Common Councilman has communication concerns with administration - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Common Councilman has communication concerns with administration


One South Bend Common Councilman says he is tired of the communication problems between the mayors office, police department, and himself.

"It just seems to be certain people are just treated at a different level and treated with more respect than other people," said Henry Davis Jr., South Bend Common Council.

Councilman Henry Davis Jr. says he has had communication issues with the mayor and chief of police in the past, but the latest situation is very irritating.

Last week he sent a letter to both Mayor Buttigieg and Chief Teachman about a threat made against his life. Days later, Davis Jr. claims he hasn't heard from either of them and he says there is no excuse.

"If they had not received the letter there's a way of getting it or you could've just googled it," said Davis Jr..

The Mayor's Office chose not to comment on the issue regarding Davis Jr's concerns with communication.

Davis Jr. says he has noticed an increased police presence in his neighborhood,   but he says he's not sure if that's the work of the police chief.

"It could be. I don't know," said Davis Jr.. "I don't know what he's done or what he's planning to do because I haven't heard from him through e-mail, phone call, or face to face meeting."

Other Council members claim they have not had any issues getting meetings with Teachman or Buttigieg. Off camera, one councilman said perhaps a sit-down meeting between Davis Jr. and the administration would help.

Councilman Dr. Fred Ferlic says he believes both sides need to be more open to working together.

"I don't have a problem," said Dr. Ferlic. "I don't think the rest of the councilman do and these can all be solved in a proper manner if its approached properly I think."

Davis says the relationship needs to improve soon because he's tired of feeling disrespected. He says improved communication will be better for not just him, but the people he represents.

"It seems like there is a way for us to come together and do what's right and what's just by the people that we serve," said Davis Jr..

The official word from the police department after Davis Jr. came forward about the death threat was that they did reach out to him and they are taking it seriously. Davis Jr. did say that he has heard from staff supervisors from the department, but would like to hear from the chief.

Davis addressed this issue at Monday's council meeting. He told fellow Council Members that the dialogue needs to change between him and the Mayor's Office and Police Department. He said obviously the lack of communication affects more than just him. He added there shouldn't be this type of distrust between a council member and the administration.

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