Without Measure O Money Eureka won’t be able to continue not filling these positions.

We watched The Eureka City meeting and specifically the debate about continuing the Transaction and Use Tax for another five years. If any of you have had to slog your way through a meeting of this particular Council, you know true pain. This agenda item was heavy on propaganda, and short on any realistic assessment.

One part of this discussion really caught our attention. The argument for extending Measure “O” and keeping the police department fully staffed.  All of the Council Members talked about how numerous public safety positions were going to be cut in the 2010 budget, without the new tax, all of the Council members except one; Linda Atkins.  Although Atkins fully supported extending the tax, she went outside of the talking points and spoke about her fear in 2010 of “freezing” public safety positions.  As the Examiner has explained before, “freezing” positions simply mean’s not hiring new employees, as opposed to “cutting” (eliminating positions) or getting rid of current employee’s. This “off the talking points” statement is key to trying to understand what is going on with these funds.

 

Mills said the department is currently 6 and soon to be 7 cops down (at another meeting he said down 8)

Mills said the department is currently 6 and soon to be 7 cops down (at another meeting he said down 8)

Police Chief Mill’s, after trying to scare everyone with talks of huge cuts to public safety, admitted that the department is severely understaffed already.  Mills said the department is currently 6 and soon to be 7 cops down (at another meeting he said down 8).  On top of that, he said that dispatch is 40% down in staffing. That’s right, almost the same amount of positions to be frozen haven’t been filled anyway, even with all the money from Measure “O”.   That begs the question; why can’t EPD seem to recruit and retain new employees?

 

The Examiner believes the answer lies with the culture of un-checked corruption misconduct within EPD.  As many will remember, Chief Garr Nielsen was hired to root out the corruption and wrong doing at EPD. After some good initial success, Chief Nielsen was first marginalized, and then terminated, after little more than 4 years on the job. He was replaced by Murl Harpham who seemed to support this culture by just looking the other way.

As a result there are still employees in positions of power at EPD who have never had to answer for their misdeeds.  The firing of Nielsen sent a chilling message to all the new hires. If cops and dispatchers believe that they could be targeted and discriminated against by their supervisors and harassed by their fellow cops, and that nothing will be done if they make legitimate complaints, they’re not likely to stay.

The culture of EPD isn’t conducive to retaining or finding new hires.  Until that culture changes, the city can “budget” all the unfilled positions they want, from extending Measure “O” out forever!

The Examiner asks; what ethical young man or woman looking for a future in Law Enforcement would want to fill any of those positions?

 

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8 thoughts on “Without Measure O Money Eureka won’t be able to continue not filling these positions.

  1. TE: “The Examiner asks; what ethical young man or woman looking for a future in Law Enforcement would want to fill any of those positions?”

    They wouldn’t, not as long as Mill is Chief and he retains all those that went after Nielsen. I said before, Mills is nothing more than a Harphan clone. And now the Times-Standard involves themselves, effectively taking sides, proving my point. They seem to believe Mills is “doing his job.” What makes them believe that? The fact that he’s pushing his religion on “the job?”

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  2. I find it interesting he lives in Arcata. Kind of reminds me of Mitt Romney. He wanted to be president so he could solve our economic problems, but had most of his money in accounts that werent in the US. At least Harpham lives in town…..

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  3. Nothing to see here folks. The fix is already in. This unnecessary tax will be put on the ballot with no serious debate, except from this blog. When you can’t even get the local Tax Payer’s League to ask questions, then it’s pretty clear the local elite feel they’ll be getting this money into the city coffers.

    Heck, even the self proclaimed libertarian Fred Mengel’s seems to be promoting this tax. Or, at the very least, not opposing it. Fred’s stance as a “fiscal conservative” is mind boggling. Here’s an excerpt from the Libertarian Party website:

    “The Libertarian Party is working every day to cut your taxes. By contrast, professional politicians from the other parties just want more of your money, and are busy increasing the size of government.”

    Believe it or not, there are fiscally conservative progressives. We support spending on infrastructure, parks, Public Safety and quality of life. The problem is, this Council hasn’t had to tighten their belts during the recession and has not made Eureka more efficient. They haven’t made tough decisions to make sure this city is in good financial shape for the next 10, or 20 years. By becoming dependent on this additional tax they have kicked the can down the road and ensured that future council’s will potentially have to make some tough cuts.

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    • I actually just took a long look at your blog Fred, and I would have to question your Libertarian credentials. You talk a good game, but your track record is more like your typical Eureka reactionary good old boy.

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    • Joe6pac:

      I don’t know. I think Libertarians can be as complex as conservatives and liberals.

      It’s nice to have a firm set of ideals but hard to apply those ideals firmly to what is happening in our complex world.

      I’ve been following Fred for a while now and I personally don’t feel the need to call into question his Libertarian credentials. That’s just my two cents worth (which is really four cents due to the cost of making pennies).

      I’m glad he is here to contribute his own viewpoint. If we were just preaching to the choir we would just be wasting our time. Mr. Mangles helps us prevent ourselves from doing that.

      By the way: My reading of Mr. Mangles position is that while he is leaning toward voting no on the tax he may just skip that particular item.

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  4. “what ethical young man or woman looking for a future in Law Enforcement would want to fill any of those positions?”

    People are hired on the basis of qualifications. Is there any shortage of qualified people who aren’t ethical? I think not.

    The number of ‘authorized’ positions and the number of ‘necessary’ positions are related only through politics. Those ‘unfilled’ positions exist for the purpose of being filled only if some crisis incident activates public calls for ‘more police’. Or some favored local desperately needs a job. Otherwise, they’re simply placeholder that demonstrate the city council’s ‘commitment to prioritize law enforcement’. Police like to work overtime. It augments their pay and strengthens their job security.

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  5. how can mr mills say he wont be able to fund POP because we wont have money without higher taxes, but now he says we have enough money for 2 chiefs and more higher paid captains? Something just dont add up here. the salary of 2 chiefs will cut 3 officers. i guess are old chiefs was pretty good concidering he was doing the job that the good ole boys say takes 2 chiefs to do now.. what happens when people are allowed to spend tax money with no accountabilty.”we need your tax money so we can spend it on what ever in the hell we want in the name of public safety”. Nothing to see here, move on.

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