Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Candidates to lead the Police Review and Advisory Board and Human Rights Commission should be whittled to 12 from 84 by the end of this week, City Manager Robert W. Healy said.

There will be a further narrowing of candidates to three before the final choice is made, he said, but when those steps will be taken is unclear. Candidates are looked at as schedules allow, and the screeners are department heads and top city employees such as Deputy City Manager Richard Rossi and City Solicitor Donald Drisdell.

The combined position was posted in August when the board’s director, Quoc Tran, quit. The board and commission leadership had been separate, but Healy felt the roles could be handled by one person to save the city money. “I’m criticized,” he said in a Tuesday interview, “but this is a time cities are laying off police officers and closing libraries.”

The combined position will pay between $68,500 and $82,500. Until an appointment, the Human Rights Commission is being overseen by Nancy Schlacter, an assistant to the city manager and police officials helping with the review board.

The work of the board goes on, Healy said, with nine cases filed for review and seven resolved.

The board’s investigator, Joe Johnson, said Oct. 7 that he believed there were 11 cases filed this year but confirmed “the work of the board is going on. The board is here, it exists. We are functioning to the best of our ability.”

There is also a vacancy for a member, one of five volunteers appointed by Healy.