Landy Black Named New Police Chief

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City Manager Bill Emlen at last night’s Davis City Council Meeting announced that Seattle Police Captain Landy Black has accepted a job offer for the position of Police Chief. Captain Black’s tenure will officially begin on April 9, 2007. Interim Police Chief Steve Pierce will once again return to his previous position of Assistant Police Chief. Captain Black’s starting salary will be $130,421.50 which is the highest salary in the city’s salary schedule.
In previous interviews, Captain Black expressed support for strong community outreach and civilian review of police operations.

The People’s Vanguard of Davis notes that as Captain he oversees the very diverse East Precinct in Seattle and thus has experience working with diverse groups of people in terms of race and socio-economic status.

Captain Black also expressed a willingness to meet with various community groups and citizens on a regular basis. He believes that police departments are not doing service to the community if not communicating with critical people. But there is a dual responsibility. The community needs to inform them about where they can make improvements. He also wants to know when they are doing the right thing and not just the wrong thing.

This is one of the most important hires that the city of Davis will have to make in the next few years. I was uncomfortable with the process being as a private as it was. Since the process was private and there was limited outside and community input, City Manager Bill Emlen bears a large responsibility for this hire and its overall outcome.

In the course of my interview with Captain Black I was struck by a number of observations. First of all, he said a lot of the right things. He spoke about the willingness to work with a broad group of citizens, he spoke of the need for community-police dialog, he spoke of the need for good systems of oversight, etc. This leaves me hopeful that Captain Black will be able to mend some of the fences between some groups in this community and the police. If he can build bridges within the community and lead the department in a strong manner, then he will be a tremendous asset to this community.

On the other hand, there were a number of statements that he made there were less than reassuring. Overall, I found him to be very well prepared for the interview and very well rehearsed in his public statements. This was a comment consistently made by every individual I spoke with. And it was a matter of some concern that he may be telling people what he knew they wanted to hear.

Moreover in our conversation he mentioned that he did not believe that the department was facing problems. This took be aback somewhat, although I recognize that in interviewing for a job, perhaps Captain Black was less in the position to be candid about whatever potential problems face him in his new job.

In one of the few really pointed statements by the Ombudsman Bob Aaronson, Mr. Aaronson wrote:

“Based on many discussions with Department members, is the need for quality leadership and clear supervision that uniformly holds people accountable. Without intending to disrespect the hard work of current and former supervisors and administrators, it does appear that the turnover in staff, and particularly in chiefs, has undermined the organization’s supervisory chain of command, its vision and its morale. By all reports, these problems pre-existed the Buzayan incident. There is no more critical decision to be made for the Department in the next twelve months than the selection of the next Chief of Police.”

This has been a consistent concern speaking to people in and around the police department. This is also an opportunity for the new police chief to be able to step in and provide structure and stability where it has been lacking in recent years. And while my statements sound a somewhat cautionary tale, I remain hopeful that Captain Black who has many strong qualities will be a good and successful chief and can carry through on many of the ideas and ideals that he brings to Davis. As always, we will be closely watching the actions of the new chief and monitoring the department as a whole.
—Doug Paul Davis reporting
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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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52 thoughts on “Landy Black Named New Police Chief”

  1. Anonymous

    I wish Chief Black much success.

    I watched the city council meeting last night and it was interesting to hear Interim Police Chief Pierce talk about how there is not much of a problem with the in-car camera system and then hear Ombudsman Aaronson mention that there is a problem. Did people catch this?

    I hope the new Chief can hold his staff more accountable to the community instead of making excuses and then bringing the dog and pony show to council meetings telling everyone that everything is okay.

  2. Anonymous

    I wish Chief Black much success.

    I watched the city council meeting last night and it was interesting to hear Interim Police Chief Pierce talk about how there is not much of a problem with the in-car camera system and then hear Ombudsman Aaronson mention that there is a problem. Did people catch this?

    I hope the new Chief can hold his staff more accountable to the community instead of making excuses and then bringing the dog and pony show to council meetings telling everyone that everything is okay.

  3. Anonymous

    I wish Chief Black much success.

    I watched the city council meeting last night and it was interesting to hear Interim Police Chief Pierce talk about how there is not much of a problem with the in-car camera system and then hear Ombudsman Aaronson mention that there is a problem. Did people catch this?

    I hope the new Chief can hold his staff more accountable to the community instead of making excuses and then bringing the dog and pony show to council meetings telling everyone that everything is okay.

  4. Anonymous

    I wish Chief Black much success.

    I watched the city council meeting last night and it was interesting to hear Interim Police Chief Pierce talk about how there is not much of a problem with the in-car camera system and then hear Ombudsman Aaronson mention that there is a problem. Did people catch this?

    I hope the new Chief can hold his staff more accountable to the community instead of making excuses and then bringing the dog and pony show to council meetings telling everyone that everything is okay.

  5. Anonymous

    I agree with you.

    I watched the council meeting from home too. Were they trying to convince us that everything is perfect? They never admit to needing improvements only that everything is ok all the while patting each other on the back. Lamar was the only one that really asked some tough questions.

    It is a bit insulting from a constituent standpoint watching the dog and pony show from home. I used to attend council meetings but I can only take so much. Council seems to do this all the time – dog and pony show – on land use issues too.

    Voters just need to pay attention and remember this during the next election cycle.

    As mayor, Sue seemed more fair than Ruth. She did not cut people off the way Ruth did.

  6. Anonymous

    I agree with you.

    I watched the council meeting from home too. Were they trying to convince us that everything is perfect? They never admit to needing improvements only that everything is ok all the while patting each other on the back. Lamar was the only one that really asked some tough questions.

    It is a bit insulting from a constituent standpoint watching the dog and pony show from home. I used to attend council meetings but I can only take so much. Council seems to do this all the time – dog and pony show – on land use issues too.

    Voters just need to pay attention and remember this during the next election cycle.

    As mayor, Sue seemed more fair than Ruth. She did not cut people off the way Ruth did.

  7. Anonymous

    I agree with you.

    I watched the council meeting from home too. Were they trying to convince us that everything is perfect? They never admit to needing improvements only that everything is ok all the while patting each other on the back. Lamar was the only one that really asked some tough questions.

    It is a bit insulting from a constituent standpoint watching the dog and pony show from home. I used to attend council meetings but I can only take so much. Council seems to do this all the time – dog and pony show – on land use issues too.

    Voters just need to pay attention and remember this during the next election cycle.

    As mayor, Sue seemed more fair than Ruth. She did not cut people off the way Ruth did.

  8. Anonymous

    I agree with you.

    I watched the council meeting from home too. Were they trying to convince us that everything is perfect? They never admit to needing improvements only that everything is ok all the while patting each other on the back. Lamar was the only one that really asked some tough questions.

    It is a bit insulting from a constituent standpoint watching the dog and pony show from home. I used to attend council meetings but I can only take so much. Council seems to do this all the time – dog and pony show – on land use issues too.

    Voters just need to pay attention and remember this during the next election cycle.

    As mayor, Sue seemed more fair than Ruth. She did not cut people off the way Ruth did.

  9. Rich Rifkin

    “As mayor, Sue seemed more fair than Ruth. She did not cut people off the way Ruth did.”

    The only person I recall Ruth ever cutting someone off, when she was mayor, was Sue Greenwald. And that had more to do with Sue’s interminable speeches on every subject than Ruth’s impatience.

    Maybe because she felt she was outgunned 4:1, Sue felt it was necessary to talk endlessly. But those speeches made every discussion go on way too long. In cutting her off, Ruth was just doing what a person running a meeting is supposed to do.

    One thing that I have been impressed by Sue Greenwald as mayor is that she has been able to keep the meetings moving along at a fair clip. Sue has fortunately stopped speechifying on every topic.

  10. Rich Rifkin

    “As mayor, Sue seemed more fair than Ruth. She did not cut people off the way Ruth did.”

    The only person I recall Ruth ever cutting someone off, when she was mayor, was Sue Greenwald. And that had more to do with Sue’s interminable speeches on every subject than Ruth’s impatience.

    Maybe because she felt she was outgunned 4:1, Sue felt it was necessary to talk endlessly. But those speeches made every discussion go on way too long. In cutting her off, Ruth was just doing what a person running a meeting is supposed to do.

    One thing that I have been impressed by Sue Greenwald as mayor is that she has been able to keep the meetings moving along at a fair clip. Sue has fortunately stopped speechifying on every topic.

  11. Rich Rifkin

    “As mayor, Sue seemed more fair than Ruth. She did not cut people off the way Ruth did.”

    The only person I recall Ruth ever cutting someone off, when she was mayor, was Sue Greenwald. And that had more to do with Sue’s interminable speeches on every subject than Ruth’s impatience.

    Maybe because she felt she was outgunned 4:1, Sue felt it was necessary to talk endlessly. But those speeches made every discussion go on way too long. In cutting her off, Ruth was just doing what a person running a meeting is supposed to do.

    One thing that I have been impressed by Sue Greenwald as mayor is that she has been able to keep the meetings moving along at a fair clip. Sue has fortunately stopped speechifying on every topic.

  12. Rich Rifkin

    “As mayor, Sue seemed more fair than Ruth. She did not cut people off the way Ruth did.”

    The only person I recall Ruth ever cutting someone off, when she was mayor, was Sue Greenwald. And that had more to do with Sue’s interminable speeches on every subject than Ruth’s impatience.

    Maybe because she felt she was outgunned 4:1, Sue felt it was necessary to talk endlessly. But those speeches made every discussion go on way too long. In cutting her off, Ruth was just doing what a person running a meeting is supposed to do.

    One thing that I have been impressed by Sue Greenwald as mayor is that she has been able to keep the meetings moving along at a fair clip. Sue has fortunately stopped speechifying on every topic.

  13. Anonymous

    I feel that progress is being made.

    Communication needs to be increased. Information about improvements and changes in the department need to be promoted more – using the website, public forums, City Council FYIs (public documents) and personal contact with members of the community.

    I understand the desire for the Chief to have a focus group to bounce off ideas regarding change in the department, but at last night’s meeting it was clear that the CAB is not part of police oversight nor is it quite serving a role as ambassadors for the community. The city lacks the structure that the school district has that makes an advisory committee work as a way for the police chief to spread information or know what the concerns are on the streets.

    Aside from Steve Worker who pointed out improvements that could be made, no member of the CAB addressed whether they felt that they were carrying out the stated role of being ambassadors for the department.

    So maybe the two functions should be separated?
    The CAB can stay as it is – members of the community chosen by the Police Chief as an advisory committee/focus group for proposed changes or messages for the department. But a group of people who are willing to be trained (using existing training programs) could act as ambassadors. Just an idea….

  14. Anonymous

    I feel that progress is being made.

    Communication needs to be increased. Information about improvements and changes in the department need to be promoted more – using the website, public forums, City Council FYIs (public documents) and personal contact with members of the community.

    I understand the desire for the Chief to have a focus group to bounce off ideas regarding change in the department, but at last night’s meeting it was clear that the CAB is not part of police oversight nor is it quite serving a role as ambassadors for the community. The city lacks the structure that the school district has that makes an advisory committee work as a way for the police chief to spread information or know what the concerns are on the streets.

    Aside from Steve Worker who pointed out improvements that could be made, no member of the CAB addressed whether they felt that they were carrying out the stated role of being ambassadors for the department.

    So maybe the two functions should be separated?
    The CAB can stay as it is – members of the community chosen by the Police Chief as an advisory committee/focus group for proposed changes or messages for the department. But a group of people who are willing to be trained (using existing training programs) could act as ambassadors. Just an idea….

  15. Anonymous

    I feel that progress is being made.

    Communication needs to be increased. Information about improvements and changes in the department need to be promoted more – using the website, public forums, City Council FYIs (public documents) and personal contact with members of the community.

    I understand the desire for the Chief to have a focus group to bounce off ideas regarding change in the department, but at last night’s meeting it was clear that the CAB is not part of police oversight nor is it quite serving a role as ambassadors for the community. The city lacks the structure that the school district has that makes an advisory committee work as a way for the police chief to spread information or know what the concerns are on the streets.

    Aside from Steve Worker who pointed out improvements that could be made, no member of the CAB addressed whether they felt that they were carrying out the stated role of being ambassadors for the department.

    So maybe the two functions should be separated?
    The CAB can stay as it is – members of the community chosen by the Police Chief as an advisory committee/focus group for proposed changes or messages for the department. But a group of people who are willing to be trained (using existing training programs) could act as ambassadors. Just an idea….

  16. Anonymous

    I feel that progress is being made.

    Communication needs to be increased. Information about improvements and changes in the department need to be promoted more – using the website, public forums, City Council FYIs (public documents) and personal contact with members of the community.

    I understand the desire for the Chief to have a focus group to bounce off ideas regarding change in the department, but at last night’s meeting it was clear that the CAB is not part of police oversight nor is it quite serving a role as ambassadors for the community. The city lacks the structure that the school district has that makes an advisory committee work as a way for the police chief to spread information or know what the concerns are on the streets.

    Aside from Steve Worker who pointed out improvements that could be made, no member of the CAB addressed whether they felt that they were carrying out the stated role of being ambassadors for the department.

    So maybe the two functions should be separated?
    The CAB can stay as it is – members of the community chosen by the Police Chief as an advisory committee/focus group for proposed changes or messages for the department. But a group of people who are willing to be trained (using existing training programs) could act as ambassadors. Just an idea….

  17. Anonymous

    Sharla Cheney Harrington said…

    I spoke at last night’s meeting about my concerns regarding the drug testing program of youth in the police diversion program run by DPD. I hope I made sense.

    My concern was that, even with my high interest in youth services, I had not been aware of this type of program being used with youth offenders. And had real concerns regarding the legality of drug testing pre-adjudicated youth by law enforcement. My concern was that I was given a tiny bit of alarming information through CAB minutes with no clear avenue to clarify or understand the policies being followed.

    After talking to Interim Chief Hyde, I found out the following:

    1) The DPD is not drug testing kids against their will. The DPD is not performing monitored urine collection, where youth would have to expose their genitals. Parents perform the test.

    2) A positive test is used for case management, and will not result in new or increased charges. The intention is to direct the child to appropriate services that will help them and to create an appropriate diversion program tailored to a particular child’s needs. A positive test will not automatically terminate the kid from the diversion program as there are other factors that are also looked at, i.e. school attendance, participation in exta curricular events, etc.

    3) The department is working closely with Juvenile Court Judge White in the implementation of its youth diversion program, as well as the city attorney to ensure that the legal rights of children are protected.

    4) More often than not, a positive drug test is the only thing that will help move parents out of denial about their child’s drug use and increase cooperation in getting their child the help they need to get on the right path.

    5) Drug testing kits are available at cost ($3.00 per test) that parents can buy.

    6) DHS School Counselor Kimeokeo and Youth Services Officer Trease Peterson have recently completed training and are going to be implementing “The Parent Project.” – a training program for parents who are dealing with troublesome children.

    I’m writing this from memory, so my details may be a little off here, but I will work to find accurate information regarding youth services.

  18. Anonymous

    Sharla Cheney Harrington said…

    I spoke at last night’s meeting about my concerns regarding the drug testing program of youth in the police diversion program run by DPD. I hope I made sense.

    My concern was that, even with my high interest in youth services, I had not been aware of this type of program being used with youth offenders. And had real concerns regarding the legality of drug testing pre-adjudicated youth by law enforcement. My concern was that I was given a tiny bit of alarming information through CAB minutes with no clear avenue to clarify or understand the policies being followed.

    After talking to Interim Chief Hyde, I found out the following:

    1) The DPD is not drug testing kids against their will. The DPD is not performing monitored urine collection, where youth would have to expose their genitals. Parents perform the test.

    2) A positive test is used for case management, and will not result in new or increased charges. The intention is to direct the child to appropriate services that will help them and to create an appropriate diversion program tailored to a particular child’s needs. A positive test will not automatically terminate the kid from the diversion program as there are other factors that are also looked at, i.e. school attendance, participation in exta curricular events, etc.

    3) The department is working closely with Juvenile Court Judge White in the implementation of its youth diversion program, as well as the city attorney to ensure that the legal rights of children are protected.

    4) More often than not, a positive drug test is the only thing that will help move parents out of denial about their child’s drug use and increase cooperation in getting their child the help they need to get on the right path.

    5) Drug testing kits are available at cost ($3.00 per test) that parents can buy.

    6) DHS School Counselor Kimeokeo and Youth Services Officer Trease Peterson have recently completed training and are going to be implementing “The Parent Project.” – a training program for parents who are dealing with troublesome children.

    I’m writing this from memory, so my details may be a little off here, but I will work to find accurate information regarding youth services.

  19. Anonymous

    Sharla Cheney Harrington said…

    I spoke at last night’s meeting about my concerns regarding the drug testing program of youth in the police diversion program run by DPD. I hope I made sense.

    My concern was that, even with my high interest in youth services, I had not been aware of this type of program being used with youth offenders. And had real concerns regarding the legality of drug testing pre-adjudicated youth by law enforcement. My concern was that I was given a tiny bit of alarming information through CAB minutes with no clear avenue to clarify or understand the policies being followed.

    After talking to Interim Chief Hyde, I found out the following:

    1) The DPD is not drug testing kids against their will. The DPD is not performing monitored urine collection, where youth would have to expose their genitals. Parents perform the test.

    2) A positive test is used for case management, and will not result in new or increased charges. The intention is to direct the child to appropriate services that will help them and to create an appropriate diversion program tailored to a particular child’s needs. A positive test will not automatically terminate the kid from the diversion program as there are other factors that are also looked at, i.e. school attendance, participation in exta curricular events, etc.

    3) The department is working closely with Juvenile Court Judge White in the implementation of its youth diversion program, as well as the city attorney to ensure that the legal rights of children are protected.

    4) More often than not, a positive drug test is the only thing that will help move parents out of denial about their child’s drug use and increase cooperation in getting their child the help they need to get on the right path.

    5) Drug testing kits are available at cost ($3.00 per test) that parents can buy.

    6) DHS School Counselor Kimeokeo and Youth Services Officer Trease Peterson have recently completed training and are going to be implementing “The Parent Project.” – a training program for parents who are dealing with troublesome children.

    I’m writing this from memory, so my details may be a little off here, but I will work to find accurate information regarding youth services.

  20. Anonymous

    Sharla Cheney Harrington said…

    I spoke at last night’s meeting about my concerns regarding the drug testing program of youth in the police diversion program run by DPD. I hope I made sense.

    My concern was that, even with my high interest in youth services, I had not been aware of this type of program being used with youth offenders. And had real concerns regarding the legality of drug testing pre-adjudicated youth by law enforcement. My concern was that I was given a tiny bit of alarming information through CAB minutes with no clear avenue to clarify or understand the policies being followed.

    After talking to Interim Chief Hyde, I found out the following:

    1) The DPD is not drug testing kids against their will. The DPD is not performing monitored urine collection, where youth would have to expose their genitals. Parents perform the test.

    2) A positive test is used for case management, and will not result in new or increased charges. The intention is to direct the child to appropriate services that will help them and to create an appropriate diversion program tailored to a particular child’s needs. A positive test will not automatically terminate the kid from the diversion program as there are other factors that are also looked at, i.e. school attendance, participation in exta curricular events, etc.

    3) The department is working closely with Juvenile Court Judge White in the implementation of its youth diversion program, as well as the city attorney to ensure that the legal rights of children are protected.

    4) More often than not, a positive drug test is the only thing that will help move parents out of denial about their child’s drug use and increase cooperation in getting their child the help they need to get on the right path.

    5) Drug testing kits are available at cost ($3.00 per test) that parents can buy.

    6) DHS School Counselor Kimeokeo and Youth Services Officer Trease Peterson have recently completed training and are going to be implementing “The Parent Project.” – a training program for parents who are dealing with troublesome children.

    I’m writing this from memory, so my details may be a little off here, but I will work to find accurate information regarding youth services.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    “… Ruth tried to cut off the Director of the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center last year?”

    Didn’t see it.

    For what it’s worth, I think most Davis mayors in recent vintage have been too lax in allowing discussions to go on too long — both the public comment period and when the councilmembers give their views.

    Sue Greenwald, however, has seemed to avoid this.

    Where Sue uses up a lot of time — and I think appropriately so — is in questioning the staff. I think other councilmembers should follow her lead in this.

    Regarding public comments: I understand that some folks feel compelled to speak for a long time on subjects they feel passionately about. That is fine, and, if it is on topic, it’s appropriate. But when there are 10, 20, 30, 40 or more people who want to express themselves — which only happens on the most controversial subjects — I think public comments ought to be removed from the city council calendar. (They are fine when only a few people choose to speak.)

    Instead, the chambers ought to have an open mike, without short time limits, the night before a controversial issue is to be decided by the council. (This would probably only be 3 or 4 times a year.) The members of the council would still be expected to attend. And, unlike with the current procedure for public comments, the members of the council could, or ought to be allowed to, ask and answer questions of the public.

    From what I have seen, most councilmembers come to the meetings with their minds already made up. Sometimes one or more will repeat a good argument made by someone from the public. But I haven’t seen public comments changing the minds of the council the night that decisions are made.

    If the public comments were held a day before, members of the council would be able to fully digest those thoughts before they have to give their opinions. And even if no one’s mind is changed, I think the public would benefit by the opportunity to ask questions of their reps and expect to hear answers.

  22. Rich Rifkin

    “… Ruth tried to cut off the Director of the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center last year?”

    Didn’t see it.

    For what it’s worth, I think most Davis mayors in recent vintage have been too lax in allowing discussions to go on too long — both the public comment period and when the councilmembers give their views.

    Sue Greenwald, however, has seemed to avoid this.

    Where Sue uses up a lot of time — and I think appropriately so — is in questioning the staff. I think other councilmembers should follow her lead in this.

    Regarding public comments: I understand that some folks feel compelled to speak for a long time on subjects they feel passionately about. That is fine, and, if it is on topic, it’s appropriate. But when there are 10, 20, 30, 40 or more people who want to express themselves — which only happens on the most controversial subjects — I think public comments ought to be removed from the city council calendar. (They are fine when only a few people choose to speak.)

    Instead, the chambers ought to have an open mike, without short time limits, the night before a controversial issue is to be decided by the council. (This would probably only be 3 or 4 times a year.) The members of the council would still be expected to attend. And, unlike with the current procedure for public comments, the members of the council could, or ought to be allowed to, ask and answer questions of the public.

    From what I have seen, most councilmembers come to the meetings with their minds already made up. Sometimes one or more will repeat a good argument made by someone from the public. But I haven’t seen public comments changing the minds of the council the night that decisions are made.

    If the public comments were held a day before, members of the council would be able to fully digest those thoughts before they have to give their opinions. And even if no one’s mind is changed, I think the public would benefit by the opportunity to ask questions of their reps and expect to hear answers.

  23. Rich Rifkin

    “… Ruth tried to cut off the Director of the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center last year?”

    Didn’t see it.

    For what it’s worth, I think most Davis mayors in recent vintage have been too lax in allowing discussions to go on too long — both the public comment period and when the councilmembers give their views.

    Sue Greenwald, however, has seemed to avoid this.

    Where Sue uses up a lot of time — and I think appropriately so — is in questioning the staff. I think other councilmembers should follow her lead in this.

    Regarding public comments: I understand that some folks feel compelled to speak for a long time on subjects they feel passionately about. That is fine, and, if it is on topic, it’s appropriate. But when there are 10, 20, 30, 40 or more people who want to express themselves — which only happens on the most controversial subjects — I think public comments ought to be removed from the city council calendar. (They are fine when only a few people choose to speak.)

    Instead, the chambers ought to have an open mike, without short time limits, the night before a controversial issue is to be decided by the council. (This would probably only be 3 or 4 times a year.) The members of the council would still be expected to attend. And, unlike with the current procedure for public comments, the members of the council could, or ought to be allowed to, ask and answer questions of the public.

    From what I have seen, most councilmembers come to the meetings with their minds already made up. Sometimes one or more will repeat a good argument made by someone from the public. But I haven’t seen public comments changing the minds of the council the night that decisions are made.

    If the public comments were held a day before, members of the council would be able to fully digest those thoughts before they have to give their opinions. And even if no one’s mind is changed, I think the public would benefit by the opportunity to ask questions of their reps and expect to hear answers.

  24. Rich Rifkin

    “… Ruth tried to cut off the Director of the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center last year?”

    Didn’t see it.

    For what it’s worth, I think most Davis mayors in recent vintage have been too lax in allowing discussions to go on too long — both the public comment period and when the councilmembers give their views.

    Sue Greenwald, however, has seemed to avoid this.

    Where Sue uses up a lot of time — and I think appropriately so — is in questioning the staff. I think other councilmembers should follow her lead in this.

    Regarding public comments: I understand that some folks feel compelled to speak for a long time on subjects they feel passionately about. That is fine, and, if it is on topic, it’s appropriate. But when there are 10, 20, 30, 40 or more people who want to express themselves — which only happens on the most controversial subjects — I think public comments ought to be removed from the city council calendar. (They are fine when only a few people choose to speak.)

    Instead, the chambers ought to have an open mike, without short time limits, the night before a controversial issue is to be decided by the council. (This would probably only be 3 or 4 times a year.) The members of the council would still be expected to attend. And, unlike with the current procedure for public comments, the members of the council could, or ought to be allowed to, ask and answer questions of the public.

    From what I have seen, most councilmembers come to the meetings with their minds already made up. Sometimes one or more will repeat a good argument made by someone from the public. But I haven’t seen public comments changing the minds of the council the night that decisions are made.

    If the public comments were held a day before, members of the council would be able to fully digest those thoughts before they have to give their opinions. And even if no one’s mind is changed, I think the public would benefit by the opportunity to ask questions of their reps and expect to hear answers.

  25. Davisite

    Councilman Don Saylor agreed: “It is heartening to see the work of so many in the community on this issue,” he said. “I think there’s a genius to what the community has done in response to the complaints we’ve heard.”……..from Claire St.John’s article
    “Genius” once again….evidently a favorite , similar to our Gov. Arnold’s favorite, “Faaaantaastic!”. Complaints “heard”??? that’s not how I remember it.

  26. Davisite

    Councilman Don Saylor agreed: “It is heartening to see the work of so many in the community on this issue,” he said. “I think there’s a genius to what the community has done in response to the complaints we’ve heard.”……..from Claire St.John’s article
    “Genius” once again….evidently a favorite , similar to our Gov. Arnold’s favorite, “Faaaantaastic!”. Complaints “heard”??? that’s not how I remember it.

  27. Davisite

    Councilman Don Saylor agreed: “It is heartening to see the work of so many in the community on this issue,” he said. “I think there’s a genius to what the community has done in response to the complaints we’ve heard.”……..from Claire St.John’s article
    “Genius” once again….evidently a favorite , similar to our Gov. Arnold’s favorite, “Faaaantaastic!”. Complaints “heard”??? that’s not how I remember it.

  28. Davisite

    Councilman Don Saylor agreed: “It is heartening to see the work of so many in the community on this issue,” he said. “I think there’s a genius to what the community has done in response to the complaints we’ve heard.”……..from Claire St.John’s article
    “Genius” once again….evidently a favorite , similar to our Gov. Arnold’s favorite, “Faaaantaastic!”. Complaints “heard”??? that’s not how I remember it.

  29. Anonymous

    I don’t think mayors have been too lax in allowing discussions to go on. Except when it’s an issue that they are trying to promote and they get their people out to speak on an issue trying to make it seem as if everyone just magically appeared.

    Sue does a good job in questioning the staff. They do after all work for her and the council. They should do their job. They get paid a lot of money and a lot of benefits. One of the problems with Davis – – – that I think Doug Paul pointed out – – – is that it is run by staff instead of the council. This is a problem with the State Legislature too. I hope that future councils correct this problem.

  30. Anonymous

    I don’t think mayors have been too lax in allowing discussions to go on. Except when it’s an issue that they are trying to promote and they get their people out to speak on an issue trying to make it seem as if everyone just magically appeared.

    Sue does a good job in questioning the staff. They do after all work for her and the council. They should do their job. They get paid a lot of money and a lot of benefits. One of the problems with Davis – – – that I think Doug Paul pointed out – – – is that it is run by staff instead of the council. This is a problem with the State Legislature too. I hope that future councils correct this problem.

  31. Anonymous

    I don’t think mayors have been too lax in allowing discussions to go on. Except when it’s an issue that they are trying to promote and they get their people out to speak on an issue trying to make it seem as if everyone just magically appeared.

    Sue does a good job in questioning the staff. They do after all work for her and the council. They should do their job. They get paid a lot of money and a lot of benefits. One of the problems with Davis – – – that I think Doug Paul pointed out – – – is that it is run by staff instead of the council. This is a problem with the State Legislature too. I hope that future councils correct this problem.

  32. Anonymous

    I don’t think mayors have been too lax in allowing discussions to go on. Except when it’s an issue that they are trying to promote and they get their people out to speak on an issue trying to make it seem as if everyone just magically appeared.

    Sue does a good job in questioning the staff. They do after all work for her and the council. They should do their job. They get paid a lot of money and a lot of benefits. One of the problems with Davis – – – that I think Doug Paul pointed out – – – is that it is run by staff instead of the council. This is a problem with the State Legislature too. I hope that future councils correct this problem.

  33. Edmund from Lakewood, Wa

    I met Landy Black in the early 1980s when we were both stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. He was a Military Police Officer at the time. We became good friends. Landy has moved rapidly up through the ranks of the Seattle P.D. I rarely see him any more, in part because he is so dedicated to his work. I only just heard that he is leaving Seattle, having accepted the position in your community. Our loss is surely your gain.

  34. Edmund from Lakewood, Wa

    I met Landy Black in the early 1980s when we were both stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. He was a Military Police Officer at the time. We became good friends. Landy has moved rapidly up through the ranks of the Seattle P.D. I rarely see him any more, in part because he is so dedicated to his work. I only just heard that he is leaving Seattle, having accepted the position in your community. Our loss is surely your gain.

  35. Edmund from Lakewood, Wa

    I met Landy Black in the early 1980s when we were both stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. He was a Military Police Officer at the time. We became good friends. Landy has moved rapidly up through the ranks of the Seattle P.D. I rarely see him any more, in part because he is so dedicated to his work. I only just heard that he is leaving Seattle, having accepted the position in your community. Our loss is surely your gain.

  36. Edmund from Lakewood, Wa

    I met Landy Black in the early 1980s when we were both stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. He was a Military Police Officer at the time. We became good friends. Landy has moved rapidly up through the ranks of the Seattle P.D. I rarely see him any more, in part because he is so dedicated to his work. I only just heard that he is leaving Seattle, having accepted the position in your community. Our loss is surely your gain.

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