The City’s Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, and Respectful Workplace Conduct Policy, Council Policy 25.2, requires the Human Resources Director, or her designee, to make recommendations concerning complaints that are reported. The Human Resources Director and the City Manager have specifically asked me to make recommendations as a neutral party from outside the community, based upon my factual findings and conclusions.

I recommend:

  1. Councilmembers should avoid making public accusations of misconduct or bad faith against one another and against City staff without first privately and internally addressing these concerns and attempting conflict resolution and rectification when possible.
  2. All members of the City Council should receive immediate training in:
  1. City of Santa Cruz Administrative Procedure Order Section II, #1B (Effective April 2017), Respectful Workplace Conduct;
  2. City Council Policy 25.2, Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, and Respectful Workplace Conduct Policy; and
  3. City Charter section 809.
  1. The City Council and City staff should review its post-election onboarding process for new City Councilmembers to provide prompt, comprehensive, verifiable, and interactive group training on the policies and provisions listed in recommendation 3 [sic] above, and all other important City policies applicable to City Councilmembers.
  2. All members of the City Council and selected staff members should immediately participate in professional mediation and conflict resolution, such as via services provided by the Conflict Resolution Center in Santa Cruz or a similar organization.
  3. Visual presentations by individual Councilmembers at City Council meetings that include photographs of City employees should be coordinated through the City Manager’s office rather than by individual direction to the City Clerk.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.