Leonard Ortiz: Wheat Ridge Fire Protection Board Candidate

We have interviewed candidates for the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District Board. The City of Edgewater is part of the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District. The election deadline is coming up on May 6, 2014. This election is all mail-in. For a full list of the board candidates and Ballot Issue A, click here.

Robert “Kent” Johnson Interview

Monica Duran Interview

James “Jim” Johnson Interview

Ronald “Ron” Benson Interview

Today we are interviewing Leonard (Lenny) F. Ortiz who is a candidate for the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District Board.

Why are you running for the WRFPD Board?

I have always been interested in public safety in my community as I have over seventeen years in the arena. I have been a candidate for the board before without success. In my opinion, WRFPD has always been a bit questionable and not transparent. The last chief and the members of the current board are why I feel this way. It is time for a change.

In your opinion, what caused the financial crisis the WRFPD is currently facing?

Members of the current board allowed a chief with “great”credentials run the department into ruin. The past chief made sum $100,000 per year plus benefits and perks to oversee a department of fifty firefighters and staff. The chief of West Metro oversees over 400 firefighters and staff is payed $135,000. The WRFPD promised in the 2010 tax increase “paid” firefighters, new trucks and improvements. The department ran off most of the volunteers, pays firefighters minimum wage, no new trucks have been purchased. One has to ask…where did the money go?

What options does the Fire District have if the mill levy is not passed?

It will be a difficult road to survive. If citizens of the district can stand a fire department which is maintained by firefighters who make minimum wage and needs to rely on other fire departments to serve the community then it will be OK. But my concern is why would citizens of the WRFPD pay 12 percent for a “part time” department when you could pay 15 for the total package from West Metro?

What are the immediate changes, if any, would you like to see in the how the District functions.

Board members Cassel, Willis and James Johnson, who is up for reelection need to resign. Why would you keep members who mismanaged citizens tax dollars? These three individuals are responsible for the total demise of the WRFPD. I have asked for the resignations, however President Cassel refused as well as the current board. The future board needs to identify how they need to staff and manage the fleet and buildings along with pay and benefits of the firefighters. One issue that has not been addressed is when the 4881 Union asks for like pay and benefits in the future, it will drive tax dollars higher than larger departments like Arvada, Denver and West Metro.

The citizens of Edgewater were duped by the takeover of their fire service. The promise of a new fire station is just smoke and mirrors. Currently, a rental building/property is being sought by WRFPD. The fire station will never be owned by WRFPD! It would benefit citizens to pay the thousands of dollars to “ rent” the Edgewater fire station than to spend sum millions on rental station.

Where do you see the WRFPD in five years, and how will it get there?

The only way the WRFPD will survive is the tax increase pass, the chief and officers accept like pay for like work as well as the firefighters. My argument is why would anyone work for minimum wage when you can make real firefighter money and benefits?

I applaud a volunteer or someone who will risk their life for minimum wage. WRFPD firefighters make sum $175 per shift. Of course, 80% of this time is “down” time. Further, more than 75% are calls for medical services, not fires, hazmat and the like. If the tax increase is approved, the board must work with funding that is substandard with a full service fire department.

4 Comments on "Leonard Ortiz: Wheat Ridge Fire Protection Board Candidate"

  1. http://nlpc.org/category/people/leonard-f-ortiz

    Maybe you’re asking the wrong questions, this guy is an admitted thief. Why vote for a convicted crook? If we are trying to get away from questionable practices, Lenny Ortiz is NOT who we want.

    • Lenny Ortiz | Apr 6, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Reply

      Hey Really… It is great you take a stand based on an internet site…which is anti government and union. Did you ever consider there are two sides? Sure bust me down for an incident over 15 years old,,,but over look my credentials and true public interest. SHALLOW!!! Don’t vote for me…. but when you are crying in you soup in a few years like most of the Edgewater citizens are…remember who the real crooks are.

  2. Yes really... | Apr 7, 2014 at 12:20 am | Reply

    Here is one from the Denver Post. Are they bad people too?
    http://extras.denverpost.com/news/news0721c.htm

    I really enjoy the part where it talks about how you purposely tried to interfere with the investigation. Your own law enforcement brothers are quoted in that article outraged that you weren’t terminated for it. Another stated that you helped her steal money. There appear to be multiple sides to this story and none paint a pretty picture for you. Are these your “credentials”?

    • lenny ortiz | Apr 8, 2014 at 5:07 am | Reply

      Hey Yes….

      Well… again one sided. You are a fool for believing the media. Truth be known…I turned in Venita Ruybal to the union for her theft of funds. If I was a participant…why would I turn her in…knowing full well I would be a suspect? Interfere… how..??? You believe a newspaper or media without true facts?

      Frank Gale, who was the deputy who commented was the ONLY person who was quoted about the non termination of the three of us. Gale at the time was a member of the FOP board and was upset about the Joe Sanchez’s incident, which had nothing to do with the Denver Sheriff Union. Gale states that it was wrong for me to be punished for the incident which was long ago.

      Many sites… ummm..just one…an anti union/government corruption site and of course the Denver Post article where it states…Ortiz was not available for comment. I was never asked for comment! Since I did not own a newspaper … my story was never offered.

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