Letter to the Editor: What improvement does Troup hope to achieve by changing commissioners?

Steve Meckes

Steve Meckes

I was disappointed by Mayor Troup’s explanation of his decision not to reappoint me to the Fire and Police Commission. His recent email to the City Council and the commission didn’t shed much light on his decision-making, and it is my understanding that some members of the City Council required him to write the email to move forward with Ms. Caldwell’s appointment. 

As far as process is concerned, a simple phone call to me and previously to Mr. (Kerry) Anders would have been a more appropriate and respectful way to express appreciation for our service and explain his reasoning for moving in a different direction.

The purpose of the Fire and Police Commission is to ensure that the leadership of our fire and police departments is independent of political influence and that the composition of the departments meets the high standards required to ensure public safety. It is the mayor’s prerogative to choose the members of the commission, but it is the City Council’s responsibility to approve the appointments with this purpose in mind.

Mayor Troup has not explained why he wants to change the composition of the commission. What improvement does he hope to achieve? The requirements of the job are extensive, and the time required to do the job is significant. As a member of the commission, I have always strived to maintain its independence. The unprecedented efforts of this mayor to insert himself into the processes that ensure the independence of the commission are concerning.

I have never viewed or wanted my position on the Fire and Police Commission to be for a lifetime. My purpose in asking to be reappointed was to maintain the independence of the commission. At this point, it’s up to the City Council to do what they need to do to make sure that the commission as reconstituted by Mayor Troup can maintain the independence and high standards that our city expects and maintaining public safety demands.


Stephen Meckes
Board of Fire and Police Commissioners
Quincy, Illinois

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