December 21, 2010 8 Comments
Last night, the City-County Council voted on what normally is the mundane, routine re-appointments of city agency directors. The Mayor appoints the agency directors, but the Council votes to approve them. The vote is merely symbolic however, as the Council has no authority to remove an appointee from their job – the appointee would serve until a replacement is nominated by the Mayor and approved by the Council. Channel 16 viewers learned this after Councillor Vernon Brown (D) noted that the Mayor could “appoint Satan and we wouldn’t have any authority to get rid of him.” Councilor Brown, we heard Bart Peterson tried it and that’s part of why he lost re-election. Okay, okay—that may have had something more to do with income taxes.
Back to the point. For the last few weeks, the FOP has tried to derail the re-appointment of Public Safety Director Frank Straub. The FOP was all over the news in the days leading up to the committee vote trying to rile the public up against Straub. They were unsuccessful in preventing his re-appointment from passing out of committee…perhaps because the FOP voted just days before the committee hearing to pay for Bisard’s legal representation, the public didn’t take them seriously?
Despite the FOP’s attempts to foil Straub’s reforms of IMPD by booting him out of office, the Council voted 16-13 to re-appoint him in last night’s full Council meeting. Democrats Brown, Mansfield and Nytes voted in support of Straub’s re-appointment, and Republicans McHenry and Scales voted against it. While the FOP was hoping Straub would go down in flames he didn’t – and according to Brown, even Satan couldn’t go down in flames anyway.
Brown himself was on fire last night. Councillor Ed Coleman (L after being elected as an R with R support) opened discussion on Straub’s re-appointment noting that he was the only Councillor to oppose Straub’s initial appointment 11 months ago. Brown reminded Coleman that since the Council had no real authority to remove appointed directors, that “if you don’t like Straub, don’t vote for Mayor Ballard again.” We here at WSP chuckled at Brown reminding Coleman how he got his seat on the Council in the first place.