Question Never Answered
Saturday, September 7, 2013 • 11:34am
My question: What are the reasons that the Livingston Town Manager, Michele Meade, refused to meet even once with someone she hired specifically to concentrate on and correct the known obstacles and problems that existed within her police department?
I was hired by her as her police department’s training coordinator on the recommendations of the Livingston Police Chief, after an interview process that included the human resources manager, the police chief and herself. After doing a thorough assessment I created a number of enhancements and programs that would improve the morale of the Livingston Police Officers, a department wide proven accountability program consisting of 15 specific goals for improvement and responsibility at every level within the agency, developed a successful method to identify and respond to rising crime trends within the township, introduced various methods and ways for the township to save tax dollars, identified and made available free advanced training schools for any interested officer, designed a number of other law enforcement positive initiatives to increase the officer’s ownership of quality of life issues within the township and created additional partnerships between the police department and other departments within the township.
Everything that was developed was meticulously documented and provided to the town manager repeatedly with requests for meetings and each time the town manager refused to meet or discuss the very programs and goals she claimed she sought.
From March 1, 2012, to September 9, 2012, she could not find a few minutes to meet with me even though my office in the police building was less than 150 feet from her office in the town hall.
The police chief did contact the town manager a number of times via township email, a number of times via telephone conversations, and a number of times face to face pertaining to our requests for her to meet with us. Each time she stated we would meet soon and each time there was never a meeting.
The town manager was informed that I would be available 24/7 to meet with her. A few times she was in the police building a mere 15 feet from me and knowing that meetings were requested - she still refused to meet. This evading lasted 7 long months. And in the end, there was never a meeting or explanation of why the avoidance, just silence.
In September 2012, I came to the conclusion that none of the programs or enhancements developed would be discussed and therefore unlikely that they would ever be initiated or implemented by the Livingston Police Department. Without the support of the town manager, nothing would move forward. The Town Council was made aware of the situation and received an overview of all the programs created including the positive effect each program would have on the township. I never received any feedback or communication from them either.
Many of the real and perceived problems plaguing the police department then and now would have been corrected. There are many good officers that are losing steam due to her low level of commitment. Maybe the reality of all this would be found in the various assessments I did for the police chief that exposed the overwhelming micro management as well as mismanagement and absentee management of people put in supervisory positions. Those assessments were also made available to the town council and again, complete silence.
The Livingston citizens, the business owners and the public traveling through the township have a right to question and receive answers as to why not one program or initiative was ever discussed or reviewed or why nothing was ever implemented for the betterment of the department and the township even though her police chief did vocally support, 100 percent, each of these programs. In addition, all these programs had very little or no additional costs for to the township.
This has always been a black and white issue, nothing gray here. Problems were identified as requested, proven solutions offered and presented in a timely manner, opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to meet and discuss over a 7 month period were requested yet nothing but cancellation after promising to meet time and time again.
This is just a small window into what appears to be a much larger array of problems and possibly the tip of the iceberg that is sinking the ship called Livingston.