Without comment, we present the email sent by Manchester Firefighter Richard McLaughlin backing off the charges he made in an email sent last week to Alderman Ed Sapienza (R-Ward 8).
Sat 1/15/2022 1:01 PM
Dear Alderman Sapienza,I sent an Email to you the other day that painted the Manchester Fire Department with a pretty broad brush, I sent it in anger as I believed I was getting cheated out of money that I believe I had rightfully earned. I made accusations I have no way of backing up and I never should have made them. I said some people do not show up for multiple alarm fires which is true in some instances, but there are many reasons why that could be the case, when people are on their time off they have no way of knowing when a fire may occur and go about living their lives as anyone else would, they go on vacation, they go out to diner and may have had a few drinks and are not in the position to drive, they may have child care issues, or they may be sick, there are a multitude of reasons why someone may not return and I have no way of knowing what those reasons are.I was working the night of the Duttton Street fire where as you know one of our members was severely injured in the performance of his duties and is lucky to be alive, multiple rescues were made that night by other members under extreme fire conditions yet the fire was contained to the building of origin despite severe water problems. As we were working from the roof of an adjacent building I looked down to the street and saw an army of firefighters who had returned on their night off and I remember thinking there must be at least hundred guys down there. I always try to come back, but in 33 years I’m sure I missed a few myself for some of the above mentioned reasons.I like all Americans witnessed the looting and burning of cities throughout this country in the summer of 2020 and I was disgusted by those acts, their excuse was that they perceived themselves as victims of an unjust legal system and thereby had the right to destroy other peoples property, which of course they did not. I also perceived myself as the victim of an unjust system and tried to validate my argument by making accusations against other people instead of just the stating the facts of my particular case. Just like the individuals who were responsible for destroying other peoples property had no right to do so, I also had no right to smear other peoples reputations.I feel as if I started a war between the Aldermen and Fire Department and that was never my intend, I don’t believe there is any widespread corruption, and the Fire Department always strives to provide superior service to the people they serve. The Mayor and Aldermen can be proud of the services the different city departments provide. We have some of the best quality water in the country, the garbage is always picked up and the roads are always swept and plowed. The police are understaffed but they still manage to respond in a timely manner and keep the city as safe as possible. There always has and always will be an issue between what pay and benefits the city can afford to give its employees and what those employees desire. The Mayor and Aldermen have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer to keep their taxes as low as possible while still trying to maintain the level of services they have always known and come to expect, and we all know that is not an easy task.The city has many challenges such as the homelessness and the drug and mental health problems and the never ending struggle to keep the school system up to standards, the buildings are in constant need of maintenance, and the large influx of immigrants who have not yet assimilated and who speak many different languages pose another burden on an already overburdened education system. As of this writing the police are working to find out how a city girl went missing for 2 years and what may have happened to her, protecting children from harm and seeing to it they have a happy childhood is the most basic tenet of a civil society. We should come together to solve these real problems and act civil to one another rather than always being at each others throats, it does no one any good and no problems get solved in the end.In closing let me say that the City of Manchester has provided me with the pay and benefits to raise my family and enjoy a middle class life style, and for that I am grateful. There will always be grievances between the city and their employees and there are appropriate channels for these grievances to be heard, although I had the right to reach out to you as my elected representative I should have given my chain of command the opportunity to answer my concerns, and only as a last resort should I have contacted you. You along with your fellow Alderman and Mayor have much more pressing issues as previously mentioned than to listen to me. I apologize to anyone I may have offended and will think twice before I disparage anyone in the future.SincerelyRichard McLaughlin