Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Audit Report on Public Works’ Culture of Fear

Interesting reading. This report documents what every county employee knows from Day 1 on the job: If you file a formal complaint, it will eventually go to central Human Resources for investigation (i.e., cover-up). HR will then submit a finding of “unsubstantiated.” Following the cover-up, the complainant will become the victim of institutional harassment and retaliation. The fears of retaliation noted in this report are very real and justified.

This report contains a lot of finger-pointing by departments that claim nobody told them anything until they read about it in the newspaper. Internal Audit’s recommendations boil down to the need for more collaborative reporting but do not offer a solution to the very real problem of intimidation through retaliation existent in every department throughout county government. Internal Audit is recommending county executive managers audit themselves.

At this time, the only real, objective solution is an Orange County grand jury investigation into this entire fiasco, including HR’s handling of all Equal Employment Opportunity complaints and its investigations into employee claims of harassment and retaliation.

— OC Bureaucrat / Aug. 9

The beat goes on.

As a man with the county, I went through the same thing, but the female was the harasser. They did nothing until one year later I went to an attorney, and all stopped.

I pray for these ladies who are going through this. Only an outside evaluation can bring this to a close.

— Intheknow / Aug. 9

Delaying Council Districts in Anaheim

It’s a travesty and a reflection of a broken political system when over 50% of Anaheim’s residents are Hispanic with no Hispanic representative on the City Council. Shameful.

In my opinion, that is as bad as when blacks were forced to drink from separate water fountains in the Deep South in the early to mid-20th century.

I despise illegal foreigners who break into our country, steal our resources, rob from our underclass citizens and cost the California taxpayers billions in tax expenditures for free education, health care, welfare and incarcerations.

But treating citizen Hispanics like second-class citizens is disgusting and shameful.

Anaheim is the modern day Selma, Ala.

— Beelzebub / Aug. 9

Come on now, the modern day Selma?

Here’s the deal: If Hispanics — not lawyers and Occupy protesters and bloggers but residents — want representation, they will get someone to stand up and run.

Few if any parents in the poorer neighborhoods are involved in their kids’ schools. What makes you believe that they will all of a sudden get involved on a city level?

The difference is the colored couldn’t drink from a fountain, the Hispanics can’t get a candidate to run. Big difference.

— Henrygattis / Aug. 9

There is no way that Disney and [former Mayor Curt] Pringle are going to allow districts to be established without their control. The process will be delayed until they figure out how the districts can be drawn to protect their business interests.

— Truevoice / Aug. 9

Michael Riley, Director of County Social Services

Dr. Riley is a good person. His problem is that of any decent director in the county, and there are some. He’s inherited a world of hurt.

For some reason, directors are not allowed the authority to clean house. They get saddled with Bustamante-sized problems and are prevented from taking action. Incompetence is protected like a commodity at the county, and people who would like to find better ways to do things — or at least do them well — are quickly trained to lay low and keep their heads down.

Every rule the county has ensures that risk-taking and innovation are not methods for getting things done. You never know when someone who’s a Board of Supervisors crony or has political connections in the “right” places will end up being your boss.

The Board of Supervisors needs to stop squawking about labor negotiations and instead get serious about efficiency and the waste they are bent on perpetuating. They can start by hiring a CEO with a spine and ensuring that he or she is running the county, not running around sucking up to the Board of Supervisors full time.

— SnotOtter / Aug. 5

Riley should not get too comfortable. He will have scandals aplenty to answer for.

Riley is smarter than most, but he won’t weather the storms coming. Genuinely good guy, but he inherited a lot of problems that he will take the fall for.

— Kate / Aug. 5

Sexual harassment claims have surfaced in Riley’s Social Services Agency as well. Stay tuned

— Jerry / Aug. 4

I work there, and have the greatest respect for Dr. Riley as a man and as a thinker. I have been to seminars on poverty where I’ve seen him. He truly has his heart in the right place.

What makes me sad is that he is going to have to suffer for the inactions of his predecessors, many of whom allowed a culture of misconduct, nepotism and outright abuse to flourish inside this agency. I don’t know if he is wrapping himself in a cloak of plausible deniability or if he truly has no idea, but there is a lot of systemic harassment and abuse.

Now there are a number of cases about to blow up in the agency — gender discrimination, nepotism to the extreme and some truly bad conduct. These are coming at a time when heads are rolling in other agencies, and when contracts are being negotiated. Dr. Riley will be the one to suffer, and that is a shame, because he did not create the problem. His hubris lies in his isolation from all of it and refusing to deal with it. It will cost him dearly.

There is much more squealing to come. Employees at all of the agencies are coming forward, after years of keeping silent. Once the gate was opened, people who were too scared or too loyal felt that now was the time to hit and hit hard, because the county has ignored this stuff for way too long.

— Passdammo / Aug. 5

Making Public Transit Fun

They need to expand a little with additions of buses with more bike-carrying capacity.

And try a first-class cabin for the high rollers willing to pay $20 for a $3 fare.

— Robincook / Aug. 6

If you’re going to spend money on all these superficial solutions to transform riding a bus into a joyful, fun experience, why not hire some out-of-work comedians to do their routines on the buses while in operation?

Life is not a real pleasant experience for most people who must ride a bus for transportation. Let comedians brighten up their lives as they move around town. I think that would be a much more cost-effective solution than remodeling bus stations or painting buses orange.

— Beelzebub / Aug. 6

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