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City workers win merit awards

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Twelve municipal employees honored for work against fraud, waste, bureaucracy

A dozen city employees will be honored today for saving the city money, rooting out fraud, decreasing bureaucracy and going beyond their mandated job titles.

And the savings and reforms the honorees have been credited with are not inconsiderable.

Sue Currin, the chief nursing officer at San Francisco General Hospital, has generated millions of dollars in grants for the hospital to ensure state nursing levels are met. Todd Rydstrom, director of budget and analysis for the Controller’s Office, is credited with helping The City save millions in tax dollars. Eight human resources department workers streamlined The City’s hiring practices so that now it only takes about six weeks, not six months, to hire a new employee. Chris Iglesias, a member of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development for more than a dozen years, launched a job pilot program three years before expected and has already graduated and placed more than 80 people in local construction projects. Jeff Gary, a workers’ compensation manager for the Municipal Transportation Agency, has rooted out fraudulent claims and reduced workers’ comp costs at the MTA by $3.7 million for 2006 alone.

The four individuals and a team of eight human resources department employees are scheduled to receive awards that come with a $1,500 prize, said Patrick Tangney, a spokesman for the Municipal Fiscal Advisory Committee to the Mayor, which oversees the awards.

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While city ethics policies allow for an exceptionto its rules in the case of the annual advisory committee awards, state rules allow for a maximum of $360 in gifts, said Mabel Ng, deputy executive director at the Ethics Commission.

As a result, employees may donate the remaining $1,140 to The City or to a charity of their choice.

mcarroll@examiner.com

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