City Staffer Botches Testimony To Council on EAP

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The People’s Vanguard of Davis has learned that when Davis City Human Resources Administrator, Melissa Chaney, told the Davis City Council at the January 16, 2007 City Council Meeting, that the city’s 23 year long provider of Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Psychological Resources Associates (PRA) was not in compliance with the Knox-Keene, act she was giving out false information.

According to a letter submitted to City Manager Bill Emlen last week and copied to each of the City Council Members from PRA director Dr. Dean Dickerson, PRA is not Knox-Keene act certified because they are exempt from Knox-Keene licensing requirement. Therefore they do not need to be licensed as an HMO or a large insurance company would.

The Knox-Keene act was enacted to protect consumers (such as the city of Davis and their employees) from potential abuse from large HMOs or insurance companies who have a history of over-promising and under-performing on those promises. PRA provides health care services on a per visit basis and therefore operates as a “direct contract provider” rather than as an insurance company.

Dr. Dickerson goes on to write, “Unfortunately these large companies have used the Knox-Keene licensing issue as a false and deceptive argument to capture contracts that previously had been provided by local professional groups.” Essentially, these large HMOs market to prospective clients that they are Knox-Keene licensed and the small EAP providers are not thereby implying falsely that the small provider who is providing EAP services is doing so illegally or is out of compliance with the law.

This is exactly what has happened in this case.

Melissa Chaney acknowledged that she herself had just become aware of this provision of the law, just prior to the January 16 City Council Meeting, not during the RFP (request for proposal) process which was conducted during the prior six months. While she can perhaps be forgiven for not knowing whether the law applied to PRA, it is deeply troubling that she never bothered to ask a vendor that the city had done 23 years of EAP business with for clarification on this vital issue.

When asked by Mayor Greenwald, Chaney said, “we didn’t realize that this provision was even in effect, that this license was mandated until we went through the RFP process.” In fact, during the RFP process (conducted during the final six months of 2006) this issue did not come up as Ms. Chaney had not requested that Knox-Keene act certification be a requirement to provide EAP services to the city of Davis. Had she included that in her RFP (request for proposal) the current provider would have informed her that the Knox-Keene act did not apply to them.

Greenwald continued to press, “and you didn’t discuss this with the 23 year local provider?”

Chaney responded, “No. During the RFP process we just followed the process of going through the RFP.”

City Manager Bill Emlen made the unusual statement that they were not certain about this information. He even suggested that city staff might need more information on the Knox-Keene act and whether it applied to PRA, but that he felt that the bid by Cigna stood on its own merits. However, despite his statement the suggestion that PRA was somehow not licensed, changed the tone and course of the conversation.

(Click here to see the full video clip of this exchange)

Both Mayor Greenwald and Mayor Pro Tem Asmundson were sympathetic toward local business getting contracts if at all possible but they could not justify it when they got information suggesting that the local provider was not certified.

It thus was clear that both Mayor Greenwald and Mayor Pro Tem Asmundson’s positions were swayed by this particular issue–the lack of a Knox-Keene license for PRA. Asmundson stated a preference to give the process more time given the length of the relationship and the fact that PRA was a local provider. However, the concerns about Knox-Keene licensing finally swayed her to support Cigna. Greenwald remained ambivalent about it, in the end voting for both the “take no action” substitute motion made by Councilmember Lamar Heystek (to allow for further fact finding) and then finally approving of Cigna. Heystek was the only dissenter in the end.

While I too was unaware that PRA was exempt from the Knox-Keene act, I found the entire issue very unsettling because it did not make any sense that a person or firm who had been in business as long as Dr. Dickerson would be out of compliance with state licensing requirements. Moreover, PRA provides EAP services to many of the other local municipalities and other governing bodies including Woodland City, Davis Joint Unified School District, and Yolo County. To put it simply, Ms. Chaney’s claims seemed dubious.

Ms. Chaney’s failure to follow due diligence is fundamentally troubling especially considering that the City Council must absolutely rely on and trust the advice and information presented by the city staff. And Ms. Chaney has violated this not only by getting the information wrong, but by not making a simple phone call to PRA to clarify this issue.

Both Mayor Greenwald and Mayor Pro Tem Asmundson voted in favor of awarding the bid to Cigna and therefore can ask for reconsideration. Regardless of the merits of the Cigna bid (which I have serious doubt about in its own right), due diligence requires a full investigation into this episode to ensure that this does not occur in the future.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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40 thoughts on “City Staffer Botches Testimony To Council on EAP”

  1. davisite

    This current Davis city administration is showing strains and cracks.The sudden “resignation” of the city manager with Bill Emlen, newly appointed to his first job as a city manager, working hard on a steep learning-curve. Two council members whose focus is on their political futures in 2008. Mayor Greenwald is acting responsibility in pressing city staff for answers, both in this case and the waste water treatment/surface water proposal.
    She and councilman Heystek appear to be the ones on the council who have the interest and energy/focus
    to fulfill their staff oversight responsibilities and search for answers to the pressing issues confronting Davis.

  2. davisite

    This current Davis city administration is showing strains and cracks.The sudden “resignation” of the city manager with Bill Emlen, newly appointed to his first job as a city manager, working hard on a steep learning-curve. Two council members whose focus is on their political futures in 2008. Mayor Greenwald is acting responsibility in pressing city staff for answers, both in this case and the waste water treatment/surface water proposal.
    She and councilman Heystek appear to be the ones on the council who have the interest and energy/focus
    to fulfill their staff oversight responsibilities and search for answers to the pressing issues confronting Davis.

  3. davisite

    This current Davis city administration is showing strains and cracks.The sudden “resignation” of the city manager with Bill Emlen, newly appointed to his first job as a city manager, working hard on a steep learning-curve. Two council members whose focus is on their political futures in 2008. Mayor Greenwald is acting responsibility in pressing city staff for answers, both in this case and the waste water treatment/surface water proposal.
    She and councilman Heystek appear to be the ones on the council who have the interest and energy/focus
    to fulfill their staff oversight responsibilities and search for answers to the pressing issues confronting Davis.

  4. davisite

    This current Davis city administration is showing strains and cracks.The sudden “resignation” of the city manager with Bill Emlen, newly appointed to his first job as a city manager, working hard on a steep learning-curve. Two council members whose focus is on their political futures in 2008. Mayor Greenwald is acting responsibility in pressing city staff for answers, both in this case and the waste water treatment/surface water proposal.
    She and councilman Heystek appear to be the ones on the council who have the interest and energy/focus
    to fulfill their staff oversight responsibilities and search for answers to the pressing issues confronting Davis.

  5. Anonymous

    Doug Paul Davis & the Vanguard–you were right to be “dubious” of the presentation and claims made by Melissa Chaney before the city council on January 16. Her presentation seemed flawed and suspect to many observers.

    But now we know it was a clear example of a city staffer misleading and manipulating the RFP and the city council decision making process by providing false information.

    You are correct: “the City Council must absolutely rely on and trust the advice and information presented by city staff.” Therefore, it is extremely troubling to discover that Ms. Chaney has violated that trust by deliberately providing false information in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers.

    Thank you for digging into this issue and providing insight, analysis and once again demonstrating the need for the city manager and the city council to provide critical oversight to city staff actions and recommendations. The buck stops with them and here is a situation where a staffer flat out misled them. It will be interesting to see what they are going to do about it.

    In the scheme of things this is a small issue, but if city staffers such as Ms. Chaney sitting right next to the city manager during a city council meeting will go to these lengths to misrepresent the truth regarding a longtime respected vendor to the city, it begs the question what are they capable of when the stakes are higher?

  6. Anonymous

    Doug Paul Davis & the Vanguard–you were right to be “dubious” of the presentation and claims made by Melissa Chaney before the city council on January 16. Her presentation seemed flawed and suspect to many observers.

    But now we know it was a clear example of a city staffer misleading and manipulating the RFP and the city council decision making process by providing false information.

    You are correct: “the City Council must absolutely rely on and trust the advice and information presented by city staff.” Therefore, it is extremely troubling to discover that Ms. Chaney has violated that trust by deliberately providing false information in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers.

    Thank you for digging into this issue and providing insight, analysis and once again demonstrating the need for the city manager and the city council to provide critical oversight to city staff actions and recommendations. The buck stops with them and here is a situation where a staffer flat out misled them. It will be interesting to see what they are going to do about it.

    In the scheme of things this is a small issue, but if city staffers such as Ms. Chaney sitting right next to the city manager during a city council meeting will go to these lengths to misrepresent the truth regarding a longtime respected vendor to the city, it begs the question what are they capable of when the stakes are higher?

  7. Anonymous

    Doug Paul Davis & the Vanguard–you were right to be “dubious” of the presentation and claims made by Melissa Chaney before the city council on January 16. Her presentation seemed flawed and suspect to many observers.

    But now we know it was a clear example of a city staffer misleading and manipulating the RFP and the city council decision making process by providing false information.

    You are correct: “the City Council must absolutely rely on and trust the advice and information presented by city staff.” Therefore, it is extremely troubling to discover that Ms. Chaney has violated that trust by deliberately providing false information in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers.

    Thank you for digging into this issue and providing insight, analysis and once again demonstrating the need for the city manager and the city council to provide critical oversight to city staff actions and recommendations. The buck stops with them and here is a situation where a staffer flat out misled them. It will be interesting to see what they are going to do about it.

    In the scheme of things this is a small issue, but if city staffers such as Ms. Chaney sitting right next to the city manager during a city council meeting will go to these lengths to misrepresent the truth regarding a longtime respected vendor to the city, it begs the question what are they capable of when the stakes are higher?

  8. Anonymous

    Doug Paul Davis & the Vanguard–you were right to be “dubious” of the presentation and claims made by Melissa Chaney before the city council on January 16. Her presentation seemed flawed and suspect to many observers.

    But now we know it was a clear example of a city staffer misleading and manipulating the RFP and the city council decision making process by providing false information.

    You are correct: “the City Council must absolutely rely on and trust the advice and information presented by city staff.” Therefore, it is extremely troubling to discover that Ms. Chaney has violated that trust by deliberately providing false information in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers.

    Thank you for digging into this issue and providing insight, analysis and once again demonstrating the need for the city manager and the city council to provide critical oversight to city staff actions and recommendations. The buck stops with them and here is a situation where a staffer flat out misled them. It will be interesting to see what they are going to do about it.

    In the scheme of things this is a small issue, but if city staffers such as Ms. Chaney sitting right next to the city manager during a city council meeting will go to these lengths to misrepresent the truth regarding a longtime respected vendor to the city, it begs the question what are they capable of when the stakes are higher?

  9. Anonymous

    Employers originally used Employee Assistance Programs to provide a safety net for employees with personal issues that may affect job performance. Today, EAPs are designed to offer not only counseling, but a wide range of supportive services that help employees balance the demands of home and personal life concerns, while remaining productive on the job.

    EAPs help individuals with problems by offering assessment and referral services, and also offer short-term counseling. California requires EAPs that offer more than three counseling sessions to any employee within a six-month period of time to maintain a state issued license as a “specialized health plan” and adhere to the regulations of the Knox-Keene statutes. These regulations require specific quality assurance processes in every aspect of providing services. They provide consumer protection in business management practices. Additionally, they monitor the EAP’s financial management and have specific solvency requirements. EAPs that stay within the three-session model must register as an exempt plan and not offer or provide more than three sessions to any employee.

    There are many non-licensed providers operating in California who are neither licensed nor registered as an “exempt plan.” Such plans claim to be either Knox-Keene “compliant” or “exempt,” yet offer more than the 3 sessions they are allowed to provide.

    Such companies raise potential liability for themselves and for the employers who use these plans.

    “Title 28 California Code of Regulations section 1300.43.14 (Rule 1300.43.14) establishes exemption criteria for EAP plans that wish to operate without a Knox-Keene license. The Rule prohibits the delivery of health care services, limiting exempt EAP plans to providing only services involving assessment and referral. In other words, the exempt EAP plan contract may not provide for treatment services,” says Suzanne Chammout, Chief of the Regulation Development Division of the Department of Managed Health Care. “Plans that want to provide more than three sessions in a six-month period must obtain a Knox-Keene license. We have several EAP licensees that have done that. EAP plans that have obtained a Knox-Keene license are not limited to providing solely assessment and referral’ services, but are permitted to provide short-term counseling services.'”

    Sean Fogarty

  10. Anonymous

    Employers originally used Employee Assistance Programs to provide a safety net for employees with personal issues that may affect job performance. Today, EAPs are designed to offer not only counseling, but a wide range of supportive services that help employees balance the demands of home and personal life concerns, while remaining productive on the job.

    EAPs help individuals with problems by offering assessment and referral services, and also offer short-term counseling. California requires EAPs that offer more than three counseling sessions to any employee within a six-month period of time to maintain a state issued license as a “specialized health plan” and adhere to the regulations of the Knox-Keene statutes. These regulations require specific quality assurance processes in every aspect of providing services. They provide consumer protection in business management practices. Additionally, they monitor the EAP’s financial management and have specific solvency requirements. EAPs that stay within the three-session model must register as an exempt plan and not offer or provide more than three sessions to any employee.

    There are many non-licensed providers operating in California who are neither licensed nor registered as an “exempt plan.” Such plans claim to be either Knox-Keene “compliant” or “exempt,” yet offer more than the 3 sessions they are allowed to provide.

    Such companies raise potential liability for themselves and for the employers who use these plans.

    “Title 28 California Code of Regulations section 1300.43.14 (Rule 1300.43.14) establishes exemption criteria for EAP plans that wish to operate without a Knox-Keene license. The Rule prohibits the delivery of health care services, limiting exempt EAP plans to providing only services involving assessment and referral. In other words, the exempt EAP plan contract may not provide for treatment services,” says Suzanne Chammout, Chief of the Regulation Development Division of the Department of Managed Health Care. “Plans that want to provide more than three sessions in a six-month period must obtain a Knox-Keene license. We have several EAP licensees that have done that. EAP plans that have obtained a Knox-Keene license are not limited to providing solely assessment and referral’ services, but are permitted to provide short-term counseling services.'”

    Sean Fogarty

  11. Anonymous

    Employers originally used Employee Assistance Programs to provide a safety net for employees with personal issues that may affect job performance. Today, EAPs are designed to offer not only counseling, but a wide range of supportive services that help employees balance the demands of home and personal life concerns, while remaining productive on the job.

    EAPs help individuals with problems by offering assessment and referral services, and also offer short-term counseling. California requires EAPs that offer more than three counseling sessions to any employee within a six-month period of time to maintain a state issued license as a “specialized health plan” and adhere to the regulations of the Knox-Keene statutes. These regulations require specific quality assurance processes in every aspect of providing services. They provide consumer protection in business management practices. Additionally, they monitor the EAP’s financial management and have specific solvency requirements. EAPs that stay within the three-session model must register as an exempt plan and not offer or provide more than three sessions to any employee.

    There are many non-licensed providers operating in California who are neither licensed nor registered as an “exempt plan.” Such plans claim to be either Knox-Keene “compliant” or “exempt,” yet offer more than the 3 sessions they are allowed to provide.

    Such companies raise potential liability for themselves and for the employers who use these plans.

    “Title 28 California Code of Regulations section 1300.43.14 (Rule 1300.43.14) establishes exemption criteria for EAP plans that wish to operate without a Knox-Keene license. The Rule prohibits the delivery of health care services, limiting exempt EAP plans to providing only services involving assessment and referral. In other words, the exempt EAP plan contract may not provide for treatment services,” says Suzanne Chammout, Chief of the Regulation Development Division of the Department of Managed Health Care. “Plans that want to provide more than three sessions in a six-month period must obtain a Knox-Keene license. We have several EAP licensees that have done that. EAP plans that have obtained a Knox-Keene license are not limited to providing solely assessment and referral’ services, but are permitted to provide short-term counseling services.'”

    Sean Fogarty

  12. Anonymous

    Employers originally used Employee Assistance Programs to provide a safety net for employees with personal issues that may affect job performance. Today, EAPs are designed to offer not only counseling, but a wide range of supportive services that help employees balance the demands of home and personal life concerns, while remaining productive on the job.

    EAPs help individuals with problems by offering assessment and referral services, and also offer short-term counseling. California requires EAPs that offer more than three counseling sessions to any employee within a six-month period of time to maintain a state issued license as a “specialized health plan” and adhere to the regulations of the Knox-Keene statutes. These regulations require specific quality assurance processes in every aspect of providing services. They provide consumer protection in business management practices. Additionally, they monitor the EAP’s financial management and have specific solvency requirements. EAPs that stay within the three-session model must register as an exempt plan and not offer or provide more than three sessions to any employee.

    There are many non-licensed providers operating in California who are neither licensed nor registered as an “exempt plan.” Such plans claim to be either Knox-Keene “compliant” or “exempt,” yet offer more than the 3 sessions they are allowed to provide.

    Such companies raise potential liability for themselves and for the employers who use these plans.

    “Title 28 California Code of Regulations section 1300.43.14 (Rule 1300.43.14) establishes exemption criteria for EAP plans that wish to operate without a Knox-Keene license. The Rule prohibits the delivery of health care services, limiting exempt EAP plans to providing only services involving assessment and referral. In other words, the exempt EAP plan contract may not provide for treatment services,” says Suzanne Chammout, Chief of the Regulation Development Division of the Department of Managed Health Care. “Plans that want to provide more than three sessions in a six-month period must obtain a Knox-Keene license. We have several EAP licensees that have done that. EAP plans that have obtained a Knox-Keene license are not limited to providing solely assessment and referral’ services, but are permitted to provide short-term counseling services.'”

    Sean Fogarty

  13. davisite

    Ms. Chaney did an inadequate job. It is not necessary to invoke sinister motives.What is revealing is that Saylor and Souza with Asmundson going along(although she offers no explanation of her reasoning ) FAILED to ask the most obvious question that EVERYONE at home or in the council chamber knew needed an answer.

  14. davisite

    Ms. Chaney did an inadequate job. It is not necessary to invoke sinister motives.What is revealing is that Saylor and Souza with Asmundson going along(although she offers no explanation of her reasoning ) FAILED to ask the most obvious question that EVERYONE at home or in the council chamber knew needed an answer.

  15. davisite

    Ms. Chaney did an inadequate job. It is not necessary to invoke sinister motives.What is revealing is that Saylor and Souza with Asmundson going along(although she offers no explanation of her reasoning ) FAILED to ask the most obvious question that EVERYONE at home or in the council chamber knew needed an answer.

  16. davisite

    Ms. Chaney did an inadequate job. It is not necessary to invoke sinister motives.What is revealing is that Saylor and Souza with Asmundson going along(although she offers no explanation of her reasoning ) FAILED to ask the most obvious question that EVERYONE at home or in the council chamber knew needed an answer.

  17. Anonymous

    Psychological Resource Associates is not a Health Maintenance Organization
    nor an insurance company. PRA provided limited health services, i.e. psychological services, on an hourly basis and billed accordingly. PRA operates as a “direct contract provider” like any other vendor and not as an “insurance company.”

    And therefore they are not bound by those guidelines.

  18. Anonymous

    Psychological Resource Associates is not a Health Maintenance Organization
    nor an insurance company. PRA provided limited health services, i.e. psychological services, on an hourly basis and billed accordingly. PRA operates as a “direct contract provider” like any other vendor and not as an “insurance company.”

    And therefore they are not bound by those guidelines.

  19. Anonymous

    Psychological Resource Associates is not a Health Maintenance Organization
    nor an insurance company. PRA provided limited health services, i.e. psychological services, on an hourly basis and billed accordingly. PRA operates as a “direct contract provider” like any other vendor and not as an “insurance company.”

    And therefore they are not bound by those guidelines.

  20. Anonymous

    Psychological Resource Associates is not a Health Maintenance Organization
    nor an insurance company. PRA provided limited health services, i.e. psychological services, on an hourly basis and billed accordingly. PRA operates as a “direct contract provider” like any other vendor and not as an “insurance company.”

    And therefore they are not bound by those guidelines.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    …it is extremely troubling to discover that Ms. Chaney has violated that trust by deliberately providing false information in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers.

    This is a malicious example of libel. No one other than this anonymous person, not even David Greenwald, claimed that Ms. Chaney deliberately provided false information.

    If Mr. Greenwald’s report is correct, then she made a mistake. That is not good. But it is a HUGE STRETCH to slander Ms. Chaney by saying she deliberately provided false information.

    Maybe even worse is the second instance of libel in the above quoted sentence: that Ms. Chaney allegedly provided this false information “in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision.”

    This slander assumes some kind of malicious motivation on the part of a city employee, where absolutely no evidence exists to attribute such motives to her. I don’t know Ms. Chaney. I’d never even heard of her before. But I’d be shocked if she doesn’t at least attempt to obtain an apology from this anonymous slanderer, if she has not already filed a suit for libel.

    No one, not even a civil servant who allegedly made a mistake, deserves to have her name dragged through the mud, where the mud itself is largely unfounded defamation by someone too cowardly to put his name on his words.

  22. Rich Rifkin

    …it is extremely troubling to discover that Ms. Chaney has violated that trust by deliberately providing false information in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers.

    This is a malicious example of libel. No one other than this anonymous person, not even David Greenwald, claimed that Ms. Chaney deliberately provided false information.

    If Mr. Greenwald’s report is correct, then she made a mistake. That is not good. But it is a HUGE STRETCH to slander Ms. Chaney by saying she deliberately provided false information.

    Maybe even worse is the second instance of libel in the above quoted sentence: that Ms. Chaney allegedly provided this false information “in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision.”

    This slander assumes some kind of malicious motivation on the part of a city employee, where absolutely no evidence exists to attribute such motives to her. I don’t know Ms. Chaney. I’d never even heard of her before. But I’d be shocked if she doesn’t at least attempt to obtain an apology from this anonymous slanderer, if she has not already filed a suit for libel.

    No one, not even a civil servant who allegedly made a mistake, deserves to have her name dragged through the mud, where the mud itself is largely unfounded defamation by someone too cowardly to put his name on his words.

  23. Rich Rifkin

    …it is extremely troubling to discover that Ms. Chaney has violated that trust by deliberately providing false information in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers.

    This is a malicious example of libel. No one other than this anonymous person, not even David Greenwald, claimed that Ms. Chaney deliberately provided false information.

    If Mr. Greenwald’s report is correct, then she made a mistake. That is not good. But it is a HUGE STRETCH to slander Ms. Chaney by saying she deliberately provided false information.

    Maybe even worse is the second instance of libel in the above quoted sentence: that Ms. Chaney allegedly provided this false information “in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision.”

    This slander assumes some kind of malicious motivation on the part of a city employee, where absolutely no evidence exists to attribute such motives to her. I don’t know Ms. Chaney. I’d never even heard of her before. But I’d be shocked if she doesn’t at least attempt to obtain an apology from this anonymous slanderer, if she has not already filed a suit for libel.

    No one, not even a civil servant who allegedly made a mistake, deserves to have her name dragged through the mud, where the mud itself is largely unfounded defamation by someone too cowardly to put his name on his words.

  24. Rich Rifkin

    …it is extremely troubling to discover that Ms. Chaney has violated that trust by deliberately providing false information in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers.

    This is a malicious example of libel. No one other than this anonymous person, not even David Greenwald, claimed that Ms. Chaney deliberately provided false information.

    If Mr. Greenwald’s report is correct, then she made a mistake. That is not good. But it is a HUGE STRETCH to slander Ms. Chaney by saying she deliberately provided false information.

    Maybe even worse is the second instance of libel in the above quoted sentence: that Ms. Chaney allegedly provided this false information “in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision.”

    This slander assumes some kind of malicious motivation on the part of a city employee, where absolutely no evidence exists to attribute such motives to her. I don’t know Ms. Chaney. I’d never even heard of her before. But I’d be shocked if she doesn’t at least attempt to obtain an apology from this anonymous slanderer, if she has not already filed a suit for libel.

    No one, not even a civil servant who allegedly made a mistake, deserves to have her name dragged through the mud, where the mud itself is largely unfounded defamation by someone too cowardly to put his name on his words.

  25. davisite

    Accusing Ms. Chaney of malicious intent is out of line…without proof… , recognized by all thoughtful readers(Vanguardians) whether from a named or anonymous source. We don’t need more “heat”, Rich, on this subject. Venting one’s spleen is second only to …..now let’s kick back and light up a cigarette in the after-glow.

  26. davisite

    Accusing Ms. Chaney of malicious intent is out of line…without proof… , recognized by all thoughtful readers(Vanguardians) whether from a named or anonymous source. We don’t need more “heat”, Rich, on this subject. Venting one’s spleen is second only to …..now let’s kick back and light up a cigarette in the after-glow.

  27. davisite

    Accusing Ms. Chaney of malicious intent is out of line…without proof… , recognized by all thoughtful readers(Vanguardians) whether from a named or anonymous source. We don’t need more “heat”, Rich, on this subject. Venting one’s spleen is second only to …..now let’s kick back and light up a cigarette in the after-glow.

  28. davisite

    Accusing Ms. Chaney of malicious intent is out of line…without proof… , recognized by all thoughtful readers(Vanguardians) whether from a named or anonymous source. We don’t need more “heat”, Rich, on this subject. Venting one’s spleen is second only to …..now let’s kick back and light up a cigarette in the after-glow.

  29. Anonymous

    Responding to both Mr. Rifkin and Davisite:

    Okay, I understand your criticism regarding my earlier post regarding city of Davis human resources administrator Melissa Chaney. But, I disagree with both of you that my posting of comments libels her or defames her. (Libel requires a charge to be knowingly false).

    I do not know her motivations for misleading the Davis City Council regarding the EAP program. But she gave the council misleading information and she did it in a way that definitely swayed the council decision to change providers. That was, in my opinion, both manipulative and deliberate on her part as Emlen acknowledged, they did not know the Knox-Keene requirements that well and yet Ms. Chaney presented this information that PRA was not certified as though it were a known fact.

    As to the question of whether this was done deliberately or not I can only offer my subjective opinion based upon my observations of her performances at the November and January council meetings as well as having reviewed her staff reports dated November 22 and January 11. In all instances she was very deceptive in both what she chose to report and how she responded to council questions. She wrote those reports and made those statements and recommendations to obviously influence the city council decision. There is nothing wrong with city staff having opinions and giving recommendations, but she did more than that. She seemed to rig the process to advantage some vendors over others and she gave out faulty information to help her in that effort.

    Moreover, she was directly asked by Mayor Greenwald whether she had verified the information she reported to council about PRA not being Knox-Keene compliant. After all, PRA was a vendor with a 23 year long relationship with the city. And yet she did not even call them to check those facts. Her response was that she was simply following the RFP process, but in fact, the issue never even came up during that process.

    As to my comment that she was doing this “in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers” that is precisely what she was trying to do. Once she realized that the council might explore the option of further negotiation with the current vendor to continue providing the EAP service Ms. Chaney for the first time brought up the Knox-Keene licensing issue as an obstacle to retaining that current vendor.

    It is my observation and that of many others that this was the pivotal moment when both Sue Greenwald and Ruth Asmundson decided to go with the new vendor, because they were being told incorrectly by Melissa Chaney and again for the first time that the existing provider was not licensed to provide this service.

    I believe the videotapes will support my conclusions that she for whatever reason deliberately and unfairly manipulated the process to yes sway the city council to affirm her decision. That is neither libelous, slanderous nor inaccurate.

    Finally, whether I post anonymously or chose a pen name as Davisite does, does not weaken my argument, observations or opinions at all. For Mr. Rifkin to suggest such is simply an attempt to distract from the topic of which I write, by shifting the focus on how I choose to identify myself or not by calling me cowardly for choosing to remain anonymous.

  30. Anonymous

    Responding to both Mr. Rifkin and Davisite:

    Okay, I understand your criticism regarding my earlier post regarding city of Davis human resources administrator Melissa Chaney. But, I disagree with both of you that my posting of comments libels her or defames her. (Libel requires a charge to be knowingly false).

    I do not know her motivations for misleading the Davis City Council regarding the EAP program. But she gave the council misleading information and she did it in a way that definitely swayed the council decision to change providers. That was, in my opinion, both manipulative and deliberate on her part as Emlen acknowledged, they did not know the Knox-Keene requirements that well and yet Ms. Chaney presented this information that PRA was not certified as though it were a known fact.

    As to the question of whether this was done deliberately or not I can only offer my subjective opinion based upon my observations of her performances at the November and January council meetings as well as having reviewed her staff reports dated November 22 and January 11. In all instances she was very deceptive in both what she chose to report and how she responded to council questions. She wrote those reports and made those statements and recommendations to obviously influence the city council decision. There is nothing wrong with city staff having opinions and giving recommendations, but she did more than that. She seemed to rig the process to advantage some vendors over others and she gave out faulty information to help her in that effort.

    Moreover, she was directly asked by Mayor Greenwald whether she had verified the information she reported to council about PRA not being Knox-Keene compliant. After all, PRA was a vendor with a 23 year long relationship with the city. And yet she did not even call them to check those facts. Her response was that she was simply following the RFP process, but in fact, the issue never even came up during that process.

    As to my comment that she was doing this “in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers” that is precisely what she was trying to do. Once she realized that the council might explore the option of further negotiation with the current vendor to continue providing the EAP service Ms. Chaney for the first time brought up the Knox-Keene licensing issue as an obstacle to retaining that current vendor.

    It is my observation and that of many others that this was the pivotal moment when both Sue Greenwald and Ruth Asmundson decided to go with the new vendor, because they were being told incorrectly by Melissa Chaney and again for the first time that the existing provider was not licensed to provide this service.

    I believe the videotapes will support my conclusions that she for whatever reason deliberately and unfairly manipulated the process to yes sway the city council to affirm her decision. That is neither libelous, slanderous nor inaccurate.

    Finally, whether I post anonymously or chose a pen name as Davisite does, does not weaken my argument, observations or opinions at all. For Mr. Rifkin to suggest such is simply an attempt to distract from the topic of which I write, by shifting the focus on how I choose to identify myself or not by calling me cowardly for choosing to remain anonymous.

  31. Anonymous

    Responding to both Mr. Rifkin and Davisite:

    Okay, I understand your criticism regarding my earlier post regarding city of Davis human resources administrator Melissa Chaney. But, I disagree with both of you that my posting of comments libels her or defames her. (Libel requires a charge to be knowingly false).

    I do not know her motivations for misleading the Davis City Council regarding the EAP program. But she gave the council misleading information and she did it in a way that definitely swayed the council decision to change providers. That was, in my opinion, both manipulative and deliberate on her part as Emlen acknowledged, they did not know the Knox-Keene requirements that well and yet Ms. Chaney presented this information that PRA was not certified as though it were a known fact.

    As to the question of whether this was done deliberately or not I can only offer my subjective opinion based upon my observations of her performances at the November and January council meetings as well as having reviewed her staff reports dated November 22 and January 11. In all instances she was very deceptive in both what she chose to report and how she responded to council questions. She wrote those reports and made those statements and recommendations to obviously influence the city council decision. There is nothing wrong with city staff having opinions and giving recommendations, but she did more than that. She seemed to rig the process to advantage some vendors over others and she gave out faulty information to help her in that effort.

    Moreover, she was directly asked by Mayor Greenwald whether she had verified the information she reported to council about PRA not being Knox-Keene compliant. After all, PRA was a vendor with a 23 year long relationship with the city. And yet she did not even call them to check those facts. Her response was that she was simply following the RFP process, but in fact, the issue never even came up during that process.

    As to my comment that she was doing this “in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers” that is precisely what she was trying to do. Once she realized that the council might explore the option of further negotiation with the current vendor to continue providing the EAP service Ms. Chaney for the first time brought up the Knox-Keene licensing issue as an obstacle to retaining that current vendor.

    It is my observation and that of many others that this was the pivotal moment when both Sue Greenwald and Ruth Asmundson decided to go with the new vendor, because they were being told incorrectly by Melissa Chaney and again for the first time that the existing provider was not licensed to provide this service.

    I believe the videotapes will support my conclusions that she for whatever reason deliberately and unfairly manipulated the process to yes sway the city council to affirm her decision. That is neither libelous, slanderous nor inaccurate.

    Finally, whether I post anonymously or chose a pen name as Davisite does, does not weaken my argument, observations or opinions at all. For Mr. Rifkin to suggest such is simply an attempt to distract from the topic of which I write, by shifting the focus on how I choose to identify myself or not by calling me cowardly for choosing to remain anonymous.

  32. Anonymous

    Responding to both Mr. Rifkin and Davisite:

    Okay, I understand your criticism regarding my earlier post regarding city of Davis human resources administrator Melissa Chaney. But, I disagree with both of you that my posting of comments libels her or defames her. (Libel requires a charge to be knowingly false).

    I do not know her motivations for misleading the Davis City Council regarding the EAP program. But she gave the council misleading information and she did it in a way that definitely swayed the council decision to change providers. That was, in my opinion, both manipulative and deliberate on her part as Emlen acknowledged, they did not know the Knox-Keene requirements that well and yet Ms. Chaney presented this information that PRA was not certified as though it were a known fact.

    As to the question of whether this was done deliberately or not I can only offer my subjective opinion based upon my observations of her performances at the November and January council meetings as well as having reviewed her staff reports dated November 22 and January 11. In all instances she was very deceptive in both what she chose to report and how she responded to council questions. She wrote those reports and made those statements and recommendations to obviously influence the city council decision. There is nothing wrong with city staff having opinions and giving recommendations, but she did more than that. She seemed to rig the process to advantage some vendors over others and she gave out faulty information to help her in that effort.

    Moreover, she was directly asked by Mayor Greenwald whether she had verified the information she reported to council about PRA not being Knox-Keene compliant. After all, PRA was a vendor with a 23 year long relationship with the city. And yet she did not even call them to check those facts. Her response was that she was simply following the RFP process, but in fact, the issue never even came up during that process.

    As to my comment that she was doing this “in an attempt to sway the city council’s decision to affirm her recommendation to change EAP providers” that is precisely what she was trying to do. Once she realized that the council might explore the option of further negotiation with the current vendor to continue providing the EAP service Ms. Chaney for the first time brought up the Knox-Keene licensing issue as an obstacle to retaining that current vendor.

    It is my observation and that of many others that this was the pivotal moment when both Sue Greenwald and Ruth Asmundson decided to go with the new vendor, because they were being told incorrectly by Melissa Chaney and again for the first time that the existing provider was not licensed to provide this service.

    I believe the videotapes will support my conclusions that she for whatever reason deliberately and unfairly manipulated the process to yes sway the city council to affirm her decision. That is neither libelous, slanderous nor inaccurate.

    Finally, whether I post anonymously or chose a pen name as Davisite does, does not weaken my argument, observations or opinions at all. For Mr. Rifkin to suggest such is simply an attempt to distract from the topic of which I write, by shifting the focus on how I choose to identify myself or not by calling me cowardly for choosing to remain anonymous.

  33. davisite

    anonymous… It seemed to me that Ms. Chaney was ill-prepared to present this material to the council.. perhaps the RFP process that she carried out was equally ill-prepared.
    A lot of what I read into the exchange involved someone “on the hot seat”, trying to “cover one’s bureaucratic behind”. Yes.. this is manipulative but not necessarily with a malicious motive. I am more concerned with the Public Works narrative concerning the waste water treatment/surface water projects that they are advocating. Here, I think we have to consider a calculated attempt to “sell” their plan to the council and public rather than equally vetting all realistic options.

  34. davisite

    anonymous… It seemed to me that Ms. Chaney was ill-prepared to present this material to the council.. perhaps the RFP process that she carried out was equally ill-prepared.
    A lot of what I read into the exchange involved someone “on the hot seat”, trying to “cover one’s bureaucratic behind”. Yes.. this is manipulative but not necessarily with a malicious motive. I am more concerned with the Public Works narrative concerning the waste water treatment/surface water projects that they are advocating. Here, I think we have to consider a calculated attempt to “sell” their plan to the council and public rather than equally vetting all realistic options.

  35. davisite

    anonymous… It seemed to me that Ms. Chaney was ill-prepared to present this material to the council.. perhaps the RFP process that she carried out was equally ill-prepared.
    A lot of what I read into the exchange involved someone “on the hot seat”, trying to “cover one’s bureaucratic behind”. Yes.. this is manipulative but not necessarily with a malicious motive. I am more concerned with the Public Works narrative concerning the waste water treatment/surface water projects that they are advocating. Here, I think we have to consider a calculated attempt to “sell” their plan to the council and public rather than equally vetting all realistic options.

  36. davisite

    anonymous… It seemed to me that Ms. Chaney was ill-prepared to present this material to the council.. perhaps the RFP process that she carried out was equally ill-prepared.
    A lot of what I read into the exchange involved someone “on the hot seat”, trying to “cover one’s bureaucratic behind”. Yes.. this is manipulative but not necessarily with a malicious motive. I am more concerned with the Public Works narrative concerning the waste water treatment/surface water projects that they are advocating. Here, I think we have to consider a calculated attempt to “sell” their plan to the council and public rather than equally vetting all realistic options.

  37. davisite

    anonymous.. please do not lump me in with Rich Rifkin… I was supporting your right to comment as anonymous and only said that I thought that you were … over the line.. I did not accuse you of libel or defamation. My
    sardonic comment about the joys and “rush” of righteous indignation were directed soley to the “heated” response that you received from Rifkin.

  38. davisite

    anonymous.. please do not lump me in with Rich Rifkin… I was supporting your right to comment as anonymous and only said that I thought that you were … over the line.. I did not accuse you of libel or defamation. My
    sardonic comment about the joys and “rush” of righteous indignation were directed soley to the “heated” response that you received from Rifkin.

  39. davisite

    anonymous.. please do not lump me in with Rich Rifkin… I was supporting your right to comment as anonymous and only said that I thought that you were … over the line.. I did not accuse you of libel or defamation. My
    sardonic comment about the joys and “rush” of righteous indignation were directed soley to the “heated” response that you received from Rifkin.

  40. davisite

    anonymous.. please do not lump me in with Rich Rifkin… I was supporting your right to comment as anonymous and only said that I thought that you were … over the line.. I did not accuse you of libel or defamation. My
    sardonic comment about the joys and “rush” of righteous indignation were directed soley to the “heated” response that you received from Rifkin.

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