Thursday, June 19, 2014

Inner- Office Politics Go Viral?

The North Coast Journal has yet another report on Eureka City Hall's sordid affair over a leaked memo. I wrote elsewhere a week or so ago I wasn't sure what the big deal was. This just seemed to me a case of inner- office politics making the news. After reading this second report, I'm not sure my mind has changed much.

What seems to have happened is past city manager, Bill Panos, sent a memo to the city council detailing his plans for reorganizing city agencies. The way I read it, there's an implication that some city employees might have been reassigned, if not let go, under the plan. 

The memo was supposed to be read just by city council members, but one of them let the city attorney, Cyndy Day- Wilson, see it. She is alleged to have let at least a couple of other city department heads see it and then asked at least one of them to say she didn't show it to him.

Sounds kind of tacky. We all appreciate people being able to keep things to themselves and attorneys, of all people, are supposed to be discrete. It still seems mostly like regular office goings- on to me. The accusation of asking others to lie after leaking what was supposed to be a confidential memo does seem a bit more serious.

That the memo was supposed to be so confidential it had to be kept secret has me concerned. I realize this involves "personnel matters", but it seems the people involved in those same personnel matters weren't being given information that directly involved them. Doesn't sound like very open government to me. 

I wonder if it couldn't be argued the city attorney was acting as more of a whistleblower in showing the memo to others? Perhaps a lack of discretion on her part, but didn't the other city employees have a right to know at least something about plans being made involving them?


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