By Jeff Simpson
Welcome to Prescott, Arizona, "Everybody's Hometown". It is a quiet little town, population 40,000 that votes a solid red, 63% republican. In the most recent election, 64.5% of the voters preferred the Romney/Ryan ticket, and their message of the makers V takers!
Prescott also recently(2009) elected a new Mayor - Marlin Kuykendall.
What are the city's top issues? "We will continue to make sure that we preserve the water that has been awarded us by the ADWR (Arizona Department of Water Resources)," Kuykendall said, adding that the city would also work to "respect and honor the commitment" to the Verde River, and the "obligations to the people of the Verde."
Kuykendall also cited continued growth of the economy as a top priority. "We want to be a part of job creation," he said.
In addition, he said, he want to ensure "Prescott will always have the quality of life component, the neighborhood quality."
Prescott was also recently in the news for another reason. The Granite Mountain Hotshots, American Heroes, who all but one, lost their lives fighting the Arizona wildfires.
Now, Prescott is known for something else. Denying many of these families, their more than earned and previously promised survivors benefits!
Andrew Ashcraft, a 29-year-old member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, died beside 18 of his comrades when a wildfire engulfed them on June 30. The elite firefighters from Prescott, Ariz., were battling a wild-land blaze near Yarnell, which was sparked by a lightning strike. The fire quickly grew into an inferno that destroyed hundreds of homes and covered more than 2,000 acres.
Only one member of the 20-person Hotshot crew survived the blaze, and the families of the 19 victims were promised a half-million dollars or more in government benefits and private donations. The city promised all families a one-time payment of $328,618 and lifetime survivor benefits.
But now the city of Prescott is retracting its promise, claiming that 13 of the deceased firefighters were seasonal employees, thus making their families ineligible for survivor benefits – including health insurance, a life insurance payment, and monthly lifetime survivor benefits that could amount to several million dollars in the long run.
Juliann Ashcraft, whose husband died fighting the blaze, has been told that she will not receive the benefits that she was initially promised. The city of Prescott told her that full family survivor benefits will only be awarded to the families of full-time employees. The city claims that Mr. Ashcraft was a seasonal employee, despite the fact that he worked 40-hour weeks and earned a full-time salary.
Not ONLY did they renig on their promise to take care of their local heroes who gave their lives for their community they were extremely cold about it!
“As shocked as I was that my husband went to work and never came home, I’m equally shocked in how the city has treated our family since then,” she told CBS News. “…I said to [city officials], ‘My husband was a full-time employee, he went to work full-time for you.’ And their response to me was, ‘Perhaps there was a communication issue in your marriageOnce again, the rest of America has to step up and pay the bills for the "fiscally conservative" republicans in charge of a Government.
For now, Mrs. Ashcraft will feed her family using private donations she received after her husband’s death.
“Quite literally, my bills are being paid by the good people of the world who are giving donations, because the city of Prescott isn’t doing anything for us,” she said. “Now I have four kids and myself, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
YOU can help by going to this website!
This is how Arizona treats their public workers, who they apparently think of their families as "takers" and "love them" so much they are going to make sure they are not reliant on benefits and health insurance paid for by the taxpayers(those are reserved for the politicians)!
At least they can justify it by it "being legal"(where have we heard that):
Deborah Pfingston, the mother of deceased firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, told AP that city officials initially promised to retroactively reclassify the seasonal, temporary employees as permanent ones, in order to be able to provide the survivor benefits. But now, the same city officials claim they cannot posthumously reclassify the deceased men.
“The city has fully complied with all of the laws and employment policies that direct survivor benefits,” the city said in a statement sent to CBS News.
If you think for a minute that the Wisconsin republican contingent of Scott Walker, Robin Vos, Scott Fitzgerald et al. would not do this exact same thing to our public workers, if given the chance - I pray you never find out(because i hate to say I told you so)!