Meridian's water department at one time had four full-time employees to read meters in the city, but is now left to cover the entire city with only one. The water department is one of many, just like the police and fire departments, that desperately needs to hire, but can't until the Civil Service Commission is ready.
The Civil Service Commission was one of the focal points from the City Council work session. Council members say the city desperately needs to move forward in hiring new employees, as well as transitioning temporary employees to full-time.
"We need to test for it, we need to put the person in there," Council President George Thomas says in the session. "It's not fair to hire people in there and keep them more than 90 days. Plus it's a violation of the city policy."
The hiring freeze has been lifted, and the commission is now fully-staffed. But the city is still making some final decisions before they start testing new employees. CAO Mike McGrevey met with the chairman of the Civil Service Commission to determine what needs to be done before moving forward.
"Basically, our meeting this afternoon is about reviewing the testing process, as well as how do we move forward on a training schedule for our civil service commissioners," he says.
And while the city is on the verge of hiring on new employees, one of the most time-consuming measures standing in the way is looking at the tests, themselves.
"One of the larger issues was testing, and the obsolete conditions of some of the tests," Council Vice President Dustin Markham explains. "So we need to go back and revamp some of those tests, have the department heads determine whether those tests are still legitimately relevant to those positions."
McGrevey says there are anywhere from 35 to 40 vacant positions that need to be filled.