Saturday, July 2, 2011

Who REALLY Fired Garr Nielsen WITH Cause?

[UPDATE Below]
According to everything I read, including today's Times-Standard front page story dated Saturday, July 2, 2011, "Eureka council affirms Nielsen firing in 4-1 vote," it was Eureka City Manager David Tyson. According to reports, the Eureka City Council,  Marian Brady, Linda Atkins, Mike Newman, Melinda Ciarabellini, and Lance Madsen along with Mayor Frank Jager, presided over a closed door council meeting on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, where they "discussed" firing Garr Nielsen, but they didn't take a vote. Well, they sure voted yesterday July 1, 2011. That sure does look like the Eureka City Counsel fired Chief Nielsen, even though David Tyson may have authority to physically act, he does so at the council's good pleasure. And it's certainly obvious that getting rid of him was their good pleasure. The unanswered question remains, why?

The last time I looked none of the council members attained that station in life through birth. That means they serve at someone's good pleasure - that being the person or persons that gave them the authority to rule or govern the city. Ultimately, that "person or persons" are responsible and accountable for what the Eureka City Council does or fails to do, including the City Manager David Tyson.

Does anyone remember why Garr Nielsen was hired in the first place? Or for that matter, does anyone remember the nature and makeup of the City Council doing the hiring four years ago. Only Linda Atkins had a stake in, as a carryover from the previous council, to defend her and their actions over four years ago. Obviously, none of the newly elected council agreed with their decision and did what they had to do to get rid of him since he represented the thinking, management style and policies of the previous council.

My question is, if the people had such a great love for Garr Nielsen and his newly "people oriented" police department, why did the city of Eureka vote in this different breed of people that clearly supported the OLD STYLE of policing? Personally, I believe the answer is a little more pragmatic and personal and goes to the very heart of the driving philosophy of David Tyson and those that hired and supported him all these years - HIS everlasting legacy. A hint of those legacy effects is contained in the words Mary Beth Wolford expressed to the Times-Standard:
Mary Beth Wolford, who served on the Eureka City Council from 2002 to 2006, said she worked closely with Tyson during her tenure on the council and that he always made decisions based on the best interests of Eurekans. She said she's sure he did the same with Nielsen's firing. [Emphasis added]

”It's a difficult situation, but I know our city manager has acted wisely,” she said.
Notice the dates she was on the City Council, 2002 to 2006. Then there is this from Former City Councilman Mike Jones that said, "Tyson made the right decision." This is pure crap. Tyson never made "the decision." The City Council had already "made up their mind" AFTER the voters gave them the "go ahead." All Tyson did was implement their decision. All these voters are trying to do is insulate the people they put into office and justify their vote.

As it turns out, that legacy served him well when he was on his way out along with three high-ranking police officers. He played his hand, bluffed his retirement and came back stronger than ever with the new supportive council members, pushed through the new tax and consolidated the required change back to the way it was BEFORE Eureka learned its lesson.

Ask yourself, who is the new police chief right now? Any layoffs or early retirements scheduled for the future? Any changes that would allow a new chief to actually make lasting changes of any real consequence?

[UPDATE :: Sunday, July 3, 2011]
If anyone has any doubts about the validity of what I said here, with regard to who really fired Police Chief Garr Nielsen, read for yourself what David Tyson says in his own words in today's Times-Standard:
Earlier in the week, Tyson defended himself against criticism over Nielsen's termination.

”I have confidence that I'm doing my job according to the rules and regulations in front of me,” Tyson said, adding that he works at the direction of the city council.

”I'm the council's CEO. They're the board of directors. They're not supposed to be managing the city every day,” Tyson said. “They hire a CEO in a city manager to do those things for them based on the city charter, the municipal code and their direction.” [Emphasis added]
Because of the closed door meeting prior to the firing where they admittedly discussed that issue and then their 4 to 1 vote affirming their decision, establishes the fact that David Tyson was merely the errand boy carrying out what the Council wanted.

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