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Friday, March 12, 2010

First pink slip gets Hahn's goat

The first pink slip in the City's layoff process was handed out earlier this week to one Kristen Heather, curator of the Point Fermin lighthouse museum.

Heather is an at-will employee and therefore has no union protection. Same as most non-Union folks.

It's not exactly surprising, then, that she's just the first of the 1,000 getting the chop if they can't achieve a transfer to a position not paid for out of the City's General Fund. It's not rocket-science.

Nonetheless, Janice Hahn is furious over Heather's pink slip and is sabre-rattling like all get-out. Hahn railed against the heinous act in City Council this past Wednesday, insisting she was shocked and stunned that Heather received her two-week notice.

We're not really sure why Hahn should be surprised. After all, Hahn voted for the 1,000 layoffs. She voted for the 4,000 layoffs, too.

The real deal is that Hahn is likely embarrassed that she had sent letters to some employees in San Pedro slated for layoffs -- including Heather, allegedly a relative of Hahn's -- telling them their jobs were safe.

In retaliation for the embarrassment, Hahn then fired off two new council motions ( 1   2 ) designed to control the department who had the audacity to follow the City Council and Mayor's directive: the Department of Recreation and Parks.  Koretz and LaBonge signed on to the retaliatory legislation, both seeing the opportunity to wield department-level control over pet parks projects in their districts, including which favored non-profits and for-profits in public-private-partnerships are allowed to take over recreation programming.

Hahn must envision herself a professional in all respects since she's running for lieutenant governor, potentially representing the entire State of California. Yet in dealing with the effects of funding and position cuts to City parks and recreation, Hahn has been hyper-focused on the fact that Recreation and Parks "frustrated her" when she tried to hire a herd of goats to keep the weeds down in a San Pedro park.

That was five years ago, yet with the City facing one of the greatest financial crises of all time and in need of real leadership, when Hahn is addressing Recreation and Park's particular situation within the City's on-going budget crisis, all she wants to discuss is goats.

Now Hahn is attempting to control through legislation what core services the Department of Recreation and Parks can provide. 

Silly us, but it sure seems like a pretty bad idea to allow the people who created the budget crisis gain detailed - better word is micromanaging - control of how departments manage the few dollars left to them. Especially when those people continue to define professional interactions based on goats.

Additional 3pm

A commenter makes a great point regarding Hahn's unhappiness about this particular pink slip. Hahn has been demanding that regular City employees be moved to non-General Funded positions. At-will workers are different altogether, they're always at risk.

Anonymous said...
Look, Janice. This is the way it works:
Non-union at-will hourly worker being paid from non-General Fund source makes way for qualified union employee transferred from General-Funded position.
You got what you wanted, and your cousin got diced in the cross fire. Oh well.
March 12, 2010 2:34 PM

Additional 3/18/10

Janice Hahn's office states Heather is not related to Hahn.

According to our sources, Heather is related to Hahn by marriage. We will continue to investigate this aspect of the story.