After reading my favorite newspaper’s editorial “Audit will help city in more ways than one,” (July 17 edition of the Daily Journal) I think the facts and the truth need to be aired. All local city and county governments have had procedural and policy manuals in place since the 1970s. The city and county employees just need to be versed in the manual and need to follow the proper procedures at all times. It’s the department managers’ fault for not doing their jobs.
The reason why there are so many resignations in San Mateo’s Community Development Department is because of the “7-Eleven controversy.” But the “7-Eleven controversy” was the fault of a certain San Mateo councilman allegedly exploiting his influence in a conflict of interest, and the fault of the former interim city attorney, for allegedly neglecting to do proper legal research into the city’s ordinances and policies. There needs to be an external investigation into this matter, not a new procedures manual.
Ironically, the city employees who allegedly caused this problem have all resigned their positions, retired or taken different jobs. All of these former employees should be held accountable for their alleged actions and pay for any monetary judgment against the city of San Mateo that resulted from the “7-Eleven controversy.”
An audit of the Community Development Department is just a legal excuse to protect all the former employees, effectively saying, “we didn’t have a proper procedure manual to follow, so they didn’t do anything wrong.” This is like sweeping the truth under the rug. What part of “transparency” does the city of San Mateo not understand?
Michael R. Oberg