Town Square

Post a New Topic

Palo Alto picks new Human Resources director

Original post made on Mar 20, 2012

Palo Alto will soon have a new leader in its Human Resources Department -- a veteran attorney whose experience with labor relations includes stints at Kaiser Permanente, Alcoa and Goodrich Aerospace.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 19, 2012, 7:47 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by City Manager Fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 10:45 am

This appointment is a vast upgrade from recent years when the last permanent City HR Director was a political operator, hatchet man. A good appointment, City Manager Keene.


Posted by Here we go again, a resident of Community Center
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm

So we can't give current employees a wage increase over 4 years, but every new department head we get has a significant pay increase, 20K in this case.

Nice, I'm sure they can rationalize that in some way!


Posted by lazlo, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 21, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Great, another "yes" man for the Keene and Klein circus. Her resume includes being a lawyer in Ohio, so I guess if we need legal advise for litagation in Ohio the city is all set. Funny how residents complain about city workers salaries but feel comfortable with paying $200,000 a year starting salary for management applicants with limited experience. Keene and Klein continue their mission to create a top heavy organization spending millions on senior management pay and benefits.


Posted by Bob, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I'm sure this woman is qualified but I am getting a little sick of reading about new city executives being hired with salaries like this.

In this case, it seems more than a bit insensitive to the blue collar types, who have been asked to take pay cuts in recent years, to hire an HR director with a fat salary.


Posted by Is anyone Every Going to , a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Is anyone every going to actually report on King Keene's hiden salary where the Council actually pays him 50K extra into a hiden retirement account.

So I guess because they didnt want to give him a salary over 250K and pay retirement based on that amount they had to hide the extra retirement contrubutions into a fund no one else gets.

Everyone is hiding this fact. Go check out his full compensation!!!!


Posted by lazlo, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Criticizing Keene and Klein doesn't fit into the Weekly's agenda or sell ads for their paper. Reporting on Keene's "comfortable" relationship with Councilmember Klein or reporting on Keene's bilking of taxpayers money for his benefit and salary compensation (yearly bonus, taxpayer paid property tax on city bought house, auto allowance, etc., etc.) might be too much for a small newpaper like the Weekly. Notice how quickly this story on new senior management disappeared from main page of Palo Alto Online.


Posted by I said it!, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Mar 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Palo Alto officials need to be investigated for fraud. There is plenty of it going on.


Posted by Resident and Employee, a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm

It's City Press releases from Jim Keene not Journalism, Klein and Keene are succeeding in making Palo Alto "Progressive" by utilizing the Weekly and Gennady Sheyer like a tool.
This is not journalism.
Where in this article does it say WHICH unions?
Where in this article does it refer to the NLRB case where in 2010 Kaisers Management and SEIU were in collusion to commit fraud on employees? Shen is a lawyer and would have known of this case - and as an HR personnel was she party to it?
The Weekly's continued publication of PRESS RELEASES from James Keene and Larry Klein without investigation are an outright attack on city employees and perform a perpetration of hostility and half truths for encouraging the public's ire.


Posted by Employee and Resident, a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm

If you want real facts and figures go back to the Meeting minutes for last Monday the 19 and look at the councils budget report. The employees are already gouged enough for the city savings. & YET the Weekly did not publish that.

What are the effects of this? Employees have lost homes over these cuts. Employees cannot help their kids with college. Employees work in a hostile public environment where the citizens believe that the Weekly is truth.

Why does no one publish the real Keene and Klein "PPROGRESSIVE" plan to drive employees out?

Jim Keene and Klein are doing outright attacks on employees through the Weekly and you may think - so what? Are you aware of how many MANAGEMENT employees have come in at high salaries who have little expertise in their position? Look at the Development Center's newest manager who "has experience from the other side of the counter". Look at how the new IT manager hired 2 more managers underneath him.

How do issues like the Park land turn out to be the 150 - 260 million dollar waste treatment center run up? Yet no controversy on the cost?

How does arbitration become an issue about as the city lawyer says something about the fire departments lack of regard for citizens citizens right to choose" and NOT that arbitrators must INVESTIGATE both sides? Mediation is a great way NOT to investigate the city.


Posted by Mark Weiss , a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I am watching via tv an outrageous set of presentations "Discussion on Benefits & Strategies" tonight's council months after publication of this and was so dismayed by statements by Kathryn Shen that I booted my laptop and starting sussing around.

The staff report attached says she is "Chief People Officer" which sounds pretty Orwellian to me or something out of the George Clooney movie about the corporate hatchets who fly around to fire other people.

I question whether Jim Keane's tack on budget issues isn't going to result in we the taxpayers getting less for our dollar. How could we possibly be attracting the best people in such an anti-worker environment?

Web Link

It seems that Kathryn Shen's job is to help fire people, break their unions or be the fall person -- she has an at-will contract -- if the public decides that indeed Keane is on the wrong track. I am fairly mortified.


Posted by "Chief People Officer", a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm

When the City Manager hires a Human Resources manager and calls her "Chief People Officer" one wonders what other manipulation is planned or in motion.
It could be Mr. Keene's desire to be folksy and to talk down to us but it is really suspicious. Perhaps Mr. Keene just doesn't have a good sense of the English language. I wonder if her job description is different from the previous Human Resources manager.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Scottís Seafood Mountain View to close, reopen as new concept
By Elena Kadvany | 12 comments | 3,595 views

Who Says Kids Donít Eat Vegetables?
By Laura Stec | 9 comments | 1,835 views

Breastfeeding Tips
By Jessica T | 11 comments | 1,654 views

How Bad Policy Happens
By Douglas Moran | 20 comments | 1,147 views

The life of Zarf
By Sally Torbey | 8 comments | 770 views