Home > David Tyson, Eureka California, Garr Nielsen > Community forum on police chief firing

Community forum on police chief firing

Following the surprise firing of Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen, a community forum will be held Monday at 6pm at the Vets Hall at 1020 H Street.

Eureka’s unelected king, City Manager Dave Tyson, pulled his cowardly stunt on a Friday to minimize media attention.

The Times-Standard reports today that Tyson Gave Nielsen “about five minutes” to grab some belongings, turn in his uniform. Tyson won’t comment on his decision.

Quoth Eureka City Councilwoman Linda Atkins, “The City Council has used Measure O [which raised sales tax in Eureka to 9%] to terminate the police chief,” she said. “They’re spending the money that people voted on to improve public safety to make it worse. I’m just appalled.”

  1. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I hope whoever runs the Humboldt Mirror will be there so they can see how much the community does not support their views.

  2. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 10:04 am

    As the only council member not in Arkley’s pocket, Linda Atkins needs our support more than ever.

  3. Truth in information
    June 25, 2011 at 10:10 am

    What we have is a totally dysfunctional city government. It is time for a major house cleaning. It is still the wild west here, where anything goes. If that is true, Tyson goes. Now!!!!!!!

  4. Walt
    June 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

    The business about Tyson’s giving him five minutes, taking his uniform and escorting him out of the building reminded me of RA’s parading up and down in front of The Works after Glass’s defeat. Who ARE these people? And you have to wonder if the next step will be to round up all Democrats, put them on a barge and ship them to SF, like they did the Chinese.

  5. elhomeslice
    June 25, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Looks like the Eureka Assassination Corps is being readied for redeployment.

  6. mresquan
    June 25, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Those intending the rally should probably prepare themselves as best they can for the possibility of the Police Department using violent tactics to disperse a crowd and assert their authority.

  7. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 10:29 am

    “I hope whoever runs the Humboldt Mirror will be there so they can see how much the community does not support their views.”

    There is a simple solution to the Mirror – don’t read it; not very many people do. It’s not a stretch to guess that the vast majority of Eureka (whether liberal or conservative) have or would find the 10-year old boy potty-humor juvenile beyond consideration. It says something about the minds of their readers that they can find the words douche, etc funny day after day after day after day…
    I’m just sorry that they mistakenly give the impression that many hard working citizens of this area are a bunch of ignorant white trash.

  8. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Rob Arkley is a very wealthy, very powerful child. Garr’s association with Larry Glass meant that it was only a matter of time before Arkley saw to it that he was vanquished. Just look at the Humboldt Mirror today if you want to know who’s next.

  9. High Finance
    June 25, 2011 at 10:31 am

    This “community forum” is nothing more than the left using any opportunity to have a rally.

    If you support the city council or at least willing to admit you don’t have all the facts, you better stay away. Otherwise the rapid dogs on the left will shout you down and call you every name in the book and intimidate the hell out of you.

  10. Anon
    June 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Rabid better fits Arkley

  11. Plain Jane
    June 25, 2011 at 10:40 am

    What’s wrong with being a rapid dog? Certainly much better than a right wing lap dog like HiFi.

  12. The Big Picture
    June 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Everyone on this community forum knows this Reich-Bagger. Throw him a simple fact and all he has is insult and satire.

  13. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Glad I didnt embarrass myself speaking up for Garr at the city council meeting, this must have a lot of unseen parts because the city wouldn’t open up to another lawsuit in times like this. Would they?

  14. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Linda’s party sounds like fine. There will doubtless be plenty of whine and cheesy conspiracy theories.

  15. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

    this is worse than that above the law blog ever was

  16. Down the Road
    June 25, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I was a registered republican for 3/4 of my life. Now I am nonpartisan. In no way do I lean to the left. I will be at that
    meeting Monday. This isn’t about the left or right. It is about
    quality of life issues and public safety. How stupid could anyone
    be to think that: “Oh, look it is the left and they are planning
    some coup de main for everyone to see.”

    David Tyson is an unfit manager. A few on the city
    council are hand and hand with the old school that doesn’t
    give a dam about anything except what they want. They are
    vulgar unkempt people. I am thinking of putting a bounty out
    on the creature living atop the mayors head.

  17. tra
    June 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Those intending the rally should probably prepare themselves as best they can for the possibility of the Police Department using violent tactics to disperse a crowd and assert their authority.

    I think that’s actually extremely unlikely.

  18. 69er
    June 25, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Sure entertaining just reading all of the wild imaginings and posturing of those who speak of things they know very little of. If nothing else this blog is amusing.

  19. tra
    June 25, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Eureka Resident: “I see a huge improvement in the attitude, competence, and professionalism of the EPD since Nielsen arrived.”

    Tyson Apologist: “Yeah, but who ya gonna believe, me or your own lying eyes.”

  20. Gary Lass
    June 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Thank you, Councilmember Linda Atkins.

    I used to think you were a mindless paranoid Proggie.

    But now I know this to be a fact.

    ”I’m just appalled,” Atkins said. “I think the city manager and the City Council pay no attention to what the public of Eureka says or wants. They’re puppets for somebody or several somebodies.”

    So Linda Atkins – just who are the puppet masters?

    Here is another thought my Proggie friends.

    Don’t post anonymously on an anonymous blog and think you have any say in our community, especially when Joshua is censoring any comments that don’t drink the Proggie kool-aid.

    Considering that the usual twelve anonymous bloggers have each made 10+ comments and the usual suspects of angry Proggies, I’d tell you the usual – get a life.

    I’ll be seeing the thousands of you, maybe ten thousand at the Vet Hall Monday night to support Garr

  21. Plain Jane
    June 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

    At least the Herald only censors libel, Gary. The Mirror administrator uses multiple ID’s, changes posts and impersonates other posters. See the Linda Atkins thread there today as proof. How much more deceitful can they get?

  22. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Who is the Mirror administrator? I’ve heard a few theories, but none make sense. I don’t think it’s Rob himself. Some of the posts are clever even if they’re mean.

  23. Goldie
    June 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I do not agree that my ‘general perception” of Garr is based on what I read in the paper. I saw public safety increase. The results of Garr’s leadership are clearly visible to citizens. The results of Tyson’s managing of the city are also clearly visible. We are cash strapped and this termination of a contract with two years to go is a useless and costly expenditure.

  24. June 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I can not wait to hear what the real reason for the firing is.

  25. mresquan
    June 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    You may never hear it,and now you can’t call council members to voice your concerns.I knew that decision by Frank was going to lead into something larger.What happened here is ludicrous and can only be redeemed through a recall of all involved.

  26. June 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    To add insult to injury, we’ve all been hoodwinked about the need for Measure O money. I supported it too, thinking it would be largely used for Public Safety. Now Tyson feels free to use all he wants to buy out contracts, feather his own nest, and allow rampant double dipping by several city types. We’ve been HAD, folks, and Tyson is leading the flim-flammers. After what He cost the City from his misbehavior lawsuits, you’d think he’s be at least a little bit careful. He knows as well as we do that Garr was an EXCELLENT police chief. Did he ruffle some feathers? Sure, but that’s bound to happen when you go to clean up a mess like we used to have. Tyson knew that but turned it into a personal vendetta. He had the agreement of old-guard police types like Lance and Cheeriobellini who felt slighted because the new guy made it work where they couldn’t.

    Let’s see who votes to back Tyson up and go from there.

  27. Mike Buettner
    June 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    It truly is time for Tyson to move on. He creates more division in the community than Arkley. He is a manipulator and I have seen it first hand. Take input then do it his way. That is how he runs the city. We may elect council members but Dave calls all the shots. All the commissions are merely window dressing.

  28. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I would point out that the vast majority of these posts sound like a six year old throwing a tantrum. No kids take a deep breath and move on. People get hired and fired everyday and the world doesn’t stop. Wish the former chief well and let’s look forward to a new one. Then everyone go outside and repeat after me…”Its a beautiful day”.

  29. High Finance
    June 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Mouse you funny. Chiarbellini worked for the SHERIFF’s office, not the EPD. How is Tyson “feathering his nest” ? Are you accusing him of embezzlement ? You should be careful with such hysteria since you told us all who you are.

    Measure O raises something like $1.7 MILLION dollars and this firing is alledged to cost us $166,000 thousand. Even that amount is vastly overstated. If we don’t hire a new chief for the six months it is estimated to take, we will save six months of his salary (around $67,000) bringing the true cost closer to $100,000. It is your own prejudice that allows you to state that Nielsen was an “Excellant” chief and not any knowledge of the facts.

  30. Confusedly
    June 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I would care alot more about this, except the chief was looking for a job elsewhere, anyway. So, why does it matter?

  31. LDC
    June 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Measure “O” has raised $3.8 million dollars; I have the chart (the City of Eureka’s chart) showing that the city fully expects the income from measure “O” to reach $6 million in fiscal year 11-12. There is supposed to be a citizen’s group overseeing that money; I’d like to know who is on that committee and when they meet-it would have to be public. I too feel we’ve been had.

  32. June 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Well, in response to High finance,how would you measure the job any Chief of Police did; except by subjectively looking at how the environment has changed. I’ve lived here quite a while, was always frustrated with the “old” police system-I really think they were overwhelmed, not uncaring. When Chief Nielsen came, after about 18 months to 2 years most of my neighbors (and myself) all said-what a difference. The police respond now, the streets are patroled-it feels like we have an actual Police Department. He did all that and reduced the crime rate here with a lower budget and absent 8-9 positions due to budget cuts-and you think that’s a bad job?

  33. June 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    It was the “Tyson’s walking him out” that got me! Kind of gives you a different perspective on police legitimacy and authority, doesn’t it?.

    For all of you that believe the Eureka Police works for the people, this proves NOT. What it does prove is that the Eureka City Council, every one of them, are a pack of gutless cowards unfit to represent anyone.

  34. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    “You may never hear it,and now you can’t call council members to voice your concerns.”

    I want some whatever Mark Konkler is self-medicating himself with.

    Voicemail is down for a day, the City sends a press release to let everyone know, and this is what Mark (and Heraldo get out of it).

    Btw, voicemail is back up, but Mark, you might not want to leave one, because according to your paranoia, now that Garr is gone, the pOlice might respond with violence to anything that doesnt tow the DTyson line.

    Sheesh, whadda bunch of marooons :)

  35. Plain Jane
    June 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    “Who is the Mirror administrator?”

    Given the lack of integrity, grade school taunts and bullying that goes on there, I’d guess either Matt Owens or Randy Gans.

  36. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    mresquan, are you going to initiate the recall or all you all talk?

  37. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Since the the people of Eureka (like most Americans) were stupid enough to swallow what was fed to them by the side with the most money/ most emotionally resounding ads, they’re getting what they deserve. (This isn’t a left-right issue: if you vote on the basis of political ads, it means you aren’t thinking. And usually the side with the most money in advertising wins.)

  38. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Hey guys before your heads all explode Neilsen has been trying to get out of Eureka for two years. He has applied all over and even went public about it with the Bend Oregon thing. I am not getting you folks’ bizarre reactions since he clearly didn’t want to be here. THE GUY WAS LEAVING as fast as he could. House for sale. Family wouldn’t move here.

  39. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    This is just great. Someone does a job with great accomplishment (Garr) and he is fired be a pocked faced, inept, small town loser that couldn’t make it anywhere outside this corrupt little town.

  40. Mike Buettner
    June 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm


    If you were under Tyson’s thumb you would try and leave too. This isn’t only about Neilsen… It’s about Tyson.

  41. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    HH you need to shut this thread down, it is nothing but lies, 1/2 truths, slander, and bitter BS by small people.

    Have your forum, form a recall committee but this is nothing but crap.

  42. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Say what you will about firing a popular police chief, but the following claim is difficult to defend, and it cheapens the blog post.

    to minimize media attention.

    1. In America, it is common to fire employees on Fridays regardless of how important or insignificant an employee may be. We can debate the reason, but one common rationale I’ve heard is to reduce the likelihood of workplace violence because the employee has the weekend to cool off while his former office is closed. Now, obviously, EPD never closes, but the Friday practice is nonetheless a routine matter in human resources circles.

    2. If the stated objected genuinely was to reduce publicity, it would be an illogical move. The Times-Standard’s three biggest publication days circulation-wise are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Firing the chief on Friday guarantees news coverage with maximum exposure, especially if the Times-Standard continues to follow the story and reports on it both Saturday AND Sunday. And Fridays are statistically the biggest days for non-work-related web browsing in offices, also guaranteeing the news spreads fast as people hear about the firing on blogs and other social media.

    If someone really wanted to minimize publicity, he’d find a way to fire the chief late Saturday to make it front page news in the Monday edition which, let’s face it, no one reads. Oh, and he’d wait one week so the news breaks over the Fourth of July weekend when lots of people are out-of-town or otherwise occupied with leisure activities.

  43. Anon
    June 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    It’s not that Tyson wanted to minimize publicity at all, he just wanted to minimize his chances of having to talk to anyone who called city hall about it. Sleazy, immature, shameful move, but nothing less than people who know him expect of him.

  44. Plain Jane
    June 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    And as we all know too well, the T-S isn’t very good at following up, although the forum on Monday night should result in another story at which time they might try again to get a response from city hall.

  45. Carmen Lastlaugh
    June 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    OMG you guys come on…dont believe all the crap being spoon fed to you by this blog abdn Nielsen. Have a brain ask some questions do some leg work find out the real story before you make such mindless comments. Come on.

    Oh Thad where is the “rest of the story.” Come on we know you know it, How about some serious investigative journalism. Its out there if you just look for it I know it wont be popular right now but you will have done the right thing.

  46. Plain Jane
    June 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Notice Carmen (Humbug) Lastlaugh didn’t post any information? It’s too busy impersonating other posters and editing their posts at the dirty Mirror.

  47. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Anonymous 4:05 you want to know what crap is? Firing a police Chief that did his job making a town safe for citizens to live in. He got rid of some of the dead wood in the police department to make the department function as it should.. Unfortunately for the city the dead wood had connections to make their vendetta a reality. Ugly politics seem to be more important than the safety of the citizens of Eureka. That is crap.

  48. Down the Road
    June 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    It was the intent of the political right to get rid of Nielsen.
    Tyson merely was waiting for the right timing. All of us
    in this city where the highest crime rate is begged the city
    to enforce the ordinances. Along with being ignored we
    were told to either sue property owners of the drug houses
    and take care of the problems ourselves. Nielsen actually
    cleaned up the West Side. The police officers became
    more professional.

    The political right now has all the power. They don’t like
    outsiders and could care less about the welfare of citizens
    that are not of their clan. They can go to hell, They disgust
    me and I find them belonging to the lower classes. Collectively,
    they are not only crude, but also butt ugly.

  49. 69er
    June 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Down the Road sounds rather crude and butt ugly to me.

  50. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Wow. You folks have rather large chips on your shoulders. Downright nasty to anyone with a different opinion. This blog is just simply unhealthy.

  51. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    This town is run by a small bunch of crude, not to bright long time creatures that have delusions of being superior to anyone else that is not of their own low upbringing. It is a shame that the railroad didn’t come to Eureka before 1914. New blood perhaps? I doubt that Down The Road is crude or ugly because they sound like they came from somewhere besides Humboldt. Outsiders know there is a better way to run a town.

  52. Outsider
    June 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Yeah, yeah, the imports know better than the locals. You ruined your hometown, left it to smolder and now wag your finger and look down your noses at the locals with “low upbringing”. That attitude is the root of many of this area’s culture war problems. Namaste’ assholes.

  53. tenth street dreamer
    June 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    HiFi needs to go home and sleep it off. It is sad to see how drugs and or drink addles the brain. Luckily, they have rehab for such problems. Yes Walt, the barges are on the way to remove the trouble makers to a more liberal city, like S.F. IT WILL BE GREAT TO GET AWAY FROM THIS MADNESS.

  54. The Monitor
    June 25, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Anon 5:57 It is the city’s power elite that is unhealthy. Blind power is the worst form of government.

  55. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    No 8:55 you folks are unhealthy. County Mental Health can assist. Try it. Paranoia runs deep you know. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid………..

  56. Anonymous
    June 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    The Times-Standard forums are curiously devoid of support for the firing. Oh, sorry, didn’t you know? The trolls see their comments attached to the news articles, but the rest of us do not. It’s why no one ever replies to your comments.

  57. Anonymous
    June 26, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Come on. What’s all the hoopla. The man has been applying for jobs all over this state and Oregon for two years. What’s this community event all about? You want to chain Nielsen to his house (which incidentally has been up for sale for some time)? So the council let him go and saves money in different lawsuits and speeds up the replacement process. I ain’t seeing it folks.

  58. Lou Farigno
    June 26, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Loos like Eureka is reverting back to Mayberry status. Wonder how long before the po po go back to exterminating the ne’er do wells because they look funny and hang out in the wrong neighborhood.

  59. Xandra Manns
    June 26, 2011 at 2:19 am

    If your contract was about to expire you would be looking for a job. too. It’s called covering the bases.

    The Times Standard did a good job of covering the story and I think that long-time residents as well as more newly-arrived persons can see what is going on. I support Garr whole-heartedly and anyone who lives in West Eureka should be thankful for all he has done. Tyson and the majority on the council are vindictive and retaliatory bullies who dislike the vocal Westenders. This is Tyson’s coup and exposes his and the council’s pettiness,weaknesses and lack of knowledge of how to run a city. They once again throw the city’s best assets to the wind: pearls before swine.

  60. Anonymous
    June 26, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Home Depot in the news today


    What a quality establishment!

  61. Anon
    June 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    It is undeniable that by far the majority of comments are from people who have seen so many positive changes first hand.

    It is undeniable that the chief stayed and faced his detractors day after day. Even after all the blowback and lies and smears from the crybabies in the department, he did not shrink away from trying to make an impact that the citizens have applauded.

    It is undeniable that the detractors can’t give any reasons other than “you don’t know the whole story” for their chortling. It certainly seems true that if there were more to it than Tyson’s sick need for revenge we would have seen it on some blog by now. (Where are ya,DD? Still smarting from having to pay off Hansen? )

    It is undeniable that good cops aren’t gonna be talking about any of it because they know there will be a target put on their backs by the Tyson cronies still around. Murl, is it gonna start with you?

    It is undeniable that Eureka is going to remain a sad little burg with a sad little bi-polar city manager whose strings are pulled by a sad little megalomaniac.

  62. June 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    If Eureka is to get rid of the people wishing to drag it back into the mud, a recall of several members of the new city council will be necessary.

    If there are more than 50,000 registered voters eligible to vote for a position, 15% must sign recall petitions. If there are fewer than 50,000, 20% must sign the petitions. All circulators must be eligible to vote for the position. The signatures are not made public, but if the number of valid signers is insufficient for a recall, the people who requested the recall are allowed to examine them to see which signatures were ruled not valid.

    The recall election is then scheduled for three to four months from the date the sufficient number of signatures are filed. If a regular election day exists in that window, it’s held on the regular election day.


  63. Anonymous
    June 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    You guys are really funny. I am rarely amused to this extent but this much disorder and psychobabble is really funny.

  64. Anonymous
    June 26, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    well 6:19,you can have your rally tomorrow night and see how many friends show up to support your views.

  65. tra
    June 26, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Sorry, meant to post the following on this thread, not the older thread:

    In addition to the forum on Monday, folks should also turn out in large numbers for the next City Council meeting, and as many as possible should speak during the public comment section. Speak forcibly, but calmly, avoid personal attacks, gossipy bullshit, and off-topic rants and make sure any generalizations you make are fully supported with specific examples. Let them know that you are extremely unhappy with the fact that the City Manager they re-hired has just fired the best Police Chief Eureka has had in many, many years. You may also want to mention how unhappy you are that $160,000 of your tax money has been wasted on firing Nielsen now, without cause, rather than at least allowing him to complete his contract.

    According to Tyson, he and the City Council want to hear from Eureka residents on what you are looking for in a new police chief. Let them know that you want one that is a lot like Garr Nielsen, and not a return to the bad old days of poor attitude, poor service, lack of professionalism, and overreliance on the use of violence and deadly force.

    We know that the little clique of Old Guard cops and their allies will be there to try to push the council and Tyson to hire someone who will return Eureka to the way it was before, when the police considered themselves to be “above the law,” and acted like they were an army of occupation, rather than public servants there to Protect and Serve the public.

    Remember, despite Tyson’s unforgiveable action in firing Nielsen this way, it was Tyson, and a council majority that was not really all that different from the current one, who hired Nielsen in the first place. They did so because of the active engagement of Eureka residents who were fed up with the status quo and demanded a new, more competent, more professional, smarter approach to policing. Eureka residents need to let these councilmembers know, in no uncertain terms, that there is no way they are going to allow the reforms Nielsen brought in to be undone.

    While they will never admit it, these councilmembers must know that they and their boy Tyson have really screwed up bigtime in the eyes of most Eureka residents. Let them know that if they hope to redeem themselves in your eyes, they’ll need to find a new Chief who will maintain the improvements Nielsen brought, and in fact build on those improvements as we move forward. (Of course that task will be made more difficult by the fact that many good potential candidates may be dissuaded from even applying for the job, given the shameful treatment recieved by Nielsen…but nonetheless, we’ve got to try.)

    Most of these councilmembers most likely do want to be re-elected, so let them know that selecting a new police chief who will continue to improve the department — not return it to the days of insiderism, arrogance, unprofessionalism and unaccountability — is their one and only chance to mitigate their mistake and to show us that this firing was not just an arrogant attempt to roll back the clock to the bad old days.

  66. Joel Mielke
    June 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    “…avoid personal attacks, gossipy bullshit, and off-topic rants and make sure any generalizations you make are fully supported with specific examples.”

    Thanks TRA. Wouldn’t it be nice if blog commenters would consider using these guidelines.

  67. tra
    June 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Sheeeeeit. It would be nice if I could live up my own guidelines all the time!


    But seriously, the matter of who will become the next Chief of Police is serious business — it’s a decision that literally may have life-and-death consequences. It certainly has in the past.

  68. Anon
    June 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    tra,that was a truly reasonable post. hope it’s widely read.

  69. tra
    June 26, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Why thank ye kindly!

  70. June 26, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    This feels like a big distraction, an important one mind you, but a distraction.

  71. tra
    June 27, 2011 at 12:36 am

    The retrograde nature of the current council majority is simply due to the cold, hard fact that despite the breezy way lots of people say “Oh, I just don’t really care about politics,” elections most certainly DO have consequences. And with respect to direct quality of life issues, of which public safety is a major one, it is often the local-level elections that have the greatest direct impact on our lives…and yet the irony is that these are the elections that often have the lowest voter turnout.

    But the great redeeming quality of democracy is that whatever happens in any particular election, as long as the democracy itself survives, there’s always another election just around the corner.

    For a lot of people in Eureka, the reform of the EPD was about the only trend that was heading in the right direction, and this sudden and ill-explained firing of the Chief who they credit for that trend will lead many to believe that the current council majority is either out of touch with the citizenry, simply doesn’t care what the citizenry thinks, or is more focused on punishing their perceived political enemies than protecting public safety (or perhaps all three) — and none of those interpretations will be very helpful to those councilmembers if they seek re-election. Given that public safety is a top priority for most city voters, I do think the current council majority has made themselves quite vulnerable on this issue, and I think they should, and probably will, pay some price at the ballot box in the next election. But it’s up to Eureka voters to decide whether they care enough to actually get off their duffs and vote.

    I suppose the one thing that could significantly reduce that political cost is if the City Manager and the Council can somehow find a new Chief who will be widely viewed as following in the direction of reform and improvement of the EPD that so many Eureka residents credit Nielsen for. But this will not be an easy task since any reform-minded prospective Chief will have to take a good, hard look at the treatment Nielsen has received and decide whether they are willing to be subjected to the kind of continuous abuse that Nielsen received from the incestuous little clique within the department who believes they should still be calling the shots. And the prospective Chief will have to decide whether they are willing to run the risk of being unceremoniously dumped after just a couple of years by the City Council despite solid support from the community.

    The great risk is that the only people who will even want to apply for this Chief of Police job now, will be those who are all too willing, right from the start, to act as if the in-crowd at the EPD is their most important constituency, with the City Manager and City Council ranking second and third, and the residents of Eureka only as an afterthought. We’ve been down that road before, and it doesn’t lead anyplace good.

    Which is another reason why it is so crucial that those of us who saw a very real, significant, and important change in direction under Chief Nielsen, and who think his firing was a serious mistake, are vocal in sharing our opinions with the Council, with the City Manager, to the public at large, and to the press. Our last, best hope for getting a new Chief who will continue to push the EPD in the direction of professionalism, competence, compassion and accountability is to let it be known that even if the resentful department insiders continue to whine and cry incessantly, at least you’ll know that if you stick to your principles and keep pressing forward with the kind of reforms we’ve seen over the last several years, at the end of the day, you’ll know that your work is appreciated by the vast majority of the public — whining crybabies and pandering politicians notwithstanding.

  72. Anonymous
    June 27, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Tra, do you live in Eureka proper?

  73. Anonymousse
    June 27, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Will torches be supplied at the door, or should one BWOT?

  74. something fishy here...
    June 27, 2011 at 8:41 am

    The Council doesn’t get to dodge responsibility for this by avoiding a vote. If the community is ok with the firing of the Chief, then shouldn’t be a problem. But the city charter requires that the city manager get the approval of the city council to fire any department head. Check out section 602(f) of the charter, which says that firings are “subject to the approval of the council.”

    It might also be a good time to ask the council and the city manager why there have been something like 13 turnovers in department heads in the last 5 years under this city manager. If that seems like a problem for anybody, it’s interesting that this city manager is the only constant in that ridiculously high turnover rate.

  75. Anon
    June 27, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Nielsen got kicked in the head day after day by a power hungry little Napoleon and his buddies. And yet he stayed, and accomplished so many positive things. I wonder if the community knew that he went in to the PD on his time off to shampoo carpets and paint in an attempt to make the troops work environment better.
    Obviously he just wanted to make the PD modern, proactive, responsive and well -functioning (to say nothing of not having them shoot people anymore). There were casualties & there always are with change. That’s the way it works. Now he is one himself, but let’s not hope it is because of change back to the dark ages.
    Maybe the next chief can follow the road map Nielsen laid out.
    But my money says Tyson will get someone with more skull and less brain because the man simply can’t handle someone who shines brighter than he does.

  76. High Finance
    June 27, 2011 at 11:45 am

    So much hate speech here.

    Isn’t that against the law ?

  77. Anon
    June 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Be nice if it was. Then maybe the abovethelaw crowd would be in jail.

  78. skippy
    June 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Little tangible information has come to light.

    Three of the City Council members have extensive experience in law enforcement and administrative procedures. Weighing other possible and available options, a majority directed the City Manager to immediately dismiss Chief Nielsen. Was there a precipitating incident– or was the firing merely a political move? Is the council truly out of touch with it’s constituents– or not? Has a suitable replacement already been lined up and ready to step in– or not? Councilmember Atkins, a smart and independent thinker in her own right, offered her own opinion and certainly is an astute observer of her surroundings and the City’s political winds. Should cooler heads prevail until more information is placed on the table? Perhaps attending tonight’s Community Forum will offer more clarity in the matter. Or not?

    ‘The Outing of a Legend’
    “This time we got it right … ?”
    “While introducing the new Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielson to the Eureka Rotary Club recently, former interim chief and all-around old-timer Murl Harpham said: ‘During my years with the Eureka Rotary, I have introduced four new chiefs. This time we got it right.’
    This time we got it right? And all the other times you were wrong? No wonder this town is a hellhole.”
    “James Faulk can be reached at 441-0511.

    (James Faulk; the Times-Standard, April 17, 2007)

    …make that 5 Chiefs, Murl. Will we get it right this time?

    On another note: Those 5 new Crown Victoria police cruisers the City bought nearly a year ago– seemingly placed out of favor by the additional (and unnecessary) purchase of the desirably sexier Dodge Chargers now running around town? Informed the Crown Vics were only ‘waiting for lights to be installed,’ yours truly noticed they’re still sitting in the Eureka City Corporation yard, unused, 9 months later. Look for yourself. $100,000+ of your tax dollars: still without lights, still out of service, mothballed and in plain view. Were citizens misled about this unneeded expense? One does wonder. The City’s Measure O– ‘for public safety’– was a real bargain, alright. For others?

  79. Ed
    June 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Why isn’t the forum mentioned on the TS website?

  80. skippy
    June 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    If You Go:
    What: Community forum on Eureka’s decision to fire Garr Nielsen
    When: 6 p.m. Monday (Today; June 27)
    Where: Eureka Veterans Hall, 1020 H St.
    –Times-Standard, June 25, 2011

  81. Anonymous
    June 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    So much misinformation! Shame on you all.

  82. skippy
    June 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    …That’s a well reasoned argument.

  83. High Finance
    June 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Skippy is so fair & balanced he belongs on the Fox blog site !

  84. Anonymous
    June 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Skippy took his name from dog food.

  85. skippy
    June 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm
  86. skippy
    June 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Will more information be forthcoming?
    This just in from Mr. Sims:

    “PROGRAMMING NOTE: Tomorrow morning (Tuesday, June 28)on KSLG: Former Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen, who was unceremoniously dumped last week after four years of widely lauded service to the city. Nielsen, speaking from his home in the Portland area, will speak with John Matthews at 9 a.m. This is going to be a good one, so definitely tune in: 94.1 FM or streaming online at KSLG.com radio

  87. Anonymous
    June 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I’m breathless with anticipation, whoops I have to run to make it to the community forum.

  88. Anonymous
    June 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Not me. I have to run to the bathroom! This is hysterical.

  89. Anonymous
    June 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    So how was the turn out?

  90. Anonymous
    June 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Hank Sims reported 100 attended.

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