Editorial Staff of citynewswatch has received confirmation that neither Chief Monroe, his representatives, Curt Walton, nor Mayor Foxx or Council has responded to any of the financial concerns expressed directly to them about the Police Department operations as of close-of-business today (Friday, August 26th). Neither have they responded regarding the concerns about the pressure (intimidation?) and delays from the Office of the Chief. None has responded, either, to concerns over CMPD claims of complete confusion over the state of Millions of our dollars.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate… Once citynewswatch made these financial concerns public, (see earlier post here ), there was a very quick mention at Monday's Council Meeting by Councilman Barnes he had some concerns, but they had been resolved. The problem is, he won’t explain what his concerns were, or how they were resolved (see post here ).
The response from Council was to heave another $600K Monroe’s direction Monday evening (August 22nd), unfunded, and with the expectation that it will be reimbursed from a $55 Million Federal Grant which Mayor Foxx has asked for, but does not have yet.
Even if we had the approved grant, does that mean we should spend money unnecessarily? Council has declined to supply any detail of the “CMPD Command Center Upfit” we’ll be paying for. Is “money from Washington” free money? No. The country is drowning in taxpayer debt. Also, if there are legitimate questions that should be investigated and explained concerning the handling of Federal money, is it advisable to overlook them and potentially risk any involvement with the rest of the pending $55 Million Grant and others?
It is advisable to do so for the sake of giving complete autonomy and secrecy to a public agency and public employee controlling public funds? No.
UPDATE 9/3/2011: citynewswatch has received confirmation that City Manager Walton, Councilman Barnes, Mayor Foxx, any other Council member, or any CMPD representative has not supplied any information or response to date concerning the above public information requests or the stated concerns.
The Charlotte Observer stated that immediately after the August 22nd meeting, City Manager Curt Walton claimed he didn't know the details of the nearly $600,000 item Council had just voted to approve--which is stunning, especially considering that it had been removed for at least a few moments, but that Barnes said all of his concerns had been cleared up. (see CO article here)
Citynewswatch asks again: Councilman Barnes: Please state your concerns openly. Please state openly how those concerns were resolved. Please publish the items that are included on this unfunded, City-Council-Approved budget item that your City Manager doesn't know the details of... It is the public's right to know.