Home > David Tyson, Eureka California, Garr Nielsen > April survey shows high satisfaction with EPD

April survey shows high satisfaction with EPD

Just two months before Eureka’s popular police Chief Garr Nielsen was fired for no reason, a survey released by EPD showed a high approval rating by city residents.  Such positive feedback was a distant dream in the year(s) before Nielsen took command in 2007.

Nielsen was fired “without cause” on June 24th and City Manager Dave Tyson is refusing to give any reason outside “differing management styles.”  Speculation about the real reason for the firing is pointless since there is no check box to indicate the city manager’s power trips and jealously issues.

Below are the survey results.  Whether EPD can retain such numbers in the future remains to be seen given the schoolyard politics that rule the City of Eureka.  An identical survey a year from now would gauge whether a positive trajectory has been maintained.


PRESS RELEASE #2011-0420
Subject :Eureka Police Department Releases Results of Community SurveyContact :Sgt Steve Watson    (707) 601-5464

On 2/15/11, the Eureka Police Department launched an on-line survey on crime and policing in the City of Eureka. The survey was intended for those who live, work, and/or play within the city limits of Eureka.

The survey was designed to provide the Eureka Police Department with a better understanding of the perceptions, wishes, and concerns of our community with the intent the results would be used to enhance our policing services and to help direct the department as we strive to provide the most responsive, professional and efficient police services possible.

On 4/15/11, the survey was closed after the department received 146 responses.  121 completed surveys were received along with 25 incomplete survey responses.

Hard copies of the survey results will be made available for the media at the EPD front counter upon request.

A few selected results of interest from the survey follow (results filtered to reflect only answers from the complete surveys):

  • 66% of respondents stated they had contact with EPD in the past two years.  33% either reported they had no contact with EPD during this period or did not answer this question.
  • Respondents were asked the question:  “Whether or not you agreed with the outcome, did the officers/staff treat you with dignity and respect?”  81% of those who answered this question said “yes.”  (54% agreed “yes,” 12% answered “no,” and 34% chose not to answer the question. The figure “81%” was obtained after removing the non-answers and recalculating the totals).
  • When asked if they would characterize the service they received from EPD as being professional, competent and helpful, 74% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed this was true, 20% disagreed, and 6% stated they were neutral.
  • 88% of respondents felt EPD’s response time during calls for service met or exceeded their reasonable expectations.  10% felt EPD’s response was either too slow, or reported officers never came/responded.
  • Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with the overall level of service they personally received from EPD.  69% stated they were satisfied or very satisfied, 22% were dissatisfied/very dissatisfied, and 9% were neutral.
  • When asked how well EPD does in providing services to the community overall, 70% of respondents rated EPD’s services as good or excellent, 19% rated EPD’s services as fair or neutral, and 12% felt they were poor.
  • Respondents were asked their perception of the importance of the Department’s recently expanded Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP).  While 12% of the survey takers stated they were unfamiliar with the POP program, 80% of the remaining respondents felt the program was important or very important, 4% felt it was unimportant or very unimportant, and 4% felt neutral about it.  (90% of the respondents familiar with the program felt the POP Program was important or very important).
  • Survey takers were asked how safe they considered themselves in the City of Eureka.  11% felt not safe, 54% felt somewhat safe, and 36% felt safe or very safe in Eureka.
  • Survey takers were asked if they felt crime in Eureka has increased, decreased, or remained the same over the past 12 months.  41% responded they felt crime has increased, 5% felt crime has decreased, and 54% felt it has remained the same.
  • “Have you limited, changed, or curtailed your activities in Eureka recently because you are concerned about crime?”  48% of respondents who answered this question said “yes” while 52% replied “no.” (Figures obtained after removing the non-answers and recalculating the totals.  17% of the survey takers did answer this question, while 40% answered “yes” and the remaining 43% answered “no”).
  • “Do you feel that crime is such an issue in Eureka that you have considered moving?”  35% of those who answered this question said “yes” (they have considered moving) and 65% said “no.”  (17% did not answer the question. Figures obtained after removing the non-answers and recalculating the totals).
  • 54% of the survey takers listed their gender as male and 46% as female.
  • 37% of the survey takers listed their ages as being between 20-39, 40% were 40-59 years old, and 22% were age 60 and over.
  • 86% of the survey takers characterized illegal drug possession and use as being a significant or very significant problem within the City of Eureka.
  • 92% of the survey takers characterized illegal drug sales as being a significant or very significant problem within the City of Eureka.
  • 69% of the survey takers felt marijuana grow houses were a significant or very significant problem within the City of Eureka.
  • 70% felt gangs were a significant or very significant problem in Eureka.
  • 86% believed theft crimes to be a significant or very significant problem in Eureka.
  • 79% considered transient related issues to be a significant or very significant problem in Eureka.
  • 75% felt vandalism/graffiti was a significant or very significant problem in Eureka.
  • 67% listed speeding/unsafe driving as significant/very significant problems in Eureka.
  • 92% of respondents stated they were concerned or very concerned about drug houses/dealers in Eureka.
  • 96% of the survey takers were concerned/very concerned about drug addicts & their related crimes.
  • 84% were concerned/very concerned about children being exposed to drugs in Eureka.
  • 75% were concerned/very concerned about marijuana grow houses.
  • 86% were concerned or very concerned about having their vehicles burglarized/broken into, and 77% shared this concern about their homes.

EPD press release.

  1. Migh Finances
    July 2, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Yeah, but….

  2. July 2, 2011 at 1:52 am

    This whole controversy has shown that when law enforcement applies a little sociology; the results are positive.

  3. Jim Branner
    July 2, 2011 at 7:21 am

    All you folks are saying is Neilson alone made all these positive moves when it was the men and omen at EPD that implimented and practiced the good changes. I’m not taking away the credit that the former chief deserves, however people think of him as superman and that the department will fall apart in his abcents. I have known Murl Harpham or many years and he is a good and decent man who has given his entire life to EPD and I know he will keep all the good changes and try to improve upon them. He’s not going to set back EPD. he love the department and wants only the best for it and the citizens of Eureka. Again i apluad chief Neilsons wonderful efforts however we still need to support the department under it’s new command. All this bickering and mudslinging can only hurt us. I don’t beleve there was any thing vindictive behind the firing of the chief. I believe the city manager and the council just did not see eye to eye on the managment styles and they had the right to terminate him as an at will employee. You must remember they are not allowed to discuss parsonell issues. Many are understanding the word ( personell as personal ) big difference. If you were an employee that was just fired, would you want your formal employer to make it public with all the details? Of course not. It’s your right to privacy and they have no place discussing it with anyone but you. If we disagree with the dicision, than we show it at the polls. Remember the majority of the council was voted in by the citizens of Eureka.

  4. Jim Branner
    July 2, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Please excuse my awful spelling

  5. Plain Jane
    July 2, 2011 at 7:50 am

    “Remember the majority of the council was voted in by the citizens of Eureka.

    1 council member voted no.
    1 council member who voted yes was appointed.
    1 council member who voted yes was elected by less than a majority.
    1 council member who voted yes was unopposed.

  6. pattycakes
    July 2, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Tyson had the gall to say, “We treated him with the dignity he deserved.” What a loaded statement. No one deserves what you did, Dave, least of all a popular chief that you were not able to fire with cause. You are a very sick, sad and immature man and Eureka deserves what they get for allowing you to stay so long.

  7. July 2, 2011 at 8:04 am

    You got that right, pattycakes!

  8. July 2, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Time to go, Dave!

  9. Plain Jane
    July 2, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Does anyone have a link to individual ward voting records?

  10. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 8:30 am

    121 completed surveys! Wow, golly gee, I guess that proves something. How is it that this poll is golden but the one that says 75% of the people approve of the city manager fired Nielsen is bad?

    What’s up with that?

  11. former co-worker
    July 2, 2011 at 8:36 am

    “We treated him with the dignity he deserved.”
    Tyson is normally a very astute political player, but in this case
    He was so obsessed with revenge he wasn’t being very realistic. People who have worked with Tyson know he values loyalty over everything, even competence. Was he so blinded with jealousy and hate that he couldn’t see how this would play out? Dave, it’s time to bow out. Spare your family anymore grief. I am afraid this only going to get worse!

  12. July 2, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Linda should starting seeing the light. It’s a lot more profitable to be Rob’s puppet than his adversary.

  13. Down the Road
    July 2, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Heraldo: Please run a poll on which city council people should
    be recalled. Marion Brady has not helped anyone in her ward
    and voted against Jefferson and the police chief. Mike Newman
    would be my next pick for recall. He relished voting against
    Jefferson and the police chief. Neither one of them have anything
    to offer for the betterment of this city.

  14. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 8:50 am

    The survey expresses what the citizens who stood and spoke before the council said over and over again. Under the leadership of Garr the citizens experienced a high quality of service and safety within our city. The reason given, different management styles, does not cut it with the people of Eureka. The council is NOT listening to the people. The council is NOT voting in the best interest of our city or their political future. Removing Garr does not speak well of their commitment to public safety or financial concerns.

  15. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Boy, if there are puppets on council it has to be Brady and Newman. They should have told Brady what the council was actually about. Poor thing doesn’t have a clue. Newman looks like a really evil Snidely Whiplash. His mouth moves and out comes that awful nasal twang and you just cringe.

  16. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 9:06 am

    “All this bickering and mudslinging can only hurt us. ”
    I disagree Mr. Branner.
    The recent vocal support for the EPD changes instituted in the last few years (whether a result of Garr or not) has been prompted by the “discussion” that has ensued over the firing. If there were not any outrage about Garr being dismissed and no one commented on the improvements (that you describe and support), then there would be a tendency to think the environment of several years ago is once again OK.
    The citizens (and hopefully the council) will be looking a lot more closely at excessive over time by a few officers and at the quality of responses to incidents in low income neighborhoods. In short, this discussion serves as an important watch dog to ensure that there is not a regression back to the old ways.

  17. High Finance
    July 2, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Regardless of how many people were surveyed you know it is true just by talking to our neighbors.

    Public satisfication with the EPD is high. But all you people attributing this to Neilsen alone is insulting and demeaning the other 50 or so members of the EPD.

    Your obsession is so out of control that Slyvia Scott even had a laugh out loud moment at yesterday’s meeting when she compared Garr Neilsen to Rosa Parks ! Unfortunately she was serious.

    Get a grip people !

  18. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Nielsen himself wouldn’t and hasn’t attributed it asll to himself, but surely a thinking man could compare that to the pre Nielsen days after the shootings and see that there is a very stron correlation. Again, attitude and demeanor of the department comes from the top down. To say otherwise is just silly.

  19. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 9:31 am

    “But all you people attributing this to Neilsen alone”

    Is there a post where someone said this is due to Neilsen alone? Support of Neilsen is not the same as saying he did this alone. Get a grip Hi Fi and read what is actually posted.

  20. Joel Mielke
    July 2, 2011 at 9:35 am

    “All you folks are saying is Nielson alone made all these positive moves…”

    And all you folks do is put words in our mouths.

  21. anon
    July 2, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Garr himself would not and has not attributed the community’s satisfaction with police to himself alone. But remember that the culture of the PD comes from the top down and this is a markedly different PD than it was under Douglas. The culture will undoubtedly change under the next chief, too. Under Murl, it is already starting. The concern everyone should have is will it be in a direction that serves them.

  22. anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I think everyone also needs to be asking where is the money coming from to pay off his contract? Measure O money? Money he saved in the police budget? Why has Tyson given any answers to that. It’s no small amount.

  23. anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 9:38 am

    sorry, why hasn’t tyson given answers.

  24. Vocal Minority
    July 2, 2011 at 9:40 am

    The Brady Bunch will not have the Marina Center platform to run on in the next election, so let’s start looking for some qualified candidates.

  25. Joel Mielke
    July 2, 2011 at 9:44 am

    “…the culture of the PD comes from the top down and this is a markedly different PD than it was under Douglas.”

    Example: Nielsen’s move to get rid of SWAT and institute POP has made a substantial difference in our neighborhoods.

  26. High Finance
    July 2, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Joel, I believe that Chief Arnie Millsap started the program first. Although it was named “Community Orientated Policing” under his administration.

  27. Joel Mielke
    July 2, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I stand corrected, HiFi, but obviously POP was a priority under Nielsen. Speaker after speaker at the 1:00 Friday meeting spoke of how much more responsive the Eureka PD has been under Nielsen’s leadership.

  28. Down the Road
    July 2, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I want Brady off the council now. She has no interest in her
    constituents. She does not study the issues. The city council
    should not be training place for elected officials. Iinformed educated people should be
    running for election, not uninformed, slightly dense people
    and I include Newman in this.

  29. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Newman and Brady are remarkably clueless, but you have to remember this was a 4-1 vote, and the two Ex-police – Madsen and Ciarabellini are the former law enforcement people with ties to the “old guard” at the police department. All are equally guilty of this despicable act and so all four should be recalled.

  30. Living In Eureka
    July 2, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I agree, Garr did not make the changes in this city alone. He accomplished this with his leadership. Before he came to our city, this police department was joke at best & down right dangerous at its worst.

    If we have to bring the Justice Dept. up here for an investigation, we will. One way or the other, Eureka is NOT going back to the Dark Ages!

    In the last two elections, the citizens of Eureka have voted to increase taxes to see to it that are police dept is funded. It is time to standup & let our voices heard.

  31. anon
    July 2, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Love Nielsen or hate him (and I am sure the haters number very few), NO ONE deserves to be treated the way some people in this town treated him (abovethelaw blog-god that was so sick! -surveillance, pull down your pants & leave,etc etc).

    But when all is said and done, he will be a little richer and have moved on. You, (and you know who you are, from David on down) get to face yourselves in the mirror everyday, possibly will have to face the community in some way or another, and eventually you will face your maker. Good luck with that.

  32. July 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Heraldo says: “Eureka’s popular police Chief Garr Nielsen was fired for no reason.” That’s the BS they’d like everyone to believe. There is an obvious reason few are willing to accept. That “reason” is defined in the council vote. Those four councilmen were selected by a MAJORITY of Eurekans. If they thought Garr Nielsen and David Tyson were such great people justifying and worth keeping their jobs, WHY DID THEY VOTE THESE PEOPLE INTO OFFICE?

  33. Down the Road
    July 2, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Joe Blow: The contract that Garr Neilsen had appears to be
    in violation of California Labor Code Sections 2920-2929.
    Specifically 2922 and 2924. Read the whole code. The council
    cannot be correct on any vote if it violates state law. Garr has
    a very good law suit, if he chooses to do this. Further they are
    in violation of their city code section 34.59 Retirement Eligibility.
    In part reads: person reaching the age of 65 years, shall order
    and direct that such person be retired from further active service in the fire department or police department. Further the age
    discrimination act specifically states: The Age Discrimination in
    Employment Act allows compulsory retirement for firefighters,
    law enforcement officers, and in some circumstances bona fide
    executives or those in high policy making positions. M.H. is about 77 years old.
    Further it is being rumored that a straw vote was taken in the
    last council meeting to fire the police chief. If this is true, this
    council is in violation of the Brown Act. No straw vote can be
    taken without being disclosed at the end of a closed session. I believe it is time for the district attorney to step in.

    Anyone not understanding at-will employment contracts go
    to legal definitions for employment at will contracts.

    This council is not impervious to the law. This past action
    reflects the majority of the councils thinking. That they some-
    how can do anything they want. We cannot let this go.

  34. Joel Mielke
    July 2, 2011 at 11:36 am

    “Those four councilmen were selected by a MAJORITY of Eurekans.”

    No they weren’t. Two of them were elected by a majority of voters. Even if they were “selected by a majority,” they still have a responsibility to the people who didn’t vote for them.

  35. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 11:50 am

    One was appointed by the mayor. The other had no running against him. And nothing gives them the right to break the law.

  36. Joel Mielke
    July 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Mike Newman won with a plurality.

  37. High Finance
    July 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    “Majority of voters”

    That is true in every single election in every single district in the entire history of our country.

    If you don’t bother to vote, you have no ethical right to bitch.

    BTW, Linda Atkins only won with a plurality.

  38. July 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    So who then is the vocal minority?

  39. Joel Mielke
    July 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the clarification, HiFi, but we were pointing out these simple facts to a partisan from your side of the ramparts. The “we won, get over it,” attitude is bullshit.

  40. tra
    July 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    If no media organization (the Times-Standard being the obvious choice) is going to commission a poll on this question of how the majority of Eureka residents feel about the decision by Tyson and the city council majority to fire Chief Nielsen “without cause,” then I think those who oppose this firing should commission such a poll, and as soon as possible. I have outlined my reasons for this in detail here:


    The short version is this: Supporters of Tyson and the council majority, along with Mike Newman himself, are claiming that only a minority of Eureka residents oppose this firing, and that question needs to be put to rest, definitively, one way or the other.

    If, as I strongly suspect a very large number of Eureka residents dispprove of the firing, of the way it was handled, and of the high financial cost to city taxpayers, it’s important to get that information out there in a way that will be very hard to dispute.

    If, on the other hand, I’m wrong and most people either don’t care or actually support the firing, that would also be important information to know, so that folks don’t waste a lot of time and money on this issue if there are a lot of issues that Eureka residents care about more.

  41. July 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Defined–Citizen–A resident entitled to protection–a resident of a city or town entitled to vote and enjoy other privileges.Voting is a priviege–how many utilize it ?Ask “Is it for the Common Good”

    Personal/personnel???What ever the protocol–the citizens of
    Eureka have the right to know whytheir successful Police Chief
    was suddenly fired. WHY?

  42. July 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Since when does any elected government pay attention to any law?

  43. July 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Milke says:

    You’re preaching to the wrong person here. When do the Republican’s ever show any responsibility to other voters? In this case, if they had, Nielsen would still be police chief.

  44. July 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    HF: This comment is childish, ignorant stupidity: “If you don’t bother to vote, you have no ethical right to bitch.” NON-voters automatically vote for the winner.

  45. July 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Regardless of what, TRA, the people voted in Eureka and selected the current council – a different council than the one that hired Garr Nielsen. Regardless of how it was done or why, the majority voters sanctioned his firing by who they put into office. That’s how the people speak in a representative government, don’t you know? In Eureka’s case that council speaks through their Manager. The fact that they all agree just makes the whole matter more palatable. Since everyone that voted shares in or is responsible for such conduct, lawful or otherwise, emphasizes how important it is to know who you vote for — BEFORE the fact.

  46. tra
    July 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Since everyone that voted shares in or is responsible for such conduct, lawful or otherwise, emphasizes how important it is to know who you vote for — BEFORE the fact.

    Well I agree with that entirely, Joe. Ultimately Eureka voters (including eligible voters who didn’t bother to vote) are indeed responsible for the current situatuion.

    But it’s also accurate to note that none of those winning candidates made firing Garr Nielsen part of their campaign platform, or even hinted that they would support firing him, and so now that four those council members have officially voted to support that action by the City Manager, there is nothing wrong or hypocritical about Eureka voters changing their minds about those councilmembers and deciding to throw them out of office in a recall election, or in the next regular election.

  47. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Why would they make firing Nielsen part of their campaign platform? Maybe they didn’t know all of the details until after they got elected?! Did you ever think of that? Or maybe they didn’t want to say anything if they knew how vindictive Nielsen, and of course Glass, could be?

    You can try the recall election route, it’ll make Atkins and Glass feel important for awhile but it will fail, as you tra probably suspect.

    The city manager and the council majority did the right thing for the city. Nielsen may have a small, but loud, fanclub but he was a disaster as a leader.

    I’m wondering if most of the people posting praise for Nielsen know the other side of Nielsen?

  48. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Joel you have to accept that the council was lawfully elected and have the duty to do what they think is best for the city. Just because Larry’s Koolaid squad disagrees doesn’t mean they did anything wrong or inapproprate.

    I support Tyson’s decision and the councils affriming it. And a lot of regular working people (that can’t take time off for meetings, thing the same thing.

  49. tra
    July 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Why would they make firing Nielsen part of their campaign platform? Maybe they didn’t know all of the details until after they got elected?! Did you ever think of that?

    O.K., but that doesn’t change the fact that they did not have any specific “mandate” from the public to fire the Police Chief. If they had campaigned on it, and won, then the situation would be much more clear-cut.

    You can try the recall election route, it’ll make Atkins and Glass feel important for awhile but it will fail, as you tra probably suspect.

    Recalls are always quite difficult, so of course I “suspect” that it would not be easy. But I don’t “suspect” it will fail or that it will succeed, because I haven’t seen any polling data yet. For me to predict that a recall would succeed, the numbers would have to show that a sizeable majority of the voting public has turned against a particular candidate or candidates, and that they feel strongly about it. If someone has a legitimate poll taken, with a representative sample, fairly worded questions (including specific questions about whether the respondents would support a recall of each of the city council members) and solid methodology, I’ll be happy to make a prediction at that time…of course you won’t need my prediction, because everyone will be able to draw their own conclusions from the data.

    The city manager and the council majority did the right thing for the city.

    Well, that’s your opinion, and of course you’re entitled to it. I strongly disagree.

    Nielsen may have a small, but loud, fanclub…

    Well you can keep asserting that the group of people who approve of Nielsen’s tenure and are upset about his firing is a “small” group, but of course it has yet to be demonstrated whether that characterization is accurare or not. I strongly doubt that the majority agrees with your opinion, but unless we see some polling data, or the results of an election in which this is a top issue, neither of us really knows for sure.

    … but he was a disaster as a leader. I’m wondering if most of the people posting praise for Nielsen know the other side of Nielsen?

    I don’t doubt that the man has his flaws, and I’m willing to consider Murl’s argument that Nielsen should have been more mindful of the chain of command and that his willingness to allow rank-and-file officers to use his “open door policy” to circumvent that chain of command may have caused some problems.

    But for the majority of people, who do not work at EPD and aren’t involved in its internal politics one way or the other, its simply a matter of “the proof is in the pudding,” — those of us who saw a big improvement in the professionalism, attitude, and effectiveness of the EPD during Nielsen’s tenure have a hard time swallowing the claim that “he was a disaster as a leader.” Yes, lots of credit has to go to the rank-and-file, and to mid-level supervisors, but it’s hard to believe that EPD’s performance improved dramatically overall despite the guy at the top being “a disaster as a leader.”

    Basically you’re in the position of the guy who says “yeah, but who are you gonna believe, me or your own lying eyes.” Best of luck with that argument.

  50. pattycakes
    July 2, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    To Anonymous at 7:54 pm:

    If Nielsen was such a disaster as a leader, we would have seen an internal revolt or no confidence vote at the very least, which the union certainly knows how to execute. After all, the unhappy employees created the blog and had the chief followed and tried to get him canned once before, why not do it again?

    No, my friend, you are squarely in the minority as far as those who didn’t like his leadership style. The public would not be happy with the police department if the police department was not happy doing their jobs under that chief. There has been no mass exodus, only the steady hiring of new, eager, forward-thinking professionals.

    You can post wishful-thinking statements like that all you want, but the evidence points to no groundswell of support for the firing, in the community or the PD.

    And if you are happy he is gone, why bother to post? You got what you wanted and you still can’t move on. Which says something about you.

  51. July 2, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I wonder what is next for the EPD.

  52. July 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    7:54 and 7:59 still don’t get it. You both (or you in both) look like someone who had his/her overtime cut. Hmmm?
    This Council does not represent any ‘majority of voters’, regardless of how legal their election (or appointment) was. One was unopposed (and he still got barely 75% of the votes cast, the least for any candidate). One was appointed with little or NO public input, and one won at best 40% thanks to a ‘spoiler’ 3rd candidate. That’s no majority. Far worse than that is the fact that all but Linda refuse to even listen to the public. If you’re a huge Tyson supporter, there is nothing whatsoever preventing you from voicing your support. Few people have chosen to do so. MANY people have gone out of their way at a carefully chosen inconvenient time to express their disappointment and LACK of support for Tyson and several of his recent decisions. Who knows how many letters, phone calls, and emails the Council and Tyson have received. There’s support for Tyson, all right. Support for him to leave and leave NOW!

    He is draining our city’s resources through his lawsuits and improprieties. He is draining our city’s resources by necesitating the contract buyout of our perfectly good chief. He is squandering our Measure O money at a great rate, money that was intended to bolster public safety, not make a mockery of it.

    I stillsuspect that the chief was close to finding some real dirt on someone connected to either Tyson or the Council and they wanted him out of town FAST. Not saying it was so, but if it walks like a duck…..

    It’s time to go, Dave!

  53. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    “If Nielsen was such a disaster as a leader, we would have seen an internal revolt or no confidence vote at the very least, which the union certainly knows how to execute.”

    Hi comedy, pattycakes. Already been there, and done that.

  54. July 2, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    “Joel you have to accept that the council was lawfully elected and have the duty to do what they think is best for the city.”

    And Anonymous 7:59 should read my comments more carefully.

    “…a lot of regular working people (that can’t take time off for meetings, thing the same thing.”

    Lot’s of people might “thing” as you do, Anonymous 7:59 (though I hope that they do not drink quite as much you do while “thinging”), and you are an obnoxious jackass for implying that only supporters of the City Council might be inconvenienced by a 1:00 City Council Meeting.

    Sleep it off, Anonymous. And lay off the koolaid.

  55. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Sour grapes, anony…sour grapes. Larry only won with a plurality back in 2006 – that doesnt make him any less a legit winner than anyone else who ran unopposed or was appointed.

    Them’s teh rulz

  56. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    If Gar was so great for Eureka and he liked it so much, why was
    he looking for a job in Bend?? Think about it!!

  57. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Linda is a left wing puppet with no courage.

  58. July 2, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    This controversy is sure going to showcase the process of democracy in the city, and whether any really exists or not.

  59. Eureka Resident
    July 2, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    What are the odds that Anonymous 7:54 and 7:59 just happen to share the same writing style and language as HiFi?

    The right-wing purposely confuses the majority of VOTERS with the “majority of Eurekans” because the reality of 50%, or higher, of eligible voters that are unregistered or abstain…takes too much wind from their sails.

    I was among those who canvassed Eureka’s West Side today. After 5 hours we only had 1 voter who stated their support for Tyson and his behavior because “the police chief must have done something wrong”.

    Tyson’s actions indicate that he could care less what the public thinks. The Gang of Four must like high-stakes gambling.

    I discovered today the most informed citizens were the most anxious to sign the petitions. Statistically, only about 20% of the reading public read newspapers…canvassing/tabling has always been the most effective way to inform.

  60. What Now
    July 3, 2011 at 12:25 am

    High Finance says:
    July 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    “Majority of voters”

    That is true in every single election in every single district in the entire history of our country.

    If you don’t bother to vote, you have no ethical right to bitch.

    BTW, Linda Atkins only won with a plurality.
    More nonsense from the HIghly Fried.

    Bush v. Gore in 2000 essentially determined that people have the right to vote but no state has the obligation to count said votes.

  61. FoxStudio
    July 3, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Spoke recently with a member of the EPD. They were 100% positive about the changes made and felt that the type of information and training that Nielsen provided made them more effective in their job and also safer.

    What Tyson, Harpham and Jager did was inexcusable at so many levels. Hope the people of Eureka can take back control of their city.

  62. Eureka Resident
    July 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    High Finance says:
    July 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    “If you don’t bother to vote, you have no ethical right to bitch”.


    Blaming the victim is central to the right wing playbook under “demoralizing opponents” who should “shut up” because they’re not registered voters, or don’t live in Eureka, or weren’t born here…etc, etc..

    It reminds me of university administrators who widely criticize students for demanding change without getting involved, then demoralizing students as a minority of ungrateful agitators once students do get involved!

    There was a time when today’s dysfunctional media not only put the heat on officials but led the charge, filed the complaints, and stormed the Bastille until answers were provided or the officials were thoroughly shamed, resigned, or jailed. If they restored their role as community watchdogs they could recover subscriptions, including mine.

    Where did the $$$ come from to appease Tyson’s frivolous parting-shot that couldn’t wait 18 months for the Chief’s contract expiration??

    Although readership is low, the Gang of Four will face growing outrage if the TS continues its adequate coverage. If the TS were more than a bystander the recall would have already begun.

  63. July 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I’m sorry FoxStudio, but what did Interim Chief Harpham do?

  64. Anonymous
    July 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    “Linda is a left wing puppet with no courage.”

    I love how anonymous bloggers can say a public figure expressing their opinion has no courage. All of us anonymous bloggers are cowards to a certain extent.

    Anonymous 10:36 you are the definition of a p**sy. Linda has ten times the courage in the fingernail of her pinky then you have in that empty ball sack of yours.

  65. July 3, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Oh, the irony.

  66. another insider
    July 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Well Joel the word coming out of EPD is that Merle helped engineer this. He tried to Embarrass Garr by going straight to the DA about Danny Kalis but that back fired. But he and his friend Suzy have been working this since Garr got here.

  67. July 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Sorry, I just don’t give much credence to “word coming out of EPD.”

  68. High Finance
    July 4, 2011 at 9:32 am

    “Insider” isn’t.

  69. High Finance
    July 4, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Now, let us once again correct Mouse and his deliberate misinformation about the elections.

    Yes, Lance Madsen ran unopposed but he received 96% OF THE VOTE, NOT “BARELY 75%

    Then Mike Newman won with 44.18% of the not NOT “at best 40%” as he stated last night at 9.31pm.

    For those interested in truth & facts, the city results are as follows;

    Lance Madsen 96.26%

    Mike Newman 44.18%
    Ron Kuhnel 41.95

    Marian Brady 57.10%
    Larry Glass 42.67

    Frank Jager 51.59%
    Peter La Vallee 43.56

    Virgina Bass 55.06%
    Bonnie Neeley 44.19

    The best you guys could do was only 44.19% ?

  70. Goldie
    July 4, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Splashing around in the back story, what ever it is, does not eliminate the shock and sadness we feel on the West Side. What Garr addressed was the way the thugs would bully a neighborhood and retaliate against neighbors who would stand up to them. A young family, a working mom and dad with a child in school had their house robbed. Arrests were made but the thugs went to their house and knocked on the door and told them to change their story. Their car was vandalized. Bricks were thrown at another house. We were all frightened but the police, under Garr, increased patrol, stayed on it and the house was shut down, and peace returned to our area and it has stayed. It makes a huge difference when you have a police department and chief you can trust. We have lost that.

  71. July 4, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Anonymous 12:36,

    I try not to assume the gender of anonymous posters. Sometimes, correctly or not, I feel I can make a reasonable guess. And other times I fall into the English language’s linguistic trap and refer to a “he” when I mean a “s/he”.

    But I’m mystified by how you could determine that the nine words posted anonymously at 10:36 were by a commenter possessed of a ball sack, empty or not.

  72. July 4, 2011 at 10:03 am


    It will take some time to decide whether police service in your neighborhood has gone back to what you consider unsatisfactory levels after it had become acceptable under the dismissed chief.

    But if you find it has back-slid, I’d really urge you and any other Eureka citizen who is affected to contact the FBI and, perhaps, the Department of Justice’s civil rights division. No citizen should have to feel the police ignore crime in their neighborhood, especially when the police had done the job of policing under proper leadership and that leadership has been fired under unusual circumstances.

    It seems clear that you cannot expect local authorities to support you in your extremely reasonable expectations. Escalation outside the area would be the appropriate response if things revert to the bad old days under the good old boys.

  73. Anonymous
    July 4, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Hi Fi,
    It’s a bit disingenuous not to list the percent obtained by Xandra Mann in the Newman race. Since you are lumping “liberals” as “you guys”, then it would be more accurate to lump Kuhnel and Mann as a liberal vote.

    As a somewhat outside observer – my take is Eureka is pretty evenly split among more old guard, business oriented conservative voters and those who tend to vote along liberal lines. A comparison of the city council from a few years ago and the current one is part of the basis for that opinion.
    Further, either conservative or liberal sides have the potential for winning if there is a rallying issue and if the opposition is attached to the wrong side of that issue. For example, Glass being attached to the “isn’t cleaning up the Balloon Track” issue and Brady using that as her entire platform.
    From my perspective, the current city council has just handed the liberal side their rallying issue and being dismissive of the Tyson petition on Tuesday will attach the other four council people to an issue that can be shown to cost the city money. If crime goes up (whether it is related to this or not), that issue will likely result in some council changes come next election. To pretend there is a small minority of either conservatives or liberals in this town is just wishful thinking.

  74. July 4, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Anonymous is correct, HiFi. Furthermore, without the Marina Center as an issue, and having alienated so many citizens (especially Westsiders), your incumbents will be vulnerable in the next election.

  75. High Finance
    July 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I left out Xandra’s numbers because I never considered her as a serious candidate. She attracted a protest type vote.

    All the other races had the conservative to moderate voters at somewhere around 55%.

    Slightly off topic, but before Measure N was put on the ballot, the liberals here were saying the big majority of Eurekans did not want it.

  76. High Finance
    July 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Another point Joel, according to another poster yesterday, Larry Glass lost in every precinct in the city including the West Side !

  77. FoxStudio
    July 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Joel back at 7-3/12:31pm- Srsly?

  78. tra
    July 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I left out Xandra’s numbers because I never considered her as a serious candidate. She attracted a protest type vote.

    HiFI, I don’t have the numbers at my fingertips, but if your figures are correct then between them Newman and Kuhnel got about 86% of the vote, which would mean that Xandra Manns got somewhere around 14%. That’s a pretty big “protest vote.”

    Anyway, regardless of what rationale you use to try to dismiss her voters as irrelevant, can I assume that you regard Kuhnel as “more liberal” than Newman, and Manns as “even more liberal” than Kuhnel? Because it seems to me that what these results show is that a solid majority of voters voted for the candidates who were “more liberal,” or “even more liberal.” Doesn’t quite back up your spin about the election, but you’ve got to admit it’s hard to avoid that conclusion.

    Now I suppose it’s possible that all 14% who voted for Manns wouldn’t have voted at all if she hadn’t been in the race, or that enough of them would have voted for Newman for him to have won anyway. But it does seem more likely that enough Manns voters would have voted for Kuhnel to push him well past Newman’s slightly over 2% margin of victory. No way to know for sure, of course, because unfortunately the City of Eureka doesn’t have runoff elections like the County does, which is too bad, because there is something to be said for making sure that the eventual winner in a system of representative government actually does have the support of the majority of the voters who they are supposed to be representing.

    Anyway, none of this is meant to suggest that Newman isn’t the legitimate winner or something like that. He got the most votes, so he won, that’s how it works. What it does suggest however, is that the majority of voters were quite willing to elect someone more liberal than Newman, and that he might want to avoid being so dismissive of the majority who voted for one of the other two candidates. Of course, if he chooses to arrogantly assume that he has the support of the majority of his constituents for things like the Nielsen firing….well, that’s his choice, and we’ll see how voters react in the next election (in which I suspect the liberal/progressive folks will be less likely to take a chance by splitting their vote).

  79. July 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    @FoxStudio: yes, “srsly.”

  80. July 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    And sorry, TRA, but with his math skills such as they are, High Finance is incapable of accepting any form of arithmetic that does not bolster his arguments.

  81. July 5, 2011 at 6:19 am

    If Tyson came out and gave an actual reason as to why this happened, maybe some of the “controversy” could be cleared up. I have not been a huge supporter of the police (I found that as a group they did not want to respond to calls until you threatened to do something yourself), but it is obvious there are people who felt the EPD was doing a great job. That should not be discounted, which is what I feel is being done by some. If Tyson cleared the air, at least it would get rid of some of the rumors and perhaps ease the number of people who want him dumped (unlikely, but it could help). Instead, we are getting the run-around, as per usual in this sort of situation. Perhaps legally he can’t speak. I don’t know. I’m not sure how much I care, either. This just seems to be business as usual for Eureka.

  82. July 5, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Mr. Brunell makes a very good point. The City Manager and City Council cannot say anything about the firing (which probably happened for good reasons) because of the legal repercussions. I think that we need to change the Charter, so that we are not put in this position. Firing “without cause” sounds absurd because it is absurd. I’m sure that the City Council acted in good faith, but with their debut being the reversal of the Jefferson School deal, the troubled history of City Manager Tyson combined with the positive public perception of Chief Nielsen, it’s no wonder that so many people are incensed. It didn’t help that critics were dismissed as a “vocal minority” (as if the City Council believes that only the majority deserves respect or attention).

  83. pattycakes
    July 5, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Tyson did give his reason, differing management styles. That encompasses a lot, but you’ll never hear him admit anymore than that. He couldn’t control Nielsen like he does the city council and other department heads, Why do you think so many department heads have left? It is his tune the council dances to and not the other way around, that’s pretty evident from how this went down. And again, if Tyson had a good reason to get rid of Nielsen with cause he would have. As it is, he had no reason that wouldn’t have probably triggered a lawsuit by Nielsen (because remember, he was also a victim of the harassment from DD Wilson’s camp and that caused the $200k settlement by the city),

  84. High Finance
    July 5, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Tra, yes it is obvious that there were a number of people who voted for Mann only.

    Otherwise, how could you possible explain why liberals got 58% of the vote or so in that one race when in all the other races in Eureka the libs only got around 42-44% ?

  85. anonymous
    July 5, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Linda Atkins voted against the firing. I believe that if there had been a good reason to fire Nielsen, she would have voted that way. She’s the only one on the council who seems to have the ability to reason and is not affiliated with the power brokers in this town. She’s taken the extraordinary step of organizing a campaign to get rid of Tyson. One doesn’t go out on a limb like that without good reason.

    Joel, “the council acted in good faith”? You could say the 900 dead at Jonestown acted in good faith, as well.

  86. anonymous
    July 5, 2011 at 9:36 am

    HiFi @8:46 – Here’s my take on the election. Your side had the money – flyers in the mailbox every other day, TV ads- and you had the organization – people at the door more than once. I can’t say that for the real Dems – no money, very little organization. Maybe they were over confident. Add to that lots of people who don’t follow politics except for a short time before elections. Your message, repeated ad nauseum by your faux dems was actually a progressive message but not something they’d ever follow through on. Your campaigns were built on half truths with the insinuation that your candidates were endorsed by the Democratic party. To people who depend on TV ads or mailbox flyers for their info your candidates sounded good enough to vote for. There’s also a large population in this town that just doesn’t vote for their own self interest. Remember the guy at the city council meeting on the Marina Center who said we need all these minimum wage jobs? He said it in all seriousness not even realizing the living wage jobs to be lost.
    During public input regarding the Nielsen firing, people on the west side spoke of families moving from Eureka because of the crime here. When the council voted against money for the purchase of Jefferson school, one of the speakers said young families are moving to Arcata so their kids can get a better education. This council and the few people they represent will soon have Eureka void of the people that bring vibrancy to our community and have only the sheeple and addicts left, along with those of us who can’t afford to move. You’ll have your stinking little empire then. Why is Eureka, the county seat, the only town in Humboldt County losing population?

  87. Anonymous
    July 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Eureka families move to Arcata to flee crime and get a better education? Umm, sure, there’s less violent crime, but there’s a lot more petty crime in Arcata. How safe do you feel when you have strangers climb your fence and sleep in your backyard a dozen times a year? Arcata is a transient magnet.

  88. Anonymous
    July 5, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Better that than strangers breaking into your house and car to steal your stuff to fund their addictions, 9:51.

  89. High Finance
    July 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

    9.36am, you could be right in the conservative candidates outspent the left by a wide margin. But that is not what happened.

    The left also had plenty of money to counteract the conservative’s money. The libs were not outspent by that much in the four council races. Bonnie Neeley spent something approaching $200,000 in her race.

    You all have been commentating on how much crime has dropped since Garr Nielsen was appointed chief. In today’s Times Standard there is a big story about how the crime rate has dropped in much of the state but crime has actually increased in Eureka!

    I am not saying the increase is Nielsen’s fault. What I am saying is you all are giving him credit for something that did not happen.

  90. Anonymous
    July 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    It would only make sense that a place that caters to the homeless, addicted, and indigent would have more crime. The more services we provide the more crime we have.

  91. July 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    “I am saying is you all are giving him credit for something that did not happen.”

    No, we’re not. Apparently, HiFi is only able to think in broad, black and white categories.

  92. Plain Jane
    July 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    How much did the multiple year campaigns against Neely and Measure N cost paid for by Arkley and his shadow groups? Those campaigns had a huge impact on the council and BOS races without any candidate having to claim it as contribution.

  93. High Finance
    July 7, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Apparently you missed the dozens & dozens of posts here that gave Nielsen credit for the city wide clean up Joel.

    Really now, you’re better than that.

  94. The Big Picture
    July 8, 2011 at 11:33 am


    If Glass or Nielsen cost this city $100,000 in a settlement, $300,000 in an erred investigation, $166,000 in a arbitrary termination, or sent $100,000 a year to a non-profit like Bay Keepers instead of the Chamber….HiFi’s insanity would probably become criminal.

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