CityCouncil, Fire/Police Com.Brd

Mayor to Appoint to Board of Fire and Police Com. brother of Ret. Police Chief Kinkade

City Council:
Tuesday 9-4-2012 at 7 p.m.

Kidding? Nope, not kidding.

In Review: The Mayor gets to choose an appointee. Then the Aldermen get to vote with their constituents in mind, saying yea or nay.

In the case of a Board, it looks like that process continues until a majority of Aldermen vote yes.

Isn’t there a state statute about relatives? How about the Illinois Municipal League’s best practices for elected officials?

Imagine a close relative of the Police Chief (brother is close, isn’t it, even if you don’t like him?) sitting on a three-person board making decisions on grievances filed by personnel or local residents or requests from the Chief for hearings about suspensions, discharges, and promotions.

Chief Kinkade did a good job. But when a grievance is filed against actions by a department, the chief is usually named. And as you know, these legal proceedings often go on for many years or even decades. And Chief Kinkade is named on hearings about situations that occurred during his tenure as Chief.

Employees, supervisors, chiefs, citizens and the State of Illinois all expect a fair shake from the non-partisan, non-political, Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

An appointee closely related to a person whose actions will be at the center of hearings before this board for years to come is clearly an unethical choice and raises the question of the integrity of any city council who would approve such an appointment.

There are over 27,000 people in the City of Kankakee and many intelligent educated community members who are actively involved and could serve without questions regarding their bias. Only two members of any one political party are allowed to sit on this board at the same time, so there is a large pool of people to choose from.

We have a good police force and fire department who care about what they do and how they do it. The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners in charge of those departments should be required to meet the same high standards. See article update 9-5-2012

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