We are hard-pressed to point to anything significant accomplished during the current Danville City Commission’s first 15 months, other than to rid itself of a perfectly good city manager and thereafter alienate any person or group who happens to disagree on virtually any matter.
Commission meetings — and there has been a multitude of them — are too frequently reduced to uncomfortable exchanges between the mayor and residents with a beef, and often go on for hours unnecessarily.
Even if the argument to fire Paul Stansbury almost a year ago could be justified in some parallel universe, the effort to hire his replacement has been fraught with angst and delay and expense.
To add insult to injury, if we can be so trite, the city found itself in the midst of it all looking for a new police chief.
Despite the fact that it has a perfectly good candidate in longtime assistant chief Tony Gray — who has been a candidate before, and who has twice served as an “interim” — the commission has chosen to spend more money on a national search firm to look for someone it would most assuredly try to argue is more qualified.
Gray, who would be the city’s first African-American police chief, has been publicly endorsed by a cross-section of the community, and it would be difficult to imagine a more logical choice even if Eliot Ness were a candidate.
To smokescreen the preference of the commission’s thin majority that Interim City Manager Ron Scott be hired for that permanent position, it was agreed a “citizens committee” would review the now short list (wonder why) of interested parties and offer up seven recommendations.
Its first list contained only four and did not include Scott, but that didn't matter, according to the mayor, as the committee’s recommendations eliminate no one. They were sent back to the drawing board.
We expect that in the end Scott will be on the list. And he probably should be. His credentials speak for themselves, and they more than qualify him for the job, based on what we’ve been told.
So, get it done already, and move on.
During a national mood of incumbent phobia, the previous commission was beaten up over building a new city hall, implementing mandatory recycling and, heaven forbid, complying with federal law with regard to storm water runoff, just to name a few.
Whether you agree or disagree with those actions, at least you can see and touch what was accomplished.
There is nothing to feel now but frustration.