Monday, November 7, 2011
One Question For Charlotte Mayor and Charlotte City Council Candidates
On Friday Cedar Posts emailed a single question to all Charlotte City Council candidates and both candidates for Mayor.
The idea for emailing a single question was suggested by a Cedar Posts reader who pointed out: "Normally I never approve of "single issue" voters, but I would like to add (this question) into consideration when I decide whom to vote for......"
The question is as follows:
Do you wholeheartedly and unreservedly support the current Chief of Police and his Executive Staff?
Candidates were told that they could provide a simple yes or no, or a more detailed answer and explanation. The candidates were also told that their answers would be presented in their entirety without edit.
Additionally candidates were told:
"Should you choose not to reply or provide an answer, Cedar Posts will attempt to answer the question based on known sources such as main stream media, blogs and your promotional material and web site. Your answer is of course preferred."
Only Claire Fallon, Alexander G. Vuchnich, Christopher Hailey, Dennis Patterson, Mohamed Moustafa, Curtis Watkins and Andy Dulin provided answers.
Their responses are shown below, for those candidates who did not respond, Cedar Posts answered the question for them based on their own words or statements and voting records.
Mayor, City of Charlotte
Anthony Foxx - Democrat
Mayor Foxx did not respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
While Mr. Foxx seems to have a cozy relationship with Chief Monroe there is an underlying level of friction.
Mr. Foxx who was in favor of getting a look at Marcus Jackson's file was quoted as saying "We should have had the opportunity to ask the questions ourselves and get the answers ourselves".
Foxx went on to point out even if they decided not release the files, at least they could give the public more information as to why. "Even if we had decided not to disclose the records at the end of the day," he pointed out. "For us to glean the information we need to look citizens in the eye and let them know why there are good reasons it wasn't disclosed."
Web Site: http://www.anthonyfoxx.com/
Scott Stone - Republican
Mr. Stone did not respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
Based on this exchange from last week's Charlotte Observer "On-Line Chat" Cedar Posts feels Mr. Stone is less than 100% behind CMPD Chief Monroe.
Guest: How will you influence the gang troubles in Charlotte?
Scott Stone: "When we had riots in Uptown Memorial Day weekend, I was the first one to speak publicly about it. The mayor finally responded with a press conference several days later.
We do have gangs here and CMPD knows it and has officers assigned to it. I think it is an important step to admit we have a problem, so that we can discuss it openly and honestly. Sweeping under the rug will not help.
At my press conference on the Tuesday after Memorial Day, I was the first candidate / public official to bring up the curfew issue. I don't think it is being enforced strongly enough. Several politicians talked about it later that week, but we have heard very little since."
Web Site: http://www.electscottstone.com/
Charlotte City Council At-Large
Patrick D. Cannon - Democrat
Mr. Cannon did not respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
It is Cedar Posts belief and the record shows that Mr. Cannon supports Chief Monroe and his executive staff wholeheartedly and without reservation or question.
Web Site: http://www.patrickdcannon.com/
Claire Fallon - Democrat
Ms. Fallon's Response:
"I support our uniformed services in their endeavors to protect the public. I reserve the right to question decisions made by the administration as a thinking person. To date I have been pleased with the reduction in crime and seeing more uniformed officers on the street. That said I do not wholeheartedly and unreservedly support anyone without question. I believe it is my duty as a citizen to obtain all facts before coming to conclusions on events that happen. Claire Fallon - candidate city council at large. "
David Howard - Democrat
Mr. Howard did not respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
Mr. Howard was one of 4 council members that voted to review the Marcus Jackson personnel files. Cedar Posts does not have a good feel for Howard's position on Chief Monroe. However in the past Mr. Howard has been a strong supporter of Chief Monroe.
Web Site: http://www.votedavidhoward.com/
Beth Pickering - Democrat
Beth Pickering did not respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
Although her web site proclaims: "I would continue to support our Police Chief Monroe 100%". Cedar Posts does not considered her to be a serious candidate.
Web Site: http://www.voteforbethpickering.com/
Alexander G. Vuchnich - Libertarian
Mr. Vuchnich's response:
"I believe that the role of City Council is to set the strategic direction and overall goals for the department but that the best support that Council can provide to the Chief and his staff is to let them decide the best means by which to carry out their tasks. As long as Chief Monroe and his staff continue to meet the goals set by City Council, then any criticisms raised against CMPD should be directed at City Council not Chief Monroe as he is carrying out the plan that they have set.
I wholeheartedly and unreservedly believe that he and his staff have achieved the goals set forth by City Council and should be credited for carrying out the goals set before them."
Web Site: http://www.vuchnichforcitycouncil.org/
Christopher Hailey - Republican
Mr. Hailey's response:
Web Site: http://www.votehailey.com/
Mohamed Moustafa - Republican
Mr. Moustafa's Response:
"No No and NO"
"Some crime is down in Charlotte. While our police chief likes to take credit for that, the truth is that crime has been trending down somewhat all over the country. This trend has more to do with demographics and effective policing.
Is our community safe? Ask the convenience store operator. Or the lady walking to her car after dark. Or the victim of a burglary. Or the innocent victims of gang violence.
The police department has become politicized and more concerned about public image than public safety. If Charlotte is going to become safer, we need common sense community policing; policemen who actually know the neighborhood, who know the people and establish a positive relationship, thereby earning the trust and respect of the people they’re serving.
And while driving after enjoying a glass of wine with dinner, doing seventy in a sixty zone, driving with an expired license plate are matters of concern, the real crimes are the ones with victims. And it’s the real crimes our police should be concentrating on.
Our police need to be concentrating on crimes of violence, theft and destruction of property -- first. Victimless crimes are relatively easy to deal with and raise a lot of revenue, it’s the crimes against person and property that should be their top priority.
Remember: The first job of the police is to protect.
Mohamed Moustafa (R) Candidate for Charlotte City Council At-large"
Web Site: http://www.votemohamedmoustafa.com/
Edwin B. Peacock III - Republican
Mr. Peacock did not respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
The record shows that Mr. Peacock supports Chief Monroe and his executive staff wholeheartedly and without reservation or question.
From Peacock's Website: "Without a public that feels safe, our options for a bright future are limited. In a recent police ride along I completed with a CMPD officer, I learned first hand that our crime problems are complex and can not be solved with a single solution. "
Peacock's website contains the following statement, "These professionals must be well equipped and ready to protect our citizens." This goes along with Peacock's "no questions" asked mentality when it comes to police budget consent items.
Mr. Peacock, was one of 6 council members that voted against reviewing Marcus Jackson's personnel files.
When asked if he thought Charlotte City Council had done enough with regards to Marcus Jackson and the information the Chief had supplied Peacock replied:
"I think we've provided plenty of information about what Mr Jackson's done. I think the police chief has gone out of his way to explain everything and to expose as much as he possibly can."
A few days later is became clear the Chief Monroe had lied to Charlotte's City Council about his knowledge of Marcus Jackson's prior issues.
Web Site: http://www.edwinpeacock.com/
Curtis Watkins - Republican
Mr. Watkins response:
"The question leaves a lot to be desired...
While I do believe in supporting our law enforcement staff to the utmost ability, I very rarely will support anything "unreservedly" as context must always be applied.
Did they break rules or protocol while performing their duties or infringe on the constitutional rights of an individual? Are there specific grievances that can be addressed or discussed? Circumstance is too important in such an organization to blindly answer "yes" or "no" to this particular question."
Web Site: http://www.curtis-watkins.com/
Charlotte City Council District 1
Patsy Kinsey - Democrat
Ms. Kinsey did not respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
On January 25, 2010 Ms. Kinsey voted to not review the Marcus Jackson personnel file, siding with Chief Monroe and City Manager Curt Walton.
Ms. Kinsey has in the past expressed grave concerns regarding Chief Monroe. Much of which comes from the discovery that the Chief does not have what is considered by most as anything more than an honorary degree from Virgina Commonwealth University.
However, Ms. Kinsey has recently rubber stamped all CMPD consent items without question.
David Michael Rice - Republican
Mr. Rice did not respond to Cedar Posts' email request and Cedar Post's does not consider him a serious candidate.
Charlotte City Council District 2
James (Smuggie) Mitchell, Jr. - Democrat
Mr. Mitchell did not respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
It is Cedar Posts belief and the record shows the Mr. Mitchell supports Chief Monroe and his executive staff wholeheartedly and without reservation or question.
On January 25, 2010 Mitchell voted to not review the Marcus Jackson personnel file, siding with Chief Monroe and City Manager Curt Walton.
Charlotte City Council District 3
LaWana Mayfield - Democrat
Ms. Mayfield failed to respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
Ms. Mayfield's primary victory made national news because Charlotte has never elected an openly LGBT city council member. If she wins Tuesday's general election it will be a first for Charlotte.
Web Site: http://www.lawanamayfield.com/
Ed Toney - Republican
Mr. Toney failed to respond to Cedar Posts' email request and is not considered a serious candidate for Warren Turner's council seat.
Charlotte City Council District 4
Michael D. Barnes - Democrat
Mr. Barnes failed to respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
Cedar Posts' notes that Mr. Barnes has shown in the past that he doesn't buy all that Chief Monroe is saying, most importantly when it comes to the department's ever expanding expenses.
On January 25, 2010 Barnes voted to review the Marcus Jackson personnel file, siding with the minority and Mayor Foxx.
Recently Barnes questioned along with Council member Andy Dulin a CMPD request for purchasing additional police cars.
Larry Shannon - Republican
Mr. Shannon failed to respond to Cedar Posts' email request and is not considered a serious challenger for Mr. Barnes' seat.
Charlotte City Council District 5
John Autry - Democrat
Mr Autry failed to respond to Cedar Posts' email request.
The following is from Mr. Autry's website:
"I will work to increase CMPD presence in our district. I applaud Mayor Foxx’s vision for an expanded police force that has an increased number of boots on the ground. The 5th District has only experienced a 5.3% drop in crime, compared to a citywide average of 10.8%. I will work to speed up the establishment of an Eastland Division CMPD precinct."
Web Site: http://www.johnautry.com/
Dennis Peterson - Republican
Mr. Peterson's Response:
"I do not wholeheartedly and unreservedly support Chief Monroe. There have been a number of incidents that have occurred during his tenure that cause me concern and I'm still troubled regarding the questions surrounding his college education.
However, while the CMPD is preparing its security plans for the Democratic National Convention, I would not advocate his removal. The City of Charlotte must have a fully prepared, trained, and resourced police force that can ensure the public safety during this critically important event.
My biggest concern is what happens to our police force after the DNC? Will we say the mission is over and cut staff -thereby increasing the threat to our citizens? Though the crime statistics paint a picture that says our city is safe - if a crime happens in your neighborhood, you don't feel secure. We cannot rest on our laurels while some people do not feel safe in their own homes."
Charlotte City Council District 6
Andy Dulin - Republican
Mr. Dulin's Response:
In response to the question about The Chief of Police and his executive staff:
I’m proud of the Monroe hire and pleased with the gains the PD has made to reduce crime and to give the community a better feeling of safety. That credit goes to the Officers!
That feeling does exist. I am in the neighborhoods virtually every Tues and Thurs night at HOA meetings and folks tell me and thank me. When they thank me I say, without reservation that it is not me, it’s the men and women of the CMPD. Have I heard some under tone rumblings about the Chief, yes, but as a Council member I do not see those first hand, only a rumble from time to time and it’s very rare.
As for the Chief’s exec staff, I assume you are referring to the four Deputy Chief’s? I have no problem with them but I do not frequent communications with them. In my opinion they are serving the City well.
Thank you, CP for the opportunity to answer your question,
Web Site: http://www.voteandydulin.com/
Charlotte City Council District 7
Warren Cooksey - Republican
Warren Cooksey failed to respond to Cedar Post's email request.
But Mr. Cooksey has shown in the past he is a rabid supporter of Chief Monroe.
On January 25, 2010 Mr. Cooksey voted to not review the Marcus Jackson personnel file, siding with Chief Monroe and City Manager Curt Walton.
In September Cooksey told Pundit House:
"Monroe demonstrates a much-needed focus on both actually reducing crime and increasing the public’s perception of safety.
Since the Chief’s reorganization, Charlotte’s overall crime rate is down, the homicide rate is down, and calls for service are down. CMPD is developing a stronger partnership with the District Attorney’s office.
Admittedly, there have been some missteps. None, however, has been as bad as they seemed at the time after a review of the facts. The post-Speed Street shooting of two young men should not have happened. Nevertheless, a comparison with the type of mayhem experienced by Vancouver in June and the United Kingdom this summer shows that using the term “riot” for Charlotte’s incident is overstating the case."
Cedar Posts has taken issue with Mr. Cooksey minimization of the "riot/non-riot" see Monday After More Spin here. Chief Monroe's, and Mr. Cooksey's definition of a riot is far from CMPD's official definition of riot provided in the CMPD directives.
Web Site: http://www.warrencooksey.com/index.php