal announcements in their news paper to help them stay afloat, but they have stretched the definition of a news paper being “in someone’s corner” with these most recent fantasies.  And on top of everything else, do you think anyone at the WVV even bothered to ask or mention anything in their reporting about the incongruent fact that this same group of visionary council people’s statements don’t make any sense when compared to the fact that these are the same bunch of nincompoops who just renewed Fischbach’s contract 3 months ago?

I guess that would be asking too much of a small town news paper and their apparent bias.

The WVV then goes further to say in their article that there was language in Fischbach’s contract that entitled him to the severance contract even though he “retired” and was not “terminated.”  Here is what was reported by the WVV to their unsuspecting readers (especially what I put in bold);

“Although Fischbach offered his resignation, he will receive compensation for parting ways with the city…

In Section 4, Subsection C of Fischbach’s employment contract, it states, “in the event employee is terminated by the council prior to the expiration of [the contract], the employer agrees to pay employee a lump sum payment … “…

The contract also states that Fischbach can choose to deem his departure with the city as “terminated” to receive severance pay “in the event of a suggestion, either formal or informal, by one or more members of the city council, that he resign.” “

Let’s fact check the WVV. As always in howardsgoodyearblog, here is Fischbach’s employment contract so you can read and decide for yourself; CX-2031-12 John Fischbach  I checked with the city clerk’s office before I wrote this and they told me that WVV was given the exact same 12/19/2011 dated copy of Fischbach’s employment agreement as I was.

Uh, Oh, Meet and Confer

The language that the WVV quotes that they say entitle him to severance if someone on council suggest Fischbach retire is not in reference to any severance.  As you can read for yourself in the copy that has been provided above, it only gives Fischbach the right to “Meet and Confer” with council in order to try to straighten out any “disagreement or misunderstanding”.  The only place any language appears with anything close to the employee being able to “deem termination” is in the preamble of paragraph 4(d).  Paragraph 4(d) is on page 3 – 4 of Fischbach’s employment agreement.  If this is what the WVV is incorrectly quoting from then their error arises from the fact that this preamble language in paragraph 4(d) is ONLY in effect in the case of certain specific actions by the city, none of which took place here. Here is what the preamble of that paragraph states;

“In the event Employer, at any time during this Agreement, including any extensions, reduces the salary or other financial benefits of Employee in a greater percentage than an applicable across the board reduction for all employees of Employer, or in the event Employer refuses, following written notice, to comply with any provision herein or to provide any benefit to Employee required hereunder, the Employee may, at his option, be deemed “terminated” as of the date of such reduction or failure to comply, …”

Nowhere has it been reported that anyone reduced Fischbach’s salary or other financial benefits. After all, he “retired”, didn’t he?  If they reduced his financial benefits to say, ZERO, then he was fired.  But he didn’t get fired, the city has told us he “retired”.

So in that case, (if that is what WVV refers to) none of those events took place which means that either WVV reported completely incorrectly or whoever gave WVV that information (and WVV just repeated it without checking its validity) misled WVV.

Would the city mislead a news organization?  Hey, they make a living misleading you and city council, why not a news organization?

Just another example, Goodyear, of how stupid your elected officials think you and I are.  What they think they can get away with. Just like prison, just like meet and confer as a union payback, just like not considering changing election dates for more participation, just like a creative writing major giving away your tax money in corporate welfare to rich, sometimes emerging technology, foreign companies.

In case you need a reminder about what the Goldwater Institue and I have both been telling you about “meet and confer”  Meet and Confer well, it appears Fischbach just gave us a demonstration of what meet and confer translates into. In this case a nearly $100,000 improved settlement for himself.  At the end of the day Fischbach gets to “retire with dignity” on his taxpayer funded defined benefit retirement plan while taxpayers get to give him another hundred grand.

We will all find out sooner or later that GY city council did not have the spine or the stomach to fire a finally obvious bad actor, so they paid him off with your money with some new agreement that they did in a 3 plus hour secret meeting hoping you wouldn’t find out from your local news paper outlets.

They almost succeeded.

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2 Responses

  1. I’m not SURPRISEd… WVV is incredibly bias and benefits from a spin on the facts. But then again resigned and retired both begin with an “r” and end with a “d” so it must be the same right? And this just proves my point – in Goodyear, when you’re fired you “resign” in an effort to eliminate bad press… unless you have enough time in to “retire” when you’re fired. In either event, have you read about anyone getting fired lately. Word not in their vocabulary.

  2. Residents of Bell, California, Cheer Arrests in Corruption Scandal

    http://www.aolnews.com/2010/09/22/residents-of-bell-calif-cheer-arrests-in-corruption-scandal/

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