Firefighters, Others Employees Celebrate Pinkerton’s Departure; Elected Officials Join In

Firefiighters and others gather at Uncle Vito's Pizza on Friday
Firefighters and others gather at Uncle Vito’s Pizza on Friday

On Friday, the Vanguard was tipped off that the firefighters were holding a celebration party for the departure of Davis City Manager Steve Pinkerton. Mr. Pinkerton had implemented a number of reforms such as staffing reductions, redeployment of personnel, boundary drop, and shared management services that the firefighters’ union had fought against last year.

Friday was City Manager Steve Pinkerton’s final day as Davis City Manager. He was hired by Incline Village back in February to be the General Manager there. And on Monday, Gene Rogers will officially begin work as Interim City Manager.

The Vanguard received a message: “I assume that you are aware of the celebration party called by Bobby at Vito’s Pizza for this evening, celebrating Steve’s departure. I have been told that some elected officials and some seeking a city council seat have been invited as well. Other invitees include members of the other City bargaining groups. Just thought you should be aware.”

The Vanguard has acquired a copy of the invite sent out on April 9 by PASEA (Program, Administrative and Support Employees Association) President Sara Williams, who posted on the PASEA Members Google Group: “Hi all, Just wanted to pass along to all of you that Bobby Weist from the Fire Department is going to host a get together (pizza, etc.) at Uncle Vito’s in Davis (524 2nd Street) on 4/25 @ 4:00 pm to celebrate the departure of our City Manager. If any of you are interested in attending, please e-mail me back so that I can [give] Bobby a head count.”

This is one example of the emails that were going around to at least the firefighters and PASEA. The Vanguard was tipped off to this after a number of employees complained that the event was in poor taste.

Email-Sara-Williams-2

The Vanguard arrived around 4:30. As the clock reached the final seconds before 5:00, there was a loud audible countdown of “5-4-3-2-1” that was proceeded by a loud cheering, indicating that 5 pm had arrived.

In addition to about a dozen firefighters and some other employee groups – the number of people never topped 20 or 30 at any point in time – a number of elected officials came to the celebration, each one walking up to union president Bobby Weist and making the rounds.

These officials included: Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, Councilmember Lucas Frerichs, Supervisor Don Saylor and School Board member and city council candidate Sheila Allen.

Some who attended indicated that they had no idea of the purpose of the gathering and believed it was an informal coming together of people there to drink beer after work.

One person indicated they were invited by Bobby Weist to come meet some current and former staff. They were a bit confused by the countdown and cheer.

Councilmember Lucas Frerichs has sent the Vanguard a statement.

“I was invited to Uncle Vito’s to have a beer and meet city employees – many of whom I’d not had the chance to meet previously. I was told in advance that the purpose for the gathering was “to get all the city labor groups together to start working together because Pinkerton is leaving,” Councilmember Frerichs stated.

He added, “I arrived at Vito’s just before 6pm after attending the DavisRoots Demo Day event downtown that ran from 4:30-6pm. As I understand from the VG report there was some countdown/cheer at 5 pm, and I was certainly not present…again, arriving at approx. 5:55pm.”

Councilmember Frerichs continued, “I’m curious as to why the DV is also not reporting/highlighting the going away party/gathering in honor of Steve Pinkerton which took place the day before (Thursday24th), at another downtown restaurant, that DV and I both attended. I, and others, found it quite noticeable that only 2 councilmembers were present at that event – to say goodbye to Steve, thank him, and wish him well in IV….but no breaking VG story? Seems newsworthy to me.”

Neither Dan Wolk nor Don Saylor responded to Vanguard queries.

Back in November, the Vanguard learned of efforts by Bobby Weist to try to get Mayor Pro Tem Wolk and Councilmember Lucas Frerichs to fire Steve Pinkerton.

There was a special closed door session in November prior to Thanksgiving, regarding Mr. Pinkerton’s performance review.

In September, the Vanguard learned from many sources that the Davis Professional Firefighters Association President Bobby Weist was telling people that he had three votes on council and that Mr. Pinkerton would be fired by December.

At the same time, at least one councilmember told the Vanguard directly that they were approached by a contact on behalf of Mr. Weist, asking them to join with two other councilmembers at that time to terminate the contract of Mr. Pinkerton.  That councilmember indicated that they were not inclined to join that effort.

However, despite the claims of Mr. Weist to members of the public, the Vanguard was told by at least three councilmembers that they had no intention of firing Mr. Pinkerton.

The Vanguard learned at that time, by sources who opted not to go on the record, that there was an active effort to fire the city manager.  That said, there were not believed to be the votes to do so. These sources told the Vanguard back in November that Bobby Weist had been vocally telling people he had the votes to fire Steve Pinkerton.

While the effort to fire Mr. Pinkerton failed, Mr. Pinkerton took advantage of an opportunity to leave, and in February agreed to terms with Incline Village. He gave the city of Davis two and a half months to find an interim and Friday was his last day.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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115 Comments

  1. Michelle Millet

    The Vanguard was tipped off to this after a number of employees complained that the event was in poor taste.

    I’m happy to hear that at least some employees felt this way. I’m sad, and a little disgusted, to learn that anyone thought this was okay and that they condoned it by showing up.

  2. Barack Palin

    “These officials included: Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, Councilmember Lucas Frerichs, Supervisor Don Saylor and School Board member and city council candidate Sheila Allen.”

    David, great scoop, now that’s reporting! Did you take that pic, it looks like one guy is gesturing towards the picture taker. Did you take any heat?

    If anyone again ever elects any of the named public officials above then they get what they deserve. I don’t believe for one minute that they had no idea what the celebration was about. Did you approach Sheila Allen and if you did what was her response?

    1. Michelle Millet

      I don’t believe for one minute that they had no idea what the celebration was about.

      I would be very concerned about the deductive reasoning skills of anyone who claims they did not know what this celebration was about.

      1. Barack Palin

        Please do, it would be interesting to learn of the elected official’s and union participant’s actions taken and their reactions to walking in and seeing you in attendance.

  3. Barack Palin

    Here right before an election where we’re being asked to pay more taxes which in large part are going to go to public union employees we have some of our local elected officials and a candidate hobnobbing with them at a party where the celebration is about the departure of a person who tried to get the runaway compensation under control. Unbelievable!

    David, can you get the Enterprise to report this, as much of the public as possible should see this.

    1. hpierce

      Would you prefer that the Enterprise also follow David’s lead in naming the folks shown in the e-mail pictured, and their personal e-mail addresses?

  4. Mr. Toad

    “Back in November, the Vanguard learned of efforts by Mayor Pro Tem Wolk and Councilmember Lucas Frerichs to fire Steve Pinkerton.”

    Are you ever going to tell us what these efforts were?

    1. South of Davis

      Mr Toad wrote:

      > Are you ever going to tell us what these efforts were?

      The efforts were successful, just like in the private sector when you find out the board wants you gone you don’t wait to get canned you either “get a new job” (like Pinkerton) or “decide to spend more time with your family” (like so many others)…

      P.S. My all time favorite is this guy:

      http://www.theonion.com/articles/executive-quits-fast-track-to-spend-more-time-with,394/

      1. Mr. Toad

        Those efforts, whatever they were, had nothing to do with Steve’s departure. Of course we do know that Steve did have a performance review that praised his many accomplishments. The real reason Steve left is that his family wanted to move to Incline Village. It isn’t some Ripley’s Believe It Or Not mystery. I discussed it at length with Steve. I have a really good idea of why he is going and I have no doubt that he made the right choice for so many reasons that the emphasis of the Vanguard on efforts to get Steve fired misses the mark by a huge, wide and total margin.

        1. David Greenwald

          Alternative story: there was an active effort by Lucas and Dan to fire Steve Pinkerton. They insisted on a special closed session meeting the week of Thanksgiving. They pushed hard, but could never find a third vote. They never took a vote. Pinkerton saw the writing on the wall particularly with Joe Krovoza leaving and Rochelle running for reelection, the perfect scenario came up and the opportunity to move allowed him to move to Incline Village. If it hadn’t been Incline Village, he may still be here. If they hadn’t attempted to fire him, he might also still be here.

          1. Mr. Toad

            How did this so called active effort manifest itself? If it hadn’t been for Incline Village Steve would definitely still be here. I know that because Steve told me.

          2. David Greenwald

            You know the answer to the first. I know Steve told people the second, I tend to agree, but there is the caveat that when the effort to oust him occurred, he told me that he would have to start taking these job offers more seriously than he had before. The effort by Weist to fire him gave him the motive, Incline Village gave him the opportunity.

          3. Mr. Toad

            Actually I don’t know the answer to the first question and I have been trying to get you to spell it out for months. I know that the union guy wanted Pinkerton fired but you have never spelled out what you are claiming Dan or Lucas did.

          4. David Greenwald

            I don’t have great detail here, all I know is that two of the councilmember attempted to fire Pinkerton during a closed session hearing in November, they couldn’t find a third vote and did not take a vote.

          5. Fremontia

            Because you keep making an accusation for which you have no evidence. You have no evidence that Dan and Lucas tried to fire Pinkerton yet you continually accuse them of doing so and smear them in the process.

          6. Don Shor

            Mr. Toad, using multiple log-ins is considered a form of internet trolling. You should probably choose Mr. Toad or Fremontia, and stick with it.

          7. David Greenwald

            “You have no evidence”

            That is flat out untrue. I have told you repeatedly that I have evidence, however, I have not disclosed that evidence to you. There is a difference.

          8. Barack Palin

            Don Shor, now that you’ve outed Toad don’t you think in all fairness you should out all the others posters that use more than one log-in?

  5. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > the Vanguard was tipped off that the firefighters were holding a celebration
    > party for the departure of Davis City Manager Steve Pinkerton.

    Great work, but I want to make sure you (seriously) “watch your back” after my years in SF politics a stunt like this would have a lot of people planning how to get the Vanguard and/or David out of town (and where to have the “going away” party)…

    > In addition to about a dozen firefighters and some other employees groups –
    > the number of people never topped 20 or 30 at any point in time

    Any “on duty” firefighters? I’m hoping Davis is not the same as San Francisco with a long tradition of being OK with “just a couple drinks” while on the clock.

    “A group of 28 San Francisco firefighters sued the Fire Department on Thursday, complaining that on-the-job drinking was “frequent, open and notorious” and asking a judge to force department bosses to do something about it. ”

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SAN-FRANCISCO-Fire-Dept-sued-over-alcohol-2691520.php

    > Councilmember Lucas Frerichs denied knowledge of the purpose of the event

    I just had a flashback to the week after “Jack Davis’ Birthday party” in SF when just about every elected official denied that they knew anything about the event…

    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/10/us/political-party-goes-so-far-even-san-francisco-is-aghast.html

    1. Barack Palin

      “Great work, but I want to make sure you (seriously) “watch your back” after my years in SF politics a stunt like this would have a lot of people planning how to get the Vanguard and/or David out of town (and where to have the “going away” party)…”

      I often don’t agree with David but if it ever came to that I would be one of the first ones to have his back.

    2. Matt Williams

      I arrived to eat pizza with David at 5:08, and as best as I could see from then until 7:00 (when David and I left to go to the Davis Roots event) there were no on-duty firemen in attendance.

    3. TrueBlueDevil

      An on-duty fireman in SF recently had a hit-and-run accident, and there was a strong smell of booze on his breath. He then disappeared for several hours, but was later caught on a bar video camera drinking large quantities of water. None of his comrades acknowledged seeing him drink, or having alcohol on his breath. I believe he still tested positive for a DUI, even after several hours of drinking water.

      I believe the Chief of the SFFD also was accused of tossing back a few stiff ones before showing up for a photo op at a fire.

      1. South of Davis

        TBD wrote:

        > I believe the Chief of the SFFD also was accused of tossing back a
        > few stiff ones before showing up for a photo op at a fire

        While others have been accused of “tossing back a few stiff ones ” I read the “Chief” was accused of “tossing a pint glass at her husband”:

        “The husband of San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White told a dispatcher that she had given him “two big bumps” on the back of the head with a pint glass and that he feared for the couple’s three children, according to a tape of his 911 call released Thursday”

        http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SAN-FRANCISCO-Chief-s-husband-said-he-feared-2660586.php

    4. nvn8v

      I am a bit late here but on behalf of professional firefighters everywhere I am rather offended you would lump Davis City Firefighters in with the cultural problems effecting a small portion of the San Francisco Fire Department (a cultural island as it were in the West Coast fire service culture generally). I would like to think most all firefighters know it is wholly inappropriate to be eating with much less drinking with anyone who is drinking alcohol while they are on duty. The overwhelming majority of professional firefighters hold themselves to professional standards especially while on duty. Please don’t let a single apple spoil the bunch. (for the record I work as a professional firefighter but not for DFD or UCDFD)

  6. hpierce

    A little bit surprised that David chose not to redact the employees’ names on the e-mail that was given to him. Suspect that the e-mail was not on the City system, but ‘off-site’, via Google. (which employees could view at home)

    I expect that there will be at least a threat of job-related retribution by the folks in HR against those employees named. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if it turned out that the e-mail was sent to David by someone high up in HR who had a really good relationship with Mr Pinkerton. Yet, David will protect THEIR name.

    1. hpierce

      Looked again… in addition to names, David has chosen not to redact their personal e-mail addresses. Nice. NOT!

      Gotta love “transparency”. What’s next, David? Requiring all posters to the site to use their full names and personal e-mail addresses? Would appear to be the right thing to do, given what you have posted today. But of course, you are a reporter, and will protect the ID of your source(s). Well done.

      1. David Greenwald

        Posting of the emails was not intended, and they have been redacted. I apologize to those involved and hopefully no harm came of the oversight.

  7. Tia Will

    I am amazed and disgusted.

    I have nothing to say about the presence of the public officials who may or may not have known the true purpose of the event. It should be left to them to explain their presence, and I would strongly advise each to do so immediately and fully if they ever want any support from the public in the future.

    My point is about the stupidity and mean spiritedness of this display of arrogance and lack of respect for an individual who was hired specifically to do a particularly difficult job and then proceeded to do it to the best of his ability through totally above board methods regardless of whether or not one agrees with any particular outcome.

    Mr. Weist in particular should be ashamed of himself for staging this particular little demeaning and undeserved
    “celebration” . Not because it is likely to harm Mr. Pinkerton, who now finds himself beyond such pettiness, but because of the harm his little stunt will have done to those whose interests he is supposed to be protecting.
    This has hardly placed our firefighters and those who engaged with them in an advantageous position in the eyes of our community. I find it difficult to discern whether this particular miscalculation was based on stupidity, arrogance, ill will or a particularly toxic blend of all three. In any event, it will have ill served any who happened to participate.

    1. hpierce

      You may wish to be equally disgusted by David’s failure to redact certain employees’ names and personal e-mail addresses. I don’t think any important information would have been lost if David (and at this point, I’d include the moderator and the entire editorial ‘staff’) had redacted the names and personal e-mail addresses from the pictorial.

      Mr Weist is ‘fair game’, yet the Vanguard has not published his personal e-mail address. Another ‘dark underbelly’?

      1. Tia Will

        hpierce

        I agree that not redacting the email addresses was not a good choice and has been corrected per David’s post. However, before you go painting with too broad a brush, I would like to state that not all members of the Editorial Board have administrative access to the site. Some of us have to go through the same route as you, namely notifying David of our concerns in order to have an article altered.

        1. David Greenwald

          My error, my error alone. I’d love to say it won’t happen again, but there are too many moving parts to make that promise. I can only promise to handle it when it does.

        2. hpierce

          Understood, Tia. David’s further clarification makes that clear. Sorry, I’m “old-fashioned”, but having two women’s e-mail addresses out there irked the hell out of me.

          As I’ve said elsewhere, the way the event was ‘advertised’ was more than a little “gauche”.

    2. SODA

      Agree Tia and well said. Until there is a statement from Dan, Lucas and/or Sheila I will withhold any future support. David, assume you will try to get a statement?
      As far as the firefighters, this stunt will do nothing to garner sympathy for whatever causes they feel they have. Interesting the boiling the frog story also ran today…..
      I apologize Steve Pinkerton for the behavior of some of OUR employees.

      PS: hpierce, in all due respect, I believe your point about email privacy is a separate issue and does not detract from the main story.

      1. hpierce

        I agree that the main story is important, and I have no grief with anything EXCEPT the pictorial showing the e-mail. Except for commenting here, not sure how else I could have raised the second issue. But the fact of the matter on the second issue is “that the ‘train has left the station'”, and there ore two people who have their persona e-mail addresses out there on the internet for all to see, and potentially abuse. I hope you don’t consider that a ‘trivial matter’.

        And before there is an effort to canonize Mr Pinkerton a “saint”, and putting aside what many think to be his positive contributions, there are other actions he took that were expensive to the City, and adversely affected morale. These do NOT include the contract negotiations, nor the Fire Dept changes.

  8. South of Davis

    Is it just me or does the photo David took remind anyone of a typical gathering at the Bada Bing! Club (just without the pole and/or the girls) when they were celebrating a “hit”?

      1. South of Davis

        Tia wrote:

        > I am curious. What is the Bada Bing! Club ?

        It was a (fictional) mob owned strip bar (you might not want to Google Bada Bing! Club at work)…

        Reading about the real mob and watching (some great movie and TV shows) about fictional mobsters I’m often amazed at the similarities between how the mob works and how unions work…

    1. Adam Smith

      Nice try Lucas, but how could one perceive that all the labor groups getting together be a way for them to start working with the city. Seems like any such meeting would necessarily be constructed to figure how to work together AGAINST the city. And the fact that Lucas and Dan were there, but not the CC members, should speak volumes as to which City Council members the employee groups think are best aligned with their needs/desires. Finally, we also get a clear picture that the only candidate for CC that the Firefighters and other union groups wanted there was none other than Sheila Allen.

      Very insightful couple of hours at Uncle Vitos’s!

      1. Mr. Toad

        I guess it depends on whether you think the relationship between city employees and employers is an adversarial one or a mutually beneficial one.

        If Lucas had an event across the street at Davis Roots and stopped by for a Friday after work beer its not as bad as the Vanguard wants to make it. As for those who cheered the departure of Steve Pinkerton I am saddened that they would do so in such a public manner and I don’t see how this helps their cause of advancing the interests of union members.

        The great failure of such sophomoric actions is that whatever Steve Pinkerton did to earn the ire of these people he did with the support and direction of the council majority. The next City Manager will do the same so as far as the interests of these employees are concerned no change has actually occurred.

      1. David Greenwald

        On Thursday, Steve Pinkerton had a going away party. I was invited. Rochelle, Lucas, and Brett Lee attended. Lucas in his comment referred to two councilmembers who attended that party, and I was trying to correct it but my comment made it appear to refer to something else, I deleted it and forgot to re-write it.

  9. hpierce

    Thank you, David, for removing the e-mail addresses, and hope that also includes the names, other than Mr Weist’s. I must say, the other names and e-mail addresses NEVER should have been posted (unless they were posting from a City e-mail address, in which case I might feel differently), and I hope this is a “lesson learned” by you, the moderator and the editorial board. Yet, those names and e-mail addresses were ‘out there’. Peace, and best wishes for the future (we can’t fully ‘fix’ the past).

    1. David Greenwald

      I agree with you on the email addresses. The names were the PACEA union president and a member/ organizer who attended the event yesterday. BTW, the original email appears to be sent during work hours on a week day – 1:38 pm, Wednesday, April 9. FWIW.

      1. hpierce

        BTW, PASEA is not a “union”, it is an bargaining unit “association”, which is basically required by the City’s Personnel Rules (the city does not want to come to agreement with individual employees). It is not affiliated with any group outside the City, unlike a true “union”, unlike the situation with your beloved teachers.

          1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

            There is no difference at all between a union and an employee association, other than a name. They are otherwise the same. All of HPierce’s explanation is incorrect, not factual and legally wrong. He has repeated this falsehood many times, and I have corrected him before. But he keeps up with the story, unwilling to realize he is just wrong.

            Source: http://articles.dailypilot.com/2013-08-31/news/tn-dpt-me-0901-unions-vs-associations-20130831_1_cmcea-unions-mesa-city-employees-assn

            Experts, however, say the law offers its own perspective on the matter: There is no legal difference between unions and employee associations.

            “Legally, they’re charged with the same obligation: to negotiate a contract for their members and to enforce their contract under the law,” said Robin Nahin of City Employees Associates, a Long Beach-based firm that represents 108 public employee associations throughout California.

          1. hpierce

            Sure… a “union” (ex. SEIU, AFSME, UAW, CTA, etc.) have an agreement with the employer that they are officially recognized by the employer as the “SOLE” representative of the employees of certain classes of employees. They can use the MANDATORY dues, enforced by the employer, thru payroll deductions for political contributions for candidates and/or issues. All employees ‘represented’ by the union have to pay the dues, or if they have bona fide religious concerns, they have to pay “agency fees” equal to what the “union” tells the employer is the cost of negotiation and representation in personnel matters, and have the employer deduct that amount, and/or set aside that amount to a charity, restricted by the employer, so that the employee doesn’t have to pay to the “union”, but still has to pay the same amount, less the amount that the “union” and employer agree is for ‘political purposes’. This takes an affirmative action by the employee, and the “union” makes this very difficult, proceduraly. [particularly CTA… been there, done that, my significant other has the T-shirt]. “Unions” often have State and/or Nation-wide associations with the ‘mother-ship’. And part of a member’s dues go to feed the ‘mother-ship’. Those monies go to political contributions and/or regular legal staff.

            Employee ‘associations’ have some similar elements as to being a sole representative (in Davis, mainly because the City requires ‘one voice’), requiring dues (same rules, but not ‘political contributions, nor “mother-ship”), but are fully run internally, by un-paid volunteers, mostly on ‘their own time’. They have no affiliations outside the city, and may have legal counsel on ‘retainer’, but not at full time status.

            DCEA: relatively small dues, no external associations, leadership is voted on by members, all negotiations have to be subject to general membership votes at the end

            PASEA: see DCEA

            General Management: no dues,no external associations, leadership is voted on by members, all terms of MOU’s subject to a majority vote.

            Does this help answer your question? if not, let me know what is missing. I never belonged to a “union” and never will. My dad did, and the union would tell hem when they would ‘strike’, collected his mandatory dues, paid “shop stewards”, didn’t improve his lot much (IAM), and had an interesting rule… you couldn’t join the union until you were employed by the airline, and their agreement with the airline said that you could not be employed until you belonged to the “union”… nice. NOT. My dad and I ‘hate’ unions. [the ‘work-around’ was a off-the record payment to the shop steward]. That doesn’t exist in the City of Davis, as far as I know.

          2. hpierce

            BTW…. until the 90’s, DCEA and PASEA were one unit… PASEA broke away because they thought they could get a better deal than the ‘knuckle-dragging’ maintenance folk. Arrogant and stupid. [in my opinion]

  10. Mark West

    Lucas Frerich: “I’m curious as to why the DV is also not reporting/highlighting the going away party/gathering in honor of Steve Pinkerton which took place the day before”

    This is a reasonable question by Lucas, however there is a big difference between a party that celebrates with the soon to be departing employee, and one that celebrates the fact that the employee has gone.

    One is expected, the other newsworthy.

    1. hpierce

      Yet, for about the last 7 years, the City has not expended one cent for recognition events upon the retirement of employees serving the City for 20 – 35 years. Yet, the City paid for/sponsored an event to honor a “long-term” employee of 2.7 years, who managed to “spike” their income and add 2.7 years of service, which will definitely help their CA tax-free (and NV tax free) pension pay-out. Goodbye and best wishes on your success, Mr P.

      1. Rob White

        HP – Although you are absolutely within your rights to demonstrate openly your dislike for Mr. Pinkerton, I do think it would be important to have the facts in order before making accusations through supposition. The “event to honor” Steve was wholly paid for by the executive staff, and beverages where the responsibility of the attendee. You have been very quick to point out Dave’s short-comings today in this story, but you may want to take a moment to take stock of your own perch before throwing to many stones. I think all would agree that your input is more than valuable to the community and this forum, but being partially correct while pointing fingers undermines your important contributions.

        1. hpierce

          I assumed, as the City Council made a point of doing a public presentation of a Resolution of Appreciation at a CC meeting, that they had sponsored the going away party as well. I acknowledge, based on what you wrote, that my assumption was in error.

          However, it used to be that the CC did similar resolutions to honor those employees retiring after 20-25-30-30+ years of service to the community. That hasn’t happened in the last 10 +/- years.

          What do you mean about my “own perch”?

          1. Rob White

            Simply that by throwing an aspersion with lack of data you undermine what otherwise would be a valuable point. You have much to add, as someone who appears to have had much public sector experience and has been in Davis for a long spell. I would encourage the community (both on and off the Vanguard) to dig deeper into the reserves of self-restraint – and where the facts support our ideas, put them out for public dialogue.

          2. hpierce

            Didn’t mean as an “aspersion”… was just connecting dots (however incorrectly) between the preparation (which I suspect, not meant as an aspersion, by city employees, on paid time) of the Resolution of Appreciation, its public presentation, and the subsequent fete. [know it needs punctuation, but don’t know how].

        2. hpierce

          By the way, I do not dislike Mr Pinkerton. I have a number of good reasons to have very little respect for his initiatives outside of the M&C and Fire realignment processes.

          As a person, Mr Pinkerton seems like a genuinely nice guy. The fact is, I’m pretty sure his was the shortest tenure of a regularly hired CM, and out of the last 8 City Managers, I’d not place him in the top 4.

          Back to the main thread… an invite by social media for employees to “dance on the grave”, was more than a little “gauche”. Rob… were general employees invited to the Thursday event, or was that restricted to “executives” and “electeds”?

          1. Rob White

            HP – Thanks for the clarifications. As far as I know, the invites to the Thursday event went out pretty broadly, including city staff. I was only one of several inviters – and my charge was to set up the room, pay for the appetizers (which as I mentioned, the exec staff have all chipped in), and invite outside parties. I am sure I missed a few people in my reaching out, which is why there were several of us doing the effort. It was not meant to be a huge party, but more of a mixer to give those that wanted to a chance to say “thanks and goodbye.”

        1. hpierce

          NV has no income tax…. not positive, but understand that if you are a NV resident you pay no CA income tax (might be wrong on that, but understand that is true). Don’t worry, the Feds still get their piece of it.

          1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

            HP, Nevada has an income tax. It is in the United States. Nevadans pay US income tax. So your claim that his pension is “tax free” is false. You should have said he won’t have to pay state income tax on his pension (or any other income he has in Nevada).

          2. hpierce

            Cherry picking again… a reasonable person would have understood I meant NV has no STATE income tax. I said as much that there was a FEDERAL income tax in my last sentence.

            Animus?

  11. Tia Will

    I have an update for those who are still open minded enough to care about Sheila Allen’s response.

    I spoke with her this morning and she informed me that she had not been informed of the reason for the get together, only that there was one. She stated that she was present at the time of the “count down” but was only aware of it because a woman behind her was counting and that she had not been informed of the reason for the count down. She further stated that she would be addressing this issue later in the day after completing her time tabling and previously arranged meetings.

    In the interest of fairness, I would encourage hearing “the other side of the story” before deciding if this is indeed a strike, or merely a “foul ball”.

    1. Frankly

      So she is claiming ignorance. That is a good quality to have to accept from a city council candidate, don’t you think?

      Or maybe it is the convenience explanation now after that that irritating Davis Vanguard caught her with her hand in the firefighter union cartel cookie jar.

      1. Jim Frame

        In my opinion, any elected official or candidate for office who knowingly appears at an event hosted by the firefighters union is making a declaration of allegiance. Optics matter in politics, and this was a classic ring-kissing ceremony. I won’t be voting for any of the candidates (or future candidates) who thought that publicly courting this particular union was a good idea.

  12. Tia Will

    Frankly

    I gave this a fair amount of thought and discussed it with a friend this morning. I do not yet know the answer, but let us suppose for the moment that her invitation went something like this:

    I call you up as a friend and tell you the following, ” Some of us are getting together for a beer after work tonight.
    I understand that some public employees that you may not have met may be there. It may be a good chance for you to meet some folks….want to come ?”
    Would you truly run a full investigation to find out who these people were, what there motives were and whether or not they were engaging in behavior that some have characterized ( charitably in my opinion ) as sophomoric, or is it not possible that you might have just said… “Ok, I’ll see you there” only to realize after arriving ( and hang your picture taken) what was up ?

    1. Mark West

      Plausible deniability is what it is called. Your supporters will applaud you, your detractors will doubt your story, and the press will roll their eyes and give you a pass. Rest assured however, absolutely no one believes you are telling the truth.

          1. Tia Will

            Perhaps for the very simple reason that the person issuing the invitation does not know me ?

  13. Tia Will

    Jim Frame

    “. I won’t be voting for any of the candidates (or future candidates) who thought that publicly courting this particular union was a good idea.”

    And I would agree with you wholeheartedly if they indeed had that knowledge and intent. I am going to wait to hear both sides of the story before making any judgement. If I do not hear a full response that is convincing, I will consider that also a declaration of sorts.

    1. hpierce

      I remember a former CC member who had a great quote “I never get into a pissing match with a skunk”. I don’t think that the absence of a ‘convincing’ denial should be an acquiescence of the merits of the “charge”. Not sure Sheila even reads the VG… from previous conversations with her, I suspect not, at least on a regular basis.

      1. Tia Will

        I have no idea of Sheila’s reading habits. I do know that she is aware of the article and its implications because she and I spoke about it this morning.

  14. Barack Palin

    So why weren’t other sitting council members there like Swanson, Lee and Krovoza? Were they invited and smartly decided not to show or were they not invited because these unions perceive them as not friendly to their issues?

    Why of all the candidates was Sheila Allen the only one there? Were the other candidates invited?

    It would be interesting to hear from any sitting council member or candidate that wasn’t there
    if in fact they were invited or not. And if invited it would be interesting to hear the wording of the invite.

    Frerichs stated, “I was told in advance that the purpose for the gathering was “to get all the city labor groups together to start working together because Pinkerton is leaving.” So if the unions wanted wanted to start fresh
    you would think there would’ve been more than just those four present unless of course they were the only ones invited? And if so, why didn’t they invite the others?

  15. Tia Will

    Barack Palin

    All good questions.
    And I think it is important to sort out the possible motivations of those doing the inviting from those accepting or not accepting the invitation.

    I think it is important to realize that just because a candidate is perceived as “friendly” by any given group, there is no guarantee that the candidate will support that group if they feel that to do so is not in the best interest of the city as a whole.

  16. Ryan Kelly

    The whole thing is distasteful. I truly believe that the council members and candidates were mis-lead. This may be a good thing, because these people will not forget this and will likely not be so interested in casual or social contact in the future. It is one thing for disgruntled employees to go out for happy hour, but to involve others without being upfront about the nature of the gathering is more than a little bad taste. That it was organized by the employee group’s leadership is even worse. A stab in the back is how I see it. The reaction may end up being a good thing.

    1. Barack Palin

      “That it was organized by the employee group’s leadership is even worse. A stab in the back is how I see it.”

      What are you talking about? Why would they want to stab these council members and a candidate in the back who have either voted or made statements in their favor?

  17. David Greenwald

    ***Statement from Sheila Allen***

    “On 4/24 Bobby Weist sent the following text to me ‘Hey we’re having pizza tomorrow at Vito’s. You should come by. It starts at 4pm.’ I replied ‘Sure, see you there’. When requested by teachers or CSEA or any employee group to attend a get together I have always tried to make it. It is important for elected officials to know their employees and the employees to meet and speak directly with the elected officials. I had no idea the get together was related to Steve Pinkerton’s last day. I did think it was very odd that David Greenwald was sitting at a booth and then taking candid flash pictures from across the room in a bar.

    I stayed about 40 minutes meeting employees and talking with them about their work and concerns and my candidacy and experience. I then went to the Davis Roots celebration across the street, the ceramics exhibits and then the Davis High Drama department.

    I enjoyed a morning at Farmer’s Market today, had an individual coffee with a constituent and walked a precinct this afternoon. I try very hard to be an accessible candidate and elected official.

    I will be a fair city council member that listens to employees, administration and citizens. As I said in my only other posting on the Vanguard, I wish Mr. Pinkerton the best in his new job. I do appreciate the concerned citizens that notified me of the misinformation being discussed about me on this blog.
    Sheila Allen”

    1. Frankly

      I did think it was very odd that David Greenwald was sitting at a booth and then taking candid flash pictures from across the room in a bar.

      Was it “odd” because she and her firefighter friends are used to doing this kind of stuff without fear of it becoming news?

      I think the probability of that is as strong as is the probability that she did not know the event was a celebration of the loss of our City Manager.

      In any case, the event was in poor taste and was inappropriate on many levels, and so it makes a person question what type of bad crowd does Sheila Allen hang out with? Or else it makes a person question her judgment in vetting the purpose of events before she attends. This on top of her actions related to Ms. Peterson and the volleyball-gate episode are demonstrating a pattern of poor judgment. Why would we want to elect a person demonstrating such poor judgment?

    2. Fremontia

      Interesting that Sheila claims she didn’t know that the purpose of the get together was to celebrate the departure of Pinkerton yet she doesn’t seem upset that she was sandbagged in this manner. Just another day on the campaign trail. Sort of like not pounding the gavel on Nancy Peterson or throwing Julie Crawford under the bus were just regular days on the dais. La de da. Vote for me. Not!

  18. Tia Will

    “Was it “odd” because she and her firefighter friends are used to doing this kind of stuff without fear of it becoming news?”

    What I think is truly “odd” is your take on this comment. How many times have you been having refreshments downtown and had David sitting in the room snapping pictures of you. I have lived here 24 years and that has never happened. I would indeed see it as “odd”. Do you really find it common place ?

    1. Mark West

      Are you running for office Tia? If you were, I can guarantee that someone, even David, would snap your picture unexpectedly. Do you really find that odd?

    2. Matt Williams

      Tia, I find myself falling about midway between your take and Frankly’s.

      The “oddness” for me isn’t whether Sheila saw David’s picture taking as “odd” or the countdown as “odd” or anything else as “odd.” What is odd for me is that if Sheila did indeed find David’s actions as odd, why didn’t she at some point come over to him and ask about it. That would seem to be the “unodd” thing to do.

      Sheila and Don Saylor were at Vito’s when I arrived at 5:08 (after receiving a phone call from a third party that (A) David had been threatened bodily harm by the Vito’s bartender, and (B) that he needed bodyguard protection/reinforcement). David’s location was at the table just to the left of the front door, which meant anyone who either came in or left Vito’s had to walk right by him. Despite that location, Sheila never came over to David to either inquire about his picture-taking or just talk. Alan Fernandes came over and pulled up a stool and talked with David for an extended period. Lucas Frerichs came over and talked for a while as well. So did Dan Wolk. One of the guests from Natomas engaged us in conversation. Sheila chose not to do so … either when David was taking the pictures (before he was physically threatened), or after my arrival. She also didn’t stop to talk to either David or me when she left. To me that was odd.

      For the record, when I went over to the bar to order David’s and my pizza and a beer (David very wisely was drinking nothing alcoholic), I said hello to Sheila and Don, and also struck up what proved to be a very interesting and respectful discussion with Bobby Wiest. It was when I returned from ordering the pizza and beer and talking to Bobby, that Alan had just come up to talk to David. In a sense those were the ying to Sheila’s yang.

      1. Matt Williams

        I would like to supplement my comment above. At 11:23 pm Saturday night I received the following e-mail from Sheila Allen:

        Matt,
        I just did something that I have not done in months-read the Vanguard […]

        For your information, in relation to your last post-I did in fact talk to David. Perhaps you should have talked to him before you posted. He took a picture of me ordering a beer and talking to a neighbor of mine (not a firefighter but someone in the bar). I asked David to come over and tell me why he was taking pictures and he would not tell me. I said I found it odd that he would be taking picture in a bar and he did not have an explanation. He texted me later explaining his motive.

        When it was 5 o’clock some woman counted down. I asked Bobby what that was about because did not know. I told David that too.

        Even though no one in the Vanguard world seems to believe it, I went there because I was asked. Just as I meet with LOTS of people when they ask. I received an apology from Bobby today for not telling me what the purpose of the event was when I ran into him on the sidewalk downtown.

        […]

        Sheila

        As I said in my e-mail response to her, Sheila, my comments here in the Vanguard noted that I arrived at Vito’s at 5:08 (I got a call at that moment, which is why I know the time so accurately). My comment very clearly states that my observations started at that point. Sheila’s e-mail to me describes events that happened prior to my arrival, and exist outside the timeframe very clearly delineated in my comment, which does reflect exactly what happened from 5:08 onward. I didn’t need David to confirm what I had observed with my eyes and heard with my ears.

        With the above said, I tnaked Sheila for supplementing my knowledge with her e-mail. Now that I know events that happened prior to my arrival, I can share them with all the Vanguard readers, indicating her outreach to me. That way the record will be complete.

        The perceptions shared by the commenters in this thread have plenty of ugliness and disgust … even a bit of innuendo. I know it must be frustrating for all the electeds and candidates to read the comments on the Vanguard. For the most part they indeed are negative. With that said, in our world of “perception is reality” I’m not sure that I would call the comments uninformed, as some have done. Each person choses their own level of informedness. What I think the comments illuminate is that the “information” that the commenters choose to share is unfortunately negative about government in general, not just individuals personally. Unfortunately, what I am finding in the extensive canvassing that I am doing in a lot of geographically diverse precincts is that negative perceptions about city government, the school board, the electeds and the candidates are the rule rather than the exception. There is a massive amount of mistrust in our community, and the recent months have only made that worse, not better.

        1. David Greenwald

          I did have a conversation with Sheila Allen about my presence. At that point I was evasive because I did not want to compromise what I was attempting to do which was observe what happened without becoming a participant. I later texted her to explain my motive and also provide her with evidence about that.

          I will also note, that Sheila Allen posted and emailed that when the countdown occurred she asked Bobby Weist what it was about, she never told us what his response was.

    3. Conroy

      Yes, if you are running for office and David is there taking photos of you doing the the thing you are doing… you should sit up straight and think, “What is really going on here?”

  19. Tia Will

    A couple of thoughts after reading Matt and Sheila’s additional comments.

    1. What we see as an individual is most often only a fragment of what is really going on.
    2. If we chose to decide that our fragment of information constitutes the whole, we are likely not only wrong,
    but often wrong to our own detriment.
    3. We frequently weave our fragment of incomplete knowledge in a supportive fashion into our own ideologic view
    of the world and use it as evidence for our version of reality.
    4. This misrepresentation then colors our views of others and their motives.

    For those who are irritated by my preference for asking questions, or preferring to wait to hear both sides of a story before passing judgement, this is the reason for my preference.

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