Should There Be More Oversight of Lompoc City Staff?

Bold Moves

Although most jobs require accountability to superiors and oversight on hours worked and tasks accomplished, especially while working from home, employees at Lompoc City Hall are compensated for their work 100% through “the honor system”, meaning they can self report their hours without any sort of oversight or accountability. 

These salaries are fully funded by Lompoc taxpayers, who can demand better oversight through their elected representatives, specifically the Lompoc City Council. 

The issue of oversight and time clocks was reviewed in the January 5, 2021 city council meeting, with a proposal carried over from the previous council to implement a better system for oversight. City Manager Jim Throop argued that when the city updated its computer systems (MUNIS) as a whole, it created a method for employees to report their hours digitally. MUNIS does enable the digital submission of hours, but hours are still self-reported with no oversight. 

Software solutions for digital time clocks with oversight are widely available, and many are likely already in use with city residents who have reported for work from home during the pandemic. They not only allow for more accurate time reporting, they can account for active screen time and login locations as well. 

Mayor Janelle Osborne made a motion to throw out the agenda item and continue the system where hours are self-reported. Her motion was immediately supported by new councilmember Jeremy Ball. However, breaking from the majority voting block, Councilmember Gilda Cordova did not provide the second, so the issue will appear again on the agenda this year. 

Do you think there should be greater accountability for employees of the City of Lompoc? Tell us in the comments below!