The Corpus Christi Firefighters Association is refusing to back most of the incumbent City candidates, because it believes it is time for a near total change.
The Fire Union said that citizens want new blood and change on Council and in the Mayor's position, and that is what they hope to accomplish at the polls in November.
Firefighters have been angry with those council members since June when they signed off on a resolution that firefighters said stopped their right to collective bargaining.
The union held a candidates forum Wednesday night, but most of those incumbent City Council members did not change the minds of union members about who they should vote for in November. That's because the City and Fire Union had been negotiating for nearly two years on a new contract.
In June, when there was another stalemate in talks, Council passed a resolution calling on the City Manager to reach an agreement with firefighters by a certain date. If that didn't happen, then the City would simply use that money on other budget items.
That didn't sit well with firefighters because, even though they eventually reached an agreement with the City, that resolution was the straw that broke the camel's back, and now the union is fighting back.
"They turned their backs on us, so what we did, we turned our backs on the incumbents, and we're going to vote for new people on the council," said Carlos Torres, president of the Firefighters Association.
"Could have used it. Would have liked to have it. I'm sorry they felt like they couldn't endorse anyone on the Council except Priscilla, or any of the incumbents," mayoral candidate Chris Adler said. "We worked hard and tried to offer an olive branch. We still want to work with them."
"I respect their decision, and we had a conversation," mayoral candidate Nelda Martinez said. "And I think this is an opportunity as we move forward in two more years with their contract, that we have better communications so that we don't get to an impasse, and we don't ever again get into this adversarial position."
The union is recommending to voters out there that they support at-large candidates Lillian Riojas and John Sendejar. In District 2, they support Chad Magill; in District 3 they support Priscilla Leal, Colleen McIntyre in District 4 and John Valls in District 5.
They are not endorsing a candidate for mayor, and they went with incumbent Priscilla Leal because she did not take part in that resolution.
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