As the Executive Director of the Fire and Police Commission says she’s out in the coming months, Common Council members are reacting to her short tenure. In a letter to the Mayor, Common Council Members, and Members of the Fire and Police Commission Griselda Aldrete said she wanted her name taken out of consideration for re-appointment.
In the 2 page letter which outlined the commission’s accomplishments, Aldrete said “Although my appointment received subcommittee approval last month, the climate at City Hall today sadly puts a premium on political point-scoring and conflict.
This state of affairs presages a confirmation hearing based on spectacle, not merit. Furthermore, the looming threat of a politically-motivated hold of my appointment -- as well as for other cabinet members -- has already cast a shadow over the entire process.”
Several of Mayor Tom Barrett’s cabinet level appointments have been put on hold in recent weeks, after the council called for increased scrutiny of the plans each had for their respective departments.
Alderwoman and Public Safety Committee member Chantia Lewis believes Aldrete would have had a tough confirmation vote.
“I could read between the lines she must have had conversations with council members and did not have had enough votes to pass.” Lewis said she was surprised by Aldrete’s decision, but she pointed to resignations of staffers early on in Aldrete’s tenure as signs there was trouble in the FPC department. “The amount of people that have been fired or resigned after being there forever. The fact you lost a lot of historical knowledge under her tenure is shocking” said Lewis.
Alderman Mark Borkowski, who is also on the Public Safety Committee defends Aldrete “I don't know of any manager or coach that doesn’t bring their own team in. When you are the leader you gotta stick your neck out. There’s going to be some decisions that are easy and there are going to be some decisions that people are not going to want because change is difficult.”
Mayor Tom Barrett released a statement late Monday evening on Aldrete. “Griselda came in at a very difficult time and made significant positive contributions, particularly as it relates to the ACLU lawsuit compliance. I am thankful for her service.”
Aldrete said she will stay with the Commission until her replacement is found and a transition is underway.