At first meeting in nearly a year, Crestwood panel recommends reducing meeting requirements


At its first meeting in nearly a year, the Crestwood Civil Service Board voted to recommend a handful of changes to its rules and regulations — among them one that would reduce the advisory board’s meeting requirements — to the Board of Aldermen.

The Civil Service Board voted 3-0 July 22 to recommend its meeting requirements in the civil service rules and regulations be reduced from “the first Tuesday in March, June, September and December” to “annually.”

“We obviously have not met that often,” City Administrator Jim Eckrich said of the existing meeting requirements.

The mayor, city administrator or Civil Service Board chair still can request additional meetings, according to Chapter 1 of the rules and regulations.

The last Civil Service Board meeting was Aug. 28. Since it last met, the board’s makeup has changed completely.

The Board of Aldermen approved Mayor Roy Robinson’s appointments of Kevin King, Carol Wagner and Steve Knarr to the Civil Service Board in October, December and January, respectively.

The three replaced former board members Gretchen Huston, Catherine Barnes and Martha Duchild.

The Civil Service Board also will recommend aldermen approve an addition to Chapter 13 of the rules and regulations regarding the city’s alcohol and controlled substance testing policy.

Currently, the policy applies only to “safety-sensitive employees,” or “any employee who operates a commercial motor vehicle for the city and holds and commercial driver’s license …”

The modification adds language to the applicability section to include employees who aren’t safety-sensitive.

“Employees who do not perform safety-sensitive functions shall refrain from using or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while on duty. Any such em-ployee found using or believed to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while on duty is subject to disciplinary action as defined (in the same chapter), including termination …” according to the recommended new language.

However, the board last year drafted an additional chapter, Chapter 14, on non-safety-sensitive employee substance abuse policy.

Board members reviewed a list of questions Eckrich gave to Duchild about the policy, according to approved minutes from the Aug. 28 Civil Service Board meeting.

At the time, then-Assistant City Administrator Brian Gross recommended discussion “be tabled until the Civil Service Board is able to meet with Mr. Eckrich to discuss his inquiries.”

The board voted to table the discussion but didn’t meet again in an official capacity until last week — with all three board members from Aug. 28 replaced.

Eckrich told the Call the discussion did not come up again because of the change in board membership, but said the previous board’s additional chapter is reflected in the new language in Chapter 13.

“I feel like we’ve done what they wanted to do in what I’ve recommended,” he said.

The recommendation for the addition to Chapter 13 passed unanimously.

The Civil Service Board also will recommend:

• Eliminating the assistant city administrator, director of public services and the community and economic development manager from the list of city positions not covered by civil service rules and regulations, outlined in Chapter 1.

The modification also adds the public works director and parks and recreation director to the list of exclusions.

The positions removed from the list no longer exist, Eckrich said. However, the board also voted to include, pending approval by City Attorney Rob Golterman, a clause that would give the Board of Aldermen the authority to designate an employee as excluded from civil service provisions.

• Changing the political-activity section of the civil service provisions in Chapter 2 to allow city employees to “participate in or contribute to a political candidate, political party or political cause so long as such participation or contribution occurs during the employee’s personal time and does not involve the use of any city resources.”

The current language prohibits employees from contributing to candidates campaigning for city offices, except by individual ballot.

• Adding a new section to Chapter 5 on the city’s pay plan.

The city’s previous pay plan was repealed in 2007, but Chapter 5 still refers to concepts the now non-existent plan established, such as the job value, or wage value, of a position, Eckrich said.

The new section would allow the Civil Service Board to continue using the chapter as a guideline, sans the inapplicable sections, for decision-making until the city adopts a new pay plan.

Eckrich said he and a group of employees currently are working on a new pay plan; he said they hope to have it done by the end of the year.

• Removing current language in Chapter 10 that implies “pregnancy and birth of a child” is not a situation covered by sick leave unless it occurs “within the first year of employment.”

• Modifying the section on family and emergency medical leave, also in Chapter 10, to conform to recent changes to the family and medical leave act.

The modification also changes language that requires employees to use all of their paid vacation time before dipping into their accumulated sick days in the event of surgery or other medical situation that requires a leave of absence.

Eckrich said he expects the recommendations to go before the Board of Aldermen next month.