Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quigley's Management Skills

By all accounts, Jim Quigley likes things his way or the highway. Which is why it's refreshing to see members of the Ulster town board stand up to him on the hiring of a new top cop:
The Town Board has put off hiring a new police chief after learning a second person is interested in the job, and board members are at odds over whether to interview even more people.

The board’s Personnel Committee, which comprises three of the board’s five members, voted unanimously earlier this week to recommend Lt. Anthony Cruise be hired as chief. Cruise has been overseeing the department since mid-June, when Chief Matthew Taggard was suspended after being charged with official misconduct. Taggard, who was accused of failing to report sex crimes of which he was aware, retired on Friday.

A vote on appointing Cruise as chief was expected at Thursday’s board meeting, but the matter was delayed after Personnel Committee members said their recommendation that only Cruise be considered for the job appeared to have been premature because Trevor Barringer, a sergeant in the town police department, also is interested in becoming chief.

The board did vote, 3-2, in favor of promoting from within the department when appointing a new chief.
Quigley wanted to rubber-stamp the new chief and move on. Nothing to see here folks, certainly nothing that could complicate Quigley's plans to run for county executive.

So, why didn't anyone know there was another interested applicant? Did anyone bother to ask? And why hasn't this job been advertized? There are no doubt many highly qualified law enforcement officials out there who would fit the job description. And hiring from outside after a major scandal is often a good idea, as the appointee wouldn't have any political baggage. Hiring from within might not be the best idea at the moment.

But why am I telling you this? Shouldn't Quigley be recommending a comprehensive job search? Or, does Quigley simply want to appoint someone he can control when the next scandal hits?

The town board should slow down and do a comprehensive search for Taggard's replacement. And Quigley is an autocrat who should never be allowed anywhere near the county executive's office.

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