Monday, August 27, 2007

Bill Guida (sort of) gets it.

Columnist Bill Guida peppered the Sunday Kenosha News with criticism for the secrecy surrounding the selection of Kenosha's next police chief.

We know the names of the finalists -- Deputy Chief Thomas Genthner and Captains John Morrissey and Kristine Fonk -- but little else except that the city's Police and Fire Commission hopes to make a decision in October.

Guida correctly points out that this process needs to be carried out in the light of day. But he missed the boat earlier when the commission did its darndest to frustrate public input.

Here's what was written here on June 28, 2007:

The Sunday Kenosha News has a weekly editorial in which it hands out
laurels and darts.One can only wonder if this Sunday the Kenosha Police and Fire
Commission will get its well-deserved dart for soliciting public input on the
new police chief at an 8 a.m. meeting which is not liklely to be accessible or
convenient to the public.

And, when the newspaper didn't dart the commission, it earned its own dart on July 2, 2007:

DART to the Kenosha News for not issuing a dart to the Kenosha Police and Fire
Commission which is affording the public a chance to comment on who should be
the city's next police chief at a meeting to be held on a weekday at 8 a.m.The
Pleasant Prairie Village Board was justifiably criticized a couple of years ago
for meeting at 5 p.m. because it was a time when many citizens would not likely
be able to attend. The village board now meets at 6:30 p.m.I know there are some
folks in Pleasant Prairie who believe that the newspaper would go ballistic if
an 8 a.m. meeting on something this important was attempted in the village.
Their concerns would not be unjustified.

So, when Bill Guida complains about a selection process that needs to be more open and accessible to the public, he should also respond to why it's taken him -- or, more importantly, his editors -- so long to figure this out.

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