8 months, 3 weeks ago by Bryan Nichols
Council questions communication from Police and Fire Commission
After tabling the issue at last week’s meeting, the Quincy City Council accepted the re-appointments of Police Chief Rob Copley and Fire Chief Joe Henning to another 5 year term.
Police and Fire Commission Chair Charlie Doan presented the Council with a brief history of the Commission noting that it had been created to take politics out of the hiring process. He said guidelines were set forth in city code for the Commission to follow including the appointment of Chiefs to terms of one to five years.
“These individuals deserve ten years because we’re lucky to have them,” Doan said in response to a question from Alderman Mike Rein regarding why the Commission selected a five year term.
Alderman Dan Brink questioned whether annual evaluations of the Chiefs had been done as stated in City Code. Doan said they had and offered to provide the evaluations.
Alderman Paul Havermale said he hadn’t ever been presented with those evaluations.
“I’ve been on the council for ten years and I’ve never been presented with the evaluation of any Chief. I think better communication between the Commission and the Council is what we were looking for. “I don’t think anybody up here is questioning the ability of the Chiefs involved.”
Commission member Dick Wentura said the Commission takes the job of appointing the Chiefs seriously.
“We’ve got a great investment in these people. If they don’t perform, the board will handle it. If there is an issue, the board will fix it,” Wentura said.
Doan said the Mayor and the City Council can change anything they don’t like about the process and the length of the term.
The Council voted to accept the reports of the Commission and Copley and Henning were reappointed to their respective positions for five years.
The City Council also heard the first reading of several ordinance changes including adding a $5 fee for those selling dogs in the city and a $6 cat tag fee which would be issued at the time of vaccination.
A first reading was also presented for an ordinance which would amend city code to classify cigarette butts and cigars with filter tips as “Litter.” The ordinance mirrors a recent change to state law. However, it would reduce the fine for the offense.
The City Council adopted an Emergency Operations Plan at Monday night’s meeting as well.
Mayor Kyle Moore said there was no plan or “playbook” for emergencies in place when he took office.
“It gives future administrations a guide as to when to act, who to call, who can mobilize, etc. If they faced an emergency on day one, they would be able to act accordingly."
Moore said his hope was that the full plan would be completed within three years.
League of Women Voters President Mary Ann Klein spoke at the end of the meeting about possible garbage and recycle changes and the League’s official position.
Klein said the League had been instrumental in the creation of the Green Coalition, the banning of leaf burning and the expansion of recycling.
She said that the League didn’t feel that recent proposals weren’t clear and many “don’t have a grasp of the implications of the proposed changes.”
“They are more likely to resent the changes if they feel they are being imposed on them,” said Klein.
She said more opportunities were needed for citizens to educate themselves and asked that further action regarding garbage and recycle be tabled. She said that if the matter were taken up again, the League of Women Voters would like to have a seat at the table when considering new proposals.