Friday, April 25, 2008

Life in the public service fishbowl

Everyone who works at building a career has faced the question: Do I leave my current job to which I've made a serious committment for an exciting opportunity that will pay more?

It's one of those times of personal reflection and goal-setting that is usually discussed and decided over weeks and months of family discussions around the dinner table or in the family room. Not only might the decision set a new course for your family, but it may also impact your current employer.

Now imagine that your employer is 28,000 City residents, most of whom have a serious opinion about your work product but all of whom are directly or indirectly impacted by your job performance. Particularly if you lead a major City function, such as the Police Department. And, of course, all of this plays out for all to see in this interactive, connected Internet age.

That's just the position our Police Chief Ed Dadisho found himself in recently as he weighed a job opportunity in a Southern California community. It's all part of life in the public service fishbowl that all of us in the public sector understand and appreciate.

Here's how Daily Republic reporter Audrey Wong started her story in today's paper under the headline "Police chief rejects new job offer, stays loyal to Suisun City":

SUISUN CITY - Police Chief Ed Dadisho could have lived closer to his relatives, made more money and run a larger department if he accepted an offer to become police chief in Baldwin Park.

His conscience wouldn't allow him to take the job, however.

'I talk to my officers about character and building character. I talk about loyalty, and for me to leave, I couldn't swallow that pill . . . my officers truly believe in me,' Dadisho said.

Dadisho conceded that although the offer was lucrative, it was one he had to refuse.

'It's never been about the money for me. I truly feel law enforcement is a calling for me,' Dadisho said. 'It afforded me to be closer to my family, but I gave a commitment to the city.'

After speaking with his wife, Dadisho said he is prepared to stay two to three more years in Suisun City at the least.

So how much money are we talking here? The former Baldwin Park police chief reportedly made $240,000 a year in salary and benefits. Chief Dadisho makes $162,480 in Suisun City.

We all got a glimpse of the kind of man leading our Police Department. He's a good example of what makes Suisun City a special place to live and work, and exemplifies the dedication apparent among employees at every level in City Hall.
For more of Audrey's story, visit the Daily Republic's website.

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