Rumors have finally been substantiated as facts, surrounding instability in the City of Compton’s Engineering Department. The instability ties directly to the disbursement of state and federal monies to perform street repairs. 2UrbanGirls has obtained an email that sheds light on issues the employee was concerned about that tendered their resignation.
From: Hien Nguyen
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2019 8:41 AM
To: Craig Cornwell <email@example.com>; Michael Antwine <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: HIEN NGUYEN’S NOTICE OF RETIREMENT & LETTER OF RESIGNATION
Mr. Craig Cornwell, City Manager
Mr. Mike Antwine, Assistant City Manager
December 2, 2019
Good morning Gentlemen,
(1) This letter will serve as my official notice of Retirement and Letter of Resignation as Assistant City Engineer for the City of Compton, effective 12/2/2019
(2) My reply to your nine-point concern
Thank you for your time meeting with me and Ms. Rosalyn Rambo [union representative] on my performance from 3pm to 4pm on November 27, 2019 in the City Manager’s conference meeting room.
Per your request, please find the following response to your nine-point concerns:
1. left PW counter: I can provide detailed info based on my daily work records. I showed the City Manager my daily work records during the meeting
2. The Wednesday afternoon October 20, 2019: I received Mr. Antwine’s message regarding “not sending request to Willdan for assistance since our budget is no longer sufficient…”: As I recently reported to HR [and cc’d you]: “The clients of the encroachment permits and development projects feel things are taking too long; clearly one person doing two jobs is not efficient and timely enough for our clients.” FYI: for the last ten years – up to October, 2019: my email box was always reviewed, and responded to timely. No complaints from private developments owners/architects/engineers/contractors/etc. Now, the email box shows accumulated emails up to over 250. The phone sets also flooded with calls, not fully reviewed/responded to timely. I expect the situation will be improved as soon as we have sufficient experienced staff like we had before October. I met with Ms. Delores Jones of PW Dept. and said: “Delores, this morning I tried to finish reviewing major components of the National Pollutants Discharge Elimination System [NPDES] for the City’s Consultant, Mr. Hunter, in preparation for his Annual NPDES Report to the Water Board. The NPDES review was interrupted by a request for a construction permit for the 745 W Artesia Blvd project [aka “16.7-acre Nissan bldg project”]. I temporarily set the NPDES review aside, I tried to finish reviewing the “745” project, making sure that the plans reviewed by Willdan were not missing major design safety features and the grading bond submitted, etc. Then came Mr. Antwine’s request for yet more urgent Encroachment Permit Applications to be reviewed. Now, I have to handle his request. Delores, I am only human, you know my willingness to continue serving the City. But if there is no adequate staff: It is extremely tough for me to overcome a huge pile of tasks as a one-man band. I need Willdan or other Consultants to assist our PW Dept’s Engineering Division. Now it’s more difficult for me to work without assistance from a Consultant. Waking up at mid night, I could not figure out how to satisfy concurrently both urgent requests for construction permits and encroachment permits for developers and utility firms, and other important on-going engineering tasks, etc., if all tasks are performed only by me even with minor assistance on inspection from PW Consultant Willdan. This stressful working environment has put an unfair and unreasonable burden on me and has caused me a lot of stress. Therefore, I went home sick on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 20,2019. I showed the City Manager the message I texted to Delores and Jeff before I left after 12pm. The following Thursday I was scheduled off.
3. Non-responsive to emails and calls from “Encroachment Permit Applicants, Developers, Architects, Engineers, etc.: please see the reason as explained in item 2 above.
4. Willdan: Per Mr. Antwine’s request, I no longer send to Willdan any new requests for proposals for services.
5. “On-going tasks”: Per Mr. Antwine’s request in email to me on Nov. 20: I have provided you with the following: 21-page list of PW Dept’s Engineering Division’s on-going tasks” and 3-page list of PW Dept’s Engineering Division’s on-going encroachment permit tasks” for Mr. Antwine’s possible reassignment.
6. Coordination/instruction to Applicant: Please find a typical response below to Applicant. Please note that the response has been tailored corresponding to a one-man band , i.e. one person wearing multiple hats ( one person doing the jobs of multiple people, due to inadequate staffing)
From: Hien Nguyen
Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 2:51 PM
To: ‘email@example.com’ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Delores Jones <DJones@comptoncity.org>; Jeffrey Yamabayashi <email@example.com>; Traci Watkins <TWatkins@comptoncity.org>; John Strickland <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Michael Antwine <email@example.com>; Craig Cornwell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: URGENT: NEW ENCROACHMENT PERMIT REQUEST FOR N ALAMEDA ST & E ROSECRANS AVE (287000446)
Hello Ms. Martin,
PW Dept. is in receipt of your incomplete submittal package – from our Assistant City Manager, Mr. Mike Antwine – as follows:
1. App 287000446
2. 19-20 Certificate of Insurance – City of Compton
3. 287000446 EXCAVATION
4. 287000446 TCP
5. LOA MCI Compton
6. STATE CONTRACTORS LICENSE (COMM)
Please find PW Dept’s list of essential documents you need to provide directly to me, ASAP, as follows:
1. Please itemize all work items on the application [including work length, locations, days of work, etc.] for our fee assessment.
2. For safety of the public: please submit the following
· One complete pdf set of your Temporary Traffic Control Plan [to be wet signed/stamped by a State-licensed Professional Engineer]
· All excavation and repair within the City of Compton’s public street right-of-way [including street pavement and sidewalk]: must be shown on a plan to be wet signed/stamped by a State-licensed Professional Engineer.
3. Please confirm should you need street lane closure and/or sidewalk closure permit for a specific number of day[s] and location
4. Applicant-retained State-licensed Professional Engineer shall perform all fieldwork coordination/meeting/inspection/etc. At end of work: Applicant to submit his/her wet signed/stamped certificate confirming that all work is properly done to the government standards [including standards of APWA, Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Works, etc.]
PW staff will get back to you on the total fee after we have received the missing items listed hereon.
Hien Nguyen, P.E.
Assistant City Engineer
City of Compton
205 S Willowbrook Ave
Compton, CA 90220
Phone (310) 761-1476,
Fax (310) 605-6326
City Hall is closed Fridays