Saturday, November 21, 2015

City of Oshkosh Extends Police Chief Offer

(Oshkosh, WI) The city of Oshkosh Police and Fire Commission has directed city staff to extend a conditional offer of employment to Dean Smith for the position of Police Chief. Smith is currently the Deputy Chief of the Suffolk, Virginia Police Department.

“I am pleased with the Police and Fire Commission’s decision to extend this offer to Dean,” commented City Manager Mark Rohloff. “The Commission and citizen panels recognized Mr. Smith’s proven record in law enforcement, and his demonstrated commitment to community policing.”

Smith has 27 years of law enforcement experience, with over 16 years as a command level officer. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Herzing University, has attended the University of Richmond’s Professional Executive Leadership School, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

As Deputy Chief of the 250 member Suffolk Police Department, Smith was responsible for his department becoming certified by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), managed a $3.5 million expansion of police headquarters, and developed as well as implemented their police body worn camera program. He has a wide variety of police operational and command experience, ranging from managing the department’s budget to incident command in catastrophic events such as hurricanes and tornados. He also has built strong ties with the Suffolk community through community policing.

“I am honored to be selected by the Police and Fire Commission,” said Smith. “I am impressed with the professionalism of the Oshkosh Police Department. I also felt welcomed by the community while participating in the selection process. I look forward to working with the dedicated officers and employees of the Oshkosh Police Department, as well as becoming an active member of the community.”

Smith has accepted a conditional offer pending the successful completion of a physical and psychological review. The Police and Fire Commission plans to approve the new hire on December 1, 2015. Smith would then be sworn in by the Commission on January 5, 2016, with an official start date of January 9, 2016. All of the dates listed are tentative and dependent on results of the final hiring processes.

Eye on Oshkosh tapes two new shows just before Thanksgiving

With holiday scheduling and so forth, Eye on Oshkosh recently had to tape new shows in one evening, just before Thanksgiving. But they're both shows worth watching and useful information can be gleaned from both.

First, host Cheryl Hentz spent an hour with Oshkosh City Manager Mark Rohloff about the city budget for the upcoming year and how that will play out in the tax bills property owners will receive in December. They also talked about capital improvement projects, the city's borrowing rate and other city-related topics, including the new police chief selection. The show can be seen here:

In the second show, Hentz talks with Susan Bach from the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau about a variety of things people need to be aware of as they begin their holiday shopping. You'll definitely want to catch this edition before heading to the mall, or grabbing your favorite computing device, if you're an online shopper. Check out the episode here:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Harris to take firm, but common-sense approach in Senate race

In this episode of Eye on Oshkosh, Cheryl Hentz and guest co-host Dr. Miles Maguire, Journalism professor from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, talk to Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris. In the first segment they discuss the 2016 county budget and how it will impact taxpayers when they get their tax bills in December. In the second segment they discuss Mark's candidacy for the 18th Senate District in the State of Wisconsin, an election that will be determined on November 8, 2016. The show can be seen at the following link:

Friday, October 16, 2015

Oshkosh Police Chief visits Eye on Oshkosh

The latest episode of Eye on Oshkosh is taped and now online.
Check it out as host Cheryl Hentz spends the entire hour talking with Oshkosh Police Chief Scott Greuel about recent crime, most prevalent crime, community policing concepts, a new command and community outreach vehicle and a variety of other issues.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Will property taxes go up when our tax bills come in December? Watch our latest episode to find out...

Cheryl Hentz discusses taxes for the City of Oshkosh and the Oshkosh Area School District with City Councilman Ben Stepanek and Oshkosh school superintendent Stan Mack II on the latest episode of Eye on Oshkosh. She also discusses with Stepanek a proposed ordinance change coming before the council in the near future that will include within the city's Fair Housing code language that protects a person from being discriminated against because of their gender identity and gender expression. In doing so, the City of Oshkosh will become a pioneer in the State of Wisconsin to address this kind of language in its Fair Housing codes. The show can be seen in its entirety by following this link:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Oshkosh Mayor Steve Cummings displays elitist comments when it comes to race, religion, diversity

As many of you know, I do a lot of volunteer work with Fit Oshkosh, a local non-profit which teaches racial literacy in the area. The organization's executive director, Tracey Robertson, is totally committed to helping bridge the differences that exist between the races, but that job is not always easy. In fact some days are just downright much more difficult than others. So are some people, for that matter. Case in is what she posted earlier this week:

"Today, I had a meeting with someone in City Government here who when asked by a colleague about a past racial incident related to the Jewish community in Oshkosh proudly said, "my daughter didn't even know what a 'Jew' was." Then proceeded to say "they" (meaning Black people) need to "understand the history of Oshkosh." So, let me make sure I understand you.....your daughter doesn't need to know the history of anyone (i.e., the "Jews"), but the rest of us need to know the history of Oshkosh? If that isn't White Privilege operating (everyone needs to learn about your largely-fictitious history, but you do not need to bother to know anyone else's) then I don't know what it is, and that was a conversation highlight! Needless to say, there is alot of work to be done with this person. ‪#‎stillfuming"

Tracey was kind enough not to mention who the person was, but I'm not sure that he should be spared public embarrassment, scrutiny, or humiliation, if that is what's called for. It was our current mayor and common council member, Steve Cummings. This man is a so-called leader and representative for the city, yet holds onto such ignorant and elitist attitudes as this?! How can this city ever be as respected and progressive as its neighbors or other not-so-close communities with this kind of mindset emanating from Mr. Cummings. He needs a wake-up call about history, as well as present-day happenings, because at some point today's actions, or lack thereof, toward understanding and acceptance will be tomorrow's history.

I recommend if people are upset or outraged about this man's attitude and comments, they write him and explain why bridging these differences and finding common ground between the races and amongst minorities is not only an important thing to do - it's the RIGHT thing to do. Mr. Cummings (pictured below) can be reached at his common council email address of Or if you want to let all of our city council members know how you feel and that it's important for the city to work on its diversity awareness, you can do so by going to the following page:

Mental illness and suicide the topics of latest Eye on Oshkosh

Last night we taped another episode of Eye on Oshkosh and it is now online on our You Tube channel. The topics are mental illness and suicide, something that is on the rise in the United States and we need to do something to stop it.
For example, did you know that internationally, more than one million people die by suicide? In the United States alone, during 2013 (the most recent year for which numbers are available), 41,149 died from suicide. That is a number that devastates nearly a quarter of a million people annually, meaning the family, friends and others left behind by the person taking their own life. Other statistics you may be surprised to know:
  • Since 2007. there has been a rise in death by suicide among our military veterans.
  • Alcohol is a factor in at least 30 percent of all suicides.
  • Fifty-two percent of suicide death are by using a firearm. Firearms are now the leading method of suicide in women, as well as men, something that was not always the case.
  • Completed suicides increase with age. Currently white males over the age of 65 have the highest suicide rate in America, followed closely by African Americans and Native American males.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Americans between the ages of 15 to 24 and the second leading cause of death among those between the ages of 25 to 34.
  • Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for 1 to 14 year olds in the United States. This is one of the fastest growing group of people dying by suicide in addition to African American and Native American males.
  • Depression or other mood disorders, including anxiety, play a factor in 60 to 90 percent of all suicides.
To learn the signs to look for and how to help someone who might be considering suicide you'll want to watch this show.

And for more information, you can also visit:, and