Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Fumbled Forever: Two named to city police review board - Finally!

Mayor Murphy and City Council -- both -- have been in fumble mode, seemingly forever, when dealing with the citizens police review board. The board was approved by the voters. However, it has never been able to operate as it should. One member has not been to meetings in more than a year. He's on a continual boycott -- just to play the role of a laggard. Other appointments have not be forthcoming in earnest from those who have a duty to appoint.
2 named to city police review board Mayor Tom Murphy has nominated Deborah Walker of Allentown and Mary Jo Guercio of Lincoln Place to four-year terms on the city's Citizen Police Review Board.

If the two are approved by City Council, the board will be at its full seven-member strength for the first time since 2002, said board Executive Director Elizabeth Pittinger.

There is some question as to the scope and power of the citizens police review board. However, there is no question as to the way it was starved for years on end by both city council and the mayor.

We need to get the board to operate in a regular and normal way for a few years and then make another evaluation of that process.

Mayor Murphy is moving out of city hall. When it comes to some matters he'll leave the office dry. In other matters, he'll get the suds building before he bolts. Mayor Murphy is going to try to stick it to those that follow him. And, this is one way to make that occur -- finally load up on the citizens police review board. Only a slime ball politician would put in people now -- at the end of his term.

The article should have had statements from O'Connor and others in the November Mayor's race. They should have been interviewed for the story -- and should have had an opportunity to interview the appointments.

Those who are now seated on the review board should be standing up to say that they will offer their resignations to the next mayor in the first days of the next term. Perhaps the next mayor would not accept the resignations. Time will tell. These appointments may or may not stick. But what needs to happen, above all else, is a new leaf with a functional citizens police review board.

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