Testing error mars results

By Heather Condley Record-Courier staff writer Published:

When the Ohio Association of Police Chiefs gave the exam to the candidates, they failed to include a separate written portion required by city ordinance, according to Law Director Jim Martin. A written portion was given, but was included as part of the assessment center portion of the test, he said. The assessment center portion included a written problem-solving exam and a leaderless group exam, which required the candidates to reach a consensus on how to handle three different situations.

Martin told the Finance Committee Monday they should advertise for both the written portion and the assessment portion of the test. Martin said that if any of the six people who have already taken the test reapply the association may be able to give them only the written portion. However, if any other candidates apply, the entire test would have to be given to those people.

Martin also advised it may not be the association's fault the written portion of the test was not given because there may have been some miscommunication between the city's civil service commission and the association as to the instructions for how the test should be given. He did admit the association probably should have checked with the city.

"I think I'll find that we didn't notify them that there was a written test," he said. "I think that they should have made sure that they were following instructions."

Councilman Steve Kolar asked that the association submit to the city a written proposal regarding how the test will be administered by next month's safety committee meeting.

The city still owes the association $4,000 of the $8,000 cost of administering the test, Martin said.

The committee also repealed the decision to install time clocks for the city's hourly employees in a 5-1 vote. Councilwoman Jana Dengg was absent and Councilwoman Barbara Fredmonsky said she feels city employees should be required to use a time clock.

"I feel a union shop should have to punch a time clock, especially when (they're being paid with) the people's money," she said. "I don't agree with (repealing it), but I'll agree that we prosecute if anything goes awry,"

The finance committee decided in June to have the hourly employees begin using the time clocks in August, but the decision never went into affect.

Mayor Sally Henzel told the committee that while she doesn't see any abuses in the number of hours employees are submitting versus the number of hours they are actually working, she said some members of council obviously do.

"If there are abuses, put it in writing, I'll nail whoever it is," she said.

The decision of whether to repeal the time clock ordinance will go to full council in two weeks.

In other business, Fire Chief Gerald Vicha asked the committee to approve hiring a part-time secretary to do filing, answer phones, and to get the department updated on other secretarial-type work. While there was some disagreement on how much to pay the secretary, Vicha and the committee agreed to start the secretary at $7.50 with the high end of the pay scale at $8.50. The decision of whether to hire a secretary will go to full council.

The committee also scheduled a special finance committee meeting for

7:15 p.m. Monday with a special council meeting to follow.

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