Letters and comments for January 23, 2012

By Observer Upload January 25, 2012 10:52 pm
Letters and comments for January 23, 2012

 

Stover ineffective

 

To the Editor:

Contrary to a recent letter to the editor, Mayor Stover of Elgin had total control of the Elgin Police Department when policing concerns arose. 

A petition presented in June 2010 described problems with Chief Lynch. Mayor Stover refused to allow citizens to be part of finding a solution.

Citizens specifically asked “How can we help?”

Mayor Stover, speaking without consulting the council, stated he would handle the situation.

The City Council addressed the need for annual evaluations at the April 12, 2011, meeting.

That means Mayor Stover did not simply overlook evaluations for three years as he stated at the Nov. 18, 2011, City Council meeting. He had discussed evaluations at length just seven months before and chose to do nothing.

The Oregon Association Chiefs of Police report, an independent review of Elgin Police by outside professionals, highlighted concerns on Oct. 5, 2011.

From page 5, “The last performance review of Chief Kevin Lynch was done three years ago by a former mayor. The police chief believes he reports to the mayor as this was past practice.”

From page 4, “The overall lines of authority between the police chief and elected officials are blurred, misunderstood or non-existent.”

The mayor failed in his duties. He ignored citizen input. He ignored city councilors. His line of authority with the chief was weak.

I ask myself, if the mayor had listened and completed evaluations; if the mayor was a firm, clear leader; could a senseless death have been avoided?

Effective mayors follow the rules. If he/she is an active volunteer, too, that is a plus. But being an active volunteer does not guarantee a person will serve the public with honesty, integrity, common sense and good cheer. I have learned that through personal experience.

The citizens of Elgin deserve better. Recall Mayor John Stover.

Robert Briggs

Elgin


 

Letters From Readers

The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters can be no more than 300 words. All letters must be signed by the author and carry the address of the sender.

The Observer edits letters for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons.

We will not publish consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks against private individuals.

Thank-you letters are discouraged. 

Include a telephone number and address for verification purposes only.

Letter writers are limited to one letter every two weeks. Writers of longer Community Comment columns are limited to one every three months.

Send your letters to: The Observer, 1406 Fifth St., La Grande, OR 97850, or they can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or faxed to 541-963-7804.