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Police Association negotiations with the City – The Players

May 24, 2014

If you’ve been reading this blog long, you’ll know that I HATE, LOATH and DETEST Civil Service. In fact, I’d go even farther and say that I have no respect for any Police Office who would advocate for it. It puts a barrier of red tape between the City and it’s people; debilitating the City’s ability to manage the Police force that purportedly serves our citizens. Civil Service destroys local control of a PD and entrusts the management to a bunch of crap heads in Austin.

As I write this summary of the event, I’m going to attempt to be fairly objective and describe what happened. Following that, I’m going to give you my unvarnished take on the positions put forward. I don’t represent City Council anymore, though having served on the City Council for 2 years, I can tell you that there is much information that I am privy to that may never be told to the public. I HATE, LOATH and DETEST, this secret society crap and would love to see it demolished.

First of all, I’ll list some of the attendees. When I got there, I took a picture of the sign-in sheet. Although at least one more showed up later, I think this is most of the people that were there.

Lyle Lombard Fire Department
Ben Wescott Fire Department
Bill Crawford Fire Department
Ryan Erwin Police Department*
Stephen Godiol Police Department
Dwayne Lethet Police Department
John Siriega Texas Municipal Police Association*
Ben Little Police Department*
Jason Babcock Police Department*
Lowell Cannaday Police Department
Robert Parker Police Department
Greg Vick City Manager

Marcia Reyna was also in attendance, but did not sign the roster.

There was another woman in attendance, but I didn’t get her name.

The four individuals marked with the asterisk are the people negotiating for the Police Association (PA). I thought that they did a pleasant job overall. They were courteous and professional and represented their constituents well.

Ben Wescott is the representative for the IAFA (International Association Firefighters of America) or something like that. I may have the letters wrong. If I think about it, I’ll try to look it up. He was sitting closest to me, so I asked him if he would be attempting to use “Meet and Confer” to help resolve any issues with the Fire Department. He said he was there to see how it went and depending upon what he saw, they may or may not go for something. In all of my dealings with Ben Wescott, I’ve found him to be a very professional and courteous person. He and I disagree entirely on the usefulness of Chapter 143 (Civil Service), and I can say that he has always been an outstanding representative for his group of people too.

Speaking of representatives, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Officer’s Ben Little and Jason Babcock and I would say the same thing about them. I suspect that we would agree on very little about policing in general, and yet I found each of them to be very courteous and polite every time I’ve had the opportunity to speak to them. While I dislike the idea of the Police Association (PA), I can say that I believe that these two represent the group well.

Representing the City was the City Manager (CM), Greg Vick. I’m not sure if Marcia Reyna was there as a representative of the City of Watauga, or acting in her role as Civil Service contact, but she sat on the same side of the table as the City Manager (CM).

Greg Vick was also very courteous and professional during the course of the meetings. I don’t think either side interrupted or was rude during the whole encounter.

John Siriega (JS) was the representative from the Texas Municipal Police Association. He did most of the talking for the Police Association (PA) and Officers Babcock, Little, and Erwin chimed in as need to clarify details as they pertained to the logistics of the local Police department.

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