|Ummmm, obviously, I don't have a mustache anymore|
Tonight, there was no need to read between the lines at the Laredo Seedy council meeting. When it came time to discuss the qualifications for Laredo's next police chief, It was clear who the mayor wants filling those shoes.
In the mayor's eyes, the "new" police chief should:
1) be familiar with the Texas-Mexico border and its issues
2) be bilingual
3) be someone who can unite the police force: The mayor mentioned that getting along with the Police Unions is of the utmost importance.
4) be able to reach out to the citizens of Laredo. The mayor added, this includes kids and senior citizens.
5) "Someone from the ranks, someone from Laredo" (so much for a broad field of applicants)
6) "Not necessarily someone with a college degree". The mayor went on to cite a couple of examples of people who achieved success without a college degree: form Laredo mayor Saul Ramirez and Head of the Border Patrol, David Aguilar.
As the discussion wore on, the council made it sound as if having a college degree were a negative asset. Councilman Rangel, at one point, declared " I wouldn't mind hiring someone with a degree". Councilman Vera vociferously stated that he wanted someone with Integrity, honor and dedication and not "someone with a degree who is worthless". Not since Rick Santorum called President Obama a "snob" for encouraging Americans to pursue higher education had I seen such an blatant display of disprespect and contempt for anyone with a college degree.
To their credit, Cm. Charlie San Miguel suggested that the bar "not be lowered" and insisted that a degree should still be required for the top cop postition. Meanwhile, councilman Garza said that although the council could hire someone without a degree, he wanted the application to state that a "Master's degree is preferred". Finally, council woman Cindy Liendo motioned to keep the existing guidelines for possible Police Chief candidates (with degree) as the council agreed to ratify her motion.