The Cactus Speaks: SeaTac Human Resources Director departs

[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 [email protected].]

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.


One Response to “The Cactus Speaks: SeaTac Human Resources Director departs”
  1. Vicki Lockwood says:

    Why should non-performing employees be rewarded with money and benefits when they are terminated? This is a disgusting practice that seems to be the norm in government. Rewarding bad behavior breeds more bad behavior!

    A government employee has got to be insane to give their normal two-week notice prior to leaving their employment. If they do this, they walk away with a paycheck and benefits covering through their last day of work. However if they “act out” or become “difficult” they are rewarded with additional pay and benefits that they would not have received had they have terminated their employment like a respectable person.

    And even worse than the extra money and benefits is the guarantee of a favorable recommendation for their next prospective employer (who will certainly be another government entity … these folks move around through the various governments like gerbils on wheels). With each new job and subsequent termination they are rewarded with another “package” to pad their coffers.

    If our city hires one more person who came from another government job and touts what a wonderful resume they came to us with we citizens should revolt and demand that our own City Manager be terminated for cause with no package!. City Managers know the game these folks play better than anyone … they’ve been a party to many of these “termination packages”. A City Manager who believes the resume of a job applicant who comes bearing recommendations from another government entity is incompetent and not vetting these prospects properly BEFORE hiring them.