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.