Yet another proverbial shoe has dropped: Former Fire Chief Kapler's new lawsuit against the city. A consequence of the sterling stewardship of the taxpayer's monies by our city officials - not to mention the apparent litigiousness of Kapler, Gallant, and Highsmith. It's hard to tell whether this lack of concern for our money is a result of incompetence, malfeasance, or something else that doesn't even have a suitable name.
For a city official to have a "verbal" agreement with an employee, especially regarding an issue for which the employee was previously terminated, certainly could fall in either category.
To place on administrative leave not one, but two highly paid individuals simply because officials can't figure out how to get productive work from them, strikes me as malfeasant. These folks are elected, hired, and paid to manage our taxpayer dollars effectively and parsimoniously. Based on the reported compensation for the two individuals placed on leave, we taxpayers have just paid about 80 thousand dollars each for them to have a 90 day paid vacation. And oh, by the way, did anybody check to make sure that they didn't go out and work at another job while they were on paid vacation? Sorry, paid leave? I'm guessing nobody checked. If you can't figure out how to deal with a "problem" employee, then you should resign. If you placed them on leave so your work life would be easier, then you've wasted my hard-earned money.
Kapler’s lawsuit seems to be engendered by him being upset he was once again terminated for the same sort of thing that cost him his prior job. Shame on us. If only we'd just looked the other way. Or perhaps not hired him in the first place. Or perhaps just put ALL agreements in writing. It’s so hard to get the wording just right…
Highsmith apparently finally cracked under the inexorable pressure of 90 days of being paid not to work while waiting to start the new job she had already accepted before she was placed on leave. Who knew waiting could be so hard?
As for Gallant, I'm not sure what her problem is. Her title was "Interim" City Manager. INTERIM is a synonym for TEMPORARY. She didn't have a permanent job with the city to begin with. I work on a contract all the time. When the contract is over, there's no guarantee of it being renewed. THAT'S THE NATURE OF CONTRACT WORK, MADAM! They gave you the 90 days’ notice required by your contract. We would all appreciate it if you would sit down and stop whining. And why did we hire someone who had successfully sued a prior municipal employer for wrongful termination? Hello! Do we do background checks? Wouldn’t we think a history like that might be a problem for Alameda in the future? Is anybody awake in there? (If I only had a brain …)
I used to think Alameda was a little bit of "Mayberry". It turns out to be a lot more like "Dallas" and "Falcon Crest".