Last-minute tweaks to document leave observers guessing
Published: May 25, 2011
In fact, as best we can tell, the proposed structure would be unique to Detroit.
Among Bennett's concerns: There are no criteria or parameters included in this proposal that will prevent the newly elected seven members, who will be the majority, from creating policy that will put the police and citizens at risk. The way the proposal is currently constructed, someone just coming home from prison who had been incarcerated due to the work of Detroit Police Officers could be voted in as an authority over the police department and those officers.
On the other side is Mohamed Okdie, a former chair of the Police Commission. In his view, if Detroiters want to elect a convicted felon to the commission, then so be it. That's the way things work in a democracy: People get to choose who represents them.
Okdie's beef with the proposal is that it contains any mayoral appointees at all. He thinks the entire board should be elected. He also thinks that 11 members is too many.
"In a nutshell, these numbers make the decision-making much more cumbersome, and the injection of the mayor's appointees into the mix makes matters worse."
The way Okdie sees it, the Charter Commission "took something that already wasn't working and made it worse."
For his part, although he shares some of Okdie's concerns, Scott tells News Hits that the proposed compromise is that one he can live with.
If the proposal stands, it is possible to envision some pretty wild election scenarios. The city's drug kingpins might form a covert sort of political action committee to back candidates that would come down hard on the department. Much more likely, though, would be for the cop unions to pony up to support police-friendly candidates.
Ah, democracy. It is a beautiful thing, even with the headcheese.
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