Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Hofstede Staff Timer

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, photo from Johnny Northside.

An anonymous comment came in on the most recent blog post since I installed the latest widget on this blog.  In the observance of what I call "threadiquette," I'm creating a new post where a discussion around the issue of Hofstede's staff turnover (and my treatment of it on this blog) can take place. 


  1. The comment was posted under the wakeboarding article. I deleted it because it didn't fit there, and have reposted it unedited here.

    "Anon 5:36 a.m. said,

    Oh My God. Jeff's blog has turned into the Jordan hawkman blog. Counting the days since the last staff shake up at Hofestede's office?

    That is such a Don allen-paul koenig-terry yzaguirre-jim watkins thing to do.

    I hope you get even LESS service from Hofstede. I know I sure wouldn't want to do good work for you after doing something like that to me.

    Posted on August 4, 2011."

  2. And my response to that:

    First, the staff turnover at CM Hofstede's office is nothing short of an outrage and an embarrassment. When there is such a high turnover, that directly affects the kind of service and response I and my fellow constituents get from our city council member. This has gone on for far too long and I for one have finally had enough.

    The ability of Hofstede and her office to appropriately respond to constituents is severely compromised when there is virtually no institutional knowledge among her staff. I decided to place the timer on my blog because I'm fed up with this ongoing problem. And I placed it prominently because I want it as a constant reminder that her office's staff turnover is a serious concern.

    Will it affect her service to the constituents of her ward? I hope not. I hope she, like most politicians, has a thick enough skin to absorb the criticism. More importantly, I hope this blog's newest feature has some kind of impact on this problem, even if it does temporarily ruffle some feathers.

  3. If I'm not mistaken, didn't you endorse her as a candidate? If so, and she has since lost your support, I find it appropriate that you would let your blog readership know of this. Let's face it. How many people have I spoken with who have communicated to her office without ANY response whatsoever? I think pretty much everyone I have ever come into contact with who has attempted to communicate with her office. She sucks. Real bad.

  4. Hofstede isn't running right now, and there's no other candidate either. So to say she's lost my support would be premature. For the record though, it was John Hoff who wrote the JNS endorsement of Hofstede. Furthermore, my prediction is that with the losses NoMi has seen in the 2010 census, we will likely be split into two wards instead of three. The most likely boundaries will be the river and Theo Wirth east and west, with Lowry as the dividing line.

    To her credit, Hofstede has been one of the better city council members when it comes to the whole NRP/neighborhood funding issue. And to the extent I have a political litmus test, that's the driving reason right there. In any case, elections are a long way off and I'm not going to mix current dissatisfaction with candidate support at this time.

  5. I love Diane, but clearly City Council member isn't a good match for her abilities.

  6. You may be unhappy about it. You may want the problem resolved. You may even write about it on your blog.

    But to take a play from the play book of the scum of the earth is really beneath you Jeff. I mean really, do you want your blog to be known for the ridiculus "widgets" in the side lines, like others have paved the way before you?

    Just sayin'. But it's your perogative and apparently that IS what you want to do/be. Go for it, dude.

  7. That's a fair enough criticism, anon 7:27. I guess my take on it is that just because other blogs have used such features poorly doesn't take away from what I see as a worthwhile use of this blog. And I don't see it as taking a page out of anyone else's playbook, nor do I expect to overload this site with a bunch of widgets.

    The bottom line for me is that this is an issue that I feel needs to be consistently brought up until something changes for the better. That change may come sooner than anyone expects, and the graphic might then become unnecessary. But I'm comfortable enough with myself and my blog to keep it going for now.

  8. You are using the widget in the same inflammatory, solve nothing, create disdain type of way as the blogs you say have used it poorly.

    What is it that you thing can be resolved before the city council elections in 2013? Diane isn't going to get any better at selecting and managing staff members. She isn't going to quit. She isn't going to get recalled. You are stuck with her until atleast December 31 2013.

    I realize you may want to start paving the way for you or someone else you endorse to run against her, but you really want a jordan hawkman type widget to be your first public swipe at her? Go negative right off the bat?

    I'm just typing what is going through my head, I don't really expect you to do anything different than what you are doing now, I'm just in some disbelief I guess.

  9. I sure hope Hawthorne doesn't need any favors from CM Hofstede. You surely have burned that bridge.

  10. To the various anonymous comments: First, I'm not worried about the impact this timer will have on Hofstede's response to constituents in Hawthorne. Frankly, if it gets worse as a direct result of my actions (whether the timer is good or bad), that's only going to reflect poorly on the council member.

    In regards to the similarities between this tactic and other blogs, I think of a line from "Office Space." The unfortunately-named Michael Bolton is asked if he ever thought about changing his name. He replied, "Why should I change my name? He's the one who sucks."

    So I wanted to make a consistent point of reminding people that this Hofstede's staff turnover is a serious issue. I thought that the timer was an effective way to do that, and just because the widget was employed poorly or by bloggers we didn't like, that wasn't enough of a reason to change my decision.

    If anyone has other ideas on how to make a public example out of this, I'm listening. But until the staff turnover stabilizes, the pressure stays on one way or another.

  11. Well, one big difference is that Jeff's widget is TRUTHFUL.

    Consider, in contrast, the widget one of the "revitalization hater" blogs posted saying when I was going to lose my house due to unpaid taxes.

    Yeah. Right. HA!!!!

  12. Watch for more turnover to come soon.

  13. Had no idea of this: Thank you for posting it. She's my Council Member.

  14. Hofstede's inability to manage a two-person office should be of concern to anyone hoping she will provide meaningful representation or have a positive impact on City policies. The woman can't even retain a secretary in this economy! Other council members avoid her, only when they need her vote do they engage her. The sad truth is that she is incompetent. Those who care for her would protect her and preserve what little positive reputation is left (for her and the family name) by urging her to resign.

  15. I stumbled upon this and have to remind people that not only does she go through a lot of aides, she goes through a lot of interns as well. Often times she offers these interns an opportunity to stick around and become aides and they decline. I myself was a paid intern in Diane's office and was offered the opportunity to continue to work for her and I couldn't get out of there soon enough. The sheer incompetence is absolutely astounding. She is a very nice woman but impossible to work with. I left City Hall most days at a loss for words because I could not fathom how anybody could be so disorganized and utterly scatterbrain. I actually became convinced she has early-onset dementia. No joke.

  16. Any update on staff turnover? I am sure it has not been 600 days of stability....


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