In continuation of the BCGOP’s support for good governance, public safety and our first responders, we are sharing this press release. It is in response to a specific action set for Asheville’s 6-19-18 council agenda.
Buncombe County Republican Party
– P R E S S R E L E A S E –
Asheville City Council Accelerating Our Public Safety Crisis
Recently, in violation of their charter and established procedures, a majority of Asheville’s governing body approved public safety motions without benefit of community scrutiny and previewed operational input. Having subsequently noted the attending legal vulnerabilities of that action, they have backtracked and are now approaching the same agenda with resolution(s) as a means of procedural reconsideration. The outcome is effectively identical.
The current city council has functioned as a 7-0 progressive super-majority for the past 10 years. Like all long-standing monopolies, overreach is and anticipated eventuality. Today, it is less our wish to challenge the harms of this one-sided representation pattern than to flag actions formatting a public safety crisis. We have 10 specific concerns we wish to bring to the public’s attention through our community’s media outlets.
- The city’s governing body is charged with addressing policy. The city manager and department heads are charged with operational implementation of those policies. The latter must balance their responsibility with matching consideration for legal constraints, liability considerations, Constitutional boundaries, accreditation standards, city ordinances and – most importantly in this case – the public’s safety needs. The council’s recent actions represent a dramatic step beyond policy responsibilities and effective seizure of operational control of the city’s public safety agency.
- The three motions being recycled as resolutions on the council’s 6-19-18 agenda restrict officers’ ability to apply their training, best-practice methodologies and otherwise perform their duties. Each of these actions assures higher risks for our officers, those with whom they have direct contact and the broader public. An officer operationally paralyzed by political overreach is an impaired police officer.
- The proposed motion/resolutions are in direct opposition to the operational advice of the city’s police chief and acting manager. Both are charged with managing the city’s public safety function in a professional versus political fashion. Their respective contractual job descriptions and functions are being usurped.
- Per legal charter, our city has been historically managed by a professional staff aided with council policy guidance and oversight. In this action, council members are essentially seizing control of city operations in violation of that charter and broadly duplicated municipal governance best-practice methodologies.
- City leaders are in the process of hiring a new city manager – this contentious operational intrusion by our policy body will discourage higher quality candidates from participating. If operations are thus politicized, they will understand we are soliciting a “yes man/woman” versus a skilled manager.
- The insistent use of written consent form procedures amidst the vulnerabilities, constraints, friction, and pressures of an engaged policing event represents a highly distracting and potentially dangerous complication for all parties.
- The demand that city officers selectively apply the law in certain “stop and search” situations – on equipment and other “secondary” concerns – is an illegal action by city leaders.
- In backstepping their earlier motion missteps, the council has now placed the city’s police chief in the position of responsibility for developing an operational plan to address their demands. They are thus evading accountability and placing the chief in an untenable position of responsibility without authority while securing for themselves an enviable position of authority without responsibility.
- The Mayor and city leaders are borrowing heavily from the consultations of Ian Mance – an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice – an extreme radical left-wing community organization group. Affiliations include the Foundation to Promote Open Society (George Soros), Democracy NC, Moral Mondays and Blueprint NC. The city’s primary consultation resource in this matter is a social engineering enterprise – not a public safety resource.
- At a time when crime is on the rise and we are losing one person a day to drug over-dose, the political paralysis of our city’s sworn officers is a demoralizing, ill-advised and ill-timed leadership enterprise.
It is our belief that the resolutions schedule for address at the 6-19-18 Asheville City Council meeting represent a misguided precedent that will simultaneously (1) undermine our city’s governance model and (2) progressively place our citizen’s personal property and safety in greater danger.
As an organized political movement with strong roots in our community and a belief in supporting public safety and our community’s First Responders, we respectfully offer the following suggestions to city leaders:
- That the lines between policy and operational boundaries be given careful reconsideration.
- That the guidance of our paid professional managers be given priority consideration matched to accountability for achieving our leader’s broad policy guidelines.
- That a temporary and maturely grounded action committee be formed to work with city leaders, management staff and experienced patrol officers to craft solutions that simultaneously (a) responsibly target social fairness issues (b) support police officer’s function and (c) insure the public’s safety.
Carl Mumpower, Chair – Buncombe Republican Party
Copy(s): Citizen-Times, WLOS, other community media outlets, City Council, BCGOP Executive Committee and concerned citizens
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker