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10/30/2012 5:00:00 PM
Blythe police chief decides to stay

Marty Bachman


BLYTHE - Blythe Police Chief Steve Smith rescinded his retirement letter last Thursday, claiming the Blythe City Council had promised him that they would stop Councilman Mike Evans from slandering him and 'creating problems.' "

Smith had resigned on Oct. 16, calling the council self-serving, oblivious and dysfunctional in his retirement letter. At the Oct. 23 Blythe City Council meeting, Mayor Oscar Galvan, Vice-mayor Sam Patel, and council members Joey DeConinck and Wayne Cusick gave Smith a vote of confidence and a standing ovation.

Vice-mayor Sam Patel said that no promises were made to Smith but rather the council hoped to encourage Evans to "tone down" to a "more normal manner" while in discussion on city matters.

In his letter rescinding his retirement letter, Smith said that the support from the council was another reason he decided to stay on.

"I would like to clarify my recent letter of early retirement to the council and public," Smith wrote in his latest letter. "The letter was directed primarily at Councilman Evans. I have spoken with members of council and have been assured they are taking action to address the concerns raised in my letter; therefore I would like to publicly thank the other four council members for stepping up and taking action. I would like to retract my comments against the other council members. I have the utmost respect for the remaining four councilmen for the action they have taken tonight. I retract my comments made in the letter of 10/16/2012."

Evans said he was growing weary of the Smith and (City Manager Dave) Lane sideshow and the negative publicity they were bringing to Blythe.

"All this management team does is blame everyone else while the residents of our city suffer from a lack of services," Evans said. "I want answers other than, 'it's the past administration's fault' or 'it's Mike Evans' fault.' At what point does the problem become the fault of those who have run the city for the last four years? Smith called the council self-serving, oblivious and dysfunctional and as a reward for his attack on them, they handed him the keys to the city. Maybe he was right after all. What's obvious is that the city council is answering to city management and not the other way around."

Download Smith's letter rescinding his retirement letter

Related Stories:
• City council to decide to accept Chief Smith's retirement
• TIMES EDITORIAL: Drama at Blythe City Hall is better than the daytime soaps
• LETTER: Smith doesn't know slander
• Split city council gives vote of confidence to Police Chief Steve Smith
• Smith calls council self-serving, oblivious and dysfunctional in resignation letter


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

The City Council and the City manager, plus the Chief of Police. Will never make a public statement. (deleted) Or doing their jobs. Many of the decisions they make are done behind closed doors. So at a public meeting they have, had already made up their minds on any agenda. So any public meeting are moot, it's just a waste of time. If these people speak at a public meeting their words have already been chosen and practice. Catch them off guard and asked them a question when you see them at a restaurant eating. They will use any excused not to answer your questions. Not to say they dumb. But they do have the politico clout of the Good Old Boys Club behind them. In which it would be used to help them get out of any mess they get in.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: @ midwest mafia

I do not know what story you were reading but the one up above talks about Chief Smith and all the events that led to him resigning and then rescinding his resignation. It does in fact include all the city council members and the actions they took in the situation. So, the other council members are pertanent to the story. I know all the Mike Evans supporters think that everyone else should just be quiet and let "king" mike do all the talking. Unfortunately for you all though we do have free speech in this country and I plan to keep exercising it. Sorry to disappoint you but intimidation does not work with me.

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: Midwest Mafia

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: Midwest Mafia


Dear, @ unknown observer.
Yes, I don't understand why, in a story about the Police Chief and Evans, they didn't get a quote from everyone on the Council, the City Manager, the City Clerk, the Treasurer, the City Attorney and the Bus Driver. They should also get a quote from the Former Police Chief, the Judge at the Superior Court, and the Cashier at Albertson's. This is lousy reporting. Thank you kindly again for your valid points of interest. I must also agree with you that I don’t like people that speak out of both sides of their mouth, so can you please do us all a favor and tape yours shut. Gracsi.


Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: Unknown Observer

If you want to see the end of the hospital in Blythe vote Carney and Carlton out. The hospital probably won't survive anyhow with the declining revenues, loss of prison revenues, but above all the (deleted) secret agreements between the doctors who rather than focusing on providing the best care for the community, they focus on gaming the system to maximize their income. Everyone puts doctors on pedals tools because they are suppose help us when we are sick. But if they don't or if they make us worse we still get that bill that bankrupt us and our families. The may have great bedside manner but it is one of the few professions were the get paid regardless of results. Let's see the local mechanic get away with that or plumber. There are some great doctors out there but. Unfortunately there are more who are just better at gaming the system to there advantage, holding us and our families hostage when we are sick or hurt. Carney and Carlton are the best hope left for saving the hospital. Most likely though the doctors will win, they may make help you one day, then take every last dime you have and that of your family. Sorry if this sounds hard but my experience with hospitals doctors and the medical industry has left a world of hurt when they were suppose to help.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: Big Sister Watching

Well Hooyay! If he leaves then what the!!! for the people of Blythe. No charges for the criminal who has molested, robbed, defaced, beaten and on and on. His Officers are scrambling to do what is right. You Know Where The Buck Stops in their preserverance. Go see (deleted) What a shame for the good people of Blythe. He is appointed and we have NO VOTE.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: @ midwest mafia

You obviously missed the point of what I was saying. I never said that MIke Evans does not care or that he is not right some if not most of the time. My point was in response to another comment saying that he had so much to lose. I simply pointed out that all the council members stand a chance to lose from being on the city council and that many of them stand to lose more.Can you honestly say that Evans does not recieve a more favorable side of reporting from the paper? No it does not have to do with his being involved either. Look at all the stories about the city council and there is always a Mike Evans quote on there and almost never any from the other council members (except for in session quotes). If the other council members will not quote then the newspaper should say that they were contacted and would not respond. I believe that all elected officials should be asked to respond or debate their decisions. If they refuse to, then they should not be re-elected. That is why I will not support Carney and Carlton since they refuse to do so. My last point was that councilman Evans may want to think about toning it down a bit, do things in a little more civilized manner so that he gets his point across better. Anger leads to less being accomplished as I can see with your post. Attacking people only divides this town that much more and that is something this town and the PVVT needs to realize

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: @ midwest mafia

Sorry but Mike lost some credibility with me when he goes and supports Jim Carney for the hospital. The same Jim Carney that gave a contract with an annual salary to the CEO double of what the city manager makes. Yet he complains about what the city manager makes. If none of the candidates are worthy of the postion then he should not endorse anybody! I just do not like people that talk out of both sides of their mouth.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: Midwest Mafia

Dear, comment by: @ unknown observer.
You sure hit the nail on the (deleted) Head! Not only does the buck stop with the other Councilman and city officials when it means they have to speak out publicly for it may jeopardize their lively hood, but we also can not forget they have no will to serve the people that put them in office. Yes your right Mike works for a large corporation that just throws out token donations of tens of thousands of dollars every year and creates even more so in tax revenue to the city. Again you’re correct the PVVT seems to focus a lot of attention on Mr. Evans for he is always helping non profit organizations in fund raising events and even more guilty of wanting to clean up and promote our town. I think if Mike had a restaurant at the college or a clothing distribution store that was located in the middle of town. No that wouldn‘t work, he should own a service station with a hotel attached. He could even have family members open up a beauty salon. Even better yet he should become a hay farmer. Just like you say. He better have his facts straight, sort of like a Dr. in town that gets tuned out when he speaks, because we all know he has no self interest. Thank you so much for bringing a spotlight on this. I say shame. Shame on you Mike for wanting to raise a family in a safe city with a safe school system and clean parks and streets. Shame on you for not wanting to waste taxpayer’s money. Shame on you for being a Man of your Word!


Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

What the City Council and the City Manger should is stop crying foul and get their act together. By doing what is right for this City. But Noooo, all they have is their own interest in mind. And those of their family members and close friends. All business, that have been opened is by the Good old boys club. The legacy of moving the freeway off ramp and building a Welcome Center plus a Park for the Fat kids of Blythe. That money they want to use for these Dumb projects. Should be used to pay for the sewer system. The people that missed use the money should pay for their indiscretion. But now their have turned in their resignation to retire with a big time pension. 75% of their pension should be used to pay for the lost money. But they will chalk it up to bad investments. Code word. They got away with taking the money. The council members that approved these transactions should also be made to pay. If the Chief is a man of integrity he would do his job and investigate this. But with that vote of confidence that the 4 City Council members gave him. He is now indebted to them. So he will not lift and a hand to put a stop to these people. Because he has just been made a new member of the GOBC. If you want Blythe to GROW and PROSPER. You will have to make a choice. For Blythe or the GOBC.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: Tyler McMillin

This could be a bit off-topic here, but I wonder what happened to the high school this morning, probably a fire? The police arrived, giving safety procedures to everyone.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: @ unknown observer

Everyone on the city council have the same risk that Mike has. Most actually do have more risk because they do have businesses in this town that suffer from poor decision making. The buck stops with them when it comes to their livelyhood. Mike works for the power plant so how is he affected when his company does not even see the town power. They just take our resources and throw out some little token donations around town to keep us all content. To me the other council members have much more at stake, especially when they do have a publication in town being their biggest cheerleader. Mike may be taking up the good fight but he needs to understand that you do not get much accomplished when you are always on the attack. Go in with your facts, have a civilized discussion and people will be more likely to listen. Sort of like a DR in town that gets tuned out when he talks because they start and those there to listen just go "here we go again". Their arguments may be right but their message gets lost.

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: Unknown Observer

To "@ unknown observer". Anytime someone steps from the shadows into public leadership to challenge the status quo they face ridicule and criticism. That ridicule and criticism also affects family and friends. It consumes energy and time that would otherwise be spent elsewhere. it can also indirectly affect a persons livelihood. I may not agree with Evans on a lot of things but he is fighting a good fight the best way he knows. He isn't protecting his own business interests. He isn't trying to leverage his position for power, influence, or wealth. He is doing what he thinks is best for the community and it's future. Plus it is good to shake up the establishment.
There are very hard financial times coming. The status quo won't work. Will Blythe face bankruptcy in a year or two. Will California? How will six figure city management and police salaries be afforded then. How will pension obligations be paid. How will fire departments be kept open or other basic services and maintenance. Good luck to all those in Blythe who will have to make these hard decisions if and when they can no longer be put off till the next year.


Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: SHOULD WE CONTRACT THE SHERIFFS?

Why won’t the city contract the sheriff’s already? Is it because they want the power and would not have it if they contracted out? I heard the city would save millions? City Council and law enforcement politics do not mix and should not mix like they have to create this mess. Chief Smith tried and did what he could. Nothing against him, but let’s try the alternative. Why try again what did not work. Councilman Evans you are the only person with the guts to do this. You are the people’s voice. Please look into this. Mayor Galvan you need to stand up and act like a mayor. Make things right for our city. I voted for you to make a difference and all that has happened is Blythe has become a laughing stock.

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: @ save our town

Why don't we just get rid of our management at the city and hire mike to run everything. He seems to know what is best for the town and is a man of many talents. I am sure we could save a ton of money. Why don't we just get rid of the other council members while we are at it. Seems that if you disagree with him on an issue that you are "part of the problem" with Blythe. (deleted) Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.


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