The recent charade orchestrated by Mayor Condon to find a new police chief emphatically demonstrates why the city of Spokane should return to the city council-city manager form of government.
The mayor personally recruited a candidate, then continued with a flawed process supposedly designed to identify the best qualified candidate. However, when the mayor’s personal choice was unanimously rejected by a panel of law enforcement professionals as not qualified, the mayor – surprise! – stuck with his personal and political choice. No city manager would attempt or get away with such chicanery.
The mayor proudly tells people, “I am 100 percent politician, and I do not apologize for that.” Please note he does not say he is a statesman or a public servant. He is not a professional manager; he is not a leader. We already have seven elected officials on the council; the mayor, as the eighth, hinders professionalism and politicizes administrative responsibilities.
I trust the council will not abdicate its responsibility to review qualifications during the appointment process. I hope the new chief, whoever is chosen, does a professional job for the city. Unfortunately, the new chief has to start under a cloud created by the mayor.