First, I applaud the Call for recognizing that I have spearheaded a number of positive changes as mayor; most notably the passage of Proposition S which pays off once and for all the huge debt which jeopardized the future of our fine city.
However, I take exception to the statement made in the April 19 edition of your paper which indicates I support nepotism.
Simply put, your understanding of my position is wrong. As a proven fighter of good government practices, I strongly oppose nepotism in local government. It leads to all sorts of problems.
But I equally cannot and will not support any long-term employee losing their job because a member of their family chooses to run for public office and is elected by the people.
The city’s previous policy prohibited such employees from remaining employed after their family member is elected. I believe this is wrong and unconstitutional.
I have been advised by the city attorney that continuation of this unfair policy puts the city at risk. Therefore, the responsible thing to do is change the policy. This amended policy still prohibits family members of elected officials from being hired once they are in office.
Let’s continue to prohibit nepotism. But let’s not ruin the career of dedicated public servants in the process.
Thank you for allowing me to share my views and set the record straight.
Editor’s note: The definition of nepotism is “favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power,” according to Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary.