Belmont seeks help in finding police chief

May 8, 2011 Full story: www.gastongazette.com 62

Belmont's next police chief could already be serving on the police force. Charlie Franklin has been acting as interim police chief since David James retired this March and said he'd like to throw his hat in the ring for the top spot.

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Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#1 May 8, 2011
I don't know the acting chief. But, why do we need to spend money for the search? Couldn't you just open up for resumes? If the man's good, why not hire him? I would think there would be an advantage to a man or woman who knows the town already.
Malcolm III

Charlotte, NC

#2 May 9, 2011
If it were a lesser position, I'd agree that they could just open up for resumes, but for Police Chief, I think some due diligence by an independent 3rd party is a good idea.

That said - the author of that Gaston Gazette article sure did make it seem like this was a no brainer.
Irl Dixon

Gastonia, NC

#3 May 9, 2011
Hi, Nugeme. I haven't posted here in a while but I thought I would answer this one since I was involved in one search while on council. Actually, I shouldn't say I was involved because this is really the City Manager's call. He will hire the new chief. His main concern will be to hire someone the Council would not object to. Like an athletic director at a major college, a bad hire could cost the manager his job as well as the person he hired.

The concern about hiring someone internally is that: 1. You will be accused of cronyism. 2. There are always certain jealousies in a department as large as the police force. 3. There may be a better candidate available than anyone you have on staff. 4. Knowing the department may not be the best asset because you may lose the opportunity to bring in new and better ideas by hiring internally.

Charlie Franklin is a good man and has been devoted to the Belmont Police Department his entire career. He has been excellent at every position he's occupied over the years but I believe he is also the grandson of former Councilwoman Becky Burch. Because of that relationship, it would be in his best interest to go thru the process even if he is hired.

The $1700 is a small price to pay to try to get it right. The actual cost is probably a lot more. By being a member of the Council of Government, you are given a certain amount of financial credits you can spend per year for their services. If you don't spend it, it's gone. I bet the actual costs are probably closer to $8-10,000.

What they did last time was put a group of citizens together (no Council members) and had them interview the candidates. The list of candidates was supplied by COG from the people who applied thru their search. I think COG only gave you people they felt were the best candidates. Belmont's acting cheif at that time was included but he didn't get the job. By doing it this way, you keep from hiring someone that the community might strongly object to.
Malcolm III

Charlotte, NC

#4 May 9, 2011
Irl Dixon wrote:
What they did last time was put a group of citizens together (no Council members) and had them interview the candidates.
Just out of curiosity, where do they find citizens who have the time to do this sort of thing?

Are they mostly retirees, independantly wealthy or school teachers during breaks?

As a working stiff, I sure wouldn't have time for this.
Irl Dixon

Gastonia, NC

#5 May 9, 2011
Malcolm III wrote:
<quoted text>
Just out of curiosity, where do they find citizens who have the time to do this sort of thing?
Are they mostly retirees, independantly wealthy or school teachers during breaks?
As a working stiff, I sure wouldn't have time for this.
Yes. Also add to that list people who have flexible jobs. I told Barry I could help this time if he needs me because I can set my own hours at work. He will try to get a good cross section of the community if they do it that way again.

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#6 May 9, 2011
Thanks Irl - that sheds a lot of light on the process. Too bad current council members won't step up to the plate offer the same info you did. But...I still can't help from feeling that money is spent to protect Barry's job after hearing your explanation. LOL.
Irl Dixon

Gastonia, NC

#7 May 9, 2011
nugeme wrote:
Thanks Irl - that sheds a lot of light on the process. Too bad current council members won't step up to the plate offer the same info you did. But...I still can't help from feeling that money is spent to protect Barry's job after hearing your explanation. LOL.
I see your point. This is the only managerial job they would hire COG to help with the search. It is such a high profile position. Maybe higher than the City Manager job. We used COG to help with the search when we hired Barry. They did a great job and brought us several outstanding candidates.
Amazed

Belmont, NC

#8 May 9, 2011
WOW. An actual conversation on here by adults.
return of formerword

Gastonia, NC

#9 May 9, 2011
Amazed wrote:
WOW. An actual conversation on here by adults.
its refreshing
Concerned Citizen

Gastonia, NC

#10 May 20, 2011
If the city is going to go outside to hire people (i.e.) the police chief what kind of incinitive is that for the people of the force to work hard to move up the ladder. As for Irl Dixions comment that Charlie Franklin is Becky Burchs grandson what has that got to do with anything. Mrs Burch is no longer on the city council.
Irl Dixon

Gastonia, NC

#11 May 20, 2011
What it has to do with anything is that there will be a lot of people who will immediately question his getting the job. Personally, I like Charlie Franklin and think he would be a good hire. He has done an outstanding job for the city.
Malcolm III

Charlotte, NC

#12 May 20, 2011
Concerned Citizen wrote:
If the city is going to go outside to hire people (i.e.) the police chief what kind of incinitive is that for the people of the force to work hard to move up the ladder.
He can get the experience, and then get a job in another city where there won't be anyone grumbling about cronyism.
People switch companies in order to get a raise/promotion all the time. That's how the other people applying for this position will have made themselves eligible.
Irl Dixon

Gastonia, NC

#13 May 20, 2011
Exactly, Malcolm. There are plenty of companies that hire their top leaders from outside and don't promote but so high. Why? Jealousy is a big reason. Fresh ideas can come into play. Experience is another. Belmont should hire the best candidate available. The only way to find out who that person might be is to open the hiring process up to everyone. Think about it. Charlotte's chief came from another city. I can't recall a City Manager for Belmont that was ever promoted from within.
Concerned Citizen

Gastonia, NC

#14 May 22, 2011
Would either of you two want to pick up and leave your familes and friends to move to another city? If this was Charlotte or a larger city I could see your point. Mr. Dixion keeps speaking of jealousy,
on whose part is he speaking of jealousy and as far as Malcolm III is concerned if he is truly from New York what difference does it make to him?
It seems to me Mr. Dixion has an ax to grind and don't quiet know how to do it.
Irl Dixon

Gastonia, NC

#15 May 22, 2011
Concerned Citizen wrote:
Would either of you two want to pick up and leave your familes and friends to move to another city? If this was Charlotte or a larger city I could see your point. Mr. Dixion keeps speaking of jealousy,
on whose part is he speaking of jealousy and as far as Malcolm III is concerned if he is truly from New York what difference does it make to him?
It seems to me Mr. Dixion has an ax to grind and don't quiet know how to do it.
No, Mr. Citizen, I have no ax to grind. Please quit trying to make something out of nothing. I have already said Charlie Franklin would make a great chief but if you don't go through the process correctly, there will be issues. Can't say it any simpler than that. You will read about them on Topix. It's a shame but people will try to find fault with the hire just as you are trying to find it with me by looking for some nonexistent agenda.
Flag etiquette

Belmont, NC

#16 May 22, 2011
Heck, I just hope they can find a chief who will insist that the flags be flown correctly in front of police headquarters.
Concerned Citizen

Gastonia, NC

#17 May 22, 2011
I understand what you are saying about going thru the correct process. In other words no matter who is appointed chief and no matter what process is used there will be someone that is unhappy. I guess the old addage comes into play here - "You can please some of the people some of the time by not all the people all the time." But ah such is human nature. i really don't know why I got into this discussion anyway, this won't take affect until July. So I will see my way out of this discussion by saying I have enjoyed our little debate.
Irl Dixon

Gastonia, NC

#18 May 22, 2011
Thank you Citizen. That was exactly what I was saying.
Northblinthead

Gastonia, NC

#19 May 23, 2011
I'd still like to have a man who knows the people, the area, and the culture. That's a plus.
Concerned Citizen

Gastonia, NC

#20 May 24, 2011
Northblinthead, I agree with you 100% Then instead of spending time getting to know these things he can focus on the job

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