Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Monday, April 05, 2010

Dave Bicking and the CRA

Last Friday, my colleagues declined to give me a "second" on a motion to reappoint Dave Bicking to the Civilian Review Authority.

I was disappointed in this outcome. I did not expect my motion to prevail, but looked forward to an opportunity to present my reasons for reappointing Dave. The most important of these is the simplest: he did a good job on the CRA. He worked hard. He did his homework. He did his research. He helped the CRA write a report on the performance of the Police Chief in regards to his relationship with the CRA that was clear, cogent, evidence-based, and highly influential, at least in terms of my own vote on the Chief's renomination. Dave also helped my office track the multiple ways in which the Police Department had changed its policy manual without the input of the CRA or policymakers (see here for more on that).

I realize that Dave may have ruffled some feathers, especially by participating in anti-Dolan forums and by embroiling himself in a public fight with the CRA Board Chair Don Bellfield - even going so far as to sue Bellfield in an effort to compel him to do what was, in Dave's estimation, his job. These actions on Dave's part contributed to a sense that he is not capable of being a fair, neutral arbiter of allegations of police misconduct. I do not share that assessment, but I understand it.

From my perspective, this was an unfortunate outcome. The CRA has lost a good, hardworking volunteer who deeply valued the work he was doing and the organization he was serving. While he may no longer be serving on the CRA Board, I am hopeful that he will stay involved in his community and in working for a more just City, and also as someone I can turn to for advice, assistance and help developing policy and researching issues as I have done in the past.


At 7:37 AM, Anonymous William Wallace said...

Readers should be advised that the meeting minutes are available here, and that Cam Gordon, immediately after not getting his "second," proceeded to be the sole "nay" vote on the next 5 resolutions, 4 of which were unrelated.

Particularly disturbing was Gordon's opposition to a federal grant of $500,000 for a lead poisoning prevention services particularly seeking to protect minority children in North Minneapolis.

Cam Gordon, the record makes one wonder if your nay votes were retaliatory.

Since you have the forum, and a penchant for writing, could you explain the real reasons why you voted "nay" on the subsequent five measures, assuming you assert the coincidence is not evidence of pettiness.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Cam Gordon said...

Thank you for bringing this to my attention William.

It was not my intention to vote against the other actions of the Public Safety Committee. I support them all whole-heartedly and voted for them in committee. I don't recall voting against them at the Council meeting but will check with the clerk to make sure the minutes reflect accurately this potential error on my part.

My only explanation is that I was mistaken about what the roll call vote covered and should have clarified in my vote that I was voting no on item one and yes on the remaining.

If the minutes are correct, I will see if there is an easy way to correct the record and will do so.


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