Our View: Doing a job for 15 bosses | SierraSun.com

Our View: Doing a job for 15 bosses

If you’ve spent any time in the workplace world you’ve had fortune ” good or bad, depending on circumstance ” of having a boss.

Bosses tell you what to do, when to do it, how to do it and, ultimately, how much you’ll get paid to do it.

Good bosses give clear feedback unmuddied by politics, personalities or the prevailing wind no matter how stressful, high-profile or demanding the job ” the boss’ and employee’s ” may be.

It’s safe to say the boss-employee relationship can be trying. Now imagine having 15 bosses and working for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Talk about politics, stress and high profile.

For some people, no amount of money would lure them into such an untenable position as the executive director of the TRPA beholden to a 15-member Board of Governors.

Say hello to John Singlaub, the man on the public hot seat before 10 of his bosses a week ago seeking a raise. Well, raise is a misnomer. Try a 2.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment that would have set Singlaub’s annual salary at $132,958.

Call TRPA a fascist outfit tromping all over private property rights, or call it the savior of Lake Tahoe’s waning clarity and embattled environment, managing this one-of-a-kind, bi-state bureaucracy is a tough gig. And we haven’t even mentioned the fallout from the Angora Fire.

So up comes Singlaub’s review, which included a number of hoops like interviews with former TRPA employees who may or may not have departed seeing eye to eye with their old boss. Singlaub’s performance review included a survey sent out to the Board of Governors, TRPA employees and the public.

But like last Wednesday’s meeting where only 10 of the 15 governors bothered to stay to review their single most important employee, only half of the board members who received the survey responded.

Love TRPA or hate TRPA, Singlaub is a guy trying to do a job ” dictated by 15 bosses. That’s a situation ripe for problems even when everyone is on the same page; dysfunction when the bosses can’t get it together.

Yes, six of the 10 board members present at the meeting voted to approve the pay hike. But with five of the 15 absent for the vote, the board failed to reach the majority necessary to grant a basic 2.9 percent cost-of-living increase.

Granted, Singlaub chose his job and is compensated well. But perhaps it is time the performance of each and every one of the agency’s 15 governors is scrutinized.

After all, employees are only reflections of their bosses.

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