Chief Manley and Item 47

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Delia Garza
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:20 am

Chief Manley and Item 47

Post by Delia Garza »

Council colleagues,

As our community begins to heal in what we all hope is the beginning of a calm in the last 3 weeks, I wanted to thank Chief Manley and the men and women of our public safety agencies – Austin Police Department, Austin-Travis County EMS, and the Austin Fire Department. Also to the ATF and FBI and Travis County for your help during this crisis. I know the investigation continues and there is much more work to do to ensure our community is in fact, safe from the terror we have felt in the last 3 weeks.

Our community has been through what is arguably the biggest public safety crisis we have experienced together as a community. While many watched the news safely from home, but on edge, the men and women of law enforcement ran to the bombs and explosions.

I ask, in light of recent events, that we as a council put our full support behind two measures:

1. Approve the appointment of Interim Chief Brian Manley as our permanent Chief (if/when the City Manager seeks this approval)
2. Negotiate and APPROVE a contract with the Austin Police Association as quickly as possible.

Months ago the council voted to send the police department to the table and because of a variety of forces we still do not have a contract with our police department but regardless, they have gotten up everyday and gone to work with the primary goal of protecting our community.

I ask my colleagues to stop slow playing council resolutions in an attempt to bring an appearance of support for our law enforcement. Weeks ago we had the opportunity to restore the pay that our officers lost because of the lack of a contract, and the motion I made to fully restore that pay was defeated. Item 47 on Thursday’s agenda is another example of this slow playing. It directs city staff to do what is already being done. As stated by Assistant Chief Gay yesterday, APD is in the process of doing everything Item 47 calls for. Furthermore, the negotiating resolution by resolution is an unnecessary obstacle to getting to a contract. We have forced our city staff to go council office by council office to gain support for any move our negotiating team makes. This is not how negotiating works for our public safety. We have made it entirely impossible to negotiate a contract efficiently. It is our City Manager’s job to negotiate the best contract for the city and then have council approve or reject it. I am ready now to approve the next contract our City Manager presents us with.

Finally, transparency and accountability; and ensuring we have a well-paid and fully staffed police department are not mutually exclusive. We must continue to work to ensure that we hold any bad officers accountable for any bad acts. But I know that the vast majority of the men and women of the Austin Police Department are amazing individuals.

Again, thank you to all who worked tirelessly to bring our community to this beginning stage of healing. Let us never forget those we lost and those who were injured, but move forward together stronger and better.

All my best,

Delia Garza
Mayor Pro Tem, District 2
Leslie Pool
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:22 pm

Re: Chief Manley and Item 47

Post by Leslie Pool »

Colleagues, I write to indicate my agreement with the sentiments in CM Garza's post.

First: I support formalizing the selection of Interim Chief Manley as Austin’s Chief of Police. He is eminently qualified and has done a superb job since assuming those responsibilities when Chief Acevedo left for Houston. Manley has my full support, and I hope City Manager Cronk will decide that appointment very soon.

Second: The resolution in item 47 directs staff to do what is already being done. As Delia’s message says, the city manager negotiates public safety contracts and the Council votes them, up or down - and we do it in public, not in the privacy of our office. That argues for transparency and accountability, and I support our negotiating team’s efforts on behalf of the City.


Leslie Pool
Mayor Pro Tem
Council Member, District 7