Posted: Mar. 4, 2020 at 3:54 p.m. CST
By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
JEFFERSON – At a called meeting Tuesday, the city council, on a 4-1 vote, promoted Jason Carroll from acting police chief to permanent chief, despite protests of a lack of due diligence.
Carroll has served as acting chief since the Dec. 31 retirement of Chief Gary Amburn.
Robin Moore, a candidate for the council in the May 2 election, objected during the public comment period to the council decision to hire Carroll without interviewing other potential chiefs.
Moore initially asked if any chief candidates had been interviewed.
Mayor Pro-Tem Victor Perot admitted that none of the 12 applicants for the post had been interviewed.
“I am just wondering why,” Moore said. “I am sure Jason is a nice guy, very competent. Your job as our representatives is to do the best you can for the city. That’s serious business.”
Moore reminded the council, “This is a business. The city is a business. It needs to be treated that way.”
Moore read from the city code that stated the “council shall interview all applicants.”
“This is something I’d like you all when you go into your deliberation to think about,” Moore said. “Just don’t follow the leader. If you’ve got some qualified applicants out there, let’s hear from them.”
Wednesday, Perot explained to the Jimplecute that the council had developed a high degree of confidence in Carroll.
“Pretty much from the get go, everybody was in favor of Jason,” Perot said. “It was the choice that a majority of the council wanted to make.”
Perot indicated the council felt comfortable with Carroll because he has so much institutional knowledge of the city of Jefferson and that the council believes he really is the best choice.
Perot also saw that bringing in someone new requiring a ramp up period where they have to learn the population in Jefferson is probably not the best choice for Jefferson.
“It’s never a waste of time to interview someone else, but we are taking those people’s time and taking our time to do something that inevitably was still going to turn out the same way with us hiring Jason,” Perot said.
Perot noted Carroll was attending chief school and had been recommended by Chief Amburn.
Tyrani Braddock was the lone dissenting vote, “On the grounds that we have not done any interviews.”
Perot noted that all city employees are “at will” employees. If the council becomes dissatisfied with Carroll, other action can be taken.
“We want to give him that opportunity,” Perot said.
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