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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Ballot and voting information for Alameda County.
This is an archive of a past election.

Dissolution of Civil Service BoardCharter Amendment

Local
November 8, 2016California General Election

City of Albany
Measure R1 Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passed

5,451 votes yes (76.71%)

1,655 votes no (23.29%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (13/13).

Shall the Albany City Charter be amended to dissolve the City's Civil Service Board and to add a definition for the term "classified service"?

Impartial analysis / Proposal

The City Council has placed before the voters the question whether the Albany City Charter should be amended to dissolve the City's Civil Service Board and to add a definition for the term "classified service". A full copy of the Charter amendment text is printed in these ballot materials.

Currently, the Charter requires that the City have a Civil Service Board consisting of five members appointed by the City Council. The Board's duties include formulating rules and regulations governing the employment, promotion, transfer, etc. of employees within the "Classified Service." The Board is also responsible for holding examinations for applicants seeking employment, promotion, transfer, etc. The Charter also requires that there be a Hearing Board to hear disputes related to members of the "Classified Service". The cost for carrying out these duties is paid from the City's General Fund. The Charter does not clearly define the term "Classified Service", but that term has been interpreted to include all sworn police and fire employees except for the Police Chief and Fire Chief.

The proposed Charter amendment would dissolve the Civil Service Board. The duties previously carried out by the Board would be fulfilled by the City's management staff unless otherwise directed by the City Council. The proposed Charter amendment also would add a definition of "Classified Service" which clearly states that this term includes all sworn police and fire employees except for the Police Chief and Fire Chief.

A “Yes” vote is a vote in favor of dissolving the Civil Service Board and defining the term "classified service". A “No” vote is a vote against making these changes. This measure will be approved if a majority of the votes cast on it are “Yes” votes.

DATED: July 22, 2016

 

— Craig Labadie, Albany City Attorney

Arguments FOR

Albany’s Civil Service Board is no longer needed. An independent review of City advisory bodies in 2012 found the Board unnecessary to the City function and recommended its dissolution. This ballot measure eliminates the Board and adds a definition for Classified Services personnel as all sworn public safety personnel except for the Chief of Police and Fire Chief.

The Civil Service Board was codified in the original City Charter to ensure fairness in the employment practices for all persons who are in the Classified Service.

Current rules and regulations related to the Classified Service personnel are governed by statute, case law and contracts, and the Board has little actual discretion to enact rules. The recruitment and hiring process of employees has been professionalized and is overseen by trained and competent City staff. Employees are organized and collectively bargain for wages, hours, and  other terms and conditions of employment and grievance procedures have been established.

Policies and procedures are in place to ensure compliance with all legal protections and regulations afforded to members of the Classified Service. The dissolution of the Civil Service Board would not negatively impact employees.

The primary remaining role of the Civil Service Board is to approve eligibility lists resulting from recruitment and/or promotion of a classified service position. This adds an unnecessary bureaucratic layer of oversight, hampering the speed and productivity of staff. We don’t want any roadblocks in the hiring of police and fire personnel.

The City Council asks you to vote YES to remove the Civil Service Board from Albany’s Charter. A YES vote is a vote for a more efficient city.

—Peter Maass, Mayor
—Peggy McQuaid, Vice Mayor
—Michael Barnes, Council Member
—Rochelle Nason, Council Member
—Nick Pilch, Council Member 

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

No arguments against were filed.

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters

Proposed legislation

The people of the City of Albany modify Sections 8.01 – 8.07 of the City Charter to read as follows:

SECTION 8.01. MUNICIPAL CIVIL SERVICE.
     (a) There shall be a Municipal Civil Service, hereinafter referred to as the Classified Service. Membership in the Classified Service is defined in Section 8.053(a) of this Chapter. There shall be a Civil Service Board, hereinafter referred to as the Board, to administer the Classified Service.

     (b) The City Council is authorized to pass ordinances pertaining to the Civil Service System. Ordinance provisions affecting the Classified Service shall require a four-fifths (4/5) vote of the City Council, and shall include not less than one (1) public hearing on the subject matter of the ordinance.

(c) There shall be a Board consisting of five (5) members who serve without compensation. Each member of the City Council shall have the right to make one (1) appointment.

(d) No officer, employee, or member of another Board, Commission, or City Council shall be eligible for appointment to the Civil Service Board. (Amended, ratified, January 26, 1935; February 1, 1945; April 15, 1975; November 2, 1982; June 2, 1998)

SECTION8.02. ORGANIZATION.

(a)  The Civil Service Board shall choose one (1) member to serve as Chairperson.

(b)  The City Council shall provide a person to serve as a secretary and administrative assistant to the Civil Service Board.

(c) Procedures for organization of the Board, any employees thereof, and duties not hereinafter specified, may be established by resolution. (Added, ratified, November 2, 1982)

SECTION8.03. POWERS AND DUTIES.

(a) The Board shall formulate rules and regulations governing the selection, promotion, reinstatement, re-employment, transfer, of all persons who are in the Classified Service in accordance with any ordinance adopted and/or amended by the City Council.

(b) The Civil Service Board shall hold written, oral, and any such other examinations as may be appropriate for applicants for employment, promotion, re-employment, reinstatement, or transfer, and shall maintain records and certified lists as appropriate. If any open examination is held, the Board shall give reasonable preference to existing City employees within the same department, provisions of Section 8.04(a) of this Chapter notwithstanding.

(c) There shall be a Hearing Board. The Hearing Board shall hear disputes related to members of the Classified Service, the exact nature and severity of such disputes to be defined by ordinance. Members of the Civil Service Board have the authority to serve as members of the Hearing Board. (Added, ratified, November 2, 1982)

SECTION 8.04 8.02. DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED.

     (a) All appointments, promotions, or other personnel decisions affecting the status of an employee shall be based upon selection of the best qualified individual.

     (b) No person in the Classified Service, or seeking admission thereto, shall be appointed, promoted, demoted, or discharged, or in any way favored or discriminated against because of political opinions, or affiliations or because of religious belief. (Added, ratified November 2, 1982)

SECTION 8.05 8.03. EFFECT ON EMPLOYEES IN POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS AND OTHER DEPARTMENTS.

     (a) Classified Service shall be defined as all sworn public safety personnel except for the Chief of Police and Fire Chief. All members, who are part of the Classified Service prior to the adoption of Chapter VIII, Sections 8.01 et seq., shall be considered as members with their present status of the Classified Service under the system as now adopted. Employees, not part of the previous Classified Service, shall have no change in status until rules, regulations, ordinances or procedures have been passed which may include additional employees. All future employees hired to positions which are part of the Classified Service at this time shall so remain part of the Classified Service.

     (b) The City Council is empowered to define other positions to be included in the Civil Service System and to expand the system to include additional members by ordinance. (Added, ratified November 2, 1982)

SECTION 8.06. The cost of conducting examinations and other duties of the Civil Service Board shall be charged against the general fund of the City. These costs shall be certified by the Civil Service Board and, when so certified, shall be paid by the City Council in the same manner as other charges against the City. (Added, ratified November 2, 1982)

SECTION 8.07 8.04. SEVERABILITY.

If any section, subsection, clause, or phrase of this law is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, subsections, clauses or phrases of this law. (Added, ratified November 2, 1982)

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