Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Shrader asks DWP Board and Mayor Villaraigosa for change agents

Daniel N. Shrader made the following public comment to the Board of Water and Power.
The city’s civil service system was created in 1903 to prevent political patronage from dominating decisions of employment. The idea was that city government should search for those people with the skills and experience to do each city job and assure that jobs were allocated on the basis of merit. Moreover, it was designed to protect those who performed their jobs responsibly from arbitrary or retaliatory suspension or firing. Ten years later on November 5, 1913, Chief Engineer William Mulholland delivered the aqueduct system on schedule and under budget.

I have dedicated the majority of my career in service to this city and this Department. During my first week on the job in 1983, General Manager and Chief Engineer, Paul Lane, knew me by name and articulated a vision of our potential. Since that time, I have served proudly under many General Managers and Chief Engineers who have advanced through merit and qualification and shaped the vision and culture of our organization.

In 1995, city politicians convinced voters to change the Charter and increase the ranks of exempt executives who serve at the pleasure of the mayor, his appointed commissioners, and the city council. The reason for vesting this power with the mayor was to ensure our management was accountable and responsive to the public. The change in our culture is tied to the influences of these mayoral appointments. In the aftermath of deregulation, we downsized. Exempt positions and 1014 transfers were to be used to reposition existing employees of merit. But instead, these hiring privileges have been abused, qualifications lowered, and the quality of our management undermined. In effect, we are restoring the patronage that civil service was designed to prevent – doling out jobs to those with connections.

On November 7th, I questioned management integrity and the direction of these personnel investigations, because I have spent 6 years working my way mano a mano through an organizational labyrinth of agents, loopholes, and dead ends controlled by exempt executives sitting before you. I can claim with reasonable certainty that this organization is in denial and its management spends more time ruining employees rather than addressing their concerns and refocusing their efforts to the benefit of our customers.

My complaints about management are not unique to personnel. I hope you can recall calming an elderly woman, a residential customer, who came weeping into the Board meeting with bill in hand. I don’t know how or if the situation was resolved but, it is important to note she came here as a last resort. Our organization could not address her needs without executive deliberation and she had to return 2 weeks later for a resolution.

In another instance, the Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District demonstrated to you at this podium that our executives treated him cavalierly and would not address his needs. It was no surprise that the Los Angeles Community College District announced, it planned to build and generate its own green power.

These two customer service failures are noteworthy not because they demonstrate that we treat a broad range of customers equally poorly, but because the failure of one exacerbates the failure of the other. Each commercial customer lost will result in a multitude of residential customers weeping about their bill.

Coupled with a lack of operational transparency, an inability to assess, foresee, avoid, or, at the very least, provide a managerial explanation of the latest media covered fiasco without having to wait 6 months for a blue ribbon investigation bona fide by the city attorney, these instances reflect poorly upon city management.

These management issues are not specific to DWP. The video clips of ruffians in blue, cruel antics of firefighters, refusal to hold managers accountable, and millions in settlements, have soiled our reputations, violated our civil rights, and cost the city its integrity, its standards, and its vision. These examples have come to characterize our expectations from city management. They contribute to middle management malaise, the lack of accountability, and the inability to change the culture where we work. These deplorable examples of managerial incompetence have become institutionalized and seem unaffected by scores of proclamations, appointed second-career managers, investigations, and reorganizations.

Consequently, I believe management, merit, and accountability have been compromised. I am asking Mayor Villaraigosa and this Board again, to take advantage of the employees who risk their careers before you for the sake of this city department and its stakeholders. Rather than labeling us as inflammatory and demanding our patience, harness our passion, energy, and diligence as change agents and employ our talent and loyalty to achieve your goals and the mayor’s vision.

The partnership of change agents and culture changing opportunities is priceless.

I am submitting a recent article from the Wall Street Journal about an unlikely change agent who seized an opportunity and saved an entrenched and failing company. He effectively changed the culture of his company in two years by changing the traditions and attitudes of management.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

No account accountability

The seventy or so employees who reported abuse, mismanagement, and retaliation to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners in January 2006 waited to hear the second installment of words describing the investigatory findings commissioned by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.

On May 3, 2006, it was disheartening, but not unexpected, to hear David Nahai, Board President, sum up the investigations into management of Custodial Services, Landscaping, Fleet Services, Security, and Information Technology. He said management was found to be "woefully incompetent." We can be assured those were carefully chosen words. Incompetence, most assuredly, is not, and most likely will never be, a violation at DWP.

In today's Board meeting, David Nahai took another peddle back and seemed to say the personnel problems at DWP amounted to isolated instances of management miscommunication that were allowed to fester. Moreover, Nahai indicated that the problems were, in many cases, attributed to managers who had retired and were not there anymore. He suggested a little management training may be in order.

This, of course, flies in the face of recent and ongoing litigation, confidential personnel settlements, mismanaged contracts, power outages, a backlog of infrastructure maintenance, high overtime, low productivity, low morale, a number of poor performance audits, and increasing rates.

Spontaneous woeful incompetence must be the new paradigm at DWP. No one seemed surprised enough to ask, "Who is in charge of the woeful incompetence at DWP?"

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Villaraigosa Pulls Cops out of Household Trash

Robbing Peter to pay Paul has never made things better. It just makes finances harder to track and impossible to hold anybody accountable for not getting things done.

Take for instance the scheme to have Lotto pay for schools. Tell me, since Lotto was sold to the public, has education improved? Or, how about the 30 percent fuel tax that is supposed to pay for roads, has that made the streets any better?

I think the reason why Los Angeles does not want anymore police officers is because they have a questionable reputation. When city attorneys defended the City from suits brought about by its citizens, it did two things. One, it saved Los Angeles a ton of money. And two, it protected the managers that fostered the abusive culture.

In protecting the City, the City Attorney’s protected the problem. As a result, the LAPD still can not meet the terms of the consent decree even after five years. Incidents continue to remind citizens why they should vote against adding more officers to an undesirable culture that can not protect its citizens or embrace a court ordered mandate.

I for one know full well that the price of trash collection will be going up because we can’t seem to settle simple things like where to put all the trash once it is collected. If the City can not manage the Police Department, why would I want to raise the price of trash collection? Leave the trash alone! Fix the Police Department. For that matter, stay out of the School District too. Please don’t mismanage another area until you can demonstrate that you can handle what is on your plate with some consistency.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

See the need. Hear the calling. Ask for reform.

See the need. Hear the calling. Ask for reform. Posted by Picasa

The following DWP Announcement was circulated to DWP Employees today via email. Many do not have access to email. Please pass this along.

"Meeting Notice - Opportunity for DWP Employees to Address Board Personnel Relations Committee"

"The Board Personnel Relations Committee (Committee) will be holding a meeting on January 27, 2006 to provide DWP employees an opportunity to address the Committee on employee relations issues. The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m in Room 1555 of the John Ferraro Office Building. Please see the attached Personnel Relations Committee agenda for additional information about the upcoming meeting."




9:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. (NOON)



  1. Opportunity for the public to address the Committee on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Committee. (Speakers may be limited in speaking time dependent upon the press of business and number of persons wishing to address the Committee.)

  2. Opportunity for DWP employees to address the Committee on employee relations issues. (Speakers may be limited in speaking time to four minutes each, dependent upon the press of business and number of persons wishing to address the Committee. Employees wishing to attend will use their own time, such as “B” time or vacation time. Release of employees to attend is subject to supervisor approval based upon operational needs.)

*Note: Employees unable to attend this meeting can submit correspondence relating to the above item to:

Personnel Relations Committee
Board of Water and Power Commissioners
111 N. Hope St., Room 1555
Los Angeles, CA 90012

PR 1-27-06

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Got Control? (!)

Got Control? (!) Posted by Picasa

Why the flap over bottled water? In the midst of employee complaints about management-orchestrated retaliation, intimidation, and harassment, increasing power outages, run away contracts, and a union that finds it more fun staffing managers and cutting lucrative deals at the utility, bottled water is nothing. Until the utility gets under control, drinking bottled water might be the safest thing for the employees to do.

Recently, every Board meeting has been grueling. For all their spending and lackluster performance, top executives send underlings to the podium rather than risk taking responsibility for what they have done.

For two and a half months, the Board has praised managers for being straight forward about their problems. But each meeting, there are problems anew – layer upon layer of mismanagement.

For the last several weeks, employees have come forward complaining of high-level mismanagement and corruption. From the audience’s perspective, no one seemed to be bothered. Neither Assistant Managers Thomas Hokinson and Henry Martinez nor General Manager Ron Deaton turned around to look at employees who came to the podium to make their pleas for management reform.

Rather than management keeping the Board informed, it is these employees and Jeffrey Anderson, of LA Weekly, that are most abreast of the travails at the troubled Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. What is going on, you ask? Read the latest. DWP management is rife with scandal in All Charged Up. What it will take to save L.A.’s troubled utility?

Hopefully, Commissioners H. David Nahai and Edith Ramirez have realized that the first order of the day must be to diligently investigate the personnel mismanagement issues that have driven the utility’s personnel into hiding. No amount of overtime, no amount of pay increase, or confidential settlements is compensation enough for stealing employee dignity nor will it hide the fact that this management lacks the legitimacy or wherewithal to lead.

First, if it plans any improvement at the utility, the Board must enforce the zero tolerance policy on harassment and hostile working conditions. Reports of Union and management harassment upon employees are increasing. The easiest way to clear the ranks of illegitimate bullying managers and union agents is to strictly enforce the policy. Those who orchestrate, permit, or condone harassment, intimidation, coercion in the work place should be subject to immediate dismissal. Going after his own peers at DWP would surely give Rocky Delgadillo a boost in the polls.

We have had fanfares of investigative committees, reports, and proclamations. Viva the new DWP Board. Take control. Take action!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

DWP and the Steady Drumbeat of Personnel Complaints

Beat the Drum for Balance and Management Reform Posted by Picasa

Note Corrections:

At the January Board meeting, Commissioners H. David Nahai and Edith Ramirez responded to the "steady drum-beat" of personnel and mismanagement complaints. In the January 10th meeting, David Nahai told the public that he had scheduled two special public meetings to be held in the Personnel Relations Committee (City Hall Location not certain) on Friday, January 27th and Tuesday, January 31st between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Each person who speaks will be given a minimum of four minutes and will be granted "whistleblower" status. He said that both direct account and hearsay will be accepted and that he and Commissioner Ramirez, both attorneys, would weigh them accordingly.

Many believe that this is a means to move these complaints from a televised medium to an obscure un-televised medium. But, when you consider the Brown Act, it may be to get complaints and issues into a committee first, so that they can be properly addressed and acted upon according to the Brown Act. In any case, employees are requesting time off work to attend.

So far now, Thomas Hokinson, Assistant General Manager and former Chief Deputy City Attorney, and Ed Miller, second to Acting General Manager Henry Martinez, have announced they are leaving DWP employment. There is considerable rumor about other issues motivating their timely decisions and plenty of rumors about others leaving as soon as they can get people to replace them. Even Deaton is rumored to have told a number of MEA superintendents that he has identified several executives at DWP that have to go. Several employees have made public comments to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners that mismanagement is not confined to a few executives. Since the downsizing in 1996-98, employees have alleged that many positions have been created and filled on the basis of patronage.

Commissioner Nahai announced that he, Commissioner Ramirez, and Assistant General Manager Hal Lindsey would be attending the special Personnel Committee meetings.

The location of the meetings has not been ascertained as yet. Please forgive the following which has been lined out:
The Personnel Committee meetings usually take place at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring St., Room 1050, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The Personnel Committee meets regularly on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month at 2:00 p.m. in Room 1050. The Personnel Committee is chaired by Council member Dennis P. Zine, and presided by Council members Eric Garcetti and Herb J. Wesson, Jr. More information can be provided at cityofla.org, by M. Espinoza at (213) 978-1078, or mespinoza@clerk.lacity.org.

Anyone having information regarding the situation at DWP is encouraged to attend. Your personal account of experiences with DWP management including but not limited to: harassment, intimidation, coercion, waste, corruption, promotional opportunity, merit, cronyism, or patronage, are crucial to bringing about management reform at DWP and reducing the cost of services to the public. It is a rare opportunity for many to educate the commissioners about the problems and ineffectiveness city employees, citizens, and consumers face everyday. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to write down your issues, complaints, or observations (include follow-up information or anonymous), email them to the DWP Commissioners or, to ensure they meet Brown Act criteria, submit them at the committee meetings. Any information emailed to Civil Action Press entitled “Drumbeat” by January 25th 2006, will be submitted at the meeting.

Please forward and pass this along to others who may also wish to beat the drum for management reform at DWP.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Rob from the poor and give to the greedy

Here is the vision we see based upon Federal statistics and set against the averages for the State and Nation. Los Angeles is not doing so well.

Estimated population (2004) in Los Angeles County was 9,937,739. In 2000, 69.9 percent of the population 25 years or older residing in Los Angeles County completed a high school education. This percentage is much lower than the State or the Nation with 76.8 and 80.6 percent (respectively) graduating from high school.

In 1999, 17.9 percent of the population of Los Angeles County was below the poverty level. The State and the Nation as a whole faired better with only 14.2 percent for California and 12.4 nationwide.

In 2000, per capita personal income in Los Angeles County was $29,522, $32,149 for those living in California, and $29,469 nation wide.

Statistics from: http://www.fedstats.gov/qf/states/06/06037.html and http://www.fedstats.gov/qf/states/00000.html

Using these numbers, here is a way to consider how much the raises that Villaraigosa and the City Council gave to their strongest supporters, DWP and (possibly to) EAA.

Assuming a closed static system. If the population of Los Angeles County is 9,937,739 and per capita income is $29,522, then the total income for Los Angeles County amounted to $293,381,930,758. If 16,000 workers (8,000 DWP/IBEW workers and 8,000 LA/EAA workers) received 20 percent more than the average worker and then they received a 15 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA), their per capita income would increase to $39,855 totaling $637,675,200.

If we subtract that amount from the total Los Angeles County income ($293,381,930,758 - $637,675,200 = $292,744,255,558) and then divide that by the number of other (non-DWP/EAA) citizens, the adjusted per capita income has been reduced by $17 to $29,505.

Essentially what that means is that these little raises without any off-setting productivity increase or cost savings, cost each and every citizen in the County of Los Angeles about $17 (about three lunches). And frankly, as long as we have the high numbers in poverty and low numbers in education, I think the Mayor has made a big mistake.

We would have faired much better for us to each give $6 amounting to
$59,530,434 to the schools and to the Goodwill. Can you imagine how much $60 million could help? You'll notice that is only $12. $1 will go to the parking meter, $1 to the pan handler, and the rest will be lost in city administration and fees.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A New Vision -- Self Service

Antonio Villaraigosa gave 10,000 or so employees at DWP a really great pay raise, a minimum of 17.9 to a maximum of 31 percent, over the next five years. Villaraigosa had to know the pay raise exacerbated an already huge disparity between DWP employees and other city employees.

It is hard to believe that Mayor Villaraigosa having come up the hard way would foster and support the inequality of city workers. It is also hard to believe that Mayor Villaraigosa would not know the financial situation of the city having been a Los Angeles insider and councilmember for so long. It is especially hard to believe that Mayor Villaraigosa would think that he could give one group of city workers a sweetheart deal without considering that he would have to provide the same equal treatment to all his union brothers and sisters. One for all, all for one, and all that.

If he were concerned about the finances of Los Angeles, he would have concluded that an across the board increase in labor cost would have to be balanced by an equal across the board decrease in operating expenses such as infrastructure maintenance or long term development, or an increase in taxes or city revenue such as trash collection, business fees, lot cleaning, etc., which also amounts to a tax.

Moreover, Villaraigosa would have known that the Los Angeles infrastructure is in bad shape, potholes and such, foregoing infrastructure maintenance is not a viable option. Consequently, increasing revenues or tax would be preferred over decreasing operating costs. Villaraigosa realizes increasing city costs will cause more businesses and employers like Nissan to leave this area for other lower-cost business-friendly cities. And, those relocated businesses will transfer their prized technical and craft employees and layoff the rest – increasing the numbers of unemployed. In any case, it would result in a net loss in the number of highly skilled workers required by manufacturers and big employers. It also reduces the number of citizens that can buy high priced homes (causing prices to fall) and that pay taxes to support our schools and communities (speeding the decline of our communities).

It is surprising that Villaraigosa can visit so many places, meet so many people on the bus and private jets, and not realize that when he satisfies the short-term greed of his union brothers that he robs each one of us of the vision he promised to all the citizens of Los Angeles. And the inevitable city deficits result in the destabilization of the jobs and pensions that all city workers depend.

The possible bankruptcy of General Motors, the layoff of 30,000 workers, and the closing of 10 factories is a clear example of what happens to strong companies that neglect customers for self-serving management and union endeavors.

It is very clear to us at Civil Action Press that city managers need to be held accountable for their actions. Union leaders are not accountable to the citizens of Los Angeles and consequently they should not be running Los Angeles government as they have been permitted to do under Hahn and Villaraigosa.

In the next few days, Villaraigosa will demonstrate again who he serves. You should take notice. Tell him that driving up the wages of a few thousand at the expense of the millions that live and work here is not fair or right.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Civil Action Press Ponders Civil Action

A poorly administered city and costly ineffective city services contribute to the underlying costs of every single citizen. It is about time we started holding administrators responsible for their decisions and actions.

Many citizens, business owners, builders, employers, vendors, and employees have become frustrated because it seems this city's managers just don't care about running city services in a manner that best serves the public.

Civil Action Press believes the citizens of Los Angeles could use an advocate for improved city services, accountability, and reform. Too many businesses and employers are leaving Los Angeles.

Consequently, we would like to assess both the need and the possibilities for launching such a service.

If you are a citizen, business owner, vendor, etc., with a complaint, improvement, an issue (especially waste fraud, and/or abuse), or you have suffered retaliation as a result of making a report or complaint about city services,

Or, if you are an attorney wanting to use your talents to bring about city reform and accountability and are not afraid of the City Attorney's Office,

Or, if you are frustrated on one of those neighborhood councils...

Or, if you would like to donate to the cause...

Please email us at civilactionpress@yahoo.com.

This is a call for action. If there is enough of a response we will be considering giving new meaning to Civil Action Press.

What Is In Center Stage?

There were a couple of comments made in the November 15, 2005 DWP Board meeting that give the impression that this new Board might be just what the doctor ordered. If so, we are most thankful. For those of us who are more experienced with the means and methods of politics, we remain cautious, vigilant, and perhaps too tolerant.

Department of Water and Power Board seems to have two goals: one, move the DWP as quickly as possible to green power and two, to get a handle on contracting. Both goals are aimed at symptoms and don’t get to the root cause. Emphasizing a few statements and reading between the lines, we would venture to say the Board has chosen not to identify the root cause because it might implicate one of the most influential political organizations in Los Angeles, the City Attorneys Office, and their relationship with the DWP. Logically, one looking for a root cause would ask, “Why isn’t the DWP green?” and “Why have the contracts run amok?” In both cases, the answer would lead to leadership, decision makers, and systemic mis-management. One such comment was from Commissioner Nick Patsaouras. By the way, we at Civil Action Press are really getting to enjoy him.

Let us preface with… the meetings are long and grueling. And, the brain can only assimilate what the butt can endure. So, the facts might be a bit hazy but the Commissioners are clearly tripping over the heart of the matter.

The Department apparently invested some millions in a research and development firm, which developed exchangeable off-peak rechargeable battery packs for electric vehicles and are in the process of presenting their achievements to the world. Apparently, the new Board knows nothing about the investment or the subsequently developed products and they have been unable to discuss it because the DWP is in litigation with the firm. Like many of the employees, vendors and whistleblowers at DWP, the firm’s representatives are communicating with the Board in two-minute sound bites via channels normally reserved for public comments. To say that communication is rather guarded at the DWP grossly understates the problem. Board President Mary Nichols suggested discussing the matter in closed session. By insisting on transparency, Nichols could save a bundle wasted in litigation. Patsaouras made a comment referring to too many attorneys. Patsaouras’ comment hit pay dirt.

At meetings, City Attorneys frequently outnumber DWP management. At the Board meeting Assistant General Manager and former Chief Deputy City Attorney, Thomas Hokinson sat to the left of General Manager Ron Deaton and to his right sat Assistant General Manager Hal Lindsey, also an attorney. At a preceding Commerce, Energy, and Natural Resources Committee meeting, Chief Administrative Officer, Robert Rosanski was surrounded by City Attorneys Cecil Marr, Daniel Lowenthal, and Assistant General Manager Hal Lindsey. What the Department severely lacks in leadership, it makes up for in litigious might.

Attorneys are not a good sign. Attorneys are defenders and advocates. They should never be mistaken for judges. It would be a conflict of interest. Ask any divorcé, their presence clearly says to the citizens of Los Angeles we are in an adversarial position, we are not going to be amicable, and the costs are going to be high.

Recall the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Rampart scandals. The situation was bad before and with the help of the City Attorneys Office, the situation has been institutionalized. In 2001, Rocky Delgadillo was quoted in the Metropolitan News,

“Mr. Hokinson’s combination of talent, experience and familiarity with the City Attorney’s Office will help us hit the ground running, and tackle critical issues such as improving our children’s education, reducing the city’s liability expenditures, ensuring the highest level of public safety, reforming the Los Angeles Police Department, and improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” Delgadillo said in a statement. “Hokinson headed the Los Angeles City Attorneys Office Liabilities Division, and has been the city’s point man on reducing lawsuits against the LAPD. He took a lead role in cutting LAPD-related payouts in 1993, in the wake of the Rodney King beating and subsequent riots. But city liabilities have since soared—especially those stemming from suits against the LAPD. Hokinson helped craft multimillion-dollar settlements last year in lawsuits stemming from the Rampart police corruption scandal. Although the move drew public criticism, inside City Hall, Hokinson is credited with keeping the city’s payout in the Rampart scandal to a minimum.”

In retrospect, the City Attorney’s Office has grown to be one of the biggest law firms in the State and its main function has become to contain, squelch, tie-up, and retaliate against anything and everything that threatens or questions the status quo. The status quo we are talking about here is mismanagement and lack of accountability. After 35 years, Hokinson says he is ready to retire (good riddance). His accomplishments are the prerequisites to the problems that have become the culture at LAPD, DWP, and the pinnacle of City achievement – unabashed lack of accountability. Lack of accountability will remain a pox upon this city. To this day, LAPD still is understaffed in comparison to New York and Chicago Police Departments for good reason – No accountability. We citizens pay the price of not holding our city managers and their cronies accountable.

Did the City Attorneys Office go after the city managers that authored, requisitioned, and approved Fleischman-Hillard contract expenditures? No. Instead, they identified and went after the resultant symptoms (Fleischman-Hillard) rather than the root causers.

Does the City Attorneys Office bend the rules to protect its friends? Yes. It seems there is no concern for public opinion.

When the City Attorneys Office was investigated, what happens to those investigators? In the case of Dan Carvin, a retired Federal Investigator who was hired to investigate City corruption, he was fired, tied up in litigation, and the City paid $490,000 to settle and the facts of what he was after remain buried from the public in the City Attorneys Office. It seems Laura Chick has relegated her investigations to the periphery, parking lot skimming at $800 a pop.

The Owens Valley Lake is another billion dollar boondoggle tied up in litigation. Patsaouras asks simple questions. Each management response is carefully couched and delivered in closed session with the City Attorneys carefully positioned in every other seat. The crux of the matter is that the management at DWP and the purely advocate roll of the City Attorneys Office has become a barbed-wire no-man’s land for the truth and a costly liability for the citizens of Los Angeles.

Patsaouras’ comments seem to reflect that DWP management and the City Attorneys Office have clearly insulated the Board. DWP employees have made every effort to tell management about systemic mismanagement problems and issues brewing at Owens Lake. Until the Board removes these managers, they will have to be content to steer the organization from a trailer hitched to the back of the organization based upon information they receive from the media. The Board would not be talking about Owens Lake or CH2MHill, if it were not for a rightfully concerned handful of dedicated civil servants and Jeffrey Anderson at LA Weekly. What is wrong with this picture?

Is this just a continuation of the Hahn administration? True to form, executive level management sent employees working in the Owens Valley letters with their checks advising employees to forward media requests to the Public Relations. So rather than holding management accountable and establishing an obviously needed flow of information on projects and operations, is the Board further insulating itself and condoning more of the same policies that have caused the problem in the first place?