DEAR WEHO 📬 I work in City Hall. Change is needed.

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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).

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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.   

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IrateWehoEmployee
IrateWehoEmployee
1 month ago

Oh and I shouldn’t forget; on the topic of favoritism, Jackie being included in every interview process where she can sway the decision and hire the people she wants in each position, you know, the in crowd. The clique. This is favoritism and it SUCKS, especially if you’re not a “favorite.” This is wrong and it needs to change. Treat your employees better and you’ll get back so much more. Also, where was Jackie in today’s meeting?!

Deep Throat
Deep Throat
1 month ago

The meeting was nothing but a waste of time. For as much as the Trump-like executives try to make things better, their actions proved the meeting to be nothing but damage control to save face. – Questions were not answered. – Suggestions were shut down. – Should-be-fired City Manager Wilson defended his choice of promoting Rosario Salazar’s Offspring Janet and Danny Duggar by stating that they worked hard to get where they’re at but, not surprisingly, failed to give examples. As Wilson spoke and promoted kumbaya the toxic executive team stood at the back of the room gawking at employees… Read more »

Deep Throat
Deep Throat
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep Throat

Part 2, continued We ask for equality, respect, consideration and understanding. 1. Equality – stop showing blatant favoritism and treat everyone the same. 2. Respect – stop gaslighting us and ignoring the situations that you have created. Stop trying to undermine us. 3. Consideration – stop promoting individuals that are part of your clique and focus on hiring QUALIFIED and EXPERIENCED individuals. 4. Understanding – stop changing policy’s and procedures without our feedback. How about you ask us our opinion before implementing any changes that we, not you, will work and oversee? In conclusion, stop pretending that what you have… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
28 days ago
Reply to  Deep Throat

Regarding items 2 and 3, you should consult with a wage and hour attorney who can advise on violations of state and Federal law as it relates to proper classification. If employees classified as non-exempt under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act are being denied meal and rest periods a wage and hour plaintiff attorney is a good remedy, however, I’m certain that the city attorney is well aware of the provisions of Assembly Bill 594 (that became effective on January 1, 2024) empowering local prosecutors to bring civil and criminal actions for violation of state labor codes.

Thank you
Thank you
6 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Thank you, Alan. The problem is that we are encouraged to falsify our timesheets to reflect an uninterrupted hour-lunch break.

If timesheets do not reflect an hour lunch break, our payroll is not processed, and we are not paid. No matter what, timesheets MUST reflect an hour lunch, no excuses. To make matters worse, we are then reprimanded and berated for not taking lunch breaks. Then again, we are reprimanded and berated for not meeting deadlines. We are damned either way.

IrateWehoEmployee
IrateWehoEmployee
1 month ago

Well, what a waste of time that we-R-weho meeting was and how upsetting to hear David and Raelynn do exactly what we all anticipated and give excuses for everything that they’re doing and that’s been done! They spoke the entire time and left a few minutes at the end for comments — how convenient! This entire meeting was a JOKE! We are all waiting for a followup meeting to this meeting that wasn’t even properly noticed as to what would be discussed; we were all guessing. Everyone left today feeling upset, sad, frustrated with no light at the end of… Read more »

Larrabee TA
Larrabee TA
1 month ago

Why is City Hall shut down with a document shredder parked in its lot? There was no notice to residents and the building is closed from 1030 to 1pm today, January 25th. This looks very bad. Would upload photographic proof but the size limit is 2MB. Who is asking questions of these people? We were there at 1030, and asked every employee we saw and they all said “we do not know what is going on.” They do and they are required to tell us! Rivas personally met with our tenants association on a number of occasions. Still over a… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago

Reading this is painful as I have been dealing with a number of line employees at City Hall over the last few months, who have no idea who I am but all of my interactions were positive and professional. These people were clearly interested in being helpful. The issues with management being incestuous and unresponsive have been brewing for a very long time and it is nice to know there are still plenty of employees who don’t want to be drawn into the politics of City Hall and are sincerely wanting to serve the residents in a professional and responsible… Read more »

Ex WeHo Emoloyee
Ex WeHo Emoloyee
1 month ago

Being an ex employee, I am certain to know what the city will do. 1. They will not take accountability and issue no apology. 2. They will attempt to convince city employees that there is no problem and the directors want what is best for them. 3. Employees will be encouraged to approach and submit complaints through Human Resources. (Do not fall for this, they cannot be trusted. Especially since we all know Janet is the biggest blabbermouth. I saw and heard it firsthand. She will go to the manager/director and inform them of the complaint and will feed them… Read more »

Too Late
Too Late
1 month ago

I just had time to read all these links regarding WeHo employees. It seems that whoever this person is, or are, have reached a breaking point. The comments show that the employees spoke to HR and their complaints were ignored. What else is left to do if they feel unheard? I would have not only reached out to ALL the news outlets, but I would have sued them as well. I’m sure the city is working on saving face and (if they haven’t already) are most likely working on damage control. I hope these employees know that the city will… Read more »

Clean House
Clean House
1 month ago

The fact that en employee gets to buy a house out of state and given special treatment because he’s part of a certain management click is outrageous. But there seems to be a pattern. Oscar Delgado did the same thing prior to retiring. He bought a house far away and gave himself special accommodation. Now that he is a contracted employee he still gets to telework and have that luxury. If you read the guidelines for city employee to work from home, you need to be a full time city employee to get this. He is no longer a city… Read more »

Businesses
Businesses
1 month ago

David Wilson allowing a developer to be part of an interview panel exemplifies the allegations of favoritism and corruption. What people fail to realize is that the corruption within the confinement of city hall extends to residents and businesses. Much like David Wilson allowing a developer as part of an interview panel, other directors take the lead and they too favor developers and businesses. Question is, which businesses are part of click (apart from TomTom & Pump, RIP) and why? What do these directors get in return? It does not stop there. When we call the city to report something… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
1 month ago

Who in their right mind thinks the current titular mayor has any interest in rooting out corruption, favoritism and cover up at city hall? They are his pals from his days as a staff member and union official at city hall. The entire bureaucracy suffers from an incestuous familiarity that now infects the perception of leadership on council, and questions the integrity of whatever oversight responsibility council should have over the bureaucracy. We need an independent and strong council to dismantle the orgiastic mess that our once-fair and quaint hamlet has become.

Fire Them
Fire Them
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

I don’t think the mayor or council have jurisdiction over the city staff. That is David Wilson’s job. His lack of leadership and disregard for protocol is what put these unexperienced and unliked directors in their positions. Mr. Wilson did not realize that by placing someone like Mrs. Jimenez, who “holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from the University of San Diego” as DIRECTOR OF HR, employees would know that there is favoritism <doesn’t everyone have a BAA?> Not only does she lack the education for this position, but given the comments about sweeping things under the rug, who… Read more »

Useless
Useless
1 month ago

During last nights meeting David Wilson kept referring to Danny Rivas while Meister kept reminding Wilson that Rivas was not the director in charge of the item in question.

No question that Danny Rivas is the new Oscar Delgado. David Wilson’s right hand man and Untouchable. Such blatant corruption is insulting.

David Wilson is spineless and useless.

Look at it closely
Look at it closely
1 month ago

Let’s mention some history for the people that aren’t aware. Lorena Quijano fled the city of Baldwin Park due to some finance scandals yet somehow got hired in WEHO. Don’t believe me, here is an article. A simple google search can go a long way.

https://patch.com/california/baldwinpark/baldwin_park_financial-director-resigns-amid-criticism

And yes, you guessed it. She is very good friends with Jackie Rocco who has also had several personnel issues over the past years yet somehow got all of these promotions. How have these crooks gotten away with all of this. It is time for change!

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