[EDITOR'S NOTE: This column by Earl Gipson is a view of SeaTac city government. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff. We are seeking additional regular columnists to reflect opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
by Earl Gipson
A Special Council Meeting was called Tuesday for the Council to approve a “Mutual Separation Agreement” with Human Resources Director Anh Hoang. You remember Ms. Hoang? She was the one who received a 17K annual pay raise a couple of years ago which I reported on (and not very nicely, mind you). So now she is “Mutually Separated” or fired in translation of “corporate speak” when management is involved.
A couple of questions (that will probably never be answered) arise. Why did the City need a SPECIAL Council Meeting to “separate” this employee and only 24 hour notice given to the public? Doesn’t seem very mutual to me for an employee of 5 years and sounds pretty urgent. What happened? Ms. Hoang was very knowledgeable in her field so it was something else.
I’ve read the agreement (would you expect any less?) and it’s a pretty sweet deal for her as long as she keeps her mouth shut and doesn’t sue anyone. She will receive 6 month’s pay/ benefits and a mandatory POSITVE letter of recommendation solely provided by the City Manager (Gotta get me one of those government jobs). I cannot fault Ms. Hoang for this sweet deal since it appears she was leaving, voluntarily (doubt it) or not. I do fault our City for handing out money to make someone go away. Most of us get fired the old fashion way, “here’s your last paycheck, bye now.” Can anyone wonder why sub-par government employees, for whatever reason, just move on to the next government job with no consequences, bonuses/recommendations, and pay increases? Seems like a racket to me.
Whatever the cause it cost SeaTac taxpayers a lot of money that could have been used elsewhere and the 17K raise Ms. Hoang received was apparently misguided and now comes the search for a new Human Resources Director and more of our taxpayer money.