Our guess: someone soft and squishy
If an internal name were to be considered by the Police & Fire Commission, one we have heard is Paige Valenta, assistant chief of operations. But she is described as “tough.” That’s a disqualification in this town. Our guess is the progressives who run Madison go outside the department for some flower child like former Pittsburgh police chief Cameron McLay, who accused his own force of racism. McLay is now Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway’s deputy mayor for law enforcement. (More here.)
Sometimes the fight comes to you
As if the poor man didn’t have enough headaches, operatives at Blaska Policy Werkes hounded Mike Koval to run for mayor this Spring.
Mike would object that he wasn’t political. The CEO of the Werkes would invade his personal space, getting almost nose to nose, lift an eyebrow, and ask, “Really?”
The police chief of any city or village IS a political creature, as much as any mayor or governor. S/he must 1) win the respect of the rank and file, 2) curry favor with those who hold the purse strings (that being alders and the mayor), and 3) win the hearts and minds of the populace.
Of the three constituencies, Mike Koval is truly loved by his officers and civilian staff. One can see it in their eyes — in addition to many personal testimonies filed in the secure server here at the Werkes. For he stood up for his troops against the slander of the overly “woke” Left, who blame social dysfunction not on 40 years of liberal pandering but on those who enforce society’s norms, those who protect safety of person and property.
Which necessarily jeopardized his standing with the majority in Madison who excuse criminality and deny personal responsibility. A man can only kowtow so much. You can choose not to fight but sometimes the fight chooses you. And Mike Koval and Madison Police were hounded, harassed, sued and slandered. Did the city’s news media stand up in his and their defense? Only Vicki McKenna and a handful of bloggers, including Paula Fitzsimmons. On the Common Council, only Ald. Paul Skidmore was tried and true but he may have more company this time around, including Alds. McKinney and Henak.
As for the voting citizenry, there’s only one way to find out — at the ballot box. Our guess is that Mike Koval for Mayor of Madison would lose today but could win at some tomorrow. It is a debate the Emerald City sorely needs.
Ald. Paul Skidmore: ‘Now the heavy lifting starts’
The mood of the officers is not very good at this time, as they realize that the mayor was not supportive of Chief Koval, and she does not support additional resources for the MPD. I am not sure how much influence the alders will have, but an outpouring of support from city residents will have an impact. This will likely be a long process.
The PFC will conduct a search and screening effort, and it will recommend to the Mayor. The Mayor is calling for input from affected communities and constituents, and the cop haters are expressing their opinion as well.
I am on record that I would want a police chief that strongly supports enforcing the law, and holding individuals accountable for their actions, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or age. I would hope that the new police chief would be able to work with all groups and individuals to make Madison a safe community to live, work and be a part of.
Now the real heavy lifting starts. The Mayor will release her executive budget tomorrow at 1 p.m. By all indications, it will be draconian in regards to public safety.
We will have our work cut out for us. This is the beginning of a long campaign. It will be uncomfortable, but I am prepared for that.
Mike Koval, keep fighting!
Quick! What was Paul Soglin v. Satya Rhodes Conway all about? What were the issues? Cops in our troubled high schools? The rash of kids stealing — even hijacking — cars? The dystopia of upper State Street? The failure of the rowdy homeless-housing experiments at Tree Lane and Rethke Avenue? Not hardly. Public markets and more free stuff.
It is astounding to think that Madison is too liberal for Paul Soglin! His successor appoints cop-bashers Greg Gelembiuk and Brenda Konkel to sensitive public safety positions. She appointed a guilt-monger named Cameron McLay as her deputy mayor for law enforcement. Rhodes Conway publicly criticized MPD in an incident while it was still under official review. (You don’t think her statement will be entered into evidence by plaintiffs claiming $2.8 million in legal damages?)
Ald. Paul Skidmore predicts that Mayor Rhodes Conway’s budget “will be draconian” on public safety. (See sidebar above.)
In his retirement statement Sunday (09-29-19), Mike Koval said he dedicated his life to protecting the public. Now take that protection to the public arena! He qualified for a full pension the day he became chief not quite six years ago but hung on because the fight came to him:
To the “haters,” thanks to you as well — for through your unrelenting, unforgiving, desire to make the police the brunt of all of your scorn, I drew strength from your pervasive and persistent bullying. I have made a career of fighting for the underdog and I was able to hang on much longer than I had originally planned (or that you had hoped)!
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Madison needs Mike Koval to keep fighting today more than ever.