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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Green Party opposes Dolan reappointment

[This is encouraging... -- Tom]



Contacts: Kevin Chavis, Fifth Congressional District Chair, (612) 276-2543 Eric Gilbertson, Fifth Congressional District Spokesperson (612) 781-2991

Minneapolis, MN -- The Fifth Congressional District Green Party (5CDGP) urges the Minneapolis City Council to vote against the reappointment of Police Chief Dolan. We call on the Council to closely consider Chief Dolan's performance in light of the Safe City Resolution. Dolan's major deficiencies include his failure to follow through with recommendations of the Civilian Review Authority (CRA), his demonstrated lack of sensitivity in community relations, and his lack of fiscal responsibility.

The Safe City Resolution requires the Chief to work with the CRA to meet the goal of disciplining 100% of sustained CRA complaints. Kevin Chavis, 5CDGP Chairperson noted, "Dolan has not met this goal. In fact, the rate of discipline in CRA cases has been alarmingly low."

Failure to work with the CRA is only one indication of Chief Dolan's lack of respect for the community, including communities of color. A striking example of his lack of sensitivity is that he awarded medals to officers who raided the home of an innocent Hmong family and shot at them multiple times.

In discussing Dolan's fiscal irresponsibility, Chavis said, "in addition to his poor budget management, Dolan has cost the city millions of dollars in liability payments. This cost is a significant increase from the previous time period."

The residents of Minneapolis deserve a police chief who will uphold the standards set forth in the Safe City Resolution, show respect for the community, and work collaboratively with the CRA. These traits are consistent with the Green Party's Key Values of Social Justice and Respect for Diversity, which the 5CDGP strives to promote.

About the Fifth Congressional District Green Party: The purpose of the Minnesota Fifth Congressional District Green Party is to create and sustain a thriving local political party in affiliation with the Green Party of Minnesota based on the Ten Key Values of Ecological Wisdom, Social and Economic Justice, Grassroots Democracy, Nonviolence, Decentralization, Feminism, Community-Based Economics, Respect for Diversity, Personal & Global Responsibility, and Future Focus. Our goals are to engage in electoral politics and social action to promote these values and help create a more democratic, just and sustainable society where people live in harmony with the Earth and each other. Minnesota's fifth congressional district includes Columbia Heights, Crystal, Fort Snelling, Fridley, Golden Valley, Hilltop, Hopkins, Minneapolis, New Hope, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Spring Lake Park, St. Anthony, and St. Louis Park.

For more information, contact Kevin Chavis at KevinChavis@mngreens.org or 612-276-2543.



At Sun Mar 07, 01:14:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

In related news, I was quoted by Southside Pride:

They also had a piece by former MPD Chief Tony Bouza:

I have quoted Bouza on this blog:

At Sun Mar 07, 02:36:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

[From Dave Bicking...]

I've just sent this info to someone else, I want all of you who have contacted me to have the same update:

[I think that you already all know that our March 3 regularly scheduled CRA board meeting was cancelled at the direction of CRA Chair Don Bellfield, with no explanation given. And I hope I have kept you all updated regarding the legal action for a Writ of Mandamus against both Bellfield and Dolan.]

Well, another week has gone by, with no action by the judge. We have sent her my statement regarding the cancellation of the March 3 CRA board meeting, and our analysis that that was not proper under city ordinance.

At around noon Thursday, I wrote an email to all the CRA board members, noting that it had been 24 hours since the meeting cancellation, with still no explanation. That remains true as of Saturday morning. And I said a lot more - see below.

Directly below is Don Bellfield's one sentence response: "Our next Board meeting will be Wednesday April 7, 2010."

No, "I'm busy now, but I'll write more tonight" or similar. And, of course, nothing since. This is such a slap in the face to all the board members.

So, the implication is that he does not want to meet (or probably even be seen in public) until the new board members are chosen, and he suspects I won't be one of them. It also means there will be NO monthly meeting in March, not just no "meeting at the regularly scheduled time and place" as required by ordinance.

Board member Austen Zuege wrote a supportive note to me (not copied to the rest of the board). He noted that he had talked to Lee Reid, who said he also had received no reason from Don Bellfield for the cancellation. That leaves the question, why did the CRA staff cancel the meeting just on Don's say-so? Are they "in" on this - or did Don just call Sharon Pelka and ask her to do it, and she figured it must be authorized. I lean toward the latter, actually. When I have scheduled Policy Committee meetings, I just call her and she puts out the official notice. Of course, once the notice of cancellation was on the web for the public to see, no matter whether unauthorized, it would be improper to hold the meeting under the Open Meeting laws. So there was no undoing it, even if Lee Reid or someone else wanted to.

The only other response to my email or to Don's has been a note from board member Vernon Wetternach that he will be out of town and unavailable for the April meeting.

Where is everyone else?? They seem to just quietly take it. Of course, just being on the CRA means getting used to being treated like crap.

Still anxiously awaiting word from the judge. This is just beginning - it's going to get a lot more interesting and intense before it is over!

Dave Bicking


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