Share This Page

The police chief vote: Government dysfunction

| Friday, April 5, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Perhaps by now, Kittanning Council will have someone hired to replace retired Police Chief Ed Cassesse.

Monday's effort to do so was a bit of a fiasco.

When councilwoman Kim Fox moved to nominate current policeman Bruce Matthew and it was approved by a 5-3 vote, councilman Dick Reedy objected. He said he thought it was just a vote to approve the nomination and not to agree on the hiring. He had someone else he wanted to put up for the job.

The solicitor wasn't there to help the eight leaders with a decision of what exactly was voted on, so the matter was put off until the lawyer could tell them if the vote was good or whether the matter needs to be addressed in a special meeting.

It was a tempest in a teapot. And as good government goes, this episode falls flat.

A robust discussion about potential candidates prior to the motion and a vote would have helped clear the air, and the public would have felt more confident about the deliberation.

Council President Chris Schiano said council had interviewed current police and outsiders for the job. It would have been helpful to the public, as well, to know what criteria were considered — and why Officer Matthews qualified.

Here's hoping the borough's next police chief will have more respect for the public than council displayed on Monday.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.