Dear City of West Hollywood,
In August 2023, when Councilmember Meister openly challenged the City Manager, David Wilson, on the hiring process for WeHo’s Community Development Director, Nick Maricich, by requesting the names of the people in the hiring panel, City Manager Wilson responded vaguely and secretly. Councilmember Meister was forced to submit a Public Records Request to obtain the answer to the question that the City Manager Wilson refused to answer. Public records revealed that the hiring panel consisted of a lobbyist, Jeff Seymour, who managed three major developments in West Hollywood. Talk about conflict of interest! This revelation forced Mr. Wilson to issue a public apology at the next council meeting without admitting fault. The city is now working on “revising” how jobs are filled due to this controversy. Strike 1.
In October 2023, when Director Janet Jimenez brought forth item 6B regarding the hiring of “retired Assistant City Manager Oscar Delgado to perform temporary specialized services,” City Manager Wilson spoke in support of this item by explaining the “complexity of projects, noting that they require Mr. Delgado’s expertise on the Sunset Arts and Advertising Program for a short-term basis” – because no one else is capable enough for this position, right? Item 6A passed and a resolution listing the ”maximum base salary for this position is $27,622.66 monthly and the hourly equivalent is $159.36 and the minimum base salary for this position is $19,855.33 monthly and the hourly equivalent is $114.55;” Since Mr. Delgado was City Manager Wilson’s right-hand man, and Janet Jimenez’ mentor, it seems probable that, although the city had ample time to hire another “expert,” these individuals chose to wait for Mr. Delgado to retire so he could be the one earning the $19,855.33-$27,622.66 monthly wage. Another conflict of interest. Strike 2.
In December 2023 Wehoonline.com published an article exposing whistleblower’s claim of WeHo’s managerial staff and their ways of handling Staff. The comments section filled the published article with names of certain directors that thrive under the nepotism, favoritism, harassment and bullying of Staff. Moreover, the comments section revealed that the Director of Administrative Services, Janet Jimenez, who oversees the Human Resources and City Clerk’s Division, is part of the problem as is the Director of Public Safety, Danny Rivas. Could it be that they are part of the problem because they do not have the required experience to fill the position they are in?
One thing is certain, City Manager Wilson failed us. He failed us by 1) refusing to disclose that lobbyist, Jeff Seymour, was part of the hiring panel; 2) by waiting for Assistant City Manager Oscar Delgado to retire so he could then be re-hired as a consultant; 3) by handing out promotions and appointing unfit and unqualified individuals like Janet Jimenez, who holds no experience, as the Director of Administrative; and Danny Rivas, who is a known bully, as the Director of Public Safety (I assure you, certain staff members do not feel safe around him); 4) by forgetting about regular employees wellbeing.
The facts are these, if you are part of the directors’ click an employee can buy a house in Arizona and the city will be willing to accommodate said employee by allowing them to work remotely (you know, so they won’t have to travel so much) and employees are promoted without going through the proper hiring process (Janet Jimenez and Danny Rivas are perfect examples of this).
If you are NOT part of the directors’ group, 1) you are not allowed to work remotely, or your allowed remote time is reduced significantly; 2) grievances filed through HR are ignored and employees shamed; 3) reclassification requests are denied regardless of your work performance or how long you have worked out of class; 4) procedural questions are ignored and employees are set for failure 5) employees are blamed and punished for management’s backlogs and failures 6) outspoken employees are targeted and harassed to the point of quitting.
Change is needed and if City Manager Wilson is unable to hold the reigns and steer the city back to green pastures, then it is time that he retires.
I leave you with a comment left on one of the published articles –
“City Engineer, Zach Pollard, lasted four months at WeHo. Someone should ask for a copy of his resignation letter addressed to the City Manager who did absolutely nothing…when dealing with complaints from staff regarding Danny Rivas, Jackie Rocco, Janet Jimenez, Coby Wagman, Cleo Smith, Annie Ruiz, and Lorena Quijano.
“Someone is allowing Rivas and his gang to intimidate, harass, and push employees out of the city, and it is causing us, current employees, to be given impossible deadlines to meet while being completely overworked. For fear of being next, we are forced to work without breaks to meet these ridiculous deadlines and don’t you dare not answer your cell phone when anyone of them calls because you will never hear the end of it. Day, evening, night, weekend – they do not care what your situation is; if you are salary (even hourly), there is absolutely no reason why you should not take their call.”
Footnote: The above letter was submitted to WEHOonline via email. The author wrote under the name whistleblower 10. Previous contacts to WEHOonline concerning the whistleblower’s have been authenticated personal relationship or phone and text. The identity of this author is unknown.