City of Palo Alto, CA Reviews | Glassdoor

City of Palo Alto, CA Reviews

Updated December 10, 2016
22 reviews

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2.7
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22 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Poor work environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at City of Palo Alto, CA full-time

    Pros

    Beautiful city to work and live in.

    Cons

    Company culture is toxic, filled with favoritism and cronyism.


  2. "Great people - particularly utility department"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    Most of the employees have been there for a long time, they promote from within.

    Cons

    more work to do than employees

    Advice to Management

    keep doing what you are doing!


  3. "Great summer internship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Mostly for college students, though a few positions are open to high schoolers. Very well-paid and includes educational aspects, such as various city officials speaking about their jobs and roundtables with other local city governments. Lots of on-the-job independence.

    Cons

    Lots of 'typical intern' office management work, and projects can move fairly slowly. Definitely a varying level of motivation and dedication to one's job in the office.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "No regrets working there for many years - Get that money!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Technical in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at City of Palo Alto, CA (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Salary, CalPers, Benefits, Four day work weeks make work life balance a little more bearable. They really do care about sustainability, being green, and maintaining their status as the greenest city in the nation. Environmentally responsible policies and practices.

    Cons

    Zero mobility and flexibility from the norm, coworkers are mentally beaten into submission and scared to take risks, managers vs union structure, observe constantly people with less education & experience hired into management positions from the outside, horrible bureaucratic daily nonsense, no initiative from team members, very strong nepotism and good old boys club in management positions, a daily hell that you will always wish to be free from but the money keeps you going back every day. Management pay is so high they are doing everything to protect their assets and not rock the boat, culture of fear, dishonesty, backstabbing, gossip. Dead end career, it will not be easy to find the next job unless you really figure out how to market yourself effectively. No access to technology. Honestly could go on endlessly with cons. You will be circling your retirement date and looking at it every day hoping your life would just jump forward! That's no way to live! You go home at night sad and dejected, and weekends are spent terrified of Monday to come again. That is draining and stressful and extremely unhealthy. It makes your job seem to be a 24/7 burden.

    Advice to Management

    Take your fancy retirements and move out of the way of new employees who care about building careers and relationships. When you hire a talented young person who wants to build a strong career for themselves, that can be mutually beneficial for the organization and the employee. Instead of actively trying to limit someones growth, take some risks there is nothing to lose. Nobody has been fired there ever so why are they all so scared.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "City an okay place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Associate I in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Administrative Associate I in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at City of Palo Alto, CA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people that work here are amazing. The benefits are good. They leverage new technologies to make the work environment fun, engaging, and efficient.

    Cons

    Change is a very slow process and sometimes frustrating. Decisions are made only by upper management and staff cannot be trusted in their view. If you have an idea to make something more efficient, your idea will not be heard.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Pros & Cons of City Employee"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Assistant
    Former Employee - Program Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Wonderful community of residents to work with who are very concerned with environmental issues. This is an employer that will let you run with ideas, learn new tasks and skills. Can have outstanding and caring coworkers.

    Cons

    Be prepared to work in a union setting; "bad apple" employees are very hard to remove. Promotions take a long time. Salaries are ok but once you top out for your grade that's it and there are seldom cost-of-living increases & never bonuses!
    This City has the worse HR department I've ever experienced, hands down.

    Advice to Management

    Remember the value of mentoring and career path encouragement. Instill more "basics" of working as a team, office etiquette and trying new, fresh ideas for staffing efficiency.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Planning manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Generally nice coworkers and a variety of projects.

    Cons

    Lack of overall proprities, direction, accountability.

    Advice to Management

    It would be great to see opportunities created for younger, ambitious managers.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Run The Other Way"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    I have met some of the most intelligent and hardworking people at the city. Most people fall close under family.

    Cons

    Nepotism on a grand scale. People who have been at the city for years who truly have drive, have given up. They have been overlooked and passed up. Many people working at the city do not make as much people think, nor even have solid employment. Known fact: there was once a temporary employee with limited hours with no benefits for almost a decade. This is not uncommon.

    Advice to Management

    Think back to when you were young and had aspirations and all the needs you had. Think of the needs of the city! Review your departments and see where you can improve the lives of those who continue to work day in and day out to make sure that the city runs smoothly behind the scenes.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "City of Palo Alto"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at City of Palo Alto, CA full-time

    Pros

    Great city manager at the helm.

    Cons

    Department heads who are not aligned with the city manager's vision can thwart initiatives and day-to-day activity, making for an unhealthy work environment.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Fairly Good job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at City of Palo Alto, CA part-time

    Pros

    Flexible hours, relaxed environment and great coworkers. Overall great summer job.

    Cons

    Tough to switch shifts, have to get along with managers/bosses otherwise may be difficult to get good shifts/jobs, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Make a forum for complaints and increase wages to remain competitive



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