Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Last Night at City Hall

Dan Udell's videotape of last night's tumultuous Police Committee meeting is now available for viewing online. Click here to watch and listen.



  1. Wow! Chief Moore said he "regretted there was no offer to rescind." I am not sure what that means, other than I guess after Graziano elected to resign, rather than apologize, the Mayor did not remonstrate with him to change his mind, perhaps. It's unclear if he is actually contradicting Graziano's quoted statement as to what happened.

    Apparently Claudia fired Tiffany Garriga over some Facebook statement she allegedly made. I don't know what that is. Anyway, it's almost always wrong to fire/remove elected people from a legislature committee based on their views. That is inimical to how a legislative body should ideally work. To justify such a thing, the alleged comment would have to be pretty horrible conduct that would interfere with her job, or create a conflict of interest. To me, the Facebook statement would have to be in the nature of something defamatory to persons over whom the committee has oversight, for example, as opposed to something merely offensive.

  2. Oh, one other thing. There is a timeline issue. The Facebook comment apparently happened some time ago, and matters moved on as if it had been dealt with in some manner, and then, suddenly, the matter is resurrected, and the ax wielded, under the klieg lights, at the peak of the heat of controversy about Mr. Graziano, with the executioner then departing without taking questions. All very dramatic - and embarrassing - at least to me.


  3. The Chief's meaning is significant, but it's also impossible to parse [at 58 minutes, 17 seconds]:

    "I was there at the meeting, [and] just to clarify, there was no offer to rescind. Just to get the facts out there. I wish that there were."

    When it comes to appointments and demotions, a mayor and a council president have similar powers. Both may use their authority to make judgement calls which are likely lost to the rest of us. They may have information unknown to everyone else, or they are simply exercising their discretion after taking in the whole picture, their perceptions and judgements even transcending merely factual timelines.

    In this case, both parties seemed motivated to affect the right balance for the community, despite the sense of a Roman-era tragedy.

    Whether we like the outcome or not, this is what we elected them to do.

    The idea that such personnel changes are automatically suspect as being political motivated - or that the rules we've adopted invite tyranny - is poppycock, and ultimately very corrosive to the social fabric. It tends in the direction of endless rule-making, with an ever-increasing role for lawyers and bureaucrats. In my view, this creates a procedural monument to the initial, conspiratorial self-righteousness, following which character, respect, and trust are no longer of any account.

    Is a place that's reserved for authoritative and informed judgement vulnerable to abuse? Certainly it is, but I didn't see anything like that here. I don't see any bad faith in any of this, neither in the action of the council president nor in the action of the mayor (whatever it was there was no offer to "rescind").