The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 21, 2011
Board of Equalization employee: 'I deserve to be treated better'

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 110829 BOE HQ.JPGThis blog has been following the problems with water, mold, falling glass, toxics and malfunctioning elevators at the Board of Equalization headquarters in Sacramento for quite some time.

The Department of General Services, which acts as the landlord of the 450 N St. property, has poured millions of dollars into the building and has said that the fixes would bring the space up to standards.

Still, the five-member board, BOE Executive Director Kristine Cazadd and many of the 2,900 staff who work in the building think it's time to move. Here's an email from one of them, BOE employee Annie Mac. We're publishing her words, unedited and with her permission:

I work for the State of California, at the Board of Equalization headquarters, and I deserve to be treated better by the State.

BOE collects about 35% of the revenues that support vital state programs that Californians rely on every day, such as schools, colleges, and hospitals.

BOE headquarters has been riddled with health and safety issues for years. Recently, windows have fallen out of the building, elevators have failed, trapping employees inside, and mold has been found in the system that circulates air throughout the building.

When will the State take this seriously? We are potentially exposed to hazardous conditions every day, which could result in headaches, respiratory dysfunction and liver damage; we are also psychologically impacted every day by a hounding uncertainty about what will happen next. I fear it will require a preventable tragedy to persuade the State to move us into a safer building.

PHOTO: The Board of Equalization's 24-story headquarters in Downtown Sacramento. Jay Mather / Sacramento Bee, 2005

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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