SYRACUSE — This community should have a new police chief by Tuesday evening.
A special meeting of the city council has been called for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers to address the appointment of a new chief to replace Brian Wallace. A resolution to appoint Wallace’s replacement was tabled at a meeting earlier this week, as Mayor Jamie Nagle and several members of the council argued over the selection process to choose the new chief.
A motion to appoint Garret Atkin as the new chief is the only item on the agenda at the special meeting. Atkin is a resident of Syracuse and currently a lieutenant with the Layton Police Department.
The impasse centered on the access three members of the city council, who were not part of an interview panel, of resumes of applicants for the position. The three council members were initially denied access to the resumes by Nagle.
Nagle cited an opinion by City Attorney Will Carlson that to share the information would be a violation of the Government Records Access and Management Act rules about making private records public.
Council members Karianne Lisonbee, Brian Duncan and Larry Shingleton were denied access until prior to this week’s council meeting. They claim the mayor had promised the information before the process started.
Duncan, an attorney, had a significant problem with Nagle and Carlson’s interpretation of GRAMA and bristled over the idea something deemed illegal at the beginning of the hiring process, was legal the day a decision was scheduled to be made. He also disliked that a GRAMA request made by a resident was denied until the day of the council meeting.
Lisonbee argued she hadn’t had enough time to vet the information to make a vote on a new chief. Shingleton said he had seen the resumes and was ready to vote on a chief, but opted to support the motion to table.
With the delay, Lisonbee said she has reviewed the resumes and is ready to act.
“Based on my review of the resumes, I believe Mr. Atkin is well qualified. I was impressed with his recognition of the importance of upholding the law and his professionalism toward the citizens and governing body which he showed at the meeting last Tuesday,” she said.
Atkin did not take the delay as a snub. He said he is interested in leading the department and understood the need to sort out the issues.