Testing eliminated

EAST LIVERPOOL — Citing the need to help people find good paying jobs without the burden of passing tests to be hired, the Civil Service Commission on Thursday agreed to eliminate testing for those applying for entry level jobs in the Refuse & Recycling Department.

Commission member Sherrie Curtis broached the subject, saying, “There is a huge turn-over in refuse and recycling and fewer and fewer applicants. I don’t think we’re serving the community by giving the test over and over again.”

She pointed out that many people, while quite able to perform a job, don’t perform well on a written test, saying, “Somebody might be a magnificent worker but can’t do it on paper.”

The former high school government teacher admitted wryly, “If I had to pass a spelling test to get a job, I would be in a lot of trouble.”

Curtis said the commission is permitted to give oral tests and suggested eliminating the R&R test altogether and giving authority to the service-safety director to just interview those who apply for the job.

She said the commission could decide whether it wanted a member to sit in on the interviews, stressing that, in the absence of the competitive test, the interviews must be done fairly, with each applicant “given a fair shot.”

Curtis suggested having applicants sign off in some way on whether they believed the interviews were conducted fairly.

It is mandatory that the top 10 scorers from any test be interviewed, and Curtis said, “We would be lucky to even get 10 (successful applicants), and if we don’t get 10, they can hire anybody they want (with no test required in that case).”

When all was said and done, the commission voted 3-0 to cancel an R&R test set for Tuesday, notify the 13 applicants they will instead be subject to an interview, and, in the future, conduct interviews instead of a test for the position.

Additionally, members agreed they, the union and Service-Safety Director Brian Allen need to discuss establishing an actual “laborer” position for the department, then incorporating some type of promotional exam for those who wish to move up to other positions.

In other matters, the commission accepted the resignation of assistant fire Chief David Edgell, effective Aug. 30, with Curtis adding, “with regrets,” saying, “He has been a fine officer and served our community well. I appreciate his service to our city.”

The appointment of firefighter Antony Cumo to the assistant chief’s position was also approved, effective Aug. 24 at a salary of $17.69 per hour.

In asking for his appointment, President Marissa Galeoti called Cumo, “A very nice young man.”

The temporary appointment of Ryan Blake in the R&R department, effective July 30 at an hourly salary of $10.86.

It was reported Blake will temporarily replace Todd Bednarek, who was appointed to the permanent position during the August meeting. He had started work July 30 but did not return to work after Aug 13, with no notification given.

Blake will fill the position until after interviews are given (now that the test has been eliminated).

The commission also scheduled a competitive exam for police patrolman at 5 p.m. Oct. 16 at the New Castle School of Trade.

Chief John Lane said prior to the meeting that all candidates from an existing eligibility are no longer available.

Although uncertain exactly how many officers will be hired once the test has been taken, Lane said he needs one to replace Patrolman Moose Ramsey, who has been named the school resource officer.

He also said an officer is currently off sick with his return to duty not certain, and another one eligible for retirement next year, both of whom could need to be replaced.

The commission will hold its next regular meeting at 4 p.m. prior to the patrolman’s test.