Charlottesville City government, often derided for extreme secrecy and lack of transparency in its communications and operations, is again facing procedural criticism, this time in its quest for a new police chief.
In a recent Daily Progress story regarding the City’s search, Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones, referenced “two community panels” who are participating in the interview process; however, Jones refused to “reveal” the panelists.
Jalane Schmidt, an organizer with Black Lives Matter, and a University of Virginia associate professor, took issue with the City’s hiring process, citing a lack of transparency and insufficient community involvement.
Jones countered by assuring the public of his intentions to be inclusive in the search protocol:
“My goal from the beginning of this search was to ensure many folks would have the opportunity to weigh in on the characteristics we should be looking for in our next police chief,”
But who are those “folks” who actually have a say in the process?
An open records request to Charlottesville City Hall has revealed the super-secret Community Panelists, who are vetting candidates for the Police Chief position. Now, for the first time, the heretofore concealed list: