Stieringer Employment Scam" /> Stieringer Employment Scam" /> Stieringer Employment Scam" /> Stieringer Employment Scam" /> <meta property=

Share Button

Letter to GHD regarding Stieringer Employment Scam

Citizens Oversight (2010-11-08) Raymond Lutz

This Page: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M1095
More Info: Grossmont Healthcare Board

This email was sent to Grossmont Healthcare District CEO Barry Jantz on 2010-11-08

Dear Mr. Jantz:

Please distribute my comments to members of the GHD Board.

  1. I am extremely disturbed that the GHD has been secretly looking to fill the position of "Projects Liaison Monitor" without adequately informing the public of this opening. In particular, I am a subscriber to the "GHD Announcements" email list maintained by Mr. Jantz and I received no email disclosing this opening, nor has any press release been prepared to inform the media of the opening, according to my understanding.

  2. I received word of this opening not from any formal communication but through informal channels, and I have insufficient time prior to the deadline at noon on November 9, 2010, to assist the GHD in finding the best candidate possible. With the employment landscape as it is at this time, if this position is promoted appropriately, I would be surprised if the GHD does not get dozens of extremely qualified applicants.

  3. I have also been informed that James Stieringer has decided to resign from his position on the board, with notice given on Friday, November 5, 2010, and he is the sole applicant for the "Projects Liaison Monitor" position. The juxtaposition of these events leads one to believe that they are related. The "Projects Liaison Monitor" position, created years ago while Stieringer was on the board, was never filled because the CEO was apparently doing an adequate job of accomplishing those duties. Now, with no apparent rationale, the position is necessary and must be filled in record time, without having a sufficient number of applicants to satisfy the propriety of due diligence. One can only conclude that this juxtaposition was intentional, the lack of promotion intentional, and the lack of applicants intentional, such that Stieringer can slip into the position he created for himself. This situation smacks of conflict of interest and insider dealing, and frankly, I find it disgusting.

This is not a question of whether the decisions in this regard meet the minimum requirements of legality. The board was elected to represent the public and do the right thing. Just because something is legal, does not mean it is also proper.

Therefore, it is my request that:
  1. The deadline for accepting applicants must be extended for at least 30 days.

  2. The information about the position must be fully promulgated, including emails sent to subscribers of the GHD announcement list and official press releases sent to all local media.

  3. The applicant pool should include at least three highly qualified applicants prior to closing of the application period.

  4. Review of the applicants should be conducted before the public.

  5. The board should consider a resolution, effective immediately, that no elected official may accept a position without a waiting period to establish a sufficient "arms length" relationship, thereby avoiding the obvious impropriety of the current situation. I can see no emergency situation where this position must be filled without first establishing the requirement of a reasonable delay to avoid the "revolving door" ethical hazard presented by the current scenario. The waiting period should be no shorter than 12 months and is a common provision of public institutions. The concept that this waiting period cannot apply to this position makes no sense because there is no agreement with prior board members, such as Stieringer, that they must be considered for every opening before a reasonable waiting period has elapsed.

  6. Even if request #5 is not fulfilled, since James Stieringer gave his word to the public that he would complete his elected term, he should be given a black mark for quitting the position prior to completion of his commitment and exhibiting low integrity. Therefore, his application should be disregarded without further consideration.

Questions:
  1. Is there a closed session meeting scheduled? When is it, and what is the agenda?
  2. Please provide Mr. Stieringer's resignation letter.
  3. What is the current salary and benefit package of Mr. Jantz?
  4. Which duties, currently completed by Mr. Jantz, will be instead completed by the Liaison Monitor, and which duties are "new", and why are do these new duties exist?

--Ray Lutz
Citizens' Oversight Projects Coordinator

Raymond Lutz, Coordinator
Citizens' Oversight Projects (COPs)
1265 Avocado Blvd, Suite 104-335
El Cajon, CA 92020 USA
Voice 619-820-5321
http//www.CitizensOversight.org

See also James Stieringer resignation letter where he admits that he is resigning to apply for the job.

Here is the response from Mr. Jantz:

Mr. Lutz:

Thanks for addressing your concerns to the Grossmont Healthcare District.

This is my follow up email to you regarding your requests and questions below. First, some detailed information:

When the District Board members learned from me early on Monday, November 8, of Jim Stieringer’s resignation from the Board and application for employment, Board members immediately called for a special meeting to confer with legal counsel regarding the appropriateness, propriety and potential legal ramifications of such. This was prior to anyone in the community contacting the District.

This is important to note; that the District was also extremely concerned about the ramifications of Stieringer’s employment application, even if legal. We are very aware of the public’s general perception of government, as well as the heightened level of media watchdog reports in the wake of government scandals in the City of Bell and other areas. We are not blind to these things, but do care greatly that the District is not negatively perceived in the manner of some other government agencies.

It defies logic that the District would somehow believe a job could be arranged for an exiting director without anyone taking note and without serious negative repercussions as a result. Specifically, it would be impossible for a former director to be hired by me without the Board being aware; equally, it would be impossible for the Board to be involved in any such hiring without the community taking note.

I mention these things partly in reference to the implications made by use of the word “friend” to describe some District relationships. Frankly, friendship has nothing to do with it, not when proper, prudent and appropriate hiring practices are involved, especially in the government arena.

It seems that a false perception was created as the result of a single job application the District received, which we had no control over receiving. Granted, that application presented a unique circumstance, one that the Board was justified in conferring with counsel about last Wednesday. As a result, appropriate steps have been taken to ensure that the public is being served as it should, and we remain open to improvements to the process for any future employment opportunities.

As you know, at last Wednesday’s Board meeting, the Board directed that the position of Projects Liaison Monitor not be filled at this time. Rather, I will work to ensure the job responsibilities will be incorporated into an ongoing reorganization of our Prop G Construction Program Management Team, as we prepare for a significantly increased level of construction as well as the sale of up to $130 million in bonds in February of next year.

The reorganization follows the recommendations made in a recent independent performance audit report that was requested by the Prop G Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee and approved by the Board. The work of the Projects Liaison Monitor will likely now be contracted in some manner.

The position is not something that came about suddenly. The position was planned and budgeted a few years ago, as a means of assisting the CEO and staff in the anticipated increased work load resulting from the voter-approved Prop G projects. As Construction Administrative staff was also subsequently contracted, the position was held in abeyance by me until a time I determined it would be needed, based on the increasing workloads that would follow – and have – followed.

Last year the District completed its first $41 million Prop G project, relatively minor as compared to what is to follow. The reason for the position being needed now is that in February 2011 we are planning the sale of up to $130 million in bonds, which will facilitate the additional construction of over $180 million in multiple projects, all currently in design or plan review. Several hundred contracted jobs will follow and construction administrative staff will increase commensurately as needed to properly manage the projects. This work will not be accomplished by me or existing District administrative staff, but by construction related professionals, overseen and managed by me, as approved by the Board.

Because nearly all of these positions involve numerous various contracts with architects, engineers, inspectors, project managers, contractors and others, the Projects Liaison Monitor position was most recently envisioned as a means of administering all of the contracts internally, instead of by one of the contracted entities themselves; also so as to reduce the costs to complete contract related work when done by project managers and/or attorneys.

In response to your requests…

1. The deadline for accepting applicants must be extended for at least 30 days.

No longer applicable.

2. The information about the position must be fully promulgated, including emails sent to subscribers of the GHD announcement list and official press releases sent to all local media.

Given the nature of the position, it is appropriate to have advertised it in the Daily Transcript, which is the regular venue used for construction related jobs and requests for qualification/proposals and invitations to bid. In fact, a request for qualifications for contractors on an upcoming project was advertised there about the same time frame, resulting in 26 companies coming by so far to pick up an RFQ package.

The public email distribution list you reference is typically used by the District in sending notices of public board meetings to those who have requested such notice, as well as occasional information about our events such as the annual Kids Care Fest and Healthcare Heroes Awards. There was nothing purposeful in the fact that the District didn’t utilize that distribution list for a job posting, as none of those on the list had asked to be informed of any openings, that I was aware. However, your request to utilize that distribution list as a means of further advertising any job openings in the future is a welcome recommendation.

3. The applicant pool should include at least three highly qualified applicants prior to closing of the application period.

I agree that should be the minimum goal for any future employment opportunities.

4. Review of the applicants should be conducted before the public.

I will confer with legal counsel, but I believe this to be problematic. Personnel related matters are not typically handled in public for several reasons, not the least of which is the confidentiality of those applying for a job.

5. The board should consider a resolution, effective immediately, that no elected official may accept a position without a waiting period to establish a sufficient "arms length" relationship, thereby avoiding the obvious impropriety of the current situation. I can see no emergency situation where this position must be filled without first establishing the requirement of a reasonable delay to avoid the "revolving door" ethical hazard presented by the current scenario. The waiting period should be no shorter than 12 months and is a common provision of public institutions. The concept that this waiting period cannot apply to this position makes no sense because there is no agreement with prior board members, such as Stieringer, that they must be considered for every opening before a reasonable waiting period has elapsed.

Board members have already raised the same issue. The Policies and Procedures Committee of the Board has requested a new policy be considered to address their similar concerns. When a recommendation is made by the Committee, it will be considered by the Board and you will be notified.

6. Even if request #5 is not fulfilled, since James Stieringer gave his word to the public that he would complete his elected term, he should be given a black mark for quitting the position prior to completion of his commitment and exhibiting low integrity. Therefore, his application should be disregarded without further consideration.

No longer applicable.

In response to your questions…

1. Is there a closed session meeting scheduled? When is it, and what is the agenda?

The meeting was held last Wednesday and the agenda was provided. An additional meeting will be held tomorrow, Monday, November 15, at 7:30 a.m. to confer with counsel regarding the legal issues involving the fact that the District has a resignation from Mr. Stieringer, as well as a subsequent communication indicating he would like to rescind his resignation. The agenda was provided last Friday.

2. Please provide Mr. Stieringer's resignation letter.

The resignation letter was provided to you last Tuesday.

3. What is the current salary and benefit package of Mr. Jantz?

The Union-Tribune did a story on the compensation of local healthcare district executives in September. It is linked here:

http://web.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/sep/18/public-health-exec-pay-tops-1-million/

It is accurate, except that the number of paid days off are reported within the context of total compensation. I have up to 12 sick days off per year, yet they do not accrue over time if they go unused, unlike vacation days. They are therefore not part of “total compensation” unless they are used. Actual sick days used by me annually are probably closer to two days on the average.

4. Which duties, currently completed by Mr. Jantz, will be instead completed by the Liaison Monitor, and which duties are "new", and why are do these new duties exist?

None of the main duties planned for the role of the Projects Liaison Monitor are currently being handled by the CEO, but as a means of assisting the CEO and Prop G Program Management Team in managing the numerous contracts resulting from the significantly increased upcoming project work load, as well as to reduce the costs to complete contract work when done by project managers and/or attorneys. See above for the previously mentioned description of that increase in work.

Thank you again for addressing these issues to us.

Barry Jantz

Media Form edit

Title Letter to GHD regarding Stieringer Employment Scam
Publisher Citizens Oversight
Author Raymond Lutz
Pub Date 2010-11-08
Media Link
Embed HTML
Note C00028 Stieringer Employment Scam
Keywords Grossmont Healthcare Board
Media Type Article
Media Group Request Letter
Curator Rating Plain
Book ISBN
Author Name Sortable
Thumbnail Link
Topic revision: r5 - 2016-05-16, UnknownUser
 

This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding Copswiki? Send feedback