Fire Dept.

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What do we think of Klein now?

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Fire Dept.

Postby Evolution88hd » Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:46 pm

WAY TO GO KLEIN...WAY TO GO... WAY TO GO KLEIN...WAY TO GO WAY TO CHASE A GREAT MAN OUT. I only knew him shortly bey he knew what we was doing and how to supply great service to our community. Thanks for running another fire chief out.
Don't get too much more comfortable in that office mayor.
Times Staff Report

CROWN POINT | A simple message honoring the 343 firefighters killed when the World Trade Center's Twin Towers fell five years ago turned out to be the final straw for Crown Point's fire chief.

Mark Oster resigned from the post Tuesday morning after he said Mayor Dan Klein became upset that he didn't seek the mayor's permission to put up the message on the sign in front of the Crown Point Fire Department.

"After three months I basically had all I could take," Oster said, adding that he was not able to make a move without the mayor's permission.

He is the fourth fire chief in five years in Crown Point.

Klein, in a statement issued late Tuesday afternoon, said he had met with Oster, but disagrees with his assessment.

"Stemming from this conversation, I have been accused of disapproving a message on the Crown Point Fire Department sign that honored the firefighters who lost their lives in the heinous terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Let the record show that I have no problem honoring these individuals," he said. "In fact, I believe it necessary to remember the fallen police and fire rescue workers and volunteers that gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

"The issue that I did have with the sign, however, is that it was not inclusive of the whole Fire Department. Not only should the volunteers recognize the victims, but so, too, the whole C.P. Fire Department as well as the whole city of Crown Point. In response, I requested that the former chief, who was given approval to make final decisions on the Crown Point fire sign, take this into consideration. I believe that this allegation is a blatant attack on my character, my loyalty to my country and those who serve it. I find these comments insulting and without merit," he said.

The city, in an earlier statement, called Oster's decision "regrettable," and said a search for a new chief already has begun. Until a replacement is found, EMS Division Chief Mark Baumgardner Sr. will serve as acting chief.

Klein said he knew Oster's tenure would be limited, but he did not expect it to end so soon.

"We had come to the realization that Mark was unable to find a comfort zone with our small-town atmosphere. I believe the constraints of maintaining a permanent residence in Florida, adapting to the budget restraints of a small municipality compared to a large city and conflicts with taxpayer justifications on city resources led to Mark's decision," Klein said in a statement.

Oster was a firefighter in Indianapolis for 28 years and a volunteer firefighter in the city of Lawrence for 20 years. Though he retired and was living in Florida, he said he always wanted to be the fire chief in a small community and applied for the Crown Point spot.

In just the few months he has been in Crown Point, he reorganized the department to include three division chiefs and put renewed priority on training. The purchase of two new firetrucks also has been approved.

"From the day that I walked in the door here as the new chief, members of the Fire Department were very open armed to me, very acceptive of changes to move the department forward. I just felt things were going in a very positive nature. There's just things that I think the department ought to be doing," he said.

However, Oster said, he was not allowed to create a budget or capital improvement plan, nor was he allowed to speak to the City Council without permission from the mayor.

"I had no idea it would be like what it is," he said.

He said he plans to leave Crown Point and return to Florida.

Oster said he met with Klein about the sign Monday night.

"I just decided right then that I had had enough," he said.

Baumgardner said in a statement that he is ready to do what is best for the department and the city.

Klein said Baumgardner will be a good fit.

"He will guide a competent and hardworking group of firefighters, a group that maintains one of the highest emergency response standards in the state," Klein said.
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Fire Chief

Postby doorknocker1 » Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:18 am

When are these self serving egotistical weekend warrior Mayors going to realize that the sun doesn't rise and set in their rearends, and that city services have and will continue to run and survive with-out their micro managing and so called superior thinking. I'm sure you will never comprehend what talent you have wasted plus the dammage to the moral of the fire department you have caused during your term as Mayor. 9-11-01 as you may recall DAN has been recorded as the worst attack to the U.S. in our history, and you may also recall Mayor 343 FDNY firefighters died that fatefull day and for you to interfere with a simple sign honoring the memory of these brave MEN that were basically vaporized is shamefull. People like you is what is wrong with this country and you should be run out of town on a rail! What you did to your latest Fire Chief Dan is now posted on the web page and has been read by thousands if not millions of firefighters around the world. You should be proud DAN! Do yourself a huge favor DAN and appoligize to your entire city and resign your position as mayor. your a true LOWLIFE............ Frank D.
Frank D.
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Crown Point fire chief got hosed

Postby Ray Gun » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:48 pm

Crown Point fire chief got hosed

Times Columnist
You've all seen those cute stories about the seventh-grade honor student who is allowed to be "mayor for a day" as part of a civics class.

I suggest we try it in Crown Point, but let's extend it through the end of Mayor Dan Klein's term.

The spat between Klein and ex-Fire Chief Mark Oster that led to Oster's resignation Tuesday would put most seventh-graders to shame -- it's soooooo kindergarten.

The problem started innocently when Oster posted a message on the sign in front of the Crown Point fire station, announcing the volunteers of the department were honoring their fallen brothers on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Innocent. In fact, given the solemnity of the day, virtually mandatory.

Well ... Klein agreed that the message was appropriate except that it apparently excluded the full-time members of the department.

"Not only should the volunteers recognize the victims, but so, too, the whole Crown Point Fire Department," Klein said. "I requested the former chief ... to take this into consideration."

So far, I'm in Klein's corner. Make the message completely inclusive.

Except Oster said the mayor in his private conversation came off far more condescending, saying the chief had not sought Klein's "permission" before putting up the sign. It was the straw that broke the camel's back, said Oster, who has only led the department for three months.

"After three months I basically had all I could take," said Oster, who said he felt Klein's breath on his neck with every move he made. He's the fourth chief Crown Point has had in five years.

Unless Oster is as sensitive as the princess with the famous pea, Klein must have said more than he's letting on. Oster is a 28-year veteran of the Indianapolis Fire Department and a volunteer in Lawrence for 20 years, so he's not a newbie who is going to grab his hose and go home if the big bad mayor hurts his widdle feelings.

"Mark was unable to find a comfort zone with our small-town atmosphere," said Klein, who is apparently unaware that Crown Point is no longer Mayberry RFD. Its own master plan shows projected growth from 19,806 in 2000 to 57,768 by 2020.

Oster also said he could not create his own budget or capital improvement plan, nor could he speak with members of the City Council without mayoral approval.

It's silly that a micromanaging martinet can drive away a man who was welcomed with open arms by members of his department and who had a vision of a Crown Point with more than one fire station and two engines.

It's so simple a seventh-grader could grasp it. Somebody go out and get one.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 933-4170

This story ran on on Friday, September 15, 2006 12:13 AM CDT
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