Milpitas City Manager Blamed for Toxic Work Environment

Earlier this month, Milpitas City Attorney Mike Ogaz called for a review of two unnamed employees. The 11th hour agenda didn’t disclose much, just that it had something to do with somebody's “discipline/dismissal/release.” In a terse exchange before the closed-door meeting, City Manager Tom Williams said he felt like Ogaz had put him "right in the crosshairs," though he wouldn't publicly say why. According to sources inside Milpitas City Hall, Williams was one subject of that review.

San Jose Inside spoke to a dozen current and former employees who blame Williams for creating a hostile work environment that's led to unprecedented turnover of department heads over the past several years. Many of these sources asked for their names to be withheld because of pending grievances or fear of retribution.

"The body count is pretty high," one former employee said. "There's a pattern you start to see. Someone goes out on medical leave, finds a new job. Or, they just see the writing on the wall and get the hell out of dodge."

While several past department heads reached for this story confirmed that Williams' aggressive behavior is the reason they left Milpitas, they declined to be quoted. A look at past news stories appears to confirm a trend.

Longtime Public Works Director/City Engineer Greg Armenderiz resigned while on medical leave in 2012. News reports cited an "undisclosed medical condition."

Kathleen Phalen filled the role as interim until the city appointed Jeff Moneda, who resigned while on medical leave last December. In an interview with the Milpitas Post at the time, Williams wouldn’t elaborate on the abrupt departure, except for a backhanded remark about how Moneda may not have been up for the job.

Acting Planning and Neighborhood Services Director Diana Barnhart stepped up to the role in 2011 after James Lindsay resigned to work as community development director in Saratoga, where he was promoted to city manager. Barnhart left her interim post after a months-long medical leave in summer 2012.

After a 50-year stretch with five fire chiefs—one served for three decades—Milpitas has gone through five more chiefs in the past six years alone.

"[Williams] can get himself into trouble if he keeps up with his demonstrative anger," said a longtime city employee. "The department heads, they’ve let themselves become his whipping post. To his credit, Tom does a good job ... but there’s no heart in it and there’s no respect."

Several former employees say they remember Williams, who joined the city in 2005, locking a department head out of her office and forcing her to work in a roomful of cubicles with employees below her pay grade. The goal was to shame her, a retired colleague said. In another instance, an employee's wife says she filed a police report against Williams, worried about her husband's safety.

A union rep, who asked for their name to be withheld because of a pending legal challenge against the city, said there are three types of people who work for Milpitas: "Those who just bide their time and stay under the radar; those who oppose Tom, who finds a way to get rid of them; and those who are scared enough that he capitalizes on their weakness and abuses them until they can’t take it anymore."

Nancy Mendizabal was the type to oppose Williams. In 2009, as president of the Professional and Technical Group—a union representing engineering, building, finance, recreation and clerical staff—she often witnessed the city manager's outbursts from across the bargaining table.

"Red face, bulging veins, raising his voice," Mendizabel said. "Listen, I’ve worked with men—and I mean only men—as a construction inspector out in the field for 30 years. I’m not afraid of men. I’m not afraid of confrontation. But I quickly learned that I was never going to go into a meeting with him, not without one of his administrators there, too."

In a grievance Mendizabel filed with the Public Employee Relations Board, Williams accused her of aggressive behavior, too. The board, however, upheld Mendizabal's claim against Milpitas, which alleged that the city violated her right to represent her bargaining unit after her layoff with dozens of her colleagues in 2009. Other Milpitas employees have taken their complaints to the quasi-judicial state board in the past few years, some of which were withdrawn and others settled.

Members of the Milpitas Oversight Board to the Redevelopment Successor Agency told San Jose Inside they have put up with personal attacks from Williams during what should have been routine meetings.

"I always think this is so damn embarrassing, that other people are seeing our city manager act like this," said Mike Mendizabal, Nancy's husband and oversight board member. "At a public meeting, no less."

Bruce Knopf, a fellow oversight board member and director of Santa Clara County's Asset and Economic Development division, agreed.

"I did not find his demeanor to be professional," Knopf said. "Attend one of our board meetings. You’ll see what I’m talking about."

Williams refused to address claims that he has created a hostile work environment, saying that the health of the city speaks for itself. Milpitas went through years of drastic budget shortfalls and a fiscal emergency in 2012. To cope, Williams had to lay off 14 percent of the city's workforce, combine departments and eschew medical coverage for council members. On top of that, the city lost millions of dollars in a lawsuit with the state over whether it could use redevelopment money to pay city salaries.

"We've gone through a lot with the recession and budget cuts, but those years are behind us and we're moving in a positive direction," Williams says. "The city of Milpitas, we're doing great things. The city's very healthy."

He referred questions about personnel matters to Ogaz, who did not immediately return calls for comment.

Councilwoman Debbie Giordano praised Williams for his leadership and said she's never heard anything negative about the way he comports himself at work.

"He got a terrific raise by the outgoing council about four or five months ago," she said. "He had a great review. He’s had a tremendous track record with our city. Nobody's complained to us."

A few weeks ago, Steve McHarris became the third planning director to resign in the past four years—he plans to start his new job as a planning official for the city of San Jose next month. McHarris did not return calls for comment, but sources inside Milpitas City Hall consider him the latest casualty of the toxic work environment. They told San Jose Inside that a complaint filed by McHarris against Williams prompted Ogaz to call for the closed-door meeting earlier this month.

Shortly after the city posted the closed-session notice April 6, it put out a revised agenda. Councilwoman Giordano asked to include a performance review of Ogaz as well. The city attorney and city manager are the only two employees the council has the authority to hire and fire. Because it's a personnel matter, city officials declined to comment.

Giordano said she called for the review of Ogaz because she was "concerned about the due process and how the dispute was being handled." She added that never in her 10 years on the council has she seen a personnel conflict brought up this way, to the elected board.

Minutes before the April 7 closed session, Williams was visibly upset. The council called off its regular meeting to talk about the issue which involved a complaint and a dispute between two employees.

"I just have one request," Williams said, addressing the council with his back turned slightly toward his colleague, Ogaz. "I've been asking for the information that generated this meeting by the city attorney. Can I get the concurrence of the City Council that the city attorney can disclose to me that complaint?"

"This is a matter that should be considered in closed session," Ogaz warned.

Undeterred, Williams repeated his question to the council.

"It's just a very simple matter that I'm just asking," Williams said, still facing away from Ogaz. "If the City Council can agree that the city attorney provide me the information. Just a simple question."

Ogaz offered another admonition.

"Mr. Mayor," Williams continued, "since this is a very serious issue and since the city attorney has put me right in the crosshairs and that now we're speaking about it, I for one would support ... the concurrence of the City Council to get the city attorney the information that I've requested."

In a 3-2 vote, the council agreed to adjourn the regular meeting to closed session. It's unclear whether Williams got the information he wanted about the complaint. No post-meeting announcement was made. But the performance review of Ogaz has been deferred to tonight's council meeting.

This article has been updated. 

Jennifer Wadsworth is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to jenniferw@metronews.com or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

90 Comments

  1. As a former employee of the city that was laid off after 12 years. I say he is a bully, it is all true. Fire his azz

  2. Its funny how San Jose inside is willing to write this about the City of Milpitas , BUT not ever say a derogatory about San Jose . Take your Pick , there was Reed, Figone , Gurza,Liccardo,Hererra,Constant?? Criminals every last one of them

  3. As someone who has been on the receiving end of Mr. William’s tirades, I’m surprised it has taken so long to come to light.

  4. What is Milpitas City Council going to do with the closed session findings of Mr. Williams’ investigation, sweep it under the rug or termination? I surely hope they do what is right for Milpitas. Thanks to the writer for bringing this to light.

    • Why are so many employees leaving? Hmmmm? There is an obvious common problem. The City Council should do what is right to keep current employees from leaving. I am curious to find out the number of employees that have left recently or the number who are unwilling to apply to work for Milpitas because of the City Manager.

  5. Really , Ogaz gets scrutinized….So then instead of praising the person who stands up to the bully, which is what Tom is, lets say wow ogaz is out of line to have the guts and stand up to him. In my opinion he deserves a recommendation not criticized for doing what is typical and sweeping this under the rug as usual. So when your child comes home from school and used to get straight As and now is getting bad grades then he tells you that its because he is afraid to study and be inspired and dream because he is to worried about getting his butt kicked at lunch and after school you now know what is like inside City Hall……

    • The question also should be, why does it take so long for the administrators to stand up for their employees and what is right? Why did they accept Tom’s directives when they knew morally it wasn’t the right thing to do? The City of Milpitas use to be a great place to work because of the atmosphere and the caring employees along with the respect of people in general.

  6. Where there’s smoke…there’s a four-alarm fire. @ Milpitas Council and Mayor: Start looking at your turn-over records and ask questions. (Your Planning and Land Use departments have had a mass exodus over the last two years, in case you haven’t noticed.) IF you do so with some measure of integrity, you will find there is a huge gap between what you are being sold by the City Manager and what is happening behind closed doors. A hostile work environment has been allowed to exist for far too long. It is up to you, Mayor Estevez and City Council, to do the right thing…(just as City Attorney Ogaz did by bringing this matter forward and risking his own employment status in the process). Thank you to San Jose Inside for writing about this sad situation. I hope it gets resolved so that staff feels safe, valued and respected again in Milpitas.

  7. “He’s had a tremendous track record”? What has Williams done other than be hostile and push employees away. Failed on Measure E while spending a large amount of funds for a lost cause! Unresolved odor problems!

  8. Frankly, I am surprised that the Council has NOT wondered why so many employees were leaving recently. How can so many employees leave and not arouse suspicion that there is a problem with management.

  9. Reed, Figone, Gurza, Liccardo, Guerrero-Daly, Attard, Cordell. Mahood, ajlouny Knies…. MercNews, SJI… all created a toxic work environment right here in San Jose yet SJI reports on Milpitas?

    SJI can’t see the forest , for the trees.

    • Please just go away Weed. Your constant babbling adds nothing to the conversation. You’re like one of those people that walk city streets babbling to themselves. Perhaps you can pair up with other street babblers and strike up a nonsensical conversation.

  10. Can we move on to a real news story instead of some Union witch hunt in Milpitas. What about Mayor Sam and his plan to add more cops, firefighters and fix our streets. Now when that happens, that will be news!

    • I am sure you want or even expect it to be a union witch hunt; you couldn’t be further from the truth. The employees that are leaving are directors and management staff which are not covered by any union and they have not had any problems getting increases and leave incentives regularly since the lower paid staff has been funding them with their concessions.

    • Yes, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…. NOT!!!! You should be worried about your position here, Tom…we’re on to you! You can’t treat people like crap, and just expect people, PEOPLE (more than one) to take it forever! If I were you, I would enroll in some anger management classes, and then find a job where no one has ever heard of you…

  11. What an obvious set up story.. sour grapes and contrived lame plan to take down a very good City Manager. Sorry to see your news outlet used in this way!

    • The fact is there is an excessively high City employee attrition rate under Tom Williams’ leadership. Let the fact finder expert tell the City Council why this is so.

    • It’s more obvious that you are not an employee, and if you are, consider yourself lucky that you were not one of his targets. The news outlet reported the facts as it was given by many insiders, current and past employees. So their are no sour grapes or any contrived lame plans in regards to the City Manager, that is your opinon so do not discount what others have gone through with him. These are professionals that are leaving City employment, they are used to pressure but dealing with the City Manager is over the top unprofessional.

        • How many employees does Metropolitan-Milpitas employ? “5” might be more then enough of a sample…

      • Isn’t it obvious who “insideman” is??? It’s Tom, or one of his mindless cronies… Who’s come to sniff the wind, and throw a little misdirection everyone’s way… I love it!

    • This is definitely not a setup story. Several employees witness this behavior daily. Meetings with the City Manager become silent for staff with only Williams speaking the majority of the time with aggression and foul language. This article doesn’t even touch ethics. That’s a whole new article. So, good City Manager you say? Try working for him.

    • This is most definitely not a “set up,” nor a case of sour grapes. When senior staff are experiencing anxiety attacks on the way to work because the environment created by the City Manager is so toxic and hostile, then it is time for the City Manager to go. And, yes—I am speaking from an inside perspective.

  12. Why if some one is aggressive and creating a HOSTILE environment can be in the office ?? where is HR ? Where is HIS boss ?

    • His boss is a useless politician who cares more about getting his picture in the paper both here and the Phillipines than he is about making sure the city can stay financially solvent. How many large businesses have left and had their buildings torn down for housing that the city can’t support? William’s boss, a man who has priors for calling his employees “peons”? Jose Esteves is not going to fire Williams…it’ll cost too much.

  13. Thank you to the reporter who brought this to light. Mr. Williams sounds almost dangerous as the Santa Clara County Superintendent , Mr. Jon Gundry

  14. Most all of you on this board are hostile. This is apparently nothing more than an attempt by a few disgruntled employees to bring down a highly ethical, highly professional successful City
    Manager. I found out his employees love working for him. They said he is humurous, demands excellent service and has a very high standard for both himself and employees. Wow – what a concept for the lazy governmental employee to find acceptable. I for one stand up for Mr. Williams and congratulate him on all he has done. I wish other City Mnagers had his corauge to stand up to underperforming employees.

    • The problem with your logic is that Tom makes the call for hiring of all directors that work for him. How many directors have the city cycle through under his reign? City council didn’t have issues with these past directors’ performances based on archived city council and planning commission meetings, so I doubt they were underperforming. So what are the real reasons why they left? The trail of bodies leads to Tom. Look pass the surface and see the truth.

    • It’s not just a couple that have left but rather numerous high level staff that Mr Williams hired HIMSELF that have left. Are they all underperforming? Not likely. If so, I would question his judgement.

  15. Yes, I looked into it. You are wrong. Many good leaders are still there and have been for years and enjoy working with this City Manager. The low performers have left. Hmmm wonder why. You think it may be because they didn’t perform? You think a city that we hold accountable and pay taxes should keep employees who do not perform? Yes, we do in San Jose. Im Glad to hear Milpitas has strong leadership. Who is actually complaining? Oh yeah, all the underachievers. Typical. And who are you.? Another Union plant? The City Attorney? You lack courage whoever you are.

    • While we’re at , just who are you? The 18th floor Butterfly? Fluttering from Council member to council member’s staff? Popping up and popping off on social media – frequently on City Time!

      • BOOM!

        Under the watchful eye of her Cornerman the INSIDEMAN a “Bot”; the eloquent “voice of reason” – never mind the “Close Door Session” and the C.M.’s public utterance: “I IS in the crossfire; so whatcha got?”

  16. Jack Slade

    How dare the City Manager demand that people don’t play games on the Internet or watch porn all day. How dare the CM require that his employees don’t come in at 10am go to lunch at 1200-200pm and go home at 4pm except for Friday when they slip out at 2pm. Let’s not forget the City Vehicle abuse and gas credit card abuse, the City cell Phone abuse, the employee expense account abuse and the heavy nepotism gang at City Hall. How dare he try to wrangle a herd of cats. People leave when they can’t abuse the taxpayers.

    Poor quality hiring, poor training, poor supervision, poor leadership, emotionally unstable, low self-esteem, power over people oriented, lack of personal accountability as individuals and as organizations, no respect for what they consider communities of Suspects and Victims and Tax Slaves not Citizens and an attitude of not only Above the Law, but Beyond the Law, wrapped in Legislative Actions and case Law.

    …BUT MOST OF ALL GET RID OF VOICE MAIL AND EMAIL AND PUT IN A VIDEOED TIME CLOCK FOR ALL EMPLOEES…..

  17. Bottom line is the City Council needs to bring in a independent investigator to do fact finding.
    Deal with the problem before they are faced with more lawsuits.

    • Williams may have a hefty lawsuit to file given all these attacks. None of us really know the back story. Orgaz has a horrible legal record. He used to work for San Jose.

      • Who could blame him for leaving SJ? SJ has lost many quality people. Why do you stick around?

  18. This guy is an absolute monster! Check with the staff of previous cities he has worked with. I have been the target of his evil, vengeful, personality. He is the poster-child for a sociopath. I can say he was the worst person I have ever encountered in my life.

  19. Reporter, as noted by Mr. Martin, please check his e-mails. These unstable and volatile characters cannot help themselves. They abuse and threaten staff privately, publicly with colleagues, via email, via text.

    Disgracefully, there are other Santa Clara County public sector “Leaders” who are also getting away with these bullying, menacing, explosive and harassing behaviors.

    Santa Clara County Superintendent Jon Gundry is Mr. Tom Williams replica. In fact, he has been referred to as a “Silent Volcano”. You can find it on Google. You can ask his staff. You will also see his abuse in emails

    Thank you for your investigative reporting.

    • seriously? I just checked Google and found nothing…nada on this. Your cross posting between here and the Merc to try to drive people to your comments reeks of your own personal agenda.

  20. Does anyone know Bruce Knopf. Now there is a guy who is unprofessional and embarrassing. I’m shocked he still works at the County as he is the most incompetent and arrogant public employee you will ever come across.

    • No worse than Shane Connolly, Alex Gurza, Pete Constant or Johnny Khamis… to name a few.

  21. What I’m getting from this article is that a few disgruntled former employees and there are probably many reasons that they are former from the way they are quoted in this article want the city to be controlled by rumors and character assassination of a city manager. Sounds like they are looking for revenge. They must be overlooking the fact that the City of Milpitas was listed as 29 in the nation’s top 50 small cities in the country. The city is operating on a balanced budget after the recession, the unions have all settled their contracts and things are looking positive. I hope he does keep fighting the County on the RDA dissolution and protects Milpitas. It’s a shame what is happening in Morgon Hill. The Oversight Board does not have the well being of the citizens in mind.

    • Folks don’t dismiss the fact that there is an on going investigation of Mr. Williams. Common sense would lead you to conclude that it is a serious charge with merit against Williams, or why would the city attorney risk his neck by bringing a trumped up compliant to city council. I like to believe Mr. Orgaz is a seasoned attorney and know the consequences of his actions.

  22. I don’t see anyway in the article that says there’s an ongoing investigation. Where do you get that information?

  23. No where in this article does it say there is an ongoing investigation. Where do you get that information?

      • I hope they also look into how many people were paid off money not to file a law suit against Tom Williams and forced to quit or retire. Hmmmm don’t think the council knows about this. Maybe the Mr Ogaz should look into this.

  24. I can’t wait for the employees to be interviewed. Tom should resign to save himself from embarrassment. Oh wait, too late.

  25. It’s funny the City of San Jose is taking a Milpitas lackey in Mcharris. It used to be the other way around. Mcharris is nota good employee, just ask any applicant or someone who has done business with him. San Jose continues to go down the tubes.

    • I thought SJ was rising form the ashes under the New Boss? Can we get consistent messaging from the 18th Floor Insideman?

    • Hey look everyone… Tom’s on here reading and posting comments, or probably getting his brainless secretary to post comments here. Tom, you’d think with as much time as you spend golfing during the week, coming into work late, leaving work early, you’d be relaxed enough to treat your employees with the dignity and respect they deserve. But, nope… You’re a tyrant, who thakes credit for all of the “atta-boys” by standing on the backs of the real people who get the job done… And like every tyrant, you’re a small, small, man, who throws temper tantrums, and berates the very people who try their hardest to make you look good for the Mayor and City Council… On second thought… It could be worse… We could be related to you:-/

    • If McHarris was not a good employee, why did Williams keep him employed since he was an at-will employee. He was well liked, even by the development community. Feel free to investigate with the Council, Planning Commission, and Developers. San Jose is lucky to gain such a dedicated and ethical employee.

  26. I am one of the long term “competent” employees who has been a witness and a target to Mr. Williams outbursts. Truly I am afraid of him. I love working for Milpitas and am good at what I do and will not be pushed out by him. I hope the investigation truly uncovers the type of person he really is. If the Council does not take action I guarantee you Mr Williams will be so much worse than he is now. More employees will get fired or be forced to leave. Mr. Williams has gotten complaints against him but he settles with the employees quietly and no one is the wiser. Search deeper! do not believe a word that comes out of his mouth.

    • I hope the City Council truly conducts an unbiased investigation – it’s the only way the truth will come out. Nobody should fear going to work.

      Milpitas City Council and Santa Clara County Board of Education, protect the employees and yourselves, please move forward and get to the bottom of these complaints about City Manager Williams and County Superintendent Gundry. They are monsters.

  27. Thank you for the clarification confirming that the City Council is in fact conducting an investigation. It is very unfortunate they waited so long, and that the matter has exploded publicly.

    Nancy Mendizabal should be applauded for standing up to Mr. Williams, and for proactively addressing these issues internally so that they didn’t become public. Unfortunately, when our elected leaders don’t take immediate action with serious issues, these matters are taken publicly.

    We voters will have an opportunity to respond to the Milpitas City Council at election time.

    Santa Clara County Office of Education staff and others appear to be talking about County Superintendent Jon Gundry’s abusive, narcissistic, retaliatory, bullying actions. Some employees learned just yesterday that another highly respected cabinet member at the Santa Clara County Office of Education will be leaving next week. A 1-week notice?! And could it be true that Superintendent Gundry’s consultant counterpart friend from SoCal, who he brought in weeks after he started, sexually harasses women?!

  28. So here I dare say as a now x long term employee who actually worked hard, didn’t go home early and didn’t watch porn I too couldn’t take the toxic environment that is present at Milpitas. I walked to never look back. If the investigation/fact finding is going to look at city hall then do the citizens and employees of that city a solid and dig deeper. Look at the policies and selective enforcement of such to the department heads. The unethical treatment of the common employees is a common function of the self serving save my own a## behaviors so common with many of the TW cronies. Don’t be on the wrong side of them. Legitimate leadership principles require so much more!

  29. Giordano and Esteves approved fat raises for both Williams and Ogaz at the end of the recession several years ago, while regular employees (not the untouchable public safety people) still had to endure 15% salary concessions. They are also responsible for subjecting the city to a Williams poison pill by guaranteeing him a quarter million dollars in case of termination without cause. And they granted him and his wife 100% medical payments in retirement after only 10 years of service, while at the same time trying to cut the benefit for employees with 20 years of service or more. So both have bloody hands in any Williams mess and much incentive to keep things under cover.

    Employee hater Manassau, self-declared retirement expert and business improvement crook, applauds Williams for having balanced the city’s budget. What a bunch of bulls##t… for many years, the city had a balanced budget by milking the RDA, and when the state balanced its budget buy taking the RDA away from cities like Milpitas a tyrant city manager like Williams found the next source of income: Employee concessions. Threaten layoffs, threaten outsourcing, squeeze 15% salary out of every non-police and non-fire employee (regardless of union membership or middle management), and then lay off people and outsource entire divisions anyway. City staff went from around 600 to around 400 over the years, yet small minds like Esteves believe in maintaining service levels. Despite vague news about supposedly restoring concessions, employees still contribute and extra 8% of their salaries to this day and haven’t gotten raises in 8 years.

    While Montano shares responsibility for Williams’ last glorious fake review and raise, she’s not as deep in the crap as Giordano and Esteves. The fearful employees desperately hope that a new majority of Grilli, Barbadillo and Montano find the tiny bit of wisdom required to see through this gigantic mess of lowest employee morale in years, personnel retention problems, and outright illegal and hostile work environment issues created by an omnipresent and micromanaging despot named Williams, and to oust him from his job as soon as possible.

  30. Has anyone EVER paid attention to the San Jose’s Sacramento legislative office? Now that is dysfunction at it’s finest. Over 25 years of unprofessional conduct by the lone lobbyist who is known throughout the Capitol as the most vile, obnoxious person ever. San Jose is now a joke in politics. This woman has been through countless employees over the years and every single one has left due to the hostile workplace or let go if they reported it. Everyone at City Hall pretends it isn’t happening because being 100 miles away makes it easy to do that. Yet these are City employees being subjected to constant verbal abuse, thousands of unpaid hours, and many times borderline violence from this woman. Everyone in Sacramento sees it daily but nothing is ever done about it. Get her out!

  31. Nice to see the truth is finally coming out about this tyrant!
    Over the course of his career he’s has abused many Milpitas employees. I recall a time where he verbally attacked a firefighter calling him a f**king liar for no reason and then drove off in his city car.

    This is the time where city council needs to take action.

  32. Don’t leave us hanging. Follow up article? So disappointed that Milpitas Post has nothing on this.

    • Yes, Jennifer, please provide a follow up. the Milpitas post will not report anything negative regarding Tom. they will once tom is gone along with the threat of losing their advertising dollars to the tri-city voice. the post is well aware of toms behavior and probably have witnessed it on a number of occasions.

      • And that’s newsworthy, in and of itself… Why do they rely on Tom for advertising dollars? Shame on Milpitas Post!!!

        • The City is required to post notices in publications readily available to the public. The Milpitas Post has reaped the benefits of said requirement. Enough so that to lose the revenue would be a burden.

        • The media by and large caters to whomever is currently in charge… Milpitas Post is no different than SJI or the Merc.

  33. Don’t count on the Post to follow up with any investigative type journalism. They had been notified at various times of the bad behaviors and illegal functions of the city management with no responses. Take a closer look at what happened several years ago by the Firemens dental fund. You want a laugh at where some of these funds are going? Read the findings of that one! Then look in the pockets of our employees. Just one more fine example of how far down the improprieties have been covered up and left to just hopefully go away. Amazing.

    • Oh….you’ve got to suspect that tom has the mayor, some city council members, and the “milpitas whipping post” in his pocket…

  34. San Jose Inside does a good job with their investigative reporting. We’re all anxiously awaiting your next report Jennifer.

  35. I agree with Unidentified Insider. I check San Jose Inside daily for an update on the City Council’s termination of this Tyrant. I also check daily for your report on the other Tyrant down the street, Santa Clara County Superintendent Jon Gundry. What is that Board of Education doing to address his well known abusive, explosive, tyrannical behavior? I recently saw that You Tube video where he brags about his ‘Silent Volcano’ behavior.

    • You/we might be waiting a long time . Collectively, SJI staff have a very short attention span.

    • Can you please provide a link to the referenced video? I have scoured YouTube looking for it and found nothing. “That YouTube” video means that it is well know to critics of Gundry so I would like to see some proof.

  36. I would hate to work for either of these tyrants. Elected officials, when will you take action?

  37. it’s not just senior department heads leaving, the everyday joes are packing up and bailing to save their careers as well. I have heard of what a great place milpitas used to be. Now it’s a wreck staff members with longtime history are leaving, many forgoing the 2.7@55 retirement for 2@62 just to get out of a stressful hazardous environment. Look at the majority of staff left it’s either they have a couples year left until retiring and are just trying to stick this out or are just beginning their public sector career and trying like to get out asap. Don’t just focus on the amount of department heads leaving look at the average length of service for new employees that leave it’s most likely less than a couple years

    Look into why toms city car is always in the body shop too…

    • The elected officials just don’t care. One of the slaps in the face from the Council and Mayor Esteves was the City Council decided to approve their own salary restoration / increases while the hard working lower paid employees that are actually doing all the work with much less staff, sometimes working overtime without pay, and they know that most employees are still giving concessions in order to fund their own restoration and increase. So no, their is no leadership at the City of Milpitas anymore. “True leadership is not about superiority, position, or prestige. It’s about revealing and releasing the potential of those around you. Leadership is not about the power of one, but facilitating the greatness of many”.

  38. I hear one only has to look at Armando Gomez’s potential sexual harassment charges that were covered up when he was in office over there and in Reeds office here in SJ. Talk to an ex employee SJI.

  39. The floodgates have opened with good employees fleeing. Several within the past month. Just google Tom williams. Why would new employees choose Milpitas? His Reputation is bad enough!

  40. Another three long-time employees just quit last week, plus the HR director got walked out immediately like some cancerous scum after announcing her upcoming retirement after almost three decades of service to the city and its residents. Really, city council, how stupid and blind do you have to be to not notice that something is awfully wrong with this city manager??

    • I can’t wait to hear “Insideman’s” performance appraisals of all those who left last week…

  41. As a victim of certain staff members at City Hall, I’m surprised it has taken so long for even one of them to be exposed. Mr. Esteves, you want a committee to investigate corruption from companies doing work for Milpitas? Start with your own administration!! I’m a 68 year old disabled Viet Nam veteran.
    I’ve lived here since 1961. I’ve committed NO CRIME. I suffered extreme depression, a legally recognized medical/mental condition. It’s a long story. My house became a mess. Even I was ashamed of it. So what did 3 senior Milpitas employees do?
    I’m now in debt for the rest of my life. Gloria Anaya, Mike Ogaz, and your well known Tom Williams illegally forced me into an $85,000 debt that I will never pay off in my lifetime. I may lose my house upon my death (or the first time I can’t afford a monthly insurance payment) because the “Home Improvement Loan” came from the City of Milpitas. Because Anaya, with the knowledge and approval of Ogaz and Williams, (I’ll just call them The Trio) violated a contract I signed with the City, I called her a F*****G BITCH. After that, I was served with a civil complaint. In court, I never spoke a word in my defense. I was served with altered documents (A FELONY), court documents were withheld, (A FELONY), Ogaz and Anaya discussed my case with the judge without me or an attorney representing me being present.(A FELONY). In the complaint, signed by The Trio (and others), I can PROVE at least 24 outright LIES, ALL FELONIES! But they illegally and intentionally prevented me from defending myself. (A FELONY). YOUR CITY GOVERNMENT IN ACTION!
    So, what happened? Home improvements include replacing my roof that didn’t leak and possibly was still under warranty. No inspections, not even a peek in the rafters. Anaya just decided it leaked. Period. Replace my gas lines? Not once but 3 TIMES! Anaya decided that the gas line was leaking. She decided that the plumber with a $15 BICYCLE PUMP, using 3 TIMES the required TEST PRESSURE, and 4 TIMES the required TEST TIME LENGTH was more accurate than the gas sensing equipment, costing several thousand dollars, used by the PGE crew. Of course PGE found NO leaks. They left me with a service notice that said, after 2 hours of testing, no leaks were found. Not good enough for Anaya. She had the perfectly good 1/2 inch pipe replaced with new 1/2 inch pipe. Then she changed her mind and had the new pipe replaced with 3/4 inch pipe. Then she changed her mind AGAIN!. She had the NEW, UNUSED 3/4 inch pipe removed and replaced with new 1 inch pipe. Pure vindictive, retaliation. A PGE inspector was in the neighborhood recently. I showed him the oversized pipe and he took several photos of the meter to turn in to his supervisor.
    She had my patio cover destroyed because it was built without a permit. But my house was built 2 YEARS before the city was incorporated and permits were NOT required. Again, retaliation. DON’T CALL ME A F***KING BITCH! I HAVE POWER, AND I WILL USE IT!)
    On at least 3 occasions, she tried to force me into payment default so I would lose my house. Like withholding my Homeowners Insurance statement (mail) for 19 DAYS after the due date! (VIOLATION OF STATE AND FEDERAL ELDER ABUSE LAWS! A FELONY OFFENSE!) I have the DATED ENVELOPE WITH CITY SEAL I would love to show in court.
    Maybe for those Milpitas residents who value their tax dollars, did I mention that The Trio spent more than $13,500 of your tax dollars to pay for things like my homeowners insurance, FEMA flood insurance and other expenses. I didn’t qualify for the loan (low income) so they spent YOUR money to pay for it. Remember the plastic 99% sign several years ago? That was YOUR $20,000 taxes THE TRIO paid to the ACLU. It’s your money. IT’S THEIR PIGGY BANK!
    Yes, Mr. Esteves, I found that corruption at Milpitas City Hall is not a crime. It is an accepted way of doing business.
    I appeared three times at city council meetings to complain and I was ignored each time. So I’ve contacted the office of my Congressman, Mike Honda, to complain. I even extended an invitation for him to visit my home and see the damage caused by The Trio. I’m in the process of compiling a file of correspondence, documents, and photographs, to be shown to the public. Or, even better, in court. I can show them at a council meeting, in the hall, or on a street corner. It doesn’t matter to me. The public will know how City Hall really works.
    In a complaint, these items have been or will be sent to the California State Attorney General, Kamala Harris, and the California State Bar Association. I’ve been the victim of harassment, threats, intimidation, entrapment, theft, and extortion, with proof of everything I just said. Any attempt at retaliation will be documented, like the attempt to impound and destroy two of my legally licensed, registered, and operating vehicles, or the $1300 in false penalties I received within a 3 week period because I wouldn’t demonstrate the operation of these vehicles without a court order. I demonstrated their operation every year, sometimes twice a year since 2001. Pure harassment. And for “Outstanding Performance” they get hefty raises. I almost expect to see Alice chasing the Mad Hatter at anytime.
    For the people who have read this far, I live on my retirement and Social Security checks, I can’t afford a lawyer. If anyone knows a lawyer who would work on a contingency fee, I want to sue the city of Milpitas, Gloria Anaya, (now retired), Mike Ogaz, and Tom Williams for $10 million. THAT’S MILLION! I’m offering a 50/50 split. Thousands of dollars of my property and money was stolen or destroyed on the personal order of Gloria Anaya, with the complete knowledge and approval of Mike Ogaz and Tom Williams.
    No government should operate with even 1 corrupt employee. Just because you see some politician smiling at every photo op he sees, doesn’t mean there’s not a cesspool behind him. I’m praying that justice will someday prevail and Milpitas residents will again have a government they can be proud of. It’s time to clean house. I tried to file a complaint with the Santa Clara County District Attorneys Office. Their reply? Not Our Problem. Go Hire An Attorney. (Like in WE PROTECT OUR OWN). God Help Us.