VALLEJO – Turnover in Vallejo City Hall continues as Assistant Human Resources Director Stephanie Sifuentes is leaving this month, city spokesperson Christina Lee confirmed to the Vallejo Sun.
Sifuentes didn’t immediately respond to questions about where she is headed but her departure comes as the HR department has undergone significant change, including losing two HR directors over the past 15 months.
The city has turned to Beauchaine Consulting to provide assistance with several HR-related issues after HR Director Mark Love left at the beginning of the year. The Vallejo City Council will be asked to approve a second amendment to the contract with Beauchaine on Tuesday. If approved, the total compensation will reach $150,000.
Beauchaine Consulting, which already works on employee and labor relations issues, is being asked to provide additional work, including “bargaining support for negotiations with employee labor groups, which will require more time than previously anticipated,” Assistant City Manager Terrance Davis, who is also serving as interim HR director, wrote in a staff report to the council. Davis was originally hired to serve as the city’s public works director before being tapped to serve as assistant city manager.
Ruiz’s departure came after she was named in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by three former top Vallejo City Hall employees who claimed then-City Manager Greg Nyhoff fired them because they raised concerns about Nyhoff’s behavior.
That barely lasted six months as Love departed Vallejo in January 2022.
Sifunetes began as a senior personnel analyst with the city in November 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile. She was elevated to HR program manager in February 2019 before being named as assistant HR director in October 2021.
Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams terminated Kihmm in October 2021 allegeding that he failed to alert Williams to a personnel matter in a timely manner. Williams also accused Kihmm of conducting exit interviews with departing officers even after Williams told him to stop.
Kihmm said his termination was “false” and “unfounded” in a letter he wrote requesting that a notice of termination written by Williams be removed from his personnel file. His firing came the same week that Williams hired Jason Ta to fill the second deputy police chief position.
All three men served together at the San Jose Police Department before Williams left and recruited Kihmm to Vallejo.
The new deputy police chief will earn between $186,000 to $227,163 in annual salary plus benefits.
Facing a depleted command structure, the department successfully lobbied the city council to create another deputy police chief position in November 2020. At the time, two of the department’s three police captains were out on leave, creating a vacuum at the top.