Posts Tagged ‘mvcea’

LETTERONE   LETTERTWO   LETTERTHREE

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW LETTER SENT TO ALL CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR

The letter above was sent by the City Employees Association (CEA) in care of the Moreno Valley Management Association (MVMA), a group of approximately 72 mid-level managers.  Current Board Members of the MVMA are President Felicia London, Vice-President Shanikqua Watkins and Treasurer John Kerenyi.  The letter expresses their concerns about a certain volunteer, Vivian Moreno, which Mayor Jessie Molina accepted to work with him as a legislative aide a mere few months ago.    If you read the letter carefully you will see it focuses on the City Managers office, which is not a member of this organization.

In the city of Riverside, Vivian Moreno has been known to the community for years as a City watchdog and an advocate for the taxpayer, having spent two years along with a group of other active citizens in Riverside learning municipal financing and understanding how to read city documents.  She was successful in suing the city of Riverside on behalf of its utility ratepayers for Prop 218 violations and returning 10 million dollars back to the water utility.  Along with Dvonne Pitruzzello, Errol Koschewitz, Marilyn Whitney and many others, after 6 long years activists exposed the AG Park incident for residents taken ill by toxins.  Currently, AG Park has now been taken over by the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC), the Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA) and our very dear friend Penny Newman through her organization.  The residents of Ag park are finally in good hands. Vivian Moreno along with some of her very special friends have been instrumental in reshaping and redirecting the City of Riverside.

Many cities have legislative aides. The city of Riverside, with a population of 300,000 has legislative aides in order to help Councilmembers be efficient and effective.  City of Riverside’s Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey has a Mayor’s budget of close to 1 million dollars and several staff at his disposal.  The city of Moreno Valley has a population of 200,000 and have never had legislative aides or a Mayor’s staff.  Mayor Jesse Molina’s budget is zero.  In order for California cities to progress to the next level, legislative aides are necessary.  Moreno Valley is not a, “one horse town,” anymore.  If they want to be an economic contender in competition as the world logistics’ arena, they will need more employees at the legislative end in order to properly project the city into the future, as the city moniker states, “The City That Soars…”

With this in mind it is rather remarkable that the MVMA in conjunction with the CEA would attempt to take the city down by focusing on a volunteer to the Mayor. Why is that? Why the concern? Why the attempt to discredit, slander and libel this one volunteer? A volunteer who has worked for Mayor Jessie Molina without pay for two months on her own time.  Some ask, “What is her agenda?” to which we reply, “None, except for the fact that in every city, taxpayers need protection from those with unscrupulous motives.”

The focus of the letter quickly becomes focused upon the executive staff.  We ask, “Are they there to protect and serve the Mayor and Council, or are they there to primarily serve themselves?”  One of the biggest issues in Moreno Valley is retrieving public documents.  Documents don’t lie, which is why we often post them here.  If documents are difficult to retrieve, we have to ask ourselves, “Why?”  The difficulty in acquiring documents within the required time period required by the California Public Records Act makes a municipality look suspicious.

The first thing we noticed about the letter was that no one appeared to want to take responsibility for the claims in it – it’s unsigned and without a printed name.  Was someone afraid or was it simply an oversight? If there was a problem at the employee and management level. where was Chris Paxton, Administrative Services Director, aka Human Resources?  It would seem that city policy would direct an employee to contact the HR department first.  Has the CEA taken the place of the Human Resource Department liason?  If so, what does Paxton really do?

Our attorney called the CEA, and spoke specifically with Director Robin Nahin.  Nahin was told that the letter was not signed.  Nahin replied that the letter should have been signed by someone from the board of MVMA.  What’s quite remarkable is the letter at the bottom, has a line, where a signature should be, with the CEA as the responsible party.  Secondly, the letter is written on CEA letterhead.  There is nowhere on the letter that addresses the inference of a signature referencing the MVMA.  Befuddled? Your guess is as good as ours.  As we understand, before a letter such as this was sent to the City, there should have been a notification process to all members of the MVMA by board members.  Then a vote by members of the MVMA in order for the letter to move forward to the Council.  We are trying to find the the minutes of this meeting.

CEA’s Robin Nahin seemed to have her own set of problems in the past as indicated in this SEIU video.  By the way Nahin is not an attorney.

Looking more into this Union/Association we find more inconsistencies.  Teamsters Union actually challenged CEA as a real Union, the following video exposes the real City Employees Association according to Director Robin Nahin!

According to the Arcadia Patch, Nahin become involved in a suit filed by Attorney Wendell Phillips. Phillips who consults for the Arcadia Public City Employees Association (APCEA) and, until his break with Nahin, did work for the City Employees and Public Works associations—accused Nahin of choosing a “path of least resistance” as her approach to salary negotiations in order to minimize company time spent on clients.

TMC’s investigative team contacted Attorney Wendell Phillips and he told us that… Sunshine Kills Fungus, Just Shine the Light On It!  Wendell Phillips also gave us a quick lesson on Robin Nahin and CEA.  Just watch the videos and you can figure this out for yourself. Its really not that difficult!  Phillips also stated of the CEA, “You get what you pay for.”

What is also quite remarkable is that according to the PE,  Councilwoman LaDonna Jempson (a Human Resources professional no less) said she’s concerned about the letter.  “Employees have a right to work in a peaceful work environment,” Jempson said, “and it’s up to Molina to defuse a situation that could be costly if the city is ever sued.”  We’re a bit taken back that a Human Resources professional would assume that the letter is valid without appropriately suggesting an investigation of the complaints first.  Further, we find it odd that she did not check with Human Resource Director Chris Paxton, to see if the complainants initially contacted him before contacting CEA.  As a Human Resource professional she didn’t find it odd that the complaint or issue was not taken to HR, as with most City policies?

Jempson also found it necessary to make a personal attack by pointing out that Mayor Molina has an ego problem.  “I’m hoping maybe he’ll move his ego out of the way and make a logical, sensible decision based on what is best for the city,” Jempson said. “The best thing for the city would be to move Ms. Moreno out of that position.”  At the WLC meeting, Jempson made it known publicly that we as a community need to begin to get along.  Maybe she should practice what she preaches.  TMC suggests that she move her ego out of the way and make logical, sensible statements based on what is best for the city.  The public knows when you are just dishing up lip service.  I wonder if Mrs. Jempson noticed that the letter was not signed?

We also find it quite interesting that a former City Councilmember Richard Stewart was contacted for comment.  It was probably easy finding him at his usual hang out.  We all know where that is, right?  (Hint: correct answer pays 3 to 2)  But current council members, Dr. Yxstian Gutierrez, Jeff Giba or George Price were not contacted for comment.

Moreno Valley has a contract with the Moreno Valley City Employees Association as indicated below:

MVCEAone

MOU-MVCEA2015-2017

Their contract is signed by both the CEA and MVMA as indicated below:

MVMA   MVMAsigned

MOU-MVMA2015-2017

Who are those behind the writing of this letter?  According to the letter itself, the focus appears to be on the City Manager’s Office, which is mentioned numerous times, and it’s relationship with Council and Mayor.  With this in mind, it leads one to ask the question, “Shouldn’t the City Manager, Michelle Dawson, know what is going on under her nose?”  According to the PE, she knew nothing about the letter prior to receiving it.  I would imagine that at least MVMA President Felicia London, the city of Moreno Valley’s Management Analyst would know, but she declined to comment.  Julie Reyes declined to comment.  CEA Director, Robin Nahin declined to comment.  No one knows anything!

Shouldn’t there be a friendly relationship between City Manager Michelle Dawson and Chief Financial Officer Rick Teichert? Or is there already one. How about between Julie Reyes and Councilman George Price?  Bottom line is all should have good relationships with the Mayor.

But what is the real problem with City Hall in Moreno Valley?  Does the staff mploy a culture of misdirection? Is executive staff disengaged from their subordinates?  Or is it simply a disconnect between the legislative body and executive staff? An executive staff unable or unwilling to serve at the pleasure of those they claim loyalty to?  Is the foundation so broken that everyone may just simply need to be replaced?

“Fear is the foundation of most Governments…”       

– John Adams, 2nd President of the United States of America,  January 1776

HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT:

CEA and MVMA claims Moreno is causing a “hostile work environment.”  Last we checked, lawsuits over hostile workplaces must be based on hostility caused by individual discrimination against an employee based on, e.g., race, age, gender, disability, etc.  As Attorney Letitia Pepper said, criticizing someone for their personal conduct (e.g., using sexual favors to secure a promotion) or lack of ability (e.g., being unable to properly notice a meeting) does NOT constitute any unlawful conduct on the part of Moreno. The average person doesn’t realize that an UNLAWFUL, “hostile workplace environment,” can’t be based on criticism of an employee’s conduct –unless the criticism is (1) false and (2) motivated by the employee’s characteristics (e.g., race, age, gender, disability) — as opposed to his or her conduct.

One example of sexual harassment for instance is the hostile work environment it creates for co-workers.  A relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate can be troublesome. Favoritism arising out of a personal relationship is damaging to the whole department. Two major issues could arise, Conflict of Interest between the two and not enough time being spent on doing work assigned. Not to mention the target of office gossip in the blogosphere or elsewhere consuming the office dialog causing distractions. Wide spread favoritism, and nasty rumors can create a sexually hostile work environment. Employers face greater risk from a workplace romance. California Supreme Court rules that office affairs may give rise to sexual favoritism claims. {Miller v California Department of corrections} Employees in California may now sue their employers for sexual harassment if the sexual affair between a superior and a subordinate results in sexual favoritism. It is a Violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

“Sleeping her way to the top” was the basis of this lawsuit. Numerous women were romantically and sexually involved with their boss. Women got ahead and were promoted if they performed sexual favors for their supervisor. Preferential treatment, raises, promotions, company perks were all part of the repeated incidents of sexual favoritism. The outcome was a hostile work environment.  Sexual Favoritism sends a message to female/male employees that they must demean themselves by becoming sexual playthings in order to get ahead at work. In this particular case it was proven that “Boss’s favorable treatment of lovers can be harassment to others.”  Relationships between equals that effect other staff can also constitute a hostile work environment similar conditions exist.

Bottom line is work place relationship can hurt the taxpayers through the liabilities it creates.  She knows…

“The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service,” Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, “I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place” in the public sector. “A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government.”  – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

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TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST, “RAUNCHY,” “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “FILTHY,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “STUPID,” “PATHETIC,” “DESPICABLE,” “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “OFFENSIVE,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” “FIT TO BE VIEWED FROM THE REAR” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO THE ACLU.  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..   AGAIN, THANK YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!