News

Downtown Streets Team declines to divulge investigation into sexual harassment by top executives

City Council to consider approving new three-year contract with nonprofit, which refuses to provide report about claims from five former employees

Top executives of Downtown Streets Team have been accused of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. Embarcadero Media file photo by Sammy Dallal.

For more than a decade, Palo Alto has enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership with the Downtown Streets Team, a nonprofit that provides vital support to homeless individuals while helping to keep the city's streets clean.

The city allocates annual grants to the nonprofit, which assists homeless people by providing them with mentoring services, gift cards and housing vouchers in exchange for regular shifts maintaining downtown streets, parking garages and alleys. In addition to the grant, the city's Public Works Department signs an annual contract with the nonprofit for the maintenance work.

Former employees of Downtown Streets Team accused CEO Eileen Richardson, above, and her son, Chris Richardson of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior. Courtesy Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce.

Now, the partnership is facing a stress test. The nonprofit has been met with a series of allegations, some dating back to 2014, of sexual harassment and a hard-drinking party atmosphere fostered by its senior executives, including CEO Eileen Richardson. Numerous employees have said they were pressured to engage in the alcohol-driven culture to qualify for raises and promotions. In at least one case, a state board found the sexual harassment complaints to be credible and required the nonprofit to pay unemployment benefits to the employee, who resigned after four years at the nonprofit.

Facing complaints from five former employees, the Downtown Streets Team board of directors hired the Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer in August 2018 to investigate the allegations, including an episode in which Richardson allegedly made advances toward a female employee who was intoxicated and passed out at a December 2014 holiday party, according to a statement filed by former employee Zia MacWilliams.

The City Council was aware of these allegations in June, when it voted to allot $336,400 to the Downtown Streets Team through the federal Community Development Block Grant Program. While some residents, including former Human Relations Commission member Steven Lee and Stanford University law professor Michele Dauber asked the council to require the nonprofit to provide the Oppenheimer report as a grant condition, council members opted not to do so. Instead, they approved the grant with no strings attached and directed staff to engage with the nonprofit about obtaining the report before the next grant is distributed.

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In approving the funding, Kou praised the nonprofit for its "noble mission" but suggested that her future support could hinge on its willingness to comply with the city's request.

"They're going to come back next year for more funding, so there's that opportunity," Kou said at the June 15 meeting.

Kniss also suggested that it would be appropriate for the city, as a major funder of Downtown Streets Team, to see the report and find some closure on the issue.

"If there was some kind of allegation against one of us, we'd like that opportunity to put that to bed."

Since that time, city staff has reached out to Downtown Streets Team on numerous occasions to obtain the report. The nonprofit has not provided it. Instead, it submitted to the city a one-page letter on Sept. 16 that purportedly summarized Oppenheimer's findings. The letter signed by Downtown Streets Team Chief Operations Officer Elfreda Strydom states that the investigation concluded that "most of the claims were completely unfounded" and that "others were greatly exaggerated."

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"The allegations are many years old, and the Downtown Streets Team has made many organizational changes to ensure we are above reproach and that each employee's experience is a positive one," Strydom wrote.

City staff proceeded to inform the nonprofit that the letter is not responsive to the council's request for the Oppenheimer report and to request more information about the allegations, according to a report from the Department of Planning and Development Services. The nonprofit responded with a two-page letter that offered a few additional details about the scope of the Oppenheimer report. It did not, however, provide the report or any portions thereof.

The Oct. 15 letter stated that the Oppenheimer investigation took 11 months, involved interviews with 12 employees and culminated in a 44-page report. The answers, however, were brief and vague. When asked about the "specific charges" that Oppenheimer investigated, Strydom's letter only confirmed that the complaint came from "five former female employees with various concerns stemming from their time at DST."

The letter also stated that Oppenheimer analyzed the cases using the "preordinance of investigation" standard, which considers whether evidence on one side outweighs the evidence on the other side, according to the letter.

Styrdom noted in the second letter that the Downtown Streets Team has recently appointed a director of human resources and that the board has created an "HR governance committee to oversee all policies and procedures." The nonprofit had also sent out an online survey to all employees to assess the work environment and it had updated its policies to address some of the concerns, according to the letter.

Strydom did not specify whether any of the charges were affirmed by Oppenheimer. But at least one state panel had concluded that some of the claims have merit. In considering MacWilliams' claims, the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board concluded in 2018 that her allegations of sexual harassment and hostile work environment were credible. The ruling also alluded to Downtown Streets Team's failure to adequately respond of the sexual harassment allegations.

"The claimant's sworn testimony about the issue is accorded greater evidentiary weight and probative value than the sworn testimony of the employer witness which was lacking in conviction and frequently nonresponsive to questions posed to her regarding the issue of sexual harassment," the ruling stated.

A volunteer from the Downtown Streets Team, a community homeless outreach program, sweeps the streets. Taken on Nov. 16, 2010. Embarcadero Media file photo by Vivian Wong.

Downtown Streets Team has also consistently rebuffed the city's further requests for a more comprehensive report about the sexual harassment allegations. The report from Planning and Development Services notes that the nonprofit "maintains it has been responsive to the City Council's request and transparent about the harassment allegations." The nonprofit's position, according to staff, is that "the attachments are sufficient."

The council will get to decide whether that's indeed the case. On Nov. 30, council members are scheduled to approve a three-year, $323,244 contract with Downtown Streets Team for maintaining downtown garages, sidewalks and alleyways and for providing case management services to homeless individuals.

Despite the nonprofit's refusal to provide even a redacted version of the report, City Manager Ed Shikada is recommending moving ahead with the deal. The contract is on the council's "consent calendar," which means it will get approved with no discussion unless three council members decide to pull the item off the calendar for discussion.

But simply looking past the allegations of sexual harassment against its longtime partner without receiving the evidence it had requested could prove awkward for the council, which just two weeks ago publicly reaffirmed its commitment to diversity and directed staff to hold a community summit on gender equity issues as part of a broader effort to better comply with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), an antidiscrimination compact that the United Nations adopted in 1979.

Owen Byrd, chair of the Downtown Streets Team board, maintained at the June 15 meeting that the nonprofit "could not have taken those allegations more seriously." Byrd said that the Oppenheimer investigation found no evidence that staff was rewarded based on favoritism or socializing. He noted, however, that some of the claims from the former employees were "partially substantiated." These, he said, pertained to behavior that occurred at the 2014 holiday party.

Byrd told the council that while the nonprofit has made substantial changes to its governance structure, the former employees are dissatisfied with these steps.

"They'd like to see us dismiss our Executive Director Eileen Richardson and Program Director Chris Richardson. The board has chosen not to do so," Byrd said.

While Byrd assured the council that the issue was settled, Dauber urged council members at the June 15 meeting to demand that the nonprofit release a redacted version of the investigation report. Doing less than that, she said, "sends the message that the Palo Alto City Council does not take sexual harassment seriously and that you're happy to defer to staff recommendations even when they fall short of minimal standards for transparency and good governance."

Lee, who as a Human Relations Commission member had unsuccessfully pushed the council to demand the Oppenheimer report before releasing funds, also expressed his dismay at that meeting about the city's silence on the issue of sexual harassment at Downtown Streets Team.

"Transparency is the best disinfectant and the best way to put the allegations to bed," Lee said.

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Downtown Streets Team declines to divulge investigation into sexual harassment by top executives

City Council to consider approving new three-year contract with nonprofit, which refuses to provide report about claims from five former employees

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 12:50 pm

For more than a decade, Palo Alto has enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership with the Downtown Streets Team, a nonprofit that provides vital support to homeless individuals while helping to keep the city's streets clean.

The city allocates annual grants to the nonprofit, which assists homeless people by providing them with mentoring services, gift cards and housing vouchers in exchange for regular shifts maintaining downtown streets, parking garages and alleys. In addition to the grant, the city's Public Works Department signs an annual contract with the nonprofit for the maintenance work.

Now, the partnership is facing a stress test. The nonprofit has been met with a series of allegations, some dating back to 2014, of sexual harassment and a hard-drinking party atmosphere fostered by its senior executives, including CEO Eileen Richardson. Numerous employees have said they were pressured to engage in the alcohol-driven culture to qualify for raises and promotions. In at least one case, a state board found the sexual harassment complaints to be credible and required the nonprofit to pay unemployment benefits to the employee, who resigned after four years at the nonprofit.

Facing complaints from five former employees, the Downtown Streets Team board of directors hired the Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer in August 2018 to investigate the allegations, including an episode in which Richardson allegedly made advances toward a female employee who was intoxicated and passed out at a December 2014 holiday party, according to a statement filed by former employee Zia MacWilliams.

The City Council was aware of these allegations in June, when it voted to allot $336,400 to the Downtown Streets Team through the federal Community Development Block Grant Program. While some residents, including former Human Relations Commission member Steven Lee and Stanford University law professor Michele Dauber asked the council to require the nonprofit to provide the Oppenheimer report as a grant condition, council members opted not to do so. Instead, they approved the grant with no strings attached and directed staff to engage with the nonprofit about obtaining the report before the next grant is distributed.

In approving the funding, Kou praised the nonprofit for its "noble mission" but suggested that her future support could hinge on its willingness to comply with the city's request.

"They're going to come back next year for more funding, so there's that opportunity," Kou said at the June 15 meeting.

Kniss also suggested that it would be appropriate for the city, as a major funder of Downtown Streets Team, to see the report and find some closure on the issue.

"If there was some kind of allegation against one of us, we'd like that opportunity to put that to bed."

Since that time, city staff has reached out to Downtown Streets Team on numerous occasions to obtain the report. The nonprofit has not provided it. Instead, it submitted to the city a one-page letter on Sept. 16 that purportedly summarized Oppenheimer's findings. The letter signed by Downtown Streets Team Chief Operations Officer Elfreda Strydom states that the investigation concluded that "most of the claims were completely unfounded" and that "others were greatly exaggerated."

"The allegations are many years old, and the Downtown Streets Team has made many organizational changes to ensure we are above reproach and that each employee's experience is a positive one," Strydom wrote.

City staff proceeded to inform the nonprofit that the letter is not responsive to the council's request for the Oppenheimer report and to request more information about the allegations, according to a report from the Department of Planning and Development Services. The nonprofit responded with a two-page letter that offered a few additional details about the scope of the Oppenheimer report. It did not, however, provide the report or any portions thereof.

The Oct. 15 letter stated that the Oppenheimer investigation took 11 months, involved interviews with 12 employees and culminated in a 44-page report. The answers, however, were brief and vague. When asked about the "specific charges" that Oppenheimer investigated, Strydom's letter only confirmed that the complaint came from "five former female employees with various concerns stemming from their time at DST."

The letter also stated that Oppenheimer analyzed the cases using the "preordinance of investigation" standard, which considers whether evidence on one side outweighs the evidence on the other side, according to the letter.

Styrdom noted in the second letter that the Downtown Streets Team has recently appointed a director of human resources and that the board has created an "HR governance committee to oversee all policies and procedures." The nonprofit had also sent out an online survey to all employees to assess the work environment and it had updated its policies to address some of the concerns, according to the letter.

Strydom did not specify whether any of the charges were affirmed by Oppenheimer. But at least one state panel had concluded that some of the claims have merit. In considering MacWilliams' claims, the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board concluded in 2018 that her allegations of sexual harassment and hostile work environment were credible. The ruling also alluded to Downtown Streets Team's failure to adequately respond of the sexual harassment allegations.

"The claimant's sworn testimony about the issue is accorded greater evidentiary weight and probative value than the sworn testimony of the employer witness which was lacking in conviction and frequently nonresponsive to questions posed to her regarding the issue of sexual harassment," the ruling stated.

Downtown Streets Team has also consistently rebuffed the city's further requests for a more comprehensive report about the sexual harassment allegations. The report from Planning and Development Services notes that the nonprofit "maintains it has been responsive to the City Council's request and transparent about the harassment allegations." The nonprofit's position, according to staff, is that "the attachments are sufficient."

The council will get to decide whether that's indeed the case. On Nov. 30, council members are scheduled to approve a three-year, $323,244 contract with Downtown Streets Team for maintaining downtown garages, sidewalks and alleyways and for providing case management services to homeless individuals.

Despite the nonprofit's refusal to provide even a redacted version of the report, City Manager Ed Shikada is recommending moving ahead with the deal. The contract is on the council's "consent calendar," which means it will get approved with no discussion unless three council members decide to pull the item off the calendar for discussion.

But simply looking past the allegations of sexual harassment against its longtime partner without receiving the evidence it had requested could prove awkward for the council, which just two weeks ago publicly reaffirmed its commitment to diversity and directed staff to hold a community summit on gender equity issues as part of a broader effort to better comply with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), an antidiscrimination compact that the United Nations adopted in 1979.

Owen Byrd, chair of the Downtown Streets Team board, maintained at the June 15 meeting that the nonprofit "could not have taken those allegations more seriously." Byrd said that the Oppenheimer investigation found no evidence that staff was rewarded based on favoritism or socializing. He noted, however, that some of the claims from the former employees were "partially substantiated." These, he said, pertained to behavior that occurred at the 2014 holiday party.

Byrd told the council that while the nonprofit has made substantial changes to its governance structure, the former employees are dissatisfied with these steps.

"They'd like to see us dismiss our Executive Director Eileen Richardson and Program Director Chris Richardson. The board has chosen not to do so," Byrd said.

While Byrd assured the council that the issue was settled, Dauber urged council members at the June 15 meeting to demand that the nonprofit release a redacted version of the investigation report. Doing less than that, she said, "sends the message that the Palo Alto City Council does not take sexual harassment seriously and that you're happy to defer to staff recommendations even when they fall short of minimal standards for transparency and good governance."

Lee, who as a Human Relations Commission member had unsuccessfully pushed the council to demand the Oppenheimer report before releasing funds, also expressed his dismay at that meeting about the city's silence on the issue of sexual harassment at Downtown Streets Team.

"Transparency is the best disinfectant and the best way to put the allegations to bed," Lee said.

Comments

Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 24, 2020 at 2:24 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2020 at 2:24 pm
65 people like this

From the PA Weekly...

>"The City Council was aware of these allegations in June, when it voted to allot $336,400 to the Downtown Streets Team...they approved the grant with no strings attached..."

>"On Nov. 30, council members are scheduled to approve a three-year, $323,244 contract with Downtown Streets Team...

>"...City Manager Ed Shikada is recommending moving ahead with the deal. The contract is on the council's "consent calendar," which means it will get approved with no discussion..."

^ PACC = a 'rubber stamp' committee?


Concerned Neighbor
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 24, 2020 at 2:24 pm
Concerned Neighbor, College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2020 at 2:24 pm
9 people like this

I think was the community needs to remember when reading these stories is that this Organization has had such a profound impact on homeless individuals in and around the Bay Area. I have personally seen the effects it has had on the community and unhoused individuals lives. Palo Alto online is not reporting on the Sexual Harassment within the multiple startups and tech businesses within the Bay Area and in Palo Alto. Why are we not talking about the gross divide in pay that women and men experience in the companies that run this town? Why wouldn't Palo Alto online write an article about how this City has no solid plans to create affordable housing in the community and pushes out the middle and lower class raised in Palo Alto. This article is another way to target the homeless population, further stigmatizing them. There is a very limited selection of non-profits in Palo Alto (really because the median household income in this city is $157,000) and this publication chooses time and time again to target Downtown Streets Team. Just another way Palo Altians are pushing out the poor with a "Not in my backyard" mentality.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 24, 2020 at 2:41 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2020 at 2:41 pm
67 people like this

>"This article is another way to target the homeless population, further stigmatizing them."

^ Not quite...the article (issue) pertains to the full disclosure of 'in-house' sexual harassment & intoxication taking place at the administrative levels of a local non-profit organization receiving public funding.

>"Just another way Palo Altians are pushing out the poor with a "Not in my backyard" mentality."

^ The Downtown Street Team, no...a dysfunctional administrative environment, perhaps.


Shwonder Sharikov
Registered user
Barron Park
on Nov 24, 2020 at 3:49 pm
Shwonder Sharikov, Barron Park
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2020 at 3:49 pm
63 people like this

Enough burning money. Just hire normal cleaning crew. Support hardworking people and get good results without drama.


Concerned Neighbor
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 24, 2020 at 3:57 pm
Concerned Neighbor, College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2020 at 3:57 pm
3 people like this

@Lee Forest
>"This article is another way to target the homeless population, further stigmatizing them."

^ Not quite...the article (issue) pertains to the full disclosure of 'in-house' sexual harassment & intoxication taking place at the administrative levels of a local non-profit organization receiving public funding.

^ Article aims to potentially de-fund a valued resource to low-income/homeless individuals.
Doesn't do anything about administrators within the org.

Report Objectionable Comment | Email Moderator


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 24, 2020 at 4:24 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2020 at 4:24 pm
44 people like this

@Shwonder Sharikov/a resident of Barron Park perhaps said it best...

>"Enough burning money. Just hire normal cleaning crew. Support hardworking people and get good results without drama."

^ A noteworthy suggestion.

Another possibilty...maintain the clean-up crew & in lieu of payment in various 'discount coupons', remunerate the workers with CASH & consider dispensing with the non-profit organization and it's problematic upper management staff.


Someone
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 24, 2020 at 4:40 pm
Someone, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2020 at 4:40 pm
11 people like this

@Lee Forrest
Another possibilty...maintain the clean-up crew & in lieu of payment in various 'discount coupons', remunerate the workers with CASH & consider dispensing with the non-profit organization and it's problematic upper management staff.

You obviously have not worked in homeless services and it SHOWS


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 24, 2020 at 6:10 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2020 at 6:10 pm
44 people like this

From the PA Weekly...

>"The city allocates annual grants to the nonprofit, which assists homeless people by providing them with mentoring services, gift cards and housing vouchers in exchange for regular shifts maintaining downtown streets, parking garages and alleys."

>"You obviously have not worked in homeless services and it SHOWS"

^ Assuming your point is that the homeless workers are incapable of handling cash responsibly due to certain predispositions.

Gift cards & housing vouchers are worthwhile considerations/options, no question...but isn't it a bit patronizing to treat them all like blanket conservatees?


BP
Registered user
Barron Park
on Nov 24, 2020 at 9:38 pm
BP, Barron Park
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2020 at 9:38 pm
36 people like this

Somehow, I feel the City of Palo Alto will end up paying a harassment law suit greater than the amount of annual money given to this organization.

Amazing what the CEO and her son can get away with as long as their work is considered "noble."


Due Diligence
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2020 at 11:01 pm
Due Diligence , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2020 at 11:01 pm
29 people like this

Of course the City Council must review the investigation report. It would be irresponsible otherwise to fund this or anyother group under these circumstances/history.

That the organization is withholding the report is only reinforces the need for the council to review the report. It certainly is not enough that Owen Byrd, the lawyer or whoever with the organization assures the City that its all fine, there is nothing to see, just move on.

Do your due diligence, City Council members and staff. Require the organization to provide you with the investigation report or don't give it the CDBG funds this cycle. Don't keep giving-in as soon as you get push-back (President Hotel, Foothill Park). This is the right thing to do.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 25, 2020 at 7:17 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2020 at 7:17 am
57 people like this

>"Amazing what the CEO and her son can get away with as long as their work is considered "noble."

^ It would also be informative for the public to know & for the city to disclose the annual salaries of the CEO & her son for their noble deeds.


Concerned citizen
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 25, 2020 at 10:25 am
Concerned citizen, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2020 at 10:25 am
55 people like this

I have been a supporter of Downtown Streets team for years but am not donating this year. Until this organization is forthcoming with the full legal report, I cannot support this group. If there is nothing to hide, then what is the problem of being transparent. It is a dilemma since I want to support our homeless who are trying to get back on their feet. The city cannot cave on their request for the report. Find a way to help these workers without supporting Downtown.


Local Resident
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 25, 2020 at 11:35 am
Local Resident, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2020 at 11:35 am
31 people like this

I used to be a strong supporter because I really believe in their mission but since the sexual harassment allegations I have stopped support. Without more transparency I will not consider future donations.


JB
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Nov 25, 2020 at 11:47 am
JB, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2020 at 11:47 am
28 people like this

We were one of the first supporters of the Downtown Streets Team and strongly approve of their mission. However, I don't believe that city council should award them a 3-year grant until the Oppenheimer Report is released. There has to be some reason why they fail to release it. I sincerely hope that they release it and that this mission can go forward, with or without the original director. Please stand firm, city council.


Rivertown
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 25, 2020 at 1:03 pm
Rivertown , Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2020 at 1:03 pm
31 people like this

The board of Downtown Streets needs to hold the CEO and her son accountable, by either sharing the report to hold them accountable, either by showing the allegations are unsubstantiated or they are, in which case Richardson and her son should be removed and replaced to avoid losing support from the City and the community for a program that has proven benefits for the homeless population in Palo Alto. The City Manager and most of the City Council are batting 0 for 3 in my book.


BL
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 25, 2020 at 6:34 pm
BL, College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2020 at 6:34 pm
28 people like this

Red flag: CEO Eileen Richardson hired her son as the 2nd employee, and her friend Elfreda Strydom is the Chief Operations Officer, and all three were present during the time of the alleged sexual harassments. Red flag: Owen Byrd has his own colorful past and is a leader of the board. City Council: How many more red flags do you need? Despite the merits of DST’s mission, DST owes you a better explanation before you give them hundreds of thousands of public dollars.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 26, 2020 at 3:14 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2020 at 3:14 pm
9 people like this

Who do think they are, President Trump? Our system runs on transparency, and those who try to evade it have no place in our public system of government.


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 26, 2020 at 10:20 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2020 at 10:20 pm
5 people like this

Is this part of the Homeless Industrial Complex?


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 27, 2020 at 7:19 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2020 at 7:19 am
29 people like this

>"Is this part of the Homeless Industrial Complex?"

^ More along the lines of unchecked non-profit organizations behaving badly.


hkatrs
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:42 pm
hkatrs, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:42 pm
5 people like this

Dear City Council and City Manager,

If you engage with the current management of Street of Dreams you are guilty of contributing to the mistreatment of their employees and should be ashamed, especially during this era of human awareness and being protectors of humane practices and decency!

Do not under any circumstances accept hiring them again unless their are explicit measures to investigate the managers and their acts of sexual harassment, as well as demanding protection of all of their employees.


hkatrs
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:49 pm
hkatrs, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:49 pm
7 people like this

Please email your comments directly to the City Council, City Manager, and Mayor.

[email protected]

And to keep up to speed with the PA Issues see - Web Link


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 28, 2020 at 12:34 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 12:34 am
6 people like this

I love all of the references to non-profits. The classification of an entity to the tax status of "non-profit" is a bit of a gimmick. It appears that all of the principals in the endeavor are making good salaries.

Any qualification as to the awarding of a contract should be based on cost to the city and success rate of what they are achieving. What they are achieving is "bad press' which they have created. The city needs to look at alternative approaches which have not crossed the line as to good and responsible management. Ultimately the city could get sued. Not in the cities best interest to continue this effort.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 28, 2020 at 6:42 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 6:42 am
20 people like this

>"The classification of an entity to the tax status of "non-profit" is a bit of a gimmick. It appears that all of the principals in the endeavor are making good salaries."

^ A good point....most of the money taken in by a non-profit organization goes to salaries & administrative/overhead costs with the CEO often clearing a six figure annual salary + benefits.

The actual recipients of a non-profit's publicly disclosed focal point often receive the scraps.

Web Link


Michele Landis Dauber
Registered user
Barron Park
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:28 am
Michele Landis Dauber, Barron Park
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:28 am
17 people like this

I want to make it very clear that Ed Shikada in particular and the entire City Council is failing all women and all workers with this shoddy and inappropriate response to serious and at least partially substantiated allegations of alcohol fueled sexual harassment inside a City contractor that has received hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and is now asking for hundreds of thousands more.

First of all, I want to address what Downtown Streets describes, inaccurately as the "preordinance of investigation" standard. Although this is such illiterate gibberish that it is impossible to tell what they are referring to, I believe it is referring to the preponderance of evidence standard. There is no such thing as a "preordinance" standard, that is not a thing, and it is a sign of the complete contempt in which Ed Shikada and Molly Stump apparently hold all women that he allowed this garbled crap to be sufficient to pass muster and justify even more money for this allegedly sex-scandal plagued entity without transparency and without even a full council discussion -- by cowardly placing it on the consent agenda.

Or perhaps the use of the word "preordinance" isn't just the nonsense word it appears but is somehow revelatory of what actually occurred, since it means being pre-ordained, that is, predetermined as to the outcome.

In any event, if you needed more evidence of city leadership not necessarily being the sharpest crayolas in the box, now you have it.

As to the substance of the issue, no one is at this time even asking to cancel DTS's contract. All that has been requested is transparency into the outcome of the investigation. Instead of the transparency requested by Council, the organization engaged in victim blaming, accusing victims of "greatly exaggerating" the extent of their harassment despite the fact that we already know that at least one state agency found the allegations credible. This is gaslighting.

Women deserve better than this. Taxpayers deserve better than this. If there is nothing to hide, release the report.

Michele Dauber


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:43 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:43 am
12 people like this

>"In any event, if you needed more evidence of city leadership not necessarily being the sharpest crayolas in the box, now you have it."

^ When crayola's get worn to the point where they can no longer be sharpened, don't most folks simply replace them?


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