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Unsung Heroes: Week of May 18
If you ever stop by the City Hall mailroom, you’re likely to find Reggie Roberts. In the 21 years that he has worked for the City, he says that he likes working in the mailroom and that he “never wanted to do anything else." The mailroom is located at the end of a long hallway at City Hall. Before the pandemic, a continuous stream of employees stopped by to pick-up or drop off mail -- and to chat a bit-- which was just fine with Reggie, a gregarious people-person. "Everyone has to come to the mail room to pick up their mail," he said. "That's why everyone knows me."
Things got a lot quieter after the County imposed the shelter-at-home order in mid-March. Only a scattering of essential employees in several departments continued to come to work at City Hall, including Reggie. There's not a lot of outgoing mail these days, but he says that there's a lot coming in. Those deliveries included pallet upon pallet of personal protective gear: gloves, masks and sanitizer bottles, all staged temporarily in the City Hall garage. Reggie has handled crates of laptop computers ordered by IT for employees working remotely. Reggie has also been assisting with projects outside his normal duties, including accepting competitive bids for materials that needed to be purchased by Public Works.
In early April, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Reggie and his family personally. He lost a cousin he had grown up with to the virus, a 55-year-old woman who left behind a husband and a daughter, his goddaughter. "That really hurt," he said. Reggie self-quarantined for 14 days before returning to his work in the City’s mailroom. Thankfully, neither he nor anyone in his immediate family experienced any symptoms.
Reggie is looking forward to having more company when City employees start returning to work at City Hall. In the meantime, he joked, "I try to hold on to strangers--'hey, where are you going'?"
Our heartfelt condolences to Reggie and his family for his loss and our deep appreciation to this unsung hero who brightens the day of everyone he encounters.
Finance: Payment Processing; Accounts Payable; Payroll; and Investment Teams
Santa Clara County shelter-in-place orders mean many City employees can work remotely. However, many of the City’s financial work streams require Finance staff to be on site in City Hall. Members of the Finance Payment Processing, Accounts Payable, Payroll, and Investment teams are arriving in City Hall every day to keep money flowing and keep the City operating.
The Payment Processing team manages the City's centralized banking functions and cash and check processing for multiple programs throughout the City. The unit oversees transactions processed via check and credit card on multiple billing systems, including Business Tax, Transient Occupancy Tax and Hotel Business Improvement District, Utility Billing, Airport, and Utility Users Tax.
The Accounts Payable team facilitates timely and accurate payment of the City's disbursements. Customers of this service include City departments, employees, government agencies, non-profit corporations, consultants, contractors, and vendors who provide goods and services to the City.
The Payroll team facilitates timely and accurate payment of payroll to approximately 7,000 City employees and provides responses to payroll-related information requests City-wide. The City organizational structure has employees divided among many different bargaining units with various requirements contained in each of the related units' Memoranda of Agreement.
The Investment team manages the City cash flow and invests City funds in accordance with the City Investment Policy mandates of safety, liquidity, and yield. The group is responsible for cash flow forecasts, portfolio management, Investment Policy updates and compliance, interest earnings forecasts, and related reporting.
Special thanks to these unsung heroes for processing money into the bank, investing, and facilitating payments to our employees and vendors to help keep our City and economy moving. Payment Processing team includes Pam Gill, Jessica Lasek, JoAnn Bierdeman, Sonika Mahi, Chheth Kim, Theresa Monzon, and Bonnie Hamilton. Accounts Payable team includes Yolanda Ayala, Maria Guerrero, Jaime Fonseca, Leilani Batino, Sara Dominguez, and Laurie Mak. Payroll team includes Zohra Khaliqi, Mala Song, May Quach, Nancy Kangan, Phuong Le, Jessica De Vera, Anita Pennington, Damian Beatty, Karen Bailiff, and Yolanda Wasniewski. Investment team includes Cesar Blengino, Frances Tao, and Qianyu Sun.