Dear 3631 Members,
I wanted to take a moment to wish you a Happy New Year. Thank you for your support in our recent union elections, and for placing your confidence in me as President of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 3631. I also want to personally thank President Emeritus Tim Steging and all the officers and directors leaving the board for their unwavering sense of duty, dedication and service to our local.
As you are keenly aware, the preceding months have been very challenging for our organization and the Orange County Fire Authority. We were confronted with a historic global pandemic, contract negotiations, Garden Grove firefighter transition, Placentia City Council despotism, over 100 local, state, and federal elections, ongoing staffing crisis, as well as two of our brothers being critically injured and nearly losing their lives in a fast-moving brush fire. During this time, the entire Local 3631 Executive Board has remained steadfast in their service to our membership, sacrificing their time and careers to continue to represent our interests in the finest tradition and the time-honored practice of Local 3631. We thank them for their self-sacrificing service and staunch support of our organization.
It is important you know that your union is strong and will continue to represent your interests during this change of leadership. To that end, President Steging has graciously offered his assistance to aid in a seamless transition so there is nothing lost on current issues affecting your representation. This includes the executive officer elections and resolutions occurring in December and January at the CPF and IAFF conventions, respectively.
We would be naïve to believe that the next 2 years will be without their own challenges. That is why it is important to have a plan in order to more effectively hit the ground running. Our goals for the upcoming year will be submitted to the membership following the annual February Breakout Session. Breakout Session is an opportunity for all Local 3631 Executive Board members to bring new goals they wish to accomplish on behalf of the membership in the upcoming year. For my part, I believe that effective two-way communication is essentially the crucible of a highly productive and successful union. Therefore, I will ask the board to explore innovative new ways to efficiently communicate with you, and in the process, gain your insight and earn your trust.
My door will always be open to you because success is a partnership, and I know that public employee unions are not successful based upon the efforts of one person, but rather upon the unity of all members.
I know that I am standing on the shoulders of my predecessors as I assume this office, and I want you to know that I will not let you down.
R. Todd Baldridge, President
OC Firefighters, IAFF Local 3631