Good grief. Do Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa have nothing better to do than fight over off-duty jobs at Raymond James Stadium?
The stadium hires city paramedics for plum off-duty work — standing around at $35 an hour watching Bucs games and treating the occasional heat-stroke victim. Several months ago, Commissioner Jim Norman tried to throw some of these jobs to county firefighters. At a time when both governments are laying off workers and slashing money for everything from roads and parks to bus service, they still find ways to waste money on six-figure staffers and lawyers to come up with no fewer than six legal opinions on who should moonlight at RayJay.
This issue has nothing to do with safety, training or jurisdiction. It is about elected officials on each side trying to ingratiate themselves with their local firefighters' unions, politically powerful groups whose me-first mentality has stained their image in recent years.
We can almost envision the next step — firefighters suing brother firefighters while government lawyers clogs the courts with entreaties on contract law, with taxpayers paying the freight. The two sides should split the work and move on. The average person couldn't care less about it. What it really shows is the sorry state of leadership in a county where governments need to combine forces, not line them up for confrontation.