Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chip Johnson on Leadership Gap

By Chris Thompson
Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 8:52 AM

Chron columnist Chip Johnson makes an excellent point today, although he doesn't quite frame it this way. Oakland's leadership crisis is much worse than merely having an empty suit for a mayor. The fire chief is quitting, the police chief is going to quit, the city administrator got fired, and the head of Community and Economic Development... well, we don't actually have one. Almost all the most important offices in city government don't have a permanent leader. On the other hand, Johnson goes a little far when he adds that the new police chief should find a way to get out of complying with regulations the Department agreed to in the wake of the terrible Riders scandal. Specifically, Johnson wants to end the practice of keeping 30 officers on internal affairs duty, freeing them up to replenish an understaffed force. Lack of oversight left the Riders free to put innocent men in state prison, destroying their lives forever, and Johnson apparently wants to return to that era. Hey Chip, if you really want more cops, there's a property tax measure on the ballot this November. Pay yer taxes!

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