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 Police Chief interviews...how to pick a Chief.

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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Police Chief interviews...how to pick a Chief.   Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:36 pm

The Ortonville Police Commission met on Saturday July 18, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. to conduct interviews for the position of Ortonville Police Chief.

In attendence were Commissionors Mary Gustafson and Jay Larson. Dr. Ross was absent as he was detained at the hospital.

Participating in the interviews were Ortonville City Councilman Bob Meyer, Wheaton Police Chief Micky Johannsen, Big Stone County Sheriff John Haukos, and Mr. Bob Richards retired police officer/investigator.

Here are a few questions and replies that were made.

Question: How would you handle an officer who came to work with alcohol on their breath and they were intoxicated.

Applicant 1 reply: I wouldn't let him work. I would send him home.

Applicant 2 reply: I would give him the field sobriety test. If he is drunk I would charge him. Even if he only had alcohol on his breath and did not appear drunk I would still give him the breath test. I would notify the city council and get counseling for him because that officer has a problem.

Applicant 3 reply: I would test him. If he is intoxicated he would be sent home and I will conduct a review with the possibility of suspension depending on what the city policy is. I would question why he drank. What is the issue? Even if he is not intoxicated and there is still alcohol on his breath I would send him home. You do not want an officer with alcohol on his breath in public.


Applicant 4 reply: He would be treated like any civilian. He would be tested if not found drunk he would still be sent home. He would have to get counseling.

Question: You've been out socially & had a few drinks but are not drunk. You come back home late at night and get a call an officer needs help. You have alcohol on your breath...will you go help if no one is available?

Applicant 1 reply: Well, if an officer needs help you go help him. I would help him.

Applicant 2 reply: I would call for the sheriff to help. If the situation is so desparate that no one else can help I would get on a bicycle and go help.

Applicant 3 reply: I wouldn't go. Would not feel comfortable going out like that.

Applicant 4 reply: I don't drink.

Sheriff Hawkos rephrased the question and said, "What if you are not available and another one of your officers came home after a few drinks. Would you want him to go?

Applicant 4: No. What if there is a shoot out. The city cannot have a officer with alcohol involved in a shoot out. There always has to be a way out. You can call the sheriff here or even the sheriff in South Dakota. There would have to be someone who could go, and if the officer did go then he would be doing it as a civilian, not a police officer.

Question: Cultural Diversity is becoming a major interest in West Central MN. How will you handle racial descrimination and sexual harrassment.

Applicant 1 reply: I won't tolerate discrimination or sexual harrassment.

Applicant 2 reply: For discrimination or sexual harrassment you need to document it. Question the officer. Follow the city policy.

Applicant 3 reply: Interview the complainants and the officer and follow the guidelines.

Applicant 4 reply: I would have an investigation. First talk to the complainant and get the full story. Then go to the officer and get his story. I would look to verify that it was a legitimate complaint and not just a way to retaliate against the officer. I don't want the officer to look bad but I don't want it to be a wash. Find out if the officer needs more training.



All four of the applicants were asked what specific training or extra classes have you had.

Applicant 1: Has had training.

Applicant 2: Associate Degree. Drug interdiction. Lots of other training.

Applicant 3: Law Enforcement Degree. Special training in narcotics, no investigative training. Lots of other training.

Applicant 4: AA Degree in Law Enforcement, Graduate of ND Police Academy and has had special training in explosives in the military. This applicant brought a 3 ring binder filled with his degrees and certificates of the different things he has trained for and passed it around for the panel to view. Told about how seven kids had died from drinking, driving, and drugs and because of that he wrote a program himself to fight this trend.

Other observations:

Applicants 2, 3, and 4 have had experience as a Police Chief in a small town.

Applicant 4 has had experience in leadership with other police officers working under him and as a sargent in the military who had led his squad of men in combat.

When asked about keeping the budget down Applicants 3, & 4 mentioned do a little more foot patrol. That saves on wear on the vehicle and gas. Applicant 2 said know what you need and put off what you want.

After the interview ended the panel closed the public part of the meeting and choose three applicants to have a background check for further consideration.

Dr. Ross arrived at the meeting after the discussion was concluded and people were preparing to leave.

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson


Last edited by Lady Hawk on Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:42 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Corrected grammar.)
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PostSubject: That's a background check?   Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:24 pm

The Ortonville City Police commission met last Friday, August, 7, 2009 to select the candidate for Ortonville Police Chief.

In attendance were Police Commissioners Mary Gustafsen, Jay Larsen, and Dr. Ross. Also in attendance were City Councilman Bob Meyer and Interim Police Chief Gary Dinnel.

Dr. Ross announced that two of the three applicants failed the background check. The other commissioners acknowledged that announcement and they voted to accept the only applicant left which was Ortonville Police Officer Jason Mork.

Discussion was held as to when the recommendation could be brought to the City Council, the pay scale, and when Police Chief Dinnel would be finished as interim Chief.

At the end of the meeting the question was asked, " How did you conduct the background check?'

Councilman Bob Meyer and Interim Police Chief Gary Dinnel stated that they had called the cities where these former police chiefs had worked and were told some things that were very bad. Bob Meyer said they had talked to many people and they heard all this bad stuff.

Question: "There is such a thing as due process. When someone makes an accusation against someone then you give the other person a chance to defend themselves. Did you talk to these officers and give them a chance to tell their side of the story?"

City Councilman Bob Meyer and Police Chief Gary Dinnel replied, "No."

Question: "Did you talk to their references?"

Councilman Bob Meyer replied, "Yes."

Question: "Well, what did they say?"

Councilman Bob Meyer replied, "Oh, they just said good things."

Within an hour after the meeting ended a call was placed to Interim Police Chief Gary Dinnel and he was asked if a criminal background check had been conducted. He stated that it had and all the applicants had a clear criminal background check. He was then asked if that was proper to say that the two police chiefs had failed a background check when it seemed more like a reference check. When people refer to a background check people are talking about a criminal check. Interim Police Chief Gary Dinnel stated that "that is what we call a background check here."

When asked about the documentation he stated that all the records have been shredded. Everything has been destroyed. All the notes and documents. He said it was for data privacy reasons.

When asked later, one of the police commissioners stated that the first they heard about the background failure was at the meeting. There was a document with a single paragraph on each of the failed applicants. They read the information and then voted. This commissioner stated that the document was given back and then shredded.

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Who is responsible for the 5 charges?   Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:55 pm

The meeting on Friday when the police commission met was enlightning. The meeting was opened and the members were given a paper to read and their eyes widened like saucers. What had been on that piece of paper to so astonish the commission that they looked shocked and imediately voted to accept the background failure without question?

One thing that should be noted here. During the interview process two of the police chiefs stated that the towns they worked in had problems with corruption and they were not liked because of their efforts to enforce the law and the officials who didn't want them to. Is it any surprise that they called the city officials where they worked and got bad reviews?

One has to question what happened here. You have two former Ortonville City Police chiefs conducting a "background check" and two officers fail and all that is left to vote on is the local police officer. Didn't that local police officer work for the two chiefs? Am I missing something here?

Then all the documentation is shredded?

Within an hour after the selection?

One of the things that astonished me was the ease to which the Police Commission was so easily led to the final conclusion. You have three candidates. Eliminate two. That makes the vote easy. No one questioned how two police chiefs could have failed a background check. Evidently something was told to them that was so convincing that they didn't even question if it was true. You usually want people in a position of authority to have some reasoning skills.

This all makes one think about the charges brought against Police Chief Curt Horman. Has anyone ever wondered who brought up the charges against Curt Horman in the first place? Think about it. Maybe we should ask Councilman Bob Meyer and Interim Police Chief Gary Dinnel.

One could go a step further. Remember that of the seven charges brought against Curt Horman only 2 of them applied to him and they were both frivilous. The other five charges had issues but Curt was not responsible for them. One of the other officers was responsible. I have to ask.


Is the Ortonville Police Commission recommending the city hire as Police Chief the officer responsible for the other 5 charges?

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Who wouldn't fail a gossip check?   Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:48 am

This whole situation makes one question how "independent" the police commission is. Look at how easily the police commission was influenced by the two former police chiefs. The Police Commission is "supposed" to be independent and look at the facts and not be influence by the politics of the city council or the agenda of the police department.

When asked, one of the commissioners stated that they thought Bob Meyer and Gary Dinnel did a fine job. They were very through and there was no fault to be found in their background check. Bob and Gary had even gone to the towns of the applicants and visited with many people, going into the coffee shops and talking to everyone.

So now we conduct a background check by going into coffee shops and getting the latest gossip?

That is what Ortonville calls a "background check?"

It's a "gossip check."

Who wouldn't fail a gossip check? So Bob Meyer and Gary Dinnel go into the coffee shop here in Ortonville and talk about Jason? Do you think anyone would say something bad to the two former police chiefs here in Ortonville about a local cop? Bob and Gary are known here. People know who they are and likely would be careful what they say.

They go into a town where no one knows them and pick up the idle chat of strangers? They tell people that they are conducting background check on the former city police chief and listen to the words of strangers who have not had their credibility questioned? You know, there are people who will lie about someone just because they are mad at them. Cops are especially prone to that because people get mad at them a lot in the course of their duty.

How did they conduct the investigation to know if the idle gossip is true? Did they gather physical evidence? Was the witness credible? Do they think that just because there were numbers of people saying it then that made the gossip true? You know, that is what gossip is. You start with one person saying something and then it gets repeated. Before long you have lots of people saying it but none of them has the "facts." It is all just "many people" saying what they have heard. Just because "many people" are saying it doesn't make it true. Where's the evidence?

When I mentioned to the police commissioner about the shredded documents the response was, "Oh, that had to be done because of privacy. You wouldn't want to have things like that made public about you, would you?"

I have to admit that the illogicalness of that statement caused me to become momentarily speechless. I debated in my mind if it was worth it to try to explain to this person what a foolish statement that was because they didn't seem to grasp what was happening here. I was then told that, "You need to talk to Gary and Bob."

What these people don't seem to grasp is that by saying "The two police officers have failed the background check" you have already cast dirt on their name. The injury has been done. By not making public the things that they are being accused of you are not protecting their privacy. You are handcuffing their hands so that they are now unprotected. You are making an accusation and not allowing them to defend themselves.

By making the charge and then hiding the accusations you are not protecting a persons "privacy."

Think about it. What could possibly be so bad that the police commission would reject the two applicants? In my mind the only thing that would be so bad and cause such a reaction from the commission would have to be something "criminal." But both of these officers passed the criminal check.

So, did the police commission accept idle gossip accusing these police officers of criminal activity without any evidence?

Personally I am sickened by the thought that these police officers came invited to the city of Ortonville, as guests and in good faith, and made applications for a position and were so abused. One could get the impression that they were "used." This website has exposed how some people in power in the city treats "nonresidents." See post "I don't get it" by understood.

One other thing to mention. There is a possibility that the references of these police officers were not checked. This will have to be investigated to find out if it is true or not. If it is true, and I hope it is not, then that casts an even darker shadow on this process.

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: A police chief reference.....   Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:59 pm

I talked today to Mr. Harlen Johnson who is the director of the Minnesota State Chief of Police Association and told him what happened here. Mr. Johnson stated to me that he knew of one of the applicants and he is a good cop.

Perhaps Mr. Bob Meyer and Mr. Gary Dinnel should take the time to call that reference since it doesn't appear that they had the time to call any of the references that the applicants gave them.

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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PostSubject: Police chief interviews   Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:17 pm

I'm very upset by the content of the article regarding the police chief selection process. The author uses phrases like "...didn't appear..." and "In my mind...". Words like those lead me to the belief that Lady Hawk is expressing her opinion of what happened, not what actually occurred. She talks about conversations with residents of other communities as being gossip. She doesn't know what happened during those conversations...she wasn't there! She's only making an assumption that it was gossip. She talks about "...making the charge..." against other applicants. There was no charge made...more accurately, it was a conclusion arrived at.

To state that "References {of other applicants} were not checked..." or implying that Interim Chief Dinnel was involved in bringing charges against Chief Horman is impugning his good name. Gary has an outstanding reputation in Ortonville and does not deserve such an attack.

Lady Hawk also implies that Jason Mork was responsible for the five charges against Chief Horman that were dismissed. Where that comes from is beyond me...and it simply isn't fair, nor is it proper journalism to make such a statement.

Lady Hawk's criticism of how the responses to questions asked of references were interpreted makes one wonder if she understands the process for screening applicants for positions. It's commonly known that a person puts references on his or her resume who are friends and good business associates. It goes to follow that, when asked about the applicant, such references are going to say only good things.

Lady Hawk is way out of line on this one. Rather than reporting the news as it happens, she has chosen to personalize and attack the people involved. I have been a supporter of the Forum because I feel that bringing the news to people electronically is another way of keeping everyone informed. However, I find it difficult to continue to support this website as long as it is rife with attacks and consistently carries threads of personalization in its reporting. That's not news, it's yellow journalism. If the Forum ever wants to be accepted as a serious partner with other area media it must change its form of reporting.
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Vicki Oakes
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PostSubject: Police Chief   Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:09 pm

Mustang... Chief Gary Dinnel is well respected and I believe does an excellent job! I couldn't agree with you more!



The sad thing is that you only think it is unfair when it happens to you or your family. When my husband called to talk to you about your involvement with this site - you didn't feel there was any problem with it.



Now there are a few postings about your family over the course of a couple of days - take a look at how many months and how much they have written about other people in this community. What exactly did they write that you would call "journalism"? Take a good hard look (from the same perspective as you did with your brother) at the things that have been written - and realize that this is just as hurtful to them as it was to your brother.



This type of anonymous writing does nothing to promote our community - or encourage people to step forward to volunteer or run for office.
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Zorro
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PostSubject: Re: Police Chief interviews...how to pick a Chief.   Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:33 pm

Mustang, how long have you been operating under the mistaken impression that a "forum" and "media" and "journalism" go together? The answer to, "Which one is not like the others" is a FORUM. It's a place to speak out -- it's the original form of free speech so preciously fought for and preserved by our founding fathers. They participated in the forums of their day and wrote many of the printed opinions of the day.
Lady Hawk's caveats that you cite above are her cues to us of what she is relaying -- a scene observed, something said, her opinion or her impression. It's very responsible FORUM participation.
Since when is information only credible if it's put before us in a commercial enterprise known as a newspaper? Have you seen what's happened with technology? It makes everyone a reporter -- people sift the credible content using their POWERS OF CRITICAL ANALYSIS -- something they used to teach in school long ago...
I see much in Lady Hawk's observations above that causes me concern. A background reference check shouldn't be a popularity contest -- someone who is loved by everyone usually doesn't amount to doing much. And not checking what's said for validity is slipshod. "Failed" in this case seems to mean "they weren't popular enough for our skim the surface checking."
But I digress....It's a FORUM, not a newspaper. That's the whole idea.
Vicky -- Low blow.
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PostSubject: Police Chief   Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:06 am

I find it ironic that of all the posts on this site - you find my little post a low blow.
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PostSubject: Public Officials need to respond to questions.   Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:43 pm

What is curious to me is that when a person questions the actions of a public servant in the performance of their pubic duty the response seems to be that there are hurt feelings. We are not talking about the years of service that have been performed by the two former police chiefs. That record is still intact. What we are doing here is talking about the process for hiring city employees and does it need improvement.

Vicki Oakes wrote:

Take a good hard look (from the same perspective as you did with your brother) at the things that have been written - and realize that this is just as hurtful to them as it was to your brother.

We are all adults here. When someone questions a public servant in the performance of their duty (and this analogy is for all public employees) it is not appropriate to put on a puppy dog face and say my feelings are hurt. It is the responsibility of the grown adult public official to answer the question and to explain to the people what they did. If in the course of the discussion it is found that there is no error then all is well. If on the other hand there is found something wanting in the process then it is well for the city to correct the process so that government improves.

Bob Meyer stated that he checked the references. Two of the applicants have stated that their references were not checked. There is a discrepancy there. All Bob Meyer has to do is to produce the evidence that references were checked.

We most certainly are seeking the truth here. If it can be shown with evidence that they had called these references then we would be happy to apologize, correct the error, and post that information for the public.

There are four issues to be addressed.

policeman 1.) The process for investigating the character of the applicants by going to coffee shops and talking to people to hear about the applicants. What did you do to assure that the witnesses who gave you the information about the applicants were credible and not just vindictive?

policeman 2.) Did you check the references?

policeman 3.) Why were all the documents shredded within an hour after the meeting of the Police Commission Board? The law requires that they are to be kept for a time so that if there is any question the applicants have access to the data.

policeman 4.) There is such a thing as due process in this country. A person is allowed to defend themselves. Why did you not call the applicants and tell them about the "terrible things" that you had been told by these people in the coffee shops and where ever else you talked to them, and allow the applicants to tell their side of the story? Why didn't you allow the applicants to defend themselves?

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson


Last edited by Lady Hawk on Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:22 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added item #4)
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PostSubject: We Need to Make Government Better   Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:43 pm

I have been gone for a number of days and have had an opportunity to review a number of posts on this thread that I have concerns. Before I begin I would hope this goes without saying, that my reputation and support for law enforcement remains unwavering. Also my support for good government is unwavering.

While I was gone friends have alleged that this site personalized an attack on them. I see how this can be interpreted as a threat, but that was not the intent. The intent was to create better government.

I also do not wish to take away the personal accomplishment of Mr. Mork in obtaining his position as Chief. Congratulations!

As I read the thread I am concerned about past bad practices that have inappropriately assisted in creating bad government. I know that my friends, Meyer and Dinnel, would not knowingly engage in bad practices. I have thought long and hard on why would my friends really do this? I am speculating, but I have thought about this at great length.

When I think about it, I suspect that going to coffee shops and going in to a small town to conduct a background check is the same way that these types of checks occurred years before the advent of the internet. This forum was able to check on the applicants with a few simple calls and a few simple searches. We are in a modern age and can obtain significant accurate information faster and more efficiently.

The old and outdated method of conducting a background check by going into a coffee shop is inherently suspect. A police officer if doing his job does not give favors to politicians or people of power. However if he arrests a mayor or important councilmen he is the subject of vindication. Randomly going into a coffee shop to find out the reputation of a person can lead an innocent out of towner to believe an applicant has a bad reputation.

Our communities in this area need to stop the gossip and stop relying on gossip. A teenager and I were recently talking about gossip and he told me that in his Senior class the teacher started a story that took 10 minutes long and the story was repeated and when the last student told the story, the story was less than a minute and there was little comparison to the real story.

It is always interesting to watch how people justify their actions. For instance, Ms. Oakes attempts to shift the attempt to make government better by saying that she is a victim. As I recall, Ms. Oakes was afraid to confront the truth in the forum and demanded an emergency and confidential meeting with the Chamber in an effort to spread false rumors about the forums.

Apparently in Ms. Oakes world it is okay to sneak around peoples backs and spread rumors about a business or people but when publicly exposed she is the victim. Apparently, she believes rumors are appropriate and who she hurts by these rumors she does not care. This is a public employee.

I think it is safe to assume that going into coffee shops is just a bad method to do a background check. This is maybe the same method we used to obtain others like Mr. Lang. Are the citizens of Ortonville proud of their city clerk? This is my proof this system does not work.

May I suggest that we need to improve our city government, our schools and our churches. We cannot and should not accept rumors as a reliable source of information. Rumors cause destruction and rumors in coffee shops wreck people’s lives. Spreading rumors about others is wrong. Repeating and expanding the rumor is sinful.

Finally, the key to survival in our small communities is to select the most skilled and creative public employees possible. Survival of our communities depends on this premise.

We need to create better government, better schools and in doing this we will create better communities in which to live.

By the way Vicki, Zorro and Top Gun are very offended that you have spread another false rumor about them. Despite your claim they are two different people. I am mouthpiece and do not need another name to deceive others. I am not afraid of the truth and tell it the way I see it.

As to my friends I apologize if I, or the forums hurt you. We need to make changes in government. The future of our children depend on it.
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Vicki Oakes
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PostSubject: mouthpiece police chief   Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:48 pm

It is always interesting to watch how people justify their actions. For instance, Ms. Oakes attempts to shift the attempt to make government better by saying that she is a victim. As I recall, Ms. Oakes was afraid to confront the truth in the forum and demanded an emergency and confidential meeting with the Chamber in an effort to spread false rumors about the forums.

Yes, I am a victim of this site along with many others. Lets take the above for instance. great story - if it were true. Let me make this VERY clear. I DID NOT demand (or even ask for a special meeting) with the Chamber - they were having a meeting already. I'm not sure how it was confidential - there was nothing that indicated this to me. I DID NOT SPREAD FALSE RUMORS ABOUT THE FORUMS.

You mention freedom of speech often - I would assume that you understand that this also applies to me... and that is exactly what I used when I addressed the Chamber Board during my lunch hour.



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PostSubject: Be honest!   Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:54 pm

Vicki

I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Ladyhawk specifically asked Donnette Herberg who was complaining and she advised both of us you wanted to remain confidential.

The minutes of the next meeting were given to us anonymously and your name appeared.

I am sure you have forgotten how the events occurred. Should I put a copy of the minutes on the site?

How about the claim to an agency that I was going by the name of Zorro and Topgun? That is also true Vickie, isn't it?

How did going to the Chamber improve government? That is what this thread is about. How is spreading rumors about others good government? Stick to the topic.
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Freedom of speech is for everyone.   Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:07 am

Vicki Oakes wrote:
Let me make this VERY clear. I DID NOT demand (or even ask for a special meeting)


No one has said you demanded or asked for an emergency meeting. See Yo, Ho, Ho first post.

Vicki Oakes wrote:
- they were having a meeting already.

Donnette stated that after your call she called the other board members and set up an emergency meeting. The minutes state it was an emergency meeting. You can see the minutes on the thread listed above.

Vicki Oakes wrote:
I'm not sure how it was confidential - there was nothing that indicated this to me.

When I asked Donnette who had called her on that Thursday she said it was confidential and refused to tell me. You will have to take it up with her why she refused that information. I only found out it was you who made the complaint after I was given the minutes of that meeting.

Vicki Oakes wrote:
You mention freedom of speech often - I would assume that you understand that this also applies to me... and that is exactly what I used when I addressed the Chamber Board during my lunch hour.


Yes there is freedom of speech. The fact that you are on this forum speaking is testament to that. What is being questioned here is when you go into a private emergency meeting, and then give "information" which causes a business to be restricted, around the same time you, in your official capacity as a city employee, have restricted that same business.

If there were legitimate reasons to have this website pulled from the Chamber then why was their only one complaint? Why weren't there others? Why didn't the Chamber call me in and ask me about the site and try to resolve any issues they imagined were there? Why didn't the chamber allow me to have freedom of speech? Why didn't the Chamber allow me due process and let me tell my side of the story?

What happened by you and the Chamber is just a reflection of the mentality of some people in leadership where you talk behind closed doors and make a judgement against someone secretly. haveuheard That is what appears to have happened again in the case of these two police officers. Information was gathered from unnamed sources who were identified as being hostile to the officers and a decision was made. The references were not checked, according to the sources I have, and the officers were not allowed to defend themselves.

policeman Where was their freedom of speech? Where was their due process?

It's a pleasure talking with you Vicki. You are welcome here. handshake

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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PostSubject: I'm Zorro -- Really   Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:23 am

Well, I wasn't exactly offended at being accused of being an alias for Mouthpiece. He's an OK guy. I was offended at not being considered my own voice. I'm me. Nobody else is me. I'm not anybody else. Just little, good-looking, passionate Zorro.
The spirit and intent of the formal paperwork that accused Moutpiece of using aliases was offensive to me. It also had me scratching my head. scratch

Within the context claimed, so what if I had been an alias of Mouthpiece? That whole finger-pointing thing was a complete disconnect for me.

Anyway, no matter what they say, people usually leave some glaring visible indication of their true motive or actions. That's one of the things that makes this forum so useful for me -- you can read what people post and see right through them because they don't see their own errors. For example -- people don't shred things that may later be used to help defend their actions or decisions. Rather, they shred things "within an hour" when that evidence would help make the other guy's case. I don't believe they weren't clever enough to protect those documents from accidental public release if they'd WANTED to. That's a pretty glaring error. They shredded the evidence....little can erase that fact or what it means. It's these little gems, along with Lady Hawk's pure spirit, that have me respecting this forum.
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TopGun
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PostSubject: The Truth shall Prevail   Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:26 pm

Thanks again to Lady Hawk for infoming us of the inner workings of our
esteemed leaders.
Didn't we all know they would make the job of finding a new police chief a circus?

If we all were subjected to this type of application process none of us would
ever find a job. If you asked enough people about any of us, the evil rumors would
prevail, and our job application would be thrown out, because false rumors are
always flying, especially in this community.

I like Lady Hawk's wise statement -
"Just because "many people" are saying it doesn't make it true.
Where's the evidence?"

Amen to that.

And now I find that Vicki Oakes, in her Infinite Wisdom, has decided in a
written statement that she believes I, (Topgun), Zorro, and Mouthpiece,
are ALL the same person.
Although she writes in glaring capitol letters that she
"DID NOT SPREAD ANY RUMORS ABOUT THE FORUMS".

Like Zorro, I AM MY OWN PERSON AND AM NOT ZORRO OR MOUTHPIECE
and thus is appears that Vicki does revel in spreading rumors wherever
she can. It looks like this forums intent is informing the public about truth,
and she is probably one who would prefer some truths not be exposed,
unless it is some rumor she deems as truth.

The people who run this site have often stated that if something
written is not true, that people please correct the offense.

Vicki's statement that she HAS NOT SPEAD ANY RUMORS ABOUT THE FORUM
is not true : I am not Mouthpiece OR Zorro, and now this
STANDS CORRECTED.

Oh, and yes, freedom of speech IS your perogative, but let's make sure
what comes out of your mouth is true first.
victims beget victims.

cry me a river. bawling

Topgun. me. Really.
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Are references credible.   Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:59 am

Mustang wrote:
To state that "References {of other applicants} were not checked..."

It is a simple enough process. If the references were check simply provide the documentation. Not all the documentation was shredded. There are still phone records. Those can be produced.

Mustang wrote:
implying that Interim Chief Dinnel was involved in bringing charges against Chief Horman is impugning his good name. Gary has an outstanding reputation in Ortonville and does not deserve such an attack.

Chief Dinnel would be familiar with the process and is a legitimate person to ask the question. It was not intended to imply that Interim Police Chief Dinnel was involved in bringing charges.

Mustang wrote:
Lady Hawk also implies that Jason Mork was responsible for the five charges against Chief Horman that were dismissed. Where that comes from is beyond me...and it simply isn't fair, nor is it proper journalism to make such a statement.

It was revealed that Curt was not responsible for five of the charges. That means someone else is responsible for the other five charges. It is a responsible and legitimate question to ask.

Mustang wrote:
Lady Hawk's criticism of how the responses to questions asked of references were interpreted makes one wonder if she understands the process for screening applicants for positions. It's commonly known that a person puts references on his or her resume who are friends and good business associates. It goes to follow that, when asked about the applicant, such references are going to say only good things.

The purpose of the reference check is to establish if the person is of good character. It is amazing to me that this process is being questioned. References are people who will testify that they are of good character. If you want to check other sources there is nothing wrong with that. If those other sources testify that the person has questionable character then one will have to take that into consideration. That still doesn't mean that the references are not telling the truth. Why is a references recommendation being questioned. Why is it assumed that the person saying something bad is being honest. If the references were not contacted and the other side of the story not checked it is not what I call a responsible inquiry.

One of the references was a former mayor of the town. Wouldn't he have something to say that might be credible? Bob Meyer said they called the people they worked for. Why didn't this mayor get called? Just because a person is a reference doesn't mean that their testimony is invalid. They could be saying good things because it is true.

What we are discussing here is a process. Bob Meyer stated that he checked the references. The references are stating that they were not checked. Interim Chief Dinnel stated that the documentation of this process was shredded within an hour after the selection. According to the law the documentation is to be there for applicants to have access to and for the agency to have evidence that the process was done fairly.

These actions now put a cloud over the process and leaves the public to wonder how fair and impartially the process was conducted. When you are a public employee you are accountable to the public. Not everything can be kept hidden behind a screen of "privacy." Bob Meyer and Gary Dinnel should to take into account that they need to avoid any appearance of favoritism. If this is how it is done in Ortonville then perhaps it is time to rethink the process for hiring procedures.

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: No favoritism.   Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:02 am

Mustang wrote:
I have been a supporter of the Forum because I feel that bringing the news to people electronically is another way of keeping everyone informed. However, I find it difficult to continue to support this website as long as it is rife with attacks and consistently carries threads of personalization in its reporting. That's not news, it's yellow journalism. If the Forum ever wants to be accepted as a serious partner with other area media it must change its form of reporting.

Was it "yellow journalism" when the local newspaper reported that the Mayors relative was arrested and put it on the front page and gave free copies to everyone? I could spend a considerable amount of time on this post going over numerous articles by the local news media that some may consider inappropriate. I have sat in peoples homes and heard them call the local newspaper a "tabloid." There are many who see the local media as being biased and showing favoritism. I personally have no desire to be accepted as a serious partner with other area media if it means that we have to show favoritism.

The recent article on the girls school basketball situation is another recent case in point. The paper printed the article and people got the wrong impression of the events. Then the paper even printed letters to the editors that reaffirmed the incorrect information. See here.

Everyone knows that I am a staunch supporter of the police department. That cannot be denied. Lady Hawk is alright when she exposes the foolishness of some leadership who want to get rid of the police department. What needs to be understood is that the same sense of justice can be seen here. If I had ignored the process to hire the police chief then I would have been guilty of favoritism. My printing the story validates that this site can treat people equally. It distressed me to write it. I knew that some people would be saddened to hear that but it was important to get the story out.

This website is the "New Media." Everyone can have a voice and that means there is no favoritism.

Vicki Oakes wrote:
This type of anonymous writing does nothing to promote our community - or encourage people to step forward to volunteer or run for office.

I am not sure what you mean by anonymous writing because both Mouthpiece and I are known. What is the difference between an anonymous complaint to a private emergency meeting to the Chamber and an anonymous post on this website for everyone to see. I'll tell you the difference. If someone goes to a private meeting their story stays hidden and is only whispered about. If someone posts something on this site then what they say can be checked out or other witnesses may post their opinion to either confirm or deny the truth. Everyone who reads these posts become witnesses to what is being said. What matters is if it is true, not who writes it. If it is true then why complain that it was anonymous or call it an attack. If it is true then correct the error.

As far as people volunteering or running for office no one who is honest and does their job fairly and impartially has anything to fear from Lady Hawk or this forum. People who do not treat the public fairly in the performance of their duty and/or instead use their position to further an agenda or for personal gain will find that this forum offers an opportunity to publically discuss those issues.

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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PostSubject: No conflict of Interest   Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:03 am

The mayor of a town wanted to hire an officer and asked him to apply. When it came to the vote by the city council it was a three to three tie. The mayor had the tie-breaking vote. He could have voted to hire this applicant that he wanted but instead the mayor stated that because everyone knew that he wanted this applicant to be the new chief that it could be viewed as a conflict of interest and so abstained from voting. The motion did not pass.

One has to marvel at that mayor. Here was something he wanted but still did not let his personal ambition cloud his public duty. That is a far cry from sitting in the Ortonville City Council meeting and watching people in the audience cry out that there is a conflict of interest. Mayor Johnson and Councilman Berkner both sit there and say there is no conflict (along with Nick Anderson, David Lang, and Craig Ash talking the public down) and vote the way they want. The only time they have admitted to a "conflict of interest" to my knowledge is when an outside agency tells them to.

How fortunate that town is to have such a man for mayor who takes the high road and avoids any hint of favoritism. applause

Ortonville is gearing up for an election. I do hope that honorable people step up to the plate and offer their services to bring openness and accountability to this community.

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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