By Mario Conde
The Calexico City Council passed a new policy which will allow employees to speak to Council members without fear of retaliation.
The new policy that was proposed by Councilman Bill Hodge was requested in an effort to allow City employees to come forward to City Council members individually on the employees’ personal time to provide constructive criticisms and/or suggestions regarding non confidential daily operations, efficiencies and budget saving ideas without fear of reprisal. The new policy also encourages employees to meet and discuss these budget saving suggestions with supervisors, Department Head, or the City Manager.
Councilman Hodge proposed this ordinance since he has been approached by City employees who talk to him about City issues and concerns but are fearful they will be victims of reprisal by their superiors because they spoke to the members of the City Council. Hodge believes that with this new open communication policy, City employees can feel safe and comfortable talking to council members.
This policy does not apply to personnel related matters. Employees will continue to follow the City’s existing policies, state and federal law, and report problems or concerns, such as personnel matters, potential harassments or discrimination, to supervisors, human resources or the City Manager. This policy also is not meant to interfere with the chain of command in the employee’s department and should not be used by an employee to refuse or fail to perform work as directed by employee’s supervisor.
In other items, the City Council approved to dedicate the City Council Chambers after Fernando “Nene” Torres who passed away last month. The former Calexico Mayor and Godfather of Politics was a two-time Mayor of Calexico and was a community advocate who acted as a mentor of a new generation of politicians making an impact on the improvement of city governance.
“The future of any city is dependent on the involvement and direction of its community members, and Fernando “Nene” Torres more than demonstrated his commitment to the well-being of his community through his continued interaction and involvement with the city and its leaders in working towards the goal of a better Calexico.” The resolution stated.