HOLD THE ELECTED OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE
The Mount Vernon neighborhood delivered Gerry Hyland to the Board of Supervisors and if the ills of the police department can be placed at the feet of one person, it’s Jerry Hyland, a man with a cop fetish who bullied other members of the Board of Supervisors into giving the cops everything and anything they needed.
Hyland won’t be back, thank God, and now the people of Mt. Vernon have a chance to redeem themselves by electing an intelligent representative to the Board.
On the Democratic side there are four candidates
Candice Bennett (electcandicebennett.com)
Jack Dobbyn (www.jackdobbyn.com)
Tim Sargeant (www.timsargeant.com)
At a recent debate the candidates were asked if they supported the creation of an independent citizen police oversight board.
Like the media, the person asking the questions is under assumption that the citizens should do the work that we pay our elected officials to do……keep the cops in line….by having us run an independent citizen police oversight board.
The question to the candidates should have been;
“What actions will you take to bring the Fairfax County Police into line?”
“Where do you stand on the use of body cameras for the Fairfax County Police?”
“How about the use of drones by the cops?”
“What will you do to address the cop’s epic budget in light of education and road funding in county?”
“Will you demand manslaughter charges against cops who willfully kill unarmed and otherwise innocent citizens?”
“What steps will you take to demilitarize the cops?”
“Where do you stand on bringing in a reform chief from outside the Fairfax County Democratic machine?”
“What is you stance on residency requirements for the cops?”
“Where do you stand on minimum education and IQ standards for cops?”
Three of the candidates in Mt Vernon….Candice Bennett (electcandicebennett.com)
Jack Dobbyn (www.jackdobbyn.com) and Tim Sargeant (www.timsargeant.com)
support creating an oversight board. It’s the right answer to the wrong question but at least it’s a start.
The fourth candidate Dan Storck, said he would await the recommendations of the current ad hoc police practices commission before deciding. In other words, he is willing to be part of the fraud being carried off by Sharon “Show me money” Bulova.
Blaming the cops for idiot behavior is like shaming your dog for urinating in public. The cops and the dog are just doing what comes naturally.
We don’t need this problem handled and managed police commission, created by cops and their dummies on the board of supervisors in the spirit of damage control and not police reform. We don’t need it because we shouldn’t even have to deal with the cops….it’s not our job. What we do need is a panel to question the elected officials who are supposed to be watching over the cop’s behavior but haven’t done that, ever.
They…the elected officials… pull this crap…and get away with it, well, until recently anyway….because they know that at election time the machine will get the Post’s endorsements and not one arm of the press will ask them an embarrassing question. And they will get the Post’s endorsements, a big boast for their reelection, because they are democrats and self-professed liberals. But because their democrats it doesn’t mean they are able administrators and because they say their liberals doesn’t make them liberal.
On our end, we’ll do what we can to make sure Storck loses the primary because he’s too stupid to serve in public office.
In the column, writer John Lovaas is right on target. It’s encouraging to see some parts of the media understanding that problem isn’t within the ranks of the police department but rather with our elected leadership.
Column: Looking Ahead to the 2015 Elections in Fairfax County
By John Lovaas/Reston Impact Producer/Host
When we go to the polls in November, the ballot will include not only our state legislators, but also the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (Chairman and 9 district supervisors) and School Board (12 reps-9 district members and 3 at-large).
I’ve been thinking. What if we rated, or graded, incumbents based on their actual performance? In the case of the Board of Supervisors (BOS), what if we rated them on how well they handled their most important functions. In the case of the BOS, that would be leadership in public education and public safety. Not only do those two functions impact us all, but they are also the two biggest chunks of the Fairfax County budget—an estimated 65 percent of the total.
It is still a little early. There are over five months until election day, Nov. 3. However, at this stage it does not look good for the incumbents. In public education, it is charitable to rank BOS collective performance any better than poor. Why? Because they are at loggerheads with the Superintendent and the School Board, and our schools are in decline. Fairfax teachers’ pay is no longer competitive in the region after several years of freezes. Morale is down and the best teachers are starting to leave. Class sizes are above optimal levels and growing. Summer school is zeroed out. Meanwhile, the Board voted themselves a fat $20,000 pay increase. If it weren’t for some blame for the School Board as well, it in fact would be fair to say the Supervisors are failing our kids. The BOS performance on the public safety side has been worse. The August 2013 police killing of unarmed John Geer was the latest example of the lack of police accountability and was briefly a national scandal. The Fairfax County Police kept the name of the killer and all facts of the case hidden from the public for 18 months until a court ordered the information released. The shooter is still on the job, has not even been charged. The Supervisors have averted their eyes and remained silent the whole time. The Geer killing was the most recent of several questionable killings by FCPD officers in recent years. Only a national epidemic of police violence with race overtones kept Fairfax County off the front pages.
In April, Chairman Bulova acted to create a Commission to review “Police Practices.” The Commission has broad representation and looks promising. But, it is oversized (36), with a large police contingent, and is due to complete its work just a month before the election. Thus, reforms, including independent investigation and oversight of police, are unlikely until after the elections--when the pressure is off. It may be that only change can bring reform.
The School Board might receive an interim grade of C-, only because they made good progress in setting later school start times for teens after a decade of foot dragging, and recently broadened anti-discrimination protections for students. These commendable actions only partially offset their dismal failure to recognize and support teachers, and their absolute chutzpa in granting themselves a 65 percent pay increase for next year shortly after stiffing teachers once again!
If the election were held today, this voter would have to pause before voting for incumbents on the Board of Supervisors. For the School Board, I might flip a coin or leave the block empty. If the incumbent is one of the five who voted for their pay raise, the challenger likely gets my vote. Incumbents still have five months to improve and maybe do some extra credit work before they can stand up to credible challengers.