We Can Make Vallejo A Better Place
Ever since I was elected to City Council I have lobbied for restructuring and redevelopment of the Vallejo Police Department (VPD). I have made many suggestions and attempted to instill among my colleagues the necessity of major change. Few have responded. Perhaps in part it is because several other council members have been directly sponsored by the police department of their well known Pac known as Jump Start.
The following are recommendations and motions that I have offered to my colleagues on Council and to the City Manager. My positions are clear:
- In 2012, I advocated that Vallejo form and organize a Citizen Review committee to analyze the department. This was done and included several knowledgeable people from the community, including a female practicing lawyer, then employed at the S.F. Police department’s oversight office. The committee was formed, and recommendations were made; nothing changed.
- Held the line on police department salaries as the safety union salaries & pensions were in part a cause of the 2008 bankruptcy.
- I was the only council member of all seven members to vote for random drug testing among the members of the police department.
- Urged the City Manager to encourage the Police Chief to hire greater diversity within the ranks of the police officer staff and general department.
- Voted absolutely and emphatically no on taking over our waterfront by the Central police station via the purchase of the former State Farm building.
- Recommended that the VPD be reviewed by the Ca. Department of Justice to possibly implement better and best practices.
- Urged citizens who felt wronged by officers of VPD to file complaints. Often when they did so, but the complaints were ignored.
- I was the only council member to vote in favor of having mandatory drug testing after an officer involved shooting.
- Advocated for state licensing of law enforcement officers, just as we do with other professions such as attorneys, engineers, medical positions, and even hair and nail salons.
- Advocated that OIS (officer involved shooting) incidents be investigated by an independent outside entity of the Department of Consumer Affairs. They can be tasked to create a division devoted exclusively to law enforcement issues and discipline.
- Voted for the OIR report – a proposal to reform the Vallejo Police Department.
- Advocated for wage surveys for law enforcement be done for cities similar in size and tax base to Vallejo rather than the higher priced BART located cities.
- Advocated for the availability of personnel to coordinate homeless counselors, vocational counselors, substance abuse counselors, and mental health assistance when evictions occur in Vallejo.
- Advocated for better training of law enforcement in many areas.
- Advocated for community policing expansion, particularly parking infractions as had been done years ago. Also now consider whether, like the City of Berkeley just did, to task traffic enforcement with the Public Works Division.
- Advocated for sabbatical leaves for officers who demonstrate traits of PTSD.
- Advocated for more use of non-sworn officers in as many areas of the department as can be possibly done.
- Advocated that captains and lieutenants, command positions, be members of the Confidential, Administrative, Managerial & Professional (CAMP) Union and not the Vallejo Police Officers Association.
- Voted against having the police department headquarters be located on the waterfront. By extension, voted against the purchase price of $14 million and the added price of hiring an architectural consulting firm analyze the building for police department retrofit.
WHO IS ROBERT McCONNELL?
A native of California and a decorated Army ground combat veteran, McConnell has a Bachelors degree in Public Administration, Masters Degree study in Public Administration from San Jose State University, and a law degree from McGeorge School of Law where he was on Law Review and worked at the California State Personnel Board. McConnell has vast experience as a Law Clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco. McConnell also serves as the Vice Chair of SolTrans and the Vice Chair of the Napa-Vallejo Solid Waste Management Board. In addition, he is the alternate for the Solano County Water Agency.
“Vallejo is facing extremely challenging demands which require experience and knowledge in the approaching financial rapids. The financial conditions of Vallejo may become tremendously difficult given the current pandemic. This will demand focus, discipline and accountability. Systemic racism and sub quality police procedures and training demand substantial correction. With my background in creative and innovative approaches, that can eventually be accomplished. I am interested in helping all people of Vallejo, not a few choice groups or a chosen few. We are all in this together and together this can be done.” McConnell said. Robert McConnell has long been an advocate for redirection within the Vallejo Police Department, and improved financial spending and budget alliances. He feels more money should be spent on quality of life issues within our city, Vallejo’s youth programs, and infrastructure with less funding for unnecessary expenditures. He is for the people, all the people of Vallejo.
McConnell has been married over thirty years. He and his wife have rescued many stray, elderly and abandoned animals over many years. He practiced business commercial litigation and personal injury law in the San Francisco Financial District for several years before and after moving to Vallejo and establishing his own business on Georgia Street. He is an avid rose gardener and a member of the Improved Order of the Red Men organization and many other non-profit organizations.
McConnell for Vallejo Mayor 2020
A. Formal education:
- Local public schools including Sierra Community College and San Jose State with a Bachelor’s in Public Administration and all class work completed for a Masters Degree in Public Administration.
- A doctorate in Jurisprudence, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Law Review reviewing and reporting on bills pending and later adopted by the State Legislature.
- Post law graduate work UC Hastings Trial Advocacy Skills
B. Informal education
- Decorated Military Veteran, U.S. Army Infantry, war combat infantry soldier
- Picking pears at age 12. Working on surrounding ranches.
- Busboy, bellman, cocktail waiter/wine steward.
- Cling Peach Advisory Board peach inspector.
- Started as a Deputy District Attorney also working as Deputy County Counsel for Board of Supervisors; Accepted as Law Clerk, 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
- Associate Commercial Litigation law firm San Francisco Financial District. Sole practitioner San Francisco Financial District. Partner in Worker’s Compensation Subrogation Law Firm San Francisco
Financial District. Expanded sole practioner firm San
Francisco Financial District in personal injury, commercial
and financial litigation. Expanded into Bankruptcy San
Francisco Financial District, and later in Vallejo, California.
- Government experience: Intern with City of San Jose Personnel Office. Government Intern California State Personnel Board, Sacramento in wages, compensation and Standards Section. First ever Government Intern Coordinator, California State Personnel Board . Vallejo City Managers Budget Advisory Committee; Vallejo City Planning Commission, including chair. Vallejo City Charter Review Committee with emphasis on budget reform and civil service needs.
Vallejo City Council member, including vice chair. Sol Trans member and vice-chair; Member and past chair Napa Vallejo Waste Management Board; Member Vallejo Wastewater and Flood District board; Alternate Member Solano County Water Advisory Board; Alternative Member Solano Transit Authority; Member policy advisory committee on Highway 37 for Solano Transit Authority.
Vallejo ad hoc pre bankruptcy public information.