Jaclyn Disney Statement: ‘I’ve been excused from my tenure, but I’m proud of what we achieved.’

I think if one were to focus on the “exodus of employees“ and the loss of great leaders as a result of the political tensions in our community, then we lose the most important part of our story, which is why these individuals are so important and why they are so valuable to the community. If the public doesn’t already have a sense of value for the public servants that have been terminated; forced into retirement; or who have simply chosen to leave, then pointing out the faults of the current administration gets lost in the noise and arguing about who is at fault for the damage done to the institution by the loss of quality employees.

The value of public institutions is dependent on the quality of those who choose to serve the public in combination with the intentions and actions of those in positions of influence and authority.

I am proud of the success that I have had as a long-term public service employee, especially after taking the helm of a County Agency that saw four directors over the course of three years… Not including interim directors. It took a great deal of work and sacrifice to be able to show progress and effectiveness in a two-year period while simultaneously working to repair  the cumulative damage that compounded over multiple years of persistent administrative transition. I am proud of the progress that was made because of the loyalty and tenacity of the leadership team that I was blessed with developing within our modest-sized agency.

Despite all of the political and social turmoil that our community has experienced over the last few years, it’s important for the public to see that there are people in the Agency that did amazing things for the benefit of the community.  Our Agency also received recognition from state and federal funding agencies for the improvements that our staff made in collaboration, program compliance, and service delivery. These changes were acknowledged by leaders in other organizations, including City Managers in the three incorporated cities, and by the County Board of Supervisors during public comment at the Board Meeting on December 6, 2022.

As you may already know, some of the County department heads are elected by the public; some are appointed by the board; and others of us are hired/fired at the will of the County Administrator.  After two years and three months, I’ve been excused from my tenure, but I’m proud of what we achieved, and I have peace knowing that I have made a positive impact on my community during the time that I was allowed to serve.

Per the exit letter that I sent to the board, our department was able to provide measurable outcomes for the services that we delivered.  Specifically, people were housed; programs were improved; and measurable progress was made towards mitigating poverty. Feel free to publish that letter, as it shows the most important part of the story, which is the value of dedicated and capable public employees. As with any season of transition in the public sector environment, the consequences and outcomes from the eminent political and administrative changes will, in time, reveal themselves and be visible to the community.

By Jaclyn Disney, former Shasta County Department of Housing and Community Action Programs director

Guest Speaker

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