Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Police and Fire Commission vote

I spent a good part of last night a little pissed at myself for not speaking up in Council about the candidate for the Police and Fire Commission and not voting for who the Mayor had chosen.  It's not that I did not have anything to say. It was that I could not form different words then the others had already spoken.

Other members of council were very succinct and politically correct and I really had nothing to add. Should I have said "ditto, what they said" ?  I had some very strong feelings but the words were not forming and all of a sudden the candidate was at the stand being very aggressive at us.    

Here is the point I wanted to make but could not find the correct words.

Before I took office I expressed my displeasure that I thought it was a VERY bad idea to have auxiliary police officers on City Council.  Perfectly legal but I felt there was too much of a chance that it might look like there could a conflict of interest.

I also do not feel friends should be on city councils or commissions for this same reason. You can MAKE friends but there should be no pre-existing friendships, friendly acquaintance, yes, actual friends no. Government should not be a good ol' boy friendship network.   I also side on the "new blood" concept as Columbus needs to keep getting new people involved.

When I saw that the candidate was not only a good friend and neighbor with the Chief of Police and that they both served in the military I felt there was a unique bond between the two - OR - at least there would appear to be.  I loath the appearance of any hint of a "good ol' boys network" in Columbus, been there done that. It's what Columbus was famous for and something many have been working on NOT doing. This is part of the new blood thing I want to keep going. I am NOT speaking for the rest of the Council, they might have different opinions, only my personal feelings.

I would feel this same way if a friend of the Fire Chief wanted to be on the Commission or if a friend wanted to be on Council.  I just do not believe it is a smart thing.

How can I say that in a couple sentences that did not just mirror what others have said.  I don't need to talk just so I can hear myself speak.

SO - that is my story.  I actually wanted to speak first to break the ice but then others spoke so much more fluently then I and I thought Alderman Thom was right on with his reasons.

Sadly - at times you need to vote against "council friends" and it creates awkward moments, I've gone against Thom and The Mayor a number of times and I loath it but I need to be true to myself and what I believe is the right course of action.

Nuff said.