Sunday, September 30, 2007

OK for chief interviews to be private, but...

The Kenosha News issued a dart to the Police and Fire Commission which plans to conduct its final interviews with the three finalists for police chief in private.

In this case, the commission is right and the newspaper is wrong.

The commission believes -- and rightfuly so -- that having separate open interviews could lead to contamination of the interview process.

It would be easier to swallow this explanation had the commission been more receptive to public input instead. On that issue, the newspaper has been more than a day late and a dollar short.

I have an idea.

What if the commission follows up on the private interviews with a public interview -- at night when people can attend? All three candidates would be given the opportunity to address questions from the commission and, hopefully, the public.

Although it's possible that some chaff could enter in this process, the commission should be smart enough to separate it from the wheat.

Communicating in public and with the public and is an important part of being a police chief. The commission should recognize that.

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