MIDDLETOWN POLICE CHIEF PROBLEM CAN BE TRACED BACK TO MAYOR

The stalemate over a permanent police chief in the city of Middletown continues and if you look at the history of the issue, the problem can be laid right at the feet of Mayor Sebastian Guiliano.

The Democratic-controlled common council has twice rejected Guiliano’s choice for chief, Patrick McMahon. Guiliano seems not to care since he named McMahon acting chief and will remain so until a permanent chief is approved—if that ever happens.

The whole issue is indicative of Guliano’s management style—he does what he wants and doesn’t care what the also duly elected common council thinks. Guiliano assembled a committee to recommend a candidate for police chief but when it was clear the committee wouldn’t recommend who the mayor wanted, he scrapped the panel.

The Shad does not live in Middletown and does not know McMahon. But the issue has become so ridiculous, it transcends the city and is now being noted statewide. The council has legitimate questions about McMahon, including whether he even lives in town.

It’s not unreasonable for the city to look statewide for a new chief if the council does not approve McMahon for the job (which it clearly doesn’t). It seems that if the mayor would act more like the head of a city government that also has a legislative body instead of a dictator, the problem could be resolved.