May 19, 2008
Clem Lee: Some employees “aren’t worth killing”
During a morning budget study session on May 6, Stockton City Council member and mayoral candidate Clem Lee said he believes some employees "aren’t worth killing" as he lamented what he described as hopeless parks and trees programs for which City officials are without an answer.
Lee (pictured) said, "There are different ways of handling these parks than hiring a bunch of, of, of employees, some of whom are excellent some of whom aren’t worth killing. Okay?"
When citizens and City staff attending the session gasped in response to Lee’s statement, he retorted: “Well, I mean, I’m just sorry. That’s what we do. We hire – it’s the same model – we hire a bunch of ‘em and, and, generally speaking, and you can put – you know – you can put teachers in the same boat, you can put anybody in the same boat. You have an excellent bunch and a bad bunch and a bunch in the middle and you hope you can herd with the excellent bunch. And, and it, it kills us. It really does. Our, our ability to deliver services is pretty much not what we need it to be."
The City’s official summary of Lee’s comments published on its website made no mention of his reference to employees worthless of "killing" and innocuously reads: "Councilmember Lee commented that parks are central to districts. He suggested that the City give a park to a neighborhood and then subsidize it, adding that this has not been explored and it should be."
Lee’s remarks can be heard in their entirety on the City’s website by viewing the video for the May 6, 2008, budget study session continued from May 5 under the "Special City Council Meetings" heading here. Use the "jump to" drop down menu to find the "Councilmember Lee" bookmark seventh (7th) from the bottom. The portion of Lee’s remarks quoted above begins at about the 1:14 mark.
SCEA’s political action committee has officially endorsed Clem Lee’s opponent in the Stockton mayoral race, Ann Johnston because, in part, of her sensible approach to employee-employer relations.