Legal opinion sought on statuses of city workers

EAST LIVERPOOL-City council’s Finance and Labor Relations committees are requesting the Civil Service Commission draft a letter to Law Director Charles Payne asking his legal opinion regarding how a 2011 city ordinance affects city employees’ status as classified or unclassified.

The committees met Tuesday to address the issue, which was brought to their attention by the Civil Service Commission. At a meeting last week, commission members announced they had discovered a 2011 ordinance which could impact which city positions are considered classified or unclassified. The discovery was prompted by a letter from Board of Public Utilities Director Bob Disch requesting the commission advise him of the best way to fill his position and two others in the department after he retires June 26.

Committee members said they were unsure why the 2011 ordinance had gone unnoticed by city officials for so long.

Safety Service Director Ryan Estell advised the committee he does not believe the ordinance would affect the city’s older hires because these employees were not informed of their status as either classified or unclassified at the time of their hire. He noted that state law requires the city to notify employees if they are hired for unclassifed service.

The committees concluded the decision should be left to the Civil Service Commission, but advised that Payne be consulted before moving forward.