Shields is president of the NAACP's local chapter.
Here's the press release:
RACINE BRANCH NAACP OBJECTS TO THE
MAYORS HIRING PROCESS: PROCESS SMACKS OF CONTINUED CRONYISM
Since last May’s Mayoral Election, our present Mayor and his activities related to the governance of Racine have been closely monitored by the Racine Branch NAACP. The need for this monitoring is based on the dark night this City has recently emerged from. Couple this with the inherent goals of the NAACP to “ …ensure equal rights, treatment, and access to government for all people regardless of race, creed, color or sexual orientation monitoring the Mayors actions is view not only as wise but responsible as citizens and taxpayers. In this light, the NAACP views the Mayors most recent action in hiring a questionable PIO (Public Information Officer) as an unwarranted repudiation of inclusive and responsible governance.
By bypassing the hiring process in place, the Mayor seems to convey a growing parental view of his responsibilities. Whether it’s the granting of access to Public Land to individuals of questionable backgrounds; or the decision and then hiring of a political ally to burnish Racine’s image. This Mayor has demonstrated again his distaste for the rules and regulations of fair, open and honest government.
Gaveling down reasonable questions does not remove the fact: This Mayor and his group of associate’s grand plan contain the provisions to further the divisions within this city. Be those divisions racial, economic or social, the message being conveyed to the public is clear: “Unless you agree with us, we don’t care what your input is, we know what’s best for you," The NAACP asks the question, what is the difference from the last administration?
The Racine Branch NAACP in keeping with its historic traditions of opposition against racism, sexism and backroom government goes on the record as firmly opposing the manner in which the PIO position was filled.
Dickert said at Tuesday night's City Council meeting that he wanted to hire a local candidate for the new PIO position. Mark Eickhorst, a former newspaper reporter, City Council member and current radio show host, met the qualifications for the $25,000 contract, Dickert said.
While Shields challenged the mayor's hiring decision, he was the only one. The council voted 14-1 in favor of hiring Eickhorst.