Councilmember Jolanda Jones has been accused of making an unannounced visit to Houston Fire Department Fire Station Number 8 and making some disparaging remarks. According to KTRK, Jeff Caynon with the Houston Professional Firefighters Association, explained that Jones said “‘you guys got four (expletive) stoves and four (expletive) refrigerators…’You guys don’t work. You come here and just sit around and sit down on your recliners and watch TV’”.
First, she is mad that they have a few stoves and a few refrigerators?? They LIVE at the fire stations in between stopping fires! And there are several people living together under the same roof, so they need multiple items to make sure they are all fed properly. If she really cared about waste, maybe she shouldn’t have spent tax dollars to make sure the chairs in her office are pink to match her pink walls?? Also, many items the HFD uses at their fire stations daily are donated and might not be the best quality. They might have four stoves, but many burners on each stove might be broken!
Next, her visit was unannounced because she was on a scavenger hunt with her staff members (it is unclear, but this may have taken place during business hours). A SCAVENGER HUNT? Really? Need I say more?
Then, KTRK asked Jones’ office about this incident, and the response given was that Jones is “a colorful person.” Ohhhh, that clears it up, thanks! Eventually Jones released another statement:
“This is an obvious misunderstanding. As part of an educational exercise, I accompanied various people on my staff to several city facilities to familiarize them with the services we provide so that we can do a better job of serving the public. I’m particularly baffled since at Fire Station 8, we asked what we could do to help. For example, in just the last month, I’ve helped get a faulty sewage system repaired at Fire Station 55 and heat restored to the dormitory side of Fire Station 17. It’s no secret that some members of the Firefighters’ union have been upset by my advocacy for eliminating harassment and discrimination in the department, particularly against women members. I will continue my efforts to make our Fire Department the best in America for the safety and well-being of both our firefighters and the public.”
So first she claims that they asked her for help but then claims that really they were just upset because of her advocacy for eliminating harassment of women firefighters? That makes no sense. If they were upset with her, they would have asked other councilmembers for help. Councilmember James Rodriguez’s district includes this fire station, and I have every reason to believe that he has a good relationship with the station. If HFD is mad at Jones, they would have gone to their own councilmember for help.
Rodriguez asked Mayor Parker to look into the allegations. Councilmember Mike Sullivan said “It’s a disgraceful thing for a council member to do. She has been unreasonable on her attacks on the fire department and is never held accountable for it”. I completely agree.