Dave Bicking booted from Civilian Review Authority

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City of Minneapolis.
The City Council voted today not to reappoint Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority member Dave Bicking to another term. Bicking is crying foul on the Council, accusing the members of ousting him in a conspiratorial political maneuver to keep the CRA from making too much noise.

"My own feeling -- and I'm sure there are a lot of people that would agree with me -- is that I'm working to make the CRA stronger, and a lot of people don't want that," says Bicking. "I think the City Council ... doesn't really want to know what's going on, doesn't want to get involved."

Bicking served on the board for just under two years. Most notably, he played an active role in the CRA's first-ever performance appraisal of Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan, released last December.

Bicking also caused plenty of turbulence on the board during his tenure. Earlier this year, CRA Chair Donald Bellfield asked him to resign for participating in a panel that criticized Dolan. Bellfield said Bicking overstepped his bounds and compromised the neutrality of the board. Bicking refused to step down.

Ward 5 City Councilmember Don Samuels says Bicking's outspoken political views are a big part of why he was not reappointed.

"It's not a political position, you know, it's a board position," says Samuels. "And I think he's an advocate and he's political and I think he's getting his two functions mixed up. I think the general sentiment on the Council is that that's not healthy for the board."

At the meeting this afternoon, Ward 2 Councilmember Cam Gordon moved for the Council to reconsider Bicking's reappointment, but no one would second the motion.

"I had an appointment that I thought was very strong - stronger than him," says Samuels.

The City Council did approve four new appointments to the CRA today, which now go to Mayor R.T. Rybak's desk for final approval. The new members, according to CRA Manager Lee Reid: Dean Kallenbach, Arlene Santiago, Mary Pargo and Tramma Elayaperumal.

Rybak plans to approve the four appointments by Monday, says John Stiles, the mayor's spokesman. "The intent is that they'll be good to go by the meeting next week."


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