The BoS were absolutely stunned that Reena didn’t jump at the deal that they offered to reinstate her as Chief of Police. IT WAS SUCH A GOOD DEAL! Mary was actually hurt because the BoS worked so hard to create a way for Reena to come back and be put out to pasture with dignity. They really tried to make a way for the Chief to save face but she refuses to step in line. The BoS can’t understand why Reena, who is the Egremont police chief, would rather be fired than yield to these 10 little conditions;-?
Obviously my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek. Does this BoS seriously expect us to believe that they are acting in good faith? They must either be total imbeciles; or they must think we are. The terms, conditions and stipulations that this BoS laid out at last night’s meeting was not a good faith effort to bring back the Chief; it was a blatant attempt at constructive discharge. Constructive discharge is when an employer creates a situation so difficult it forces the employee to quit. In other words they’re saying, we don’t want to fire you so we’ll make you quit. This action is not only unethical; it is illegal and opens our little town up to yet another lawsuit. But I guess we know that this BoS couldn’t care less if the town is sued.
Let’s look at the BoS proposal. If the Chief wants to come back as the Egremont Chief of Police she only has to agree to these ten little conditions.
1. At all times when the Chief is on town property she will be escorted by acting chief Shaw, personnel director Bill Tighe or asst. town clerk Will Brinkner.
2. Scheduling of all work of the officers will be determined by acting chief Shaw or personnel director Bill Tighe; including officers shifts.
3. Develop, under the supervision of the acting chief, goals and long range plans for the EPD and submit them to the BoS for review
4. Work with current personnel and the acting chief to update and resolve if possible outstanding cases.
5. No longer serve as active chief of the department.
6. No contact with officers.
7. No contact with management or the people of the department.
8. The board requires a letter announcing the chief’s retirement.
9. The chief must waive her right to file any lawsuits against the town or any individual.
10. The chief must agree to not retaliate in any way against the officers.
At all times when the Chief is on town property she will be escorted by acting chief Shaw, personnel director Bill Tighe or asst. town clerk Will Brinkner. Let me get this straight, the town is going to pay for an escort service. If the chief is anywhere on town property she will have a paid male escort with her. WOW, I’ll bet Reena never dreamed she would have three male escorts. While having a paid male escort sounds a bit racy on the surface there are a few things the BoS may not have considered. For instance, what if the chief has to go pee? Do they use the men’s room or the ladies room? Perhaps the BoS can make all the bathrooms co-ed; then they can all go together. But then who would be watching who. Now all these male escorts have regular duties in the town, who will be doing those jobs while they’re watching the chief go pee?
Scheduling of all work of the officers will be determined by acting chief Shaw or personnel director Bill Tighe; including officers shifts. I guess this means that the chief of police is outranked by the asst. office clerk. She is to develop, under the supervision of the acting chief, goals and long range plans for the EPD and submit them to the BoS for review. I guess the BoS doesn’t trust the acting chief to develop a plan for the EPD so they’ll have her make the plans and give Brian the credit for it when he implements these plans. Or maybe the BoS doesn’t want the other officers to know that Reena is behind the scenes telling them what to do. This might be contrary to the demands of the probationary police force. After all, probies are always allowed to dictate to management the terms and conditions of employment aren’t they?
The chief will have to work with current personnel and the acting chief to update and resolve if possible outstanding cases. I have to wonder how this can happen since she can no longer serve as the active chief of the department, have contact with any of the officer’s and must have absolutely no contact with management or any of the other people in the department or at town hall. It seems strange to me that the BoS would act on complaints that the chief is aloof and secretive with her officers and then require her to stay away from them. They punish her for not sharing information with management, town officials and other people in the department then demand that she have no contact with any of these people. They try to dismiss her for allegedly not acting as the chief of the department; then they tell her she can no longer serve as the active chief of the department. Am I missing something? What’s wrong with this picture? IS THIS TWISTED LOGIC OR WHAT?
If the chief agrees with all of the previous conditions the board will require a letter announcing the chief’s retirement. Then she must waive her right to file any lawsuits against the town, any town official or any individual officer. She must also agree to not retaliate in any way against the officers who tried to burn her. I guess the sixty four thousand dollar question is, WHATS IN IT FOR HER?