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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bad Management from Mayor RT Rybak

News Release
November 27, 2006

Mayor Rybak Calls for Chief Bleskachek's Removal Rybak Letter to City Council Expresses Lack of Confidence, Recommends Removal

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is recommending that Bonnie Bleskachek be removed from her appointed position as Fire Chief. In a letter to the City's Executive Committee, Mayor Rybak said that he no longer has confidence in Ms. Bleskachek's ability to lead the Fire Department.

"It is vitally important to our citizens that Minneapolis has a well-managed Fire Department," Mayor Rybak said in his letter. "I am not confident that Ms. Bleskachek can lead the Fire Department in a way that best positions the Department to protect the citizens of Minneapolis."

The Executive Committee will discuss the Mayor's recommendation at a meeting tomorrow, Nov. 28. The Executive Committee's recommendation will be forwarded to the Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee before advancing to the full City Council as soon as Friday.

# # #

Jeremy Hanson
Communications Director
Mayor R.T. Rybak
350 South Fifth Street, Room 331
Minneapolis, MN 55415
612-673-2100 phone
612-673-2305 fax

This is long overdue.

This has cost the City way too much money. Hopefully people won't assume Bleskachek's unprofessional conduct is typical for lesbians. Did anyone hear the Jason Lewis show when this story came out? I didn't - but I'm sure Jason had a field day.

The many newspaper articles about the whole sordid mess read like lesbian pulp fiction. That's all good when it's pulp fiction. It doesn't belong in the Fire Department.

There's some interesting discussion on the Minneapolis Rumors List.

Posted 27 Nov 2006 19:45 by Paul Schersten

It almost makes want to conjecture that certain people within the very liberal Mpls DFL were so excited about appointing the very first lesbian in the nation to lead a big-city fire department, they just may have overlooked evidence of her unethical behavior that was available at the time.

I better not say that, though. I'm pretty sure it would be racist, if I understand things correctly.

Paul Schersten

He clarified later on. Did he hear about it from people?

Posted 28 Nov 2006 09:08 by Paul Schersten

Incidentally, I do want to clarify: I have no basis beyond semi-reasonable conjecture that pertinent information about our soon-to-be-former fire chief was available in any meaningful sense at the time she was appointed in 2004. It seems possible that something was sufficiently available that might have given pause, especially if the candidate were of the more traditional male variety. But from what I've read, it might be equally reasonable for the Mayor's office to have concluded that the disputes in question - for example, as revealed in a 2002 custody dispute - were of a personal nature and should not stand in the way of an appointment.

In addition, I wan't really referring to only the Mayor's decision to appoint here; I was referring to a culture and the way people might not want to rock the boat as Ms. Bleskachek's caerer advanced over the past few years. It's a phenomenon that can happen in any political context, too, I assume, liberal or not.

As I assume was clear, the main topic of my little comment was another one

The Drama Queen is all over this one.