Ã‚Â I receivedÃ‚Â an interestingÃ‚Â communicationÃ‚Â from the City of Greensboro today.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Entitled “Items for your information August 3rd, 2007” the originator is City Manager Mitch Johnson.
The thing that struck me about it was that some of the items addressed were very blog-centric, meaning,Ã‚Â some ofÃ‚Â the issues Johnson addressesÃ‚Â arose from being merelyÃ‚Â lowly blog posts to the level of an official inquiry or action.Ã‚Â Namely this oneÃ‚Â (Willow Oaks) and this oneÃ‚Â (Sewer pipeline).Ã‚Â This one (EEOC ruling) obviously didn’t originate on local blogs but has been widely discussed.
We are doing something right on these here blogs.Ã‚Â Keep it up everybody.
The entire communique’ can be found after the jump.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â M E M O R A N D U MÃ‚Â Ã‚Â
DATE:Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â August 3, 2007
TO:Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Mayor and City Council
FROM:Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Mitchell E. Johnson, City Manager
SUBJECT:Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â ITEMS FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â North Buffalo Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project
Park construction is continuing to make excellent progress on the North Buffalo Sanitary Sewer Project.Ã‚Â Blasting will continue through the month of August as progress moves from Elm Street to Wendover Avenue.Ã‚Â The concern of neighbors affected by the blasting appears to have abated now that detonations are occurring on a somewhat regular basis.Ã‚Â A few residents and businesses (including Cone Hospital) have requested daily notification of blasting schedules which the contractor is providing.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â In a related issue, the City appears close to negotiating a solution to concerns over blasting in the vicinity of Revolution Mills which has caused contractors delays on the Yanceyville to Church segment.Ã‚Â Water Resources wishes to remind citizens that all blasts are seismically monitored and if any damage is reported, the contractorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s insurance carrier will investigate and settle any issues as appropriate.
If you have any questions please contact Allan Williams at 373-2050.
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Gang Issues (attachment)
Please see attached memo to department heads on this issue.Ã‚Â We hope to have a briefing ready by August 28th.
Ã‚Â Update on Willow Oaks Investigation (attachment)
I recently met with the investigating officer, M.P. Craft, his commanding officer, Captain Gary Hastings, and assistant District Attorney, Stephanie Reece. The purpose of the meeting was to have the investigating officer review the results of his investigation and to hear from the DAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office on their decisions regarding the case. I also asked our City attorney, Linda Miles, to attend as well as Assistant City Manager Ben Brown and Director of Engineering and Inspections, Butch Simmons.
The attached memo from Officer Craft briefly reviews the results of his investigation. Based on the information developed in the investigation the DA determined that there was no actionable issue to pursue because the criminal investigation determined that the City did receive services equal to the amount we were billed.Ã‚Â
I then reviewed the case with Legal to determine if there is a basis for a civil claim on the part of the City of Greensboro. Because the investigation determined that the City received services equal to the amount the City was billed there is no basis for a claim for damages.
While I know there has been a great deal of controversy regarding this project and the decisions made by staff to address the claims by the contractor, I believe we have taken every action to ensure that our decisions and actions were fully supported by the facts of the issue. I am disappointed that Mr. Brown provided a document which was not accurate with regard to where he sent the debris from the demolition and excavation.
Therefore, based on the information developed during the investigation, I am asking our staff to remove Mr. Brown from our list of acceptable bidders at this time. If you have any further questions about this please contact me at 373-2002.
Ã‚Â Update on GTA/SCAT Issues (attachment)
I have attached two memos from Jim Westmoreland and staff regarding several issues which have come to CouncilÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attention regarding GTA and SCAT. If you have any questions please contact Jim Westmoreland at 373-2863.
Ã‚Â Recent Ruling by EEOC
There has been quite a bit of media coverage of the recent ruling by the EEOC with regard to a complaint filed by a group of black police officers. While it would be inappropriate for me to discuss this case in specific I would like to remind everyone of the actions taken by the City of Greensboro with regard to all officers in the Greensboro Police Department in the first few months after Chief WrayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s resignation.
- Policy and Practice was changed so that SID no longer had any role in the investigation of officers.
- An open memo was given to all officers requesting that they bring forward any claims or concerns regarding past administrative and disciplinary actions so that the Acting Chief could review and take appropriate actions to address, as warranted.
- Promotion process and practices were reviewed and in many cases substantially changed especially with regard to Captains and above.
- Investigations were undertaken to determine the full extent of any improper behavior or actions. This investigation is complete and the final actions resulting from this investigation are pending due to the criminal investigation as per the next statement.
- The NC Attorney Generals office assigned a special prosecutor to investigate any potential actions which may have been criminal in nature. Due to unavoidable delays in the NC-AGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office we are still waiting on the outcome of this effort.
Ã‚Â As you can see I believe we have taken the appropriate and prudent steps to address the concerns of all Greensboro officers. However, if in the process of addressing the EEOC we determine that other actions are warranted we certainly consider them.