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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

SPOG President Rich O'Neill Will Not Seek Reelection

Posted by on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Seattle Police Officers Guild president Rich O'Neill has announced in the December issue of the SPOG newspaper, the Guardian, that he will not seek reelection. Citing the '60s pop song "Turn, Turn, Turn," he writes, "Like the song says there is a time for everything and the time for me to move on is now."

O'Neill, you may recall, has made more than $100,000 a year in his position as union president, a salary the city has attempted in the past to negotiate their way out of paying; they don't pay any other city employee union heads a full-time salary. And O'Neill has been a problem for the department in that he makes for pretty bad press on a pretty regular basis—complaining about the "media frenzy" after the shooting of John T. Williams or calling the DOJ investigation into our police department "flawed from the start."

As an anonymous city hall staffer once told us, "The city pays Rich O'Neill to be a total dick."

As for those salary negotiations, Mayor Mike McGinn's spokesman Robert Cruickshank says: "The City and SPOG are still in negotiation over the president’s salary. The City remains committed to obtaining 100% reimbursement for the SPOG President's salary."

In the meantime, the Guardian's not online, but here's just a bit of O'Neill's announcement:

In 1965 a group called The Byrds released a song that was taken almost exactly from the Bible. The song, "Turn, Turn, Turn" told us that "to everything there is a season and a time to every pupose under Heaven. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap, a time to kill, a time to heal, a time to laugh and a time to weep." I found the lyrics to that old song very relevant as I sit down to write my column this month.

After much discernment and many hours of discussion with my family and others, I have decided not to seek re-election for a fourth term as your SPOG President... Three years ago we were in the middle of contract negotiations and it was not the right time for change. Many people asked me to stay on and I agreed. I am flattered this time that again many have asked me to keep going, but like the song says there is a time for everything and the time for me to move on is now. I am not quite ready to retire from SPD so I will spend the next three months working with the board and the newly elected president to ensure a smooth transition and then I will start my new assignment on March 1st.

He also says he'll stay on the SPOG board in the role of "past president" for a year.


Comments (11) RSS

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seandr 11
Boy, I sure will miss him.
Posted by seandr on December 11, 2013 at 9:52 AM · Report this
TVDinner 10
@5: No shit?! Huh. Thanks for the translation.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on December 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 9
Good riddance. Almost anyone that replaces him will be an improvement.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on December 10, 2013 at 4:38 PM · Report this
Fnarf 8
Oh, fer chrissakes. The song in question was taken from Ecclesiastes almost word-for-word and put to music by Pete Seeger, not the Byrds -- though the Byrds did indeed do a lovely job with it, and took it to the charts. Seeger, who is incredibly still alive at 94, was of course a honest-to-god Communist, for a while anyways, and has spent most of his life fighting against douchebags like Rich O'Neill.

Please don't anybody tell Seeger he said this. Let the old man live out his life in peace.

PS -- I got to see original Byrd Chris Hillman and his pal Herb Pedersen (who played and sang on approximately 200 hit records) sing this very song just the other day at the Triple Door. Not as awesome as the other Seeger tune they did, "The Bells of Rhymney", but pretty stunning nonetheless. I hope O'Neill wasn't in the audience, though there where a lot of stout greybeards in leather jackets.
Posted by Fnarf on December 10, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
And yet another crashing fail for Randite philosophy. O'Neil leadership of the SPOG is grounded in a worldview that essentially denies the existence of collective abstract entities like "society" and "community" ... how could that possibly go wrong?
Posted by RonK, Seattle on December 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM · Report this
Just what does this man do when he's on the job?

He is an employee of the City of Seattle. SPD's roster lists Police Sergeant Richard F. O'Neill, #4451, Guild President, but they claim that products of work he does on that job (e.g., editing The Guardian) to be exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act.
Posted by Phil M on December 10, 2013 at 1:49 PM · Report this
waldhorn 5
@3 "Discernment" is evangelical coded language for their perception of the "voice of god". What a piece of self-righteous, sanctimonious, BS.

P.S. Apologies if this is a double-post. An earlier attempt isn't showing up.
Posted by waldhorn on December 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
@2 yes, you are wrong.

They are totally unprepared to deal with devastation caused by the release of Cthulhu by Big Bertha
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 10, 2013 at 1:33 PM · Report this
TVDinner 3
What does he mean, "discernment?" That makes almost no sense in this context.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on December 10, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 2
So with the new mayor coming, in recent days we have the interim SPD chief finally demoting DOJ-resisting brass, and now the resignation from SPOG leadership of its longtime rottenest bad apple. There's plenty still fucked up, but am I wrong in feeling optimistic?
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on December 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 1
Isn't that song referencing the Bible?
Posted by MacCrocodile on December 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this

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