The Santa Clara Way is dead!
Mayor Gillmor and Deanna Santana have decapitated the long-held policy of rewarding and promoting employees from within our own ranks.
For decades we hired and trained employees at City Hall with the knowledge that there was a future for advancement in our City.
It was encouraging for employees to know that coming in at an entry level position was only the beginning. In time, with diligence, application, an open mind and productive performance even an entry level employee could become a senior department director.
In fact, some of our most successful City employees came to us as trainees and eventually became leads within their departments. This process worked well for decades and proved to be beneficial for the employees and for continuity within our City and community.
There was a significant payoff for long-term employees because they knew they could continue to advance and always have a shot at eventually running the department. Being head of a department was a payback to our long-term employees, with higher pay and higher retirement benefits. In short, Santa Clara rewarded its own for their hard work, tenacity and devotion.
Our successful working plan of advancement and reward has now been annihilated!
In a span of two years, the Mayor, Council and City Manager have ignored our own employees and replaced them with hand-picked department heads from outside Santa Clara.
To add insult to mismanagement, Santana is bringing these people in at salaries higher than our own 25-year employees.
Ignoring the dedication, longevity, knowledge and hard work of our existing staff, who believed in the Santa Clara Way, our own employees have been overlooked, replaced or moved to a broom closet.
While these actions are punitive in themselves, the severe slap in the face is awarding inflated salaries and benefits to these newly hired replacements. What an insult. Imagine putting in 25 years of hard work toward the position of department head and suddenly you are replaced by an outside recruit at a salary that is $40,000, $60,000 or more than what you would have made.
This is not just one department. Santana has systematically decimated the leadership of our long-standing, hard-working employee force in virtually every branch of our City government.
She has hired dozens of old contacts as new hires, from places she used to work. And since she has been in San Jose, Oakland, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, the pool of acquaintances is huge.
However, several of these recruited employees came in at the very top of our City’s established pay scale. They not only skipped over the normal years of service, they were awarded salaries and benefits which defy gravity. Including her own package, worth about $700,000.
It is rather amazing how generous you can be when it isn’t your money.
However, it is our money.
What Santana’s budget fails to reveal is how we will pay these outrageous salaries.
These new employees are just fine. After one year they get lifetime pension and benefits based on these new highly inflated incomes.
Of course, Santana will defend to the death her right to spend your money as she sees fit, ignoring Santa Clara employees as dead wood and their many years of contribution to Santa Clara.
A government of, for and by the people? Forget it. It is an extreme example of might makes right and, for now, Santana has the Mayor and Council nodding their heads and giggling with an intoxicated sense of self-worth.
She’s going to write a flowery two-page letter to the public on how Miles Barber and this paper are demeaning new employees when, in fact,we are defending long-term dedicated employees that have been overlooked.