City attorney to draft measure for revisions to civil-service rules

By EVAN YOUNG

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen last week gave the city attorney the go-ahead to draft an ordinance approving the first round of revisions to the city’s Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

Aldermen voted unanimously Sept. 22 to proceed with legislation that, if successful, would implement some of the seven modifications recently proposed by City Administrator Jim Eckrich.

Aldermen last week considered five of those changes. Among them:

• Eliminate the assistant city administrator, director of public services and the community and economic development manager from the list of city positions not covered by the civil-service rules, 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. The revision also includes a clause that would give the Board of Aldermen the authority to designate an employee as excluded from civil- service provisions.

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The city’s previous pay plan was repealed in 2007, but Chapter 5 still refers to concepts the now nonexistent plan established, such as the job value, or wage value, of a position, Eckrich said.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

• Remove 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.”

• Modify 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.

Another revision, which would’ve changed the Civil Service Board’s meeting requirements to “annually” from “the first Tuesday in March, June, September and December,” also was presented to aldermen.

However, Ward 1 Alderman Darryl Wallach motioned to amend the modification, as it would appear in the forthcoming ordinance, to “quarterly,” because he felt reducing the Civil Service Board’s meeting frequency was “stepping back” from what had been done in the past.

Mayor Roy Robinson reminded Wallach that, according to the civil-service rules, the mayor, city administrator, Board of Aldermen and/or the Civil Service Board chair have the authority to call meetings of the advisory committee.

“Otherwise, they have no other purpose,” Robinson said. “They don’t have a purpose like a lot of the other boards. The main purpose for the Civil Service Board is to hear grievances after they’ve gone through the process, up through the city administrator. When they (employees) are not satisfied with the city administrator’s decision, that’s when the Civil Service Board comes into play.

“Other than things that we give them to do, they don’t have any set jobs. The Sign Commission, we only have them serve when we have something that comes up on the docket … I don’t see what the big issue is on when they meet. They meet when they have to …”

Aldermen subsequently voted 5-3 to approve the amended meeting requirements. Ward 1 Alderman Mimi Duncan and Ward 4 Aldermen Deborah Beezley and John Foote were opposed.

The Civil Service Board voted Sept. 1 to table consideration of the remaining two modifications to the civil service rules — revisions to the section on employee political activity and to the city’s drug and alcohol policy.