Where is Ethel Whitty?
It's been a long time since I've seen her at Carnegie. A woman who goes to Carnegie almost daily commented the other day, "She's never around. She's never there." She doesn't remember the last time she saw Whitty. I've heard both women and men express amazement at how invisible Whitty is at Carnegie.
Another woman who generally doesn't criticize Whitty, said that she needed a letter from Whitty recently, and went to her office only to be told by staff that she wasn't there and they had no idea when she would show up again. It was an emergency situation, but the woman was left dangling. This woman is not the only member who has reported the problem of staff having no idea when Whitty would return.
Whitty is supposed to be available to the people at Carnegie Centre, one woman explained. "She's not management." That surprised me as I thought that as director, she would be considered management. David McLellan is General Manager of Community Services and he has to start taking more of an interest in why Carnegie members rarely see Whitty around. Whitty is paid well over $100,000 to be at Carnegie. If Whitty is not in her office, she has an obligation to ensure that her staff know when she will return. These unexplained disappearances have gone on for far too long.
From the day Whitty got the job at Carnegie, she has been accused of hiding in her office. The word, "hiding" has been used more than once. But the problem seems to have gone beyond hiding now.
When Whitty is seen by Carnegie members, her attitude is different. One woman said Whitty "is like a Nazi in meetings now." The word "Nazi" gets tossed around too loosely to mean much, so I asked that the woman be more specific. She said Whitty gives orders about what she wants done when she's in meetings; it's an ordering style that she didn't have when she first arrived at Carnegie. This style has been noticed, for example, in meetings with poverty activists.
The taxpayin' truth is that either Whitty's job or that of her assistant, CUPE member Dan Tetrault, could easily be eliminated without any effect on services at Carnegie. Easily. McLellan knows that. And so does Mayor Gregor Robertson. But they won't cut either one of these jobs because Carnegie is COPE territory and VISION Mayor Gregor has made a deal with COPE to work together to keep the centre-right from getting elected. COPE councillors like Ellen Woodsworth and David Cadman would make a fuss if Mayor Gregor deprived their loyal womyn and feminized males on the left of their sinecures.