Change

Graduation season is upon us; and if any of us are lucky enough to be attending a ceremony in the weeks ahead, we will almost certainly hear someone talking about change.  I think the most popular graduation aphorism is something along the lines of, “The only constant in life is change.”  While I respect the truth in that statement, my view is more selfish:  I like changes I regard as good and reserve the right to dislike anything that seems to be a change for the worse.

I am not happy, for example, that Ed Boyd is leaving his position as Police Chief at the end of this month.  Ed is one of the most honorable and capable people I know, so his departure is both a personal and professional loss.  I am, at the same time, very happy for Ed that he is retiring to a less stressful position and will be doing a job that gives him more time to be with his family.  Serving as a chief of police is one of the most difficult jobs I know because it’s nearly impossible to do well without angering someone.  Ed has made many hard decisions during his seven-plus years as Chief, and I have never known him to be unconcerned about the effects of his choices on the Department or the community.  I recently received an e-mail from an APD officer who summarized it best for me:  “Ed Boyd is the gold standard.”

My unhappiness in losing Ed is balanced by our good fortune in finding an outstanding new chief.  Mario Lattanzio brings a record and reputation of integrity and accomplishment to Albany that meets or exceeds any I have seen in 25 years as a city manager.  Former APD Interim Chief Bill Kinch and I spent a day at the Mesa, Arizona Police Department, where we heard more than 20 positive evaluations of our new chief from sources throughout his current organization.  I have no doubt our new chief will meet the gold standard.

The most important benefit to me from the change at our Police Department is that I expect Ed Boyd and I to stop talking about fishing trips and start taking them on occasion.  I recently lost my access to a drift boat, and I know Ed has one.  I’m also looking forward to introducing Mario to some of the great hiking opportunities in Oregon.  Bill Kinch and I took the opportunity at the end of our day in Mesa to hike to the top of a hill where the view in all directions was unbroken development.  I think Mario will appreciate the change as well.

The Oregon Cascades