Civil Service Commission: Part 2

Last week, Mayor Percy Bland announced his plans to form a committee to examine and improve the Civil Service Commission. Now, those plans are shaping up. This blue ribbon committee will consist of CAO Mike McGrevey, Councilman Dustin Markham and an appointed member of the Civil Service Commission.

"It's not just the administration making a decision, it's not just the Commission or the City Council," the mayor explains. "As a group, we need to come together and fit what needs to be done so this process is a better process."

Those three will review the entire employment process and give their list of recommendations for changes to be made. The committee will also enlist the help of technical advisors to help guide them through this process, like former commissioners and others involved in the Commission's work.

"There needs to be training provided; there needs to be some kind of manual developed for the new persons coming on to tell them these are the things you need to do as a new Civil Service Commissioner," Council president George Thomas says. "They need to have the opportunity to get that information."

But there could also be changes within the system. Issues such as finding updated employee tests that more accurately apply to the job description will be looked at. And the mayor says be prepared. Because updating tests could be a bit costly.

"That's going to possibly cost some money," Mayor Bland says. "Those tests cost between $2500 to $4000, I think, per test."

Bringing in expert help will likely have its own costs, as well. But the administration says it might be necessary because existing members will also need training.

"It's clear that going through this process the last few weeks that we need a strong training program that's in place," McGrevey says. "Not just for Civil Service, but a strong training program for all employees that are involved in this system."

McGrevey says much like a building needs continual review to prevent deterioration, the Commission needs to be updated, as well. The City Council and mayor have agreed, although this will take some work, the city needs to get the Civil Service Commission updated to where it should be.