City lead­ers speak truth

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - OPINION -

As I’m sure that most of you would agree, lis­ten­ing and watch­ing Vallejo City Council meet­ings takes some stamina — es­pe­cially in light of hav­ing to stay up so late. In my years in Vallejo, I have watched and at­tended many meet­ings (both on and off duty). This past Tues­day night (Jan. 28) I saw some­thing I have rarely seen from the dais and I was pleas­antly sur­prised. I was also given a small glimpse of what Vallejo could be —es­pe­cially as it re­lates to the rank and file worker.

OpenVallej­o, a pur­ported “news” or­ga­ni­za­tion, has been bom­bard­ing the city with pub­lic records re­quests — max­ing out city re­sources and staff time. So much so, many city em­ploy­ees have been des­ig­nated to co­or­di­nate these re­quests on a full-time ba­sis — mean­ing there is no time left in the day to do the job they were hired to do. Ad­di­tion­ally, and maybe more im­por­tantly, I be­lieve OpenVallej­o ma­li­ciously and pur­posely spews what I see as lies, false in­for­ma­tion and in­flam­ma­tory mes­sages on the in­ter­net/so­cial me­dia. They struck again with a vi­cious at­tack of Randy Ris­ner who was about to be ap­pointed in­terim city at­tor­ney. These anony­mous at­tacks from OpenVallej­o (as well as named people/or­ga­ni­za­tions) do noth­ing to in­crease trans­parency or make Vallejo a bet­ter city. They are crip­pling this city, city staff and the over­all health of this city.

How­ever, Tues­day, I was proud of each council mem­ber, the mayor and city man­ager. They each took the time to de­fend the work of Mr. Ris­ner pub­licly from the dais. In harmony, they all pro­claimed that they were not going to let anony­mous, dis­tant past, un­sub­stan­ti­ated per­sonal at­tacks in­flu­ence their de­ci­sions that af­fect the op­er­a­tions and mo­men­tum of Vallejo. They as­serted that no city em­ployee should be the sub­ject of these atro­cious and defam­a­tory com­ments.

I ap­plaud our city lead­ers for speak­ing the truth and not be­ing afraid to speak can­didly and from the heart about the de­struc­tive and hurt­ful na­ture of “weaponiz­ing” lan­guage. City Man­ager Greg Ny­hoff bril­liantly pointed out that one of the tough­est parts of be­ing a pub­lic em­ployee/of­fi­cial is read­ing/hear­ing these hor­ren­dous com­ments from people that ei­ther do not iden­tify them­selves or people that have never taken the time to meet you. On be­half of the men and women of the Vallejo Po­lice Of­fi­cers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, I thank all of you for show­ing true lead­er­ship and stay­ing grounded in re­al­ity.

I sug­gest you take a look at the video on­line and watch the com­ments for your­self — be ex­tra glad you didn’t have to stay awake un­til 1:30 in the morn­ing to hear them the first time around.

— Michael Niche­lini/Pres­i­dent Vallejo Po­lice Of­fi­cers’ As­so­ci­a­tion

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