Firefighters shut out of Springfield Township conference

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP – The chairman of Springfield Township’s board of trustees shut down public comment during Monday’s assembly, stopping users of the fireplace division from speaking.

Jon Brown, secretary and treasurer of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 3849, had planned to go through aloud a letter, signed by two dozen customers of the Springfield Township Fireplace Department, that expresses concern with the township’s leadership and Matthew Carey, fire main.

But Paul Gleisinger, chairman, suspended the community comment part of Monday’s board meeting at its outset, citing the length of that evening’s agenda.

“We have received a lot of business to consider treatment of and this is just not the area to do what they are keen to do,” Gleisinger mentioned.

Firefighters advised to abide by chain of command with critiques

The conference at Township Hall alongside Park Avenue West lasted just 25 minutes.

Gleisinger claimed firefighters must adhere to the department’s chain of command to voice an concern, some thing that struck Brown as counterintuitive.

Paul Gleisinger, chairman of Springfield Township's board of trustees, suspended the public comment portion of Monday's meeting, denying firefighters a chance to voice their concerns.

“If the issue is with the fireplace chief, the only man or woman that he’s accountable to is the elected officers, the trustees,” Brown informed reporters afterward.

Carey, township fireplace chief, explained to the News Journal that firefighters haven’t spoken to him about their worries.

Trustee Amy Rose identified as Gleisinger’s conclusion to suspend general public remark disappointing. “They are here to converse to the board,” she said.

“Yeah, in a spectacle structure,” Gleisinger replied, adding union management has his cellphone range and can get in touch with him whenever.

Springfield Township Trustee Amy Rose criticized Paul Gleisinger's decision to suspend public comment for Monday's meeting.

Much more than a dozen firefighters gathered outside the conference room Monday, unable to enter owing to COVID-19 pandemic limits on capacity.

A motion designed by Rose to rescind the room’s potential limitations was defeated after Gleisinger and Brad Orewiler, vice chairman of the board, voted towards it.

Assistant fire main resigns hearth division investigation 

“I will modify my mind if you do the investigation and adhere to the wellbeing division and get their authorization,” Orweiler told Rose.