At the June 21 Council meeting, a city employee (who was about to be laid off) spoke during the open forum section of the meeting.
“Thank you Mayor and Council. My name Michael Medlin. I am a resident of District 4. I quickly wanted to thank the City for the opportunity of working at city hall for the past 5.5 years. This is one of the highest levels an unarmed security officer without a Department of Defence clearance can achieve and I have enjoyed serving the both residents and employees of San Jose.
“To Councilman Oliverio, I sometimes raise my eyebrows and do double takes at some of your ideas but appreciate your out of the box thinking. I would simply ask that you continue your efforts to reevaluate the current seniority system to include performance evaluations.
“As I talk with many co-workers I sense the majority consider evaluations as a positive rather than a negative tool. In fact many have said the feedback on their performance has been helpful in them achieving exceptional status. The problems that council faces with our current deficits is truly unique and one question will always remain while others have been answered.
“How many of the city’s best and brightest will leave employment each year before we finally address this issue?
“It is time to level the playing field and send the message that bias and favoritism claims do not hold merit.” He ended with: “I thank your for your time and hope our paths will cross again.”
Michael’s testimony is a reminder that layoffs and step increases (salary increases) are done 100 percent based on seniority and zero about performance. Michael’s question is a good one in that many of our best and brightest are laid off through no fault of their own by simply getting hired a month after someone else.
What do you think? Is it fair to lay off outstanding performers in any organization while others who may be burned out remain?