Thursday, June 19, 2008

Semantics in City Hall

Remember in the flurry of '90s grunge bands there was this up-beat, hippy-like band called the Spin Doctors? They're biggest hit, "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" seems to be the only song I remember from that era.

According to VH1, the Spin Doctors have since broken up. So where are they now? My money is on them working behind the scenes at the city of West Covina.

We heard a lot the other night about budget cuts, but city officials were proud to tout the fact no full-time employees got the ax. As a reader pointed out to me in an e-mail,
"There were people at the meeting that had been let go and Roger Hernandez was going to address their situation. The city brings up the fact that there were no full-time employees let go because of the cuts in the budget. They fail to disclose all of the part-time employees that were let go due to the cuts. I guess if you are not full-time then you are not really an employee of the city."

Why was this little fact not disclosed by anyone at city hall? The first I heard of it is when it was mentioned by Fred Sykes, and even then I did not know ALL the part-time employees were given the ax. I read the entire staff report and the layoffs were referred to as "personnel cuts." No mention of how many, from which departments and how long ago.

These are indeed tough economic times, but the city of West Covina is notorious for partial disclosure. Now that the meetings are no longer airing on cable or the Internets, it will be tough for the average resident to know what is going on, unless they subscribe to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, or regularly read this blog. **hint, hint**

By the way--while the live broadcasts are being cut, the city decided to keep milling out Discover West Covina, the monthly newsletter delivered to West Covina residents. Content is controlled by the city so it is very unlikely the absolute, pure truth will be added. It kinda reminds me of, oh I don't know, Cuba.

Speaking of which, the city's PIO, Sue Williams still has her job. What the hell does she do there anyway? I've rarely, if ever, seen her quoted in the newspaper, and I'm sure the fluffy stories she probably pitches go ignored. How much does she make, and how much does that newsletter cost? I'm sure we could keep the uncensored stuff streaming and on TV if we got rid of those things.

I'm not hating on newsletters, do-hardly-anything Public Information Officers, or good news from the city. But really, if I read one more fluff piece about that goddamn $50 million Big League Dreams ballpark, I'm going to vomit. Speaking of which, has the city looked into grants to pay for that monstrosity? My guess is no, but that's just a guess. All of that development that popped up along Azusa Avenue, including the Target, Home Depot, is going STRAIGHT to BLD, where I'm sure sales tax revenue could be better spent on police, fire, jobs and other parks that you could use for free.

The argument against that, however, is those commercial entities wouldn't be there if not for BLD. I'll call bullshit on that. It's in a prime location on probably the busiest street in the San Gabriel Valley. I'm sure Target and Home Depot would have taken interest regardless of the presence of the pay-to-play ballpark.

Well, it's too late to grumble about it now, but unfortunately I have this vision. My vision is that episode of The Simpsons when Bart gets his license, rents a car and he and his buddies are psyched to got to the World Fair in Knoxville, and when they finally arrive... ghost town.

I'm just sayin'.


Anonymous said...

Fred Sykes is refering to the Tiny Tots program at Shadow Oak Park the program was turned over to a private contractor so the employees were let go however the contractor was giving them first chance at the same job with them. Less then 10 people total may lose there part time job the city has close to 200 part time employees. lifeguards get let go when the pool closes the same ever year. I guess when you hire someone to do something and they finish what you hired them to do I guess you can say you laid that person off. I just laid off my painter he just finished doing his work at my house! I laid off H & R block April 15th my taxes were done too!

Anonymous said...

Mr or Mrs anonymous, Referring to the pool employees which are seasonal part-time is not the same as people who work all year round. We do not know how many part-time employees were let go or the positions that have not been filled that are needed at City Hall. Right now our city staff is at the barebones with various departments being consolidated. Unless you know all the facts you need to find out more.

Anonymous said...

Nah, The Spin Doctors' biggest hit was "Two Princes"

Love the 90s. Hahahah.

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