On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council will hold a closed session meeting where they will discuss a Public Employee Performance Evaluation of the City Manager while also discussing Public Employee Appointments in the Police Department for a sergeant and a corporal.
For the city manager, its straightforward as the council may review him at any time, but it is rather bizarre considering they gave him a 15% raise and a contract extension at the May 25 City Council Meeting. But one could argue many of the things this council has taken up this past year has made little sense either.
For the police department, however, interjecting themselves on personnel matters is out of bounds and a no-no! It is up to the police chief to hire, fire and promote—with approval of the city manager. Not the city council who likely are looking to block promotions.
Remember, Antioch is a general law city, not a charter city which is how this council is pretending to act and could very well find itself in legal troubles. Is this council ready to run up a legal bill over potentially blocking police promotions?
I would hope not.
Even worse, this type of agenda item has not ever been on an Antioch City Council agenda before and asking former police chiefs and leadership in other departments they have stated they have never seen anything like this either. They all said the same thing, it’s up to the police chief to hire, fire and promote. There are processes in place for the best candidates to advance which is also HR approved.
From what I am told, the process begins with an outside third-party firm who oversees the promotion process. Outside evaluators come in for oral interviews followed by a chief’s interview—again, an HR approved process while the chief does have the final say.
Basically, a city council has no business interjecting or interfering in something like this.
Given everything going on in Antioch, from the many shootings to date, blight, lack of economic development and homeless, why police promotions would even make an agenda in the first place is comical, but par for the course by this micromanaging council. Perhaps the council should continue to focus on more pressing issues than middle management.
The public should be on high alert. They should be angry. They should begin to get involved after this latest overreach.
The public should request the City Attorney explain this item and the “why” considering its closed session and there is no documentation. Did the City Attorney approve this item for discussion? Or did Mayor Lamar Thorpe act against his advice? The community deserves an explanation in the name of #TransparentAntioch.
One has to wonder if Police Chief Tammany Brooks presented his recommended promotions only to see certain members of the council throw a hissy fit?
After all, it was Mayor Thorpe who last year blasted officers by name while the city was treated to annoying protests over another officer who was found to have done nothing wrong in another city. And the latest, a petition is circulating to remove an officer from his assignment and place him somewhere else in the department—something which members of the city council are advocating the community sign. And finally, we had the 9-minute rant by a councilmember dropping F— bombs and foul language all over the place and calling out officers by name.
On Tuesday, its rather suspicious timing the council is taking up an item such as a personnel matter within the police department.
If this goes the way I believe it will, reading between the lines of course, this is a retaliation move against certain members of the Antioch Police Department that will ultimately end up in court and the city writing two officers a nice size check all over egos—all at the taxpayer expense.
This is wrong and the residents of Antioch need to wake up and begin to battle this council and their ego driven agenda which is proving to be on the wrong side of history each day.
Sadly, I also wouldn’t rule out a form of the “Blue Flu” from occurring as moral will surely sink due to more flawed city council behaviors. Or, even worse, a department that just reached fully staffed at 115 officers will begin to reduce in size as officers leave for other departments. That would be a shame after all the effort put in to hire some of the best candidates out there who are highly skilled and right temperament for the city.
Bottom line, this council has run amuck for far too long which has been well documented as they have forgotten who they represent versus pushing their own narrow-minded agendas at all cost. The actions of the police department do not fit the narrative of the council and it’s time to stand up against these bully tactics and no nothing micromanaging waste of time, actions and meetings. With body cameras, that should now help tell the story versus council rhetoric.
Look, I am all for improving policy and making things more transparent because that is a great thing for any city and its residents, but not meddling and micromanaging in day-to-day operations, that is why you have a police chief and a city manager.
Residents must get involved, become pragmatic, be firm and direct by informing this council they are overstepping and out of line. This agenda item is dangerous while being an abuse of power which if it goes forward the way I think it will and promotions are blocked, recalls should be immediately started by residents based on the legal liability the council will place on the city.
At the very least, perhaps its time the council should hire itself a consultant to educate itself on how a General Law City should actually act and its role as a council.
Antioch City Council Public Comments:
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