On Tuesday, the city released comments on its hiring practices gathered anonymously from workers. Comments came from 32 city employees, who listed a multitude of problems.
Six respondents felt the process has become politicized.
"[There] should be no 'buddy' appointments by politicians or slotting managers into newly created positions," complained one employee.
Another wrote, "[The] mayor has politicized the civil-service process."
A review of the hiring practices was ordered by the Madison Common Council, after mayoral aide Jeanne Hoffman was hired this spring to be the city's new facilities and sustainability manager -- despite her lack of facility management experience.
Respondents expressed that supervisors should have at least a college degree and be required to live within the city of Madison. They wanted the city to do more background checks, make job ads clearer and promote from within. One employee complained that the city's Human Resources department "appears inconsistent and not open and transparent." Another said the department "is not customer-friendly."
The full list of comments is available for download at right.
In presenting the data to the city council's organizational committee, Lucia Nunez, head of the Department of Civil Rights, noted that the Human Resources department was upset by the review.
"At times, it was rough," says Nunez. "There was a feeling of staff being audited, of staff work being questioned."
Nunez says the city will finish its report by January. The Madison Professional and Supervisory Employees Association, which represents the city's managers, has drafted its own report, but has decided not to release it until the city is ready.