Its easy for Italy citizens, with limited information, to jump to conclusions one way or the other regarding the bickering of our city leaders. On the Neotribune, we are trying to get more information about what is going on at City Hall, but its difficult. People in the city administration are not happy, the citizens are confused, and the bickering has no end in sight. I was able to talk to Chief Hill with the Italy Police Department this weekend, and he was able to answer a few of our questions. We encourage citizens to send us comments and questions, and we will continue to try and provide answers.
Steven Farmer posed these questions:
1. I as a citizen would like to know why Mr. Helms has been taken off the rotation?
The removal was a decision made based on the refusal of Helms Wrecker Service to provide adequate service to the Italy Police Department. On at least three occasions they refused to service city-owned vehicles. Thus leaving officers stranded with inoperable vehicles.
2. What gives the Chief the authority to do this?
This was a basic standard operational decision. We have no formal oral or written contract with any wrecker service. I have been granted the authority to make decisions that affect the daily operations of the department by the city council, as is the norm in any municipality.
3. The paperwork (Chief Hill’s protective order) states that the District attorney will be investigating this matter. So does anyone know who the District Attorney’s investigator is?
On advise from my attorney, I will not discuss this criminal case being investigated by the Ellis County District Attorney. You may direct any questions to their office.
Mike South’s Question:
4. There is only one group of people that truly suffer from the problems at city hall, and that is the citizens of Italy. How can we expect to attract new businesses and new families, if the city administration can’t stop the bickering?
Mr. South, I would ask that you re-direct this question to the people who continue to spread false and negative information. I have handled these issues privately and with those involved. If new businesses or families are not comfortable with what they hear about Italy, it is not from information I have released to the public.
I would hope that these businesses and families would see a Chief and department who stand up for what is ethical, moral, legal and in the best interest of the citizens of Italy. I hope they would see a Chief and officers who pride themselves with keeping citizens safe and secure so that they can carry on with their lives in Italy. I hope they would see individuals who took oaths to protect and serve the public and uphold justice. If they really want information that promotes the quality of life we offer in Italy, let them see the crime statistics that we work hard to lower. Let them see the upgraded technology that we find alternate ways to fund. Let them see the advanced training and knowledge we gain through education. Let them see how we engage with the public through many department sponsored events. Let them see us patrolling the school zones, neighborhoods and businesses so that our presence will deter violators. Let them see us promoting a positive relationship with children so they know we are here to help them.
Let them know that yes, we have disagreements. However, they will not affect the duties we perform or the services we provide for this city.