by Jeff Taylor
Not smart. The best way to get past this thing is to be transparent as possible. City staff and CMPD brass have exactly zero incentive to do this, however, as it would their bad judgment which could be exposed. That leaves Charlotte city council to push for as much sunshine as possible. Are council members up to the task?
Check out Andy Dulin completely missing the point on the vital question of releasing relevant details of Marcus Jackson’s personnel file:
Whether or not the personnel information goes public is up to council members.
“I think that’s micro-managing, which is not our role,” Republican Councilman Andy Dulin said.
Dulin said he trusts the city’s manager and police chief to make any necessary changes, without the council getting involved. But Dulin said it comes down to what’s in the file. He’ll vote yes, he said, if it’s in the public interest. “If we decide we need to go forward with it,” Dulin said. “City Council won’t have any trouble making the decision to do that.”
How can you trust the city manager and the chief if Jackson’s file shows that they made glaring errors in judgment? Dulin is confusing micro-management with legislative oversight. The only voice the public has in city management is via the city council. Yet here is a councilman — and he is not alone — declaring that representing the public is not his job. Incredible.
One hopes that Mayor Anthony Foxx is smart and persuasive enough to steer the city past this see-no-evil approach. Full disclosure might be painful in the short term — and it might even cost Rodney Monroe and/or Curt Walton their jobs — but that is the price of putting CMPD on auto-pilot for two years and ignoring loud complaints about the department.
Bonus Observation: To preempt the Mac McCarley school of government, the public interest is not identical to the city’s interest, which is itself distinct from the self-interest of city staff. I think we’ll get an object lesson in the differences in the coming weeks.