Letter to the Editor: Disrespecting city staff an HR nightmare

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Letter to the Editor: The Malibu Times

Dear Editor,

I was unable to attend the May 28 City Council meeting because I was home with COVID. If I had been able to attend, I would have respectfully, but strongly, taken exception to Mayor Steve Uhring’s defense of his publicly disrespecting our assistant planning director at our meeting on May 13.

Uhring said, “If someone is doing something wrong, how are we to correct them unless we bring it up to them, and I am more than happy to give everyone the respect they deserve — and I do that, but in some cases they have to go out and earn that respect …”

As members of the City Council, we may from time to time be disappointed with the performance of a city employee, but it is not our role to rudely humiliate the employee in a public setting. If we disapprove of the conduct of a particular employee, we can bring the matter to the attention of the city manager. In an extreme case, someone may request to attend a meeting with the employee and the city manager but anyone experienced in HR would advise against such a meeting.

To publicly disrespect and demean an employee does nothing but lower morale at City Hall, make it more difficult to attract qualified employees, and expose the city to costly litigation.

Last night at the City Council meeting, the mayor compounded the error by renewing his attacks. He needs to start acting like a sober responsible adult instead of a 16-year-old bully. When you find yourself in a hole, it is important to realize you should stop digging

All the best,

Paul Grisanti