A few years ago Pasadena hired an African American male by the name of Percy Clark to run the Pasadena Unified School District.
After he had been here for a short while it became obvious to me that he was not the best man for the job. Many people came to me and said that I should not write anything about him and to "give him a chance." I wrote and continued to write, and seven years later when he was fired he had destroyed the hopes and dreams of seven generations of children in the district. Those in the district, the city, and the community gave him the chance to destroy the schools. In this issue I am calling for the firing of Michael Beck as Pasadena’s new city manager. In his first major decision he has proven that he cannot do the job fairly and that he favors the traditional "good old boy" system rather than utilizing the system to hire the best qualified person in a fair, unbiased manner. My editorial on page two of this paper tells the story of how Beck chose his pick for Assistant City Manager. The winner of the so-called competition was publicized on November 24, 2008 in a Blog on the Crown City News website. The problem was that the competitive process allowed competitors to apply up to November 25, 2008. The results were published again on December 4, 2008 in the Pasadena Star News. The process was not only flawed but exposed the fraudulent nature of the competition. The job previously held by two African American males familiar with the Pasadena citizenry was given to a white male and disguised as competition. Already this writer has heard people say, "Give the man a chance." The man is a professional with a six figure salary which implies competence. Giving the man a chance implies that there is an on the job training process going on. Beck is not entitled to be given a chance and the Personnel Department under Karen Ezell should void the results of the illegal process and start over. Further, the Human Relations Commission should look closely at the process. Alternatively, we could wait like we did for Clark and then say we lost another opportunity at fairness and equality. Otherwise, the public will know that any less than qualified person can come to Pasadena and do less than quality work and get away with it while training for their future at our expense. The choice is up to the city council, but it should be driven by a citizenry that should be upset, which will it be?