6 months ago by Bob Gough
Mayor wanted to begin a gradual transition on the Commission, but all three members stepped down
Quincy Journal has learned that all three members of the Quincy Police and Fire Commission have resigned.
Dick Wentura, Charlie Doan and David Ayers informed Police Chief Rob Copley and Fire Chief Joe Henning during their weekly meeting, which was Wednesday afternoon.
The resignations were effective immediately.
Wentura would only say "The public should know the police and fire departments are in good stead with their chiefs," and deferred further comment to Doan, who is the chairman of the commission.
When reached by phone and asked about the situation, Doan said he was "in a meeting" and hung up, but did call back.
Doan said the Commissioners had been contemplating their retirement for about a year.
"We've accomplished all of our goals and (the departments) are in good hands with Chief Copley and Chief Henning," Doan said. "This is a great opportunity. We (the commissioners) have all been there for 16...18...or 20 years. Let the new mayor select some new people. There's no animosity. We have a great pride. We have the best police and fire departments in the state of Illinois."
Copley and Henning deferred comment to Mayor Kyle Moore.
Moore said he told the Commissioners last week he intended to begin making changes to the Board and he received their resignations when he arrived at City Hall Thursday morning. Moore was out of City Hall when Commissioners met Wednesday afternoon.
Statement from Moore: "Today I received the resignation of all three Police and Fire Commissioners. It is with great appreciation for their work on behalf of the City of Quincy, that I accepted their resignation. Last week, I attended a meeting of the Police and Fire Commission to discuss the history of evaluations for our Police and Fire Chiefs. During the meeting, it was shown to me that over the last 5 years, one Chief had been evaluated on a regular basis, while another only had 2 evaluations completed. All of those evaluations were “self-evaluations.”
This is different than what Doan told the Quincy City Council at the December 9 meeting:
From QuincyJournal.com: 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.
Video from the December 9 meeting and Doan's statements to the aldermen are in the video at the top of the page.
More from Moore: "After further discussion, I expressed my belief that with all of the statistical data we have for both departments, that the Police and Fire Commission should institute performance based evaluations on an annual basis. I also expressed my intent to replace a Commissioner to bring fresh perspective to the board. During individual meetings with two Commissioners this week, I was informed they did not want to train a new person and intended to leave as a team. I do not believe an institute or board is well served by a mass exodus of institutional knowledge and I asked one member to stay to help with a transition. Unfortunately, that is not the direction the Commissioners chose to take. I thank the Commissioners for their dedication to the City of Quincy and I look forward to bringing a new team of Commissioners on board."
Sources have told Quincy Journal that Wentura was the Commissioner who was asked to stay.
The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners was created in May 1972. It consists of three members appointed by the Mayor. Commissioners are charged with the responsibility of hiring and promoting members of the Quincy Fire and Police Departments. Testing is conducted annually in March for the Police Department and in April of odd numbered years for the Fire Department.
Commissioners recently announced that applications for Police Officer Testing are available on the City of Quincy Web Site. The starting salary for a City of Quincy Police Officer, effective now, is $45, 624.74.
The Commissioners recently approved new five-year contracts for Henning and Copley, but not after being quesitoned by members of the Quincy City Council for failing to keep them informed regarding annual evaluations of the chiefs.