Hon. Mayor and Commissioners,
City of DeLand,
120 S. Florida Ave.,
DeLand, FLA 32720.
To hand yet another newspaper article about the problems in our Police Department. See DeLand Beacon 25-Nov-2002, pg 3A. How long will we permit this to continue?
I submit that we have an actual problem, and that the current policy of heads-in-sand will not provide a workable solution. Among the popular bureaucratic snake oil remedies tried to date, we have leadership retreats, tiger teams, more meetings, multi-disciplinary groups, major memos, and five other kinds of buzzword-laden eyewash.
Every type of solution prevention technology known to the modern bureaucrat has been tried. Successfully, it appears: solutions have been entirely prevented to date, and no one has gotten sacked.
Perhaps thats the problem.
The Chief has failed to run the department effectively. The Manager has aided, abetted, or suffered the failure and permited the situation to reach the unfortunate situation we have today. His effort to pour oil on troubled waters, including the latest 7-page memo, does not appear to have helped.
It should be obvious that, by now, we need a sacrifice. I think that we can get by with one person, if we do it right. I dont think we need to lose both the Manager and the Chief, but we clearly need to lose one.
My choice as to which we lose is guided by prejudice. I suspect that many in this City share my prejudice; I am at least willing to state it that it may be included when weighing my suggestions. I believe that I can offer rational justification beyond the prejudice for following this approach.
Fair disclosure: I prefer the local product over the out-of-town import.
My bias clearly disclosed, I now proceed to offer the advice that this Commission needs to hear. This Commission needs to jetison the Manager, and to do so in a way that is very public to send a message.
The message is important. We need to tell our police, and our citizens, that we realize:
|1||This is not Daytona.|
|2||We dont like Daytona.|
|3||We do not intend to be like Daytona.|
|4||We will not be managed like Daytona.|
|5||We refuse to tolerate people sympathetic to Daytona.|
|6||We want problems fixed, not bureaucratically bungled.|
To send a message, we dont just ease someone out the door. The Commission formally adopts the principles enumerated above, denounces the failures, and expects that the new arrival will do better.
Getting rid of the Chief would send this message. This is of course not within the power of the Commission. Worse, it leaves us with a manager that can not or will not solve problems. It also leaves us with the possibility of having problems with the next chief, and the same managerial inability to deal with them.
If we loudly and publicly toss the manager, we send messages to several who need to hear them.
To the Chief: this isnt Daytona. Were different here. Realize that you are in the west, but realize also that there is a limit to our patience. Manage like youre in DeLand dealing with DeLand people. The Chief is no dummy; hell get the message.
To the rank and file: problems will be fixed. You may be assured that they are watching carefully. Simply seeing the Commission acting ought to give a prompt morale boost.
To the other departments: The next manager will be more responsive to problems in all departments of the City.
To the Citizens: the Commission is not asleep at the switch. Your money will not be wasted on any more leadership retreats and bureaucratic banana oil.
To the New Manager: Look what happened to the old one. Screw up big time, and follow him.
I note that there seems to be a growing sentiment that both the Chief and Manager ought to be sacked, and that right soon. I may be optimistic in saying that we can get by with one; it is clear that none will not do. With delay, we will have to take out at least two. I fear that, if this Commission does nothing, the citizens will do what they can next year.
I therefore urge this Commission to act promptly. Sack at least one of the Manager or the Chief; I prefer the Manager as a broad policy statement, and one that is within the power of the Commission. Let it be known that we arent going to become West Daytona with its burgeoning property tax levy and other problems.
In short, you must shout from the roof-tops: This is our City, we like it, and were going to keep it great!