Sunday, August 15, 2004
Letter to the Council: Mayor to talk to Chief Flint re officer reassignments?
According to the 8/14 Press Democrat ("Police chief shifts most school officers to patrol"),
"Santa Rosa Police Chief Ed Flint announced a major reorganization that includes transferring three of five officers who patrol the city's schools. Flint also is eliminating downtown bike patrols and units dedicated to catching career criminals and protecting neighborhoods, and reducing the number of detectives investigating gang crimes."
"Mayor Sharon Wright said Friday that Flint didn't brief the City Council and that she learned about his plans to cut school officers and the bike patrol only after running into the chief on Wednesday. 'I want to sit down with him and talk about his logic, and how we're going to communicate this to the public,' she said. 'It doesn't sound like we did a good job of it at the front end.'
She said Flint told her that morale in the Police Department is low and that he was having to make tough decisions and cuts that would be hard for the community to swallow. 'No question they're dramatic changes and they're ones that are going to be hard for us to accept,' Wright said. 'I need to take a look at it.' " [emphasis added]
As you know, the City Manager and City Attorney are the only City employees the Council appoints, and who work directly for the Council. Section 40 of the City Charter, "Interference With Manager", reads:
"Sec. 40. Interference With Manager. Neither the Council nor any of its members shall in any manner control the appointment or removal of any City administrative officer or employee whom the City Manager or any subordinate of the City Manager is empowered to appoint, but the Council may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the City Manager anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees. The Council or its members shall deal with City officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the City Manager solely through the City Manager, and neither the Council nor its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately. Notwithstanding the above, the Council acting as a body may make investigations into the affairs of the City and the conduct of any department, office or agency." [emphasis added]
Since the City Charter expressly requires the Council and Councilmembers to deal with City officers and employees "solely through the City Manager," I trust that Mayor Wright will take her concerns to City Manager Kolin, and will not violate the Charter, as she told the Press Democrat she intended to do.