Tuesday the GUARDIAN received copies of the Boise Public Works newsletter from three sources. All three were probably employees of the department and expressed concernes about a message from the PW director.
People are so spooked that one copy was FAXED from KINKOS, one came from a blind e-mail account (they actually retyped the text of the newsletter). The third party sent us a PDF scanned copy of the message to employees.
There is nothing earth shaking in the PW director’s message and perhaps that is the problem. The GUARDIAN has posted letters from many readers regarding the tool lending policy, supervisors hiring subordinates for off duty jobs, conflict of interest with off duty work intruding into the city duties and use of cell phones to do private work on city time. (These letters come from unknown sources, but the GUARDIAN has been able to confirm much of the material with known sources.)
The city apparently has no “full disclosure” requirement of employee moonlighting jobs. Instead they rely on an honor system which was summarized by the PW director thusly:
“In summary, while there is no prohibition in either policy to outside employment by city employees, we all need to be sensitive to the issue of potential conflict. If you have a question as to the appropriateness of seeking outside employment, you should discuss this matter with your supervisor.
“Thank you for your attention to this matter and if you would like to discuss this issue with me, feel free to call or send an e-mail.”
The catch is the employees think the conflicts are with those mid level managers! NOT A SMART CAREER MOVE TO RAT ON YOUR SUPERVISOR. They all claim to have made attempts to get things corrected–going all the way back to the POOP FARM fiasco, but they can’t get any satisfaction. After the GUARDIAN exposed a policy of lending city owned tools and equipment to workers for their private use, the policy was officially “suspended.” That confirmed allegations in several letters.
Mayor Dave Bieter appeared on the KIDO am580 news show last Friday and said he was not aware of a tool lending policy at Public Works when the hosts asked about the memo which suspended the practice. We suggest he read the GUARDIAN.
Bieter has previously scheduled a city-wide meeting of employees Wednesday 22 March in the council chambers which is “webcast” over a video link.
Bieter’s spokesman, Michael Zuzel said in an e-mail, “Unlike previous meetings, the mayor will not be taking questions “live” during the webcast.” Instead, Bieter will take written questions in advance. So much for a give and take communication session with the boss. “Come and listen, but don’t ask questions.”
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.