CUPERTINO, Calif. – A scathing report is accusing the Cupertino Town Council of developing a hostile operate ecosystem that impacted the city’s means to thoroughly functionality.
The Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury this week released its report, “A Dwelling Divided: Cupertino Town Council and Metropolis Staff members,” right after investigating various grievances about council habits towards city management and team.
The report showed that councilmembers interfered in day-to-working day functions and normally berated and belittled metropolis personnel throughout council conferences. It also explained some councilmembers sidestepped town rules and the powers of the town supervisor to give course and assignments to town team — recognized as “councilmanic interference.”
The report criticizes the former city council, but particularly phone calls out former Mayor Darcy Paul, who termed out this year, and current Councilmember Kitty Moore.
In a Cupertino Metropolis Council meeting Tuesday, Moore and Paul denied the allegations. Paul is accused of using his place to talk to city staff to volunteer at town-sponsored gatherings these kinds of as ribbon cuttings. He did not react to requests for comment.
The report claims Moore fully commited councilmanic interference by inquiring a subordinate of the city supervisor about prices the employee built on a city credit rating card.
She also requested copies of the paperwork to pursue her personal investigation, which the report said is not proper simply because plan violations related to town credit use tumble in just the purview of the town manager.
“Very first, the information are improper about who I questioned for data,” Moore informed San Jose Spotlight. “But inquiring what higher credit score card charges are for is definitely a issue of public interest.”
She cited a metropolis code that provides councilmembers freedom to access any information requested of staff members unless of course safeguarded by regulation. She argues she didn’t do just about anything completely wrong, and stated the report is an assault by political adversaries. Moore is component of a a lot more conservative faction on the council, recognized as Far better Cupertino, which advocates against new progress and metropolis development.
Neil Park-McClintick, president of a progressive coalition of residents acknowledged as Cupertino for All, explained although politics is surely at perform in the grand jury report, there is no question the former iteration of the town council was dysfunctional. He claimed personnel remaining for the reason that the harmful society at Town Hall.
“There have been employees who outright advised us they could not hold operating in this lifestyle,” Park-McClintick informed San Jose Spotlight. “You seem at the former head of communications, who remaining the city of Cupertino to go work for yet another city. He took a demotion in conditions of title and pay. And so I believe that claims a whole lot if you are willing to choose a demotion to function someplace else, you most likely do not genuinely want to be there.”
The report reported there’s been an abnormally superior turnover amount among the city personnel, which include prime positions. There have been 4 different metropolis administrators in the final four yrs, the report claims, and fifty percent of the arranging division and 60% of senior management staff have remaining this year. That impacts town functions due to the fact staff turnover raises the threat of errors, and decreases institutional awareness that makes it possible for for effectiveness.
Park-McClintick claimed he would however like to see previous metropolis councilmembers choose accountability.
Moore said some men and women may perhaps be as well sensitive. Even now, she acknowledged she could study how to far better question city workers without the need of sounding important. She reported the superior turnover is not mainly because of metropolis culture by yourself, noting other metropolitan areas are also battling with workers retention. San Jose, for case in point, has hundreds of job vacancies, which include in the setting up department.
“I assume in probably a year or two, staffing is going to be in good form,” Moore claimed.
In reaction to the report, City Supervisor Pamela Wu and City Legal professional Chris Jensen emailed metropolis team encouraging them to share problems if desired.
They also claimed the metropolis will research the report’s suggestions to apply new schooling plans for council and staff members, hiring a advisor to research morale and setting up an unbiased Public Ethics Commission.
“Remember to know the city’s leadership workforce values you and your contributions to the town. We want to guarantee all of you that we are getting the conclusions in the report very seriously,” Wu and Jensen wrote. “Your professionalism, judgment, and difficult do the job are crucial for the metropolis to continue on furnishing the Cupertino group the high stage and excellent of services to which they have grown accustomed.”