THE members of the Mayor’s Management Team of Cebu City find joy in neither the vice mayor nor the girlfriend of the mayor.

If they had expected Vice Mayor Joy Young to take up their cause against former councilor Joy Pesquera, they were in for some disappointment. Young, an organizer and manager by orientation, knows when people gripe for unfounded reason or for valid cause.

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Similarly, Joy Pesquera, despite the unfavorable things said about her by the former mayor, knows how to dispense the role assigned to her. She had shown her competence and autonomy as a city councilor, to the irritation of Tomas Osmeña who is not used to having his decisions questioned.

On the authority of Mayor Michael Rama, Pesquera exercised her judgment in dealing with the MMT members. Rama had picked her because he believed she was the right person to do the job. She has that toughness perceived to be lacking in the mayor, who is also her boyfriend.

Expectedly and understandably, Rama equivocated on Pesquera’s action. It leaves me frustrated again to see Pesquera doing what she is supposed to do but not getting outright and public validation from the person who gave her the authority.

Instead, the mayor said he would not fire anyone at MMT and might even promote some of them, an action that would be the opposite of Pesquera’s recommendation.

Here comes another Joy, a three-letter name that doesn’t evoke pleasure or delight from the MMT members these days. Young said a mouthful about the griping mid-managers, who are credited as academically superior over other City Hall employees.

So what’s wrong with their being interviewed and being assessed of their performance? Why are they acting like sacred cows and thinking they are beyond appraisal? Pesquera, despite her not being an employee of City Hall, was authorized by the mayor to act on his behalf. Kami man ang politicians, they should not act like they are the politicians.

Uh-oh. You will never hear Rama say that to anyone. But kevs si Joy Young. The vice mayor put them in their place and was short of saying, “Ayaw mo pagbuot!” It may not have been politically savvy for Young to be rebuking the MMT members but he got his point across.

That was the manager and organizer in Young showing: be clear in what you say. His words couldn’t be interpreted any other way. To reporters, Young is a joy to interview. He is clear and direct to the point. He doesn’t waste their time beating around the bush, going around in circles, saying a lot but nothing, blah blah blah.

The other Joy in Rama’s life preferred to keep mum and left it to the mayor to do the talking. Smart woman that she is, Joy knows that be it right or wrong, anything she says could be taken against her and Rama. It would be interesting to know what they said to each other in private. That they lasted this long speaks a lot about their relationship.

Whether Rama bears Joy out is anchored on the fate of the MMT members. The mayor has said he will keep the MMT as it is; Joy Pesquera and Joy Young said they’d rather reorganize it.

This will be a test of Rama’s will and I doubt if he will find joy in his decision.