Bridgeport has more actors than Hollywood. What should come first, a permanent personnel director to conduct a search for a permanent police chief, or authorize the acting personnel director to seek a new top cop? CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart examines the question, as pressure mounts on Mayor Joe Ganim for action.
“It’s urgent we get a police chief,” said Councilwoman Jeanette Herron, who sits on the legislative body’s public safety committee. “We need to get morale back and correct the department’s inefficiencies and bring it up to standard.”
Herron and Councilman Matthew McCarthy have for months been calling on Ganim to quickly find a successor to Armando Perez, the former top cop arrested last September for cheating in 2018 to get that job. He and ex-Civil Service Director David Dunn, who in that role helped oversee the chief search and conspired to ensure Perez was a finalist, were sentenced this week to, respectively, one year-and-a day and four months in federal prison.
“The (chief) search needs to be started yesterday,” McCarthy said Wednesday.
But Council President Aidee Nieves wants Ganim to prioritize hiring a personnel head–an opinion she first voiced in January.
“Now that the Dunn/Perez case has been closed, it is imperative for the city to move on with a search for a new, permanent personnel director,” Nieves said Wednesday. She has had “informal conversations” with the mayor and his chief of staff, Dan Shamas, and said “it is my hope that is his (Ganim’s) intention now that both cases have been adjudicated.”
Full story here.
This is a no-brainer, the Bridgeport Police Department has been operating unfortunately with “Acting” Police Chiefs for years but the whole structure of the city charter and of testing is base on a permanent Personnel Director that can be trusted and respected. Bridgeport has just witness a testing company co-opt the police chief exam because of the Acting Personnel Director David Dunn so how does the city move forward without a permanent Personnel Director, that’s why there must a nationwide search to find the best person to serve the taxpayers base on merit.
Above and beyond all of that there needs to be a charter revision to deal with how positions must be filled.
There is this “acting” position that overrides everyone else. This lame excuse about using this because there isn’t enough time in the charter is just that; a lame excuse.
And if there is not enough time then name a second acting replacement.
Just as is done with a provisional.
This is just the same game that President Trump had played in DC.
Naming an acting and then hang it over his head to get what he wants or get rid of him.
Police Chief? Personnel Director (Human Resources, Labor Relations, Civil Service, etc.)? Health Director? Qualified by learning and experience? Turned loose to improve their Department and work with residents and taxpayers on equally qualified boards and commissions members, to genuinely serve the public? Does it take a genuine leader, with integrity and avowed purpose, to call the workers, of whatever level together to attend to priorities? Why is Ganim2 so little in sight, with no overall plan, and so many weighty matters hanging fire, in the courts, and elsewhere? The earlier Ganim2 acted omnipotent. The COVID Ganim2 keeps his thoughts to himself about what the data says about his terms of service, but made sure to stitch his early service as Bridgeport Mayor in terms of ultimate financial benefits has been stitched to his current term during which the record would show absences for purpose of running for governor unsuccessfully and engagement in some level of real estate marketing, yet practical daily invisibility as a “leader, on deck, ready to serve.” If, as so often heard from City financial offices, Bridgeport had to face a $27 Million claim due to Police Department behavior judged wrong in a civil court case (as has occurred in Minnesota recently) will any taxpayer object to “self-insurance” funding by City? Time will tell.
They say what gets measured gets done and when the student is ready the teacher will appear, well Bridgeport is not ready and there’s nothing to measue. This drama will continue.
And let’s see council President Aidee Nieves step up and act like a Council President.
Call for a Charter Revision Committee.
Limit ii to Civil Service. Do not get bullied by Joe Ganim. And to the rest of the council, if she doesn’t act than replace her with another member. You don’t get off scot-free.