June 8, 2016 – The News-Press Editorial Board
One of the most important decisions in the history of Fort Myers, one with enormous implications of community trust, on race relations and on quality of life, has spiraled into a muddled mess.
The selection of a new police chief to replace Doug Baker was supposed to be transparent, within the public’s view and lawful. It was supposed to be thorough and professional, so that the right choice of a person who could restore trust and safety to a community hit much too hard by violence and death. It was supposed to be the right thing to do.
Instead, what has occurred over several months, are litany of changes, confusion, surprise, and a proposed selection process that could be overshadowed by possible Florida Sunshine Law violations.
Next week, on June 16, a panel of nine community leaders, including current and former law enforcement officials, are to interview the eight candidates who still remain for the job. They are to do it in a public setting, where community members can hear the questions, listen to the candidates answers and see whom the panelists select as the final three. Then, City Manager Saeed Kazemi will interview the final three, make a selection, and present his choice to the city council for its approval. [READ MORE]