In the continuing series of articles on local government, I am discussing the important role the numerous boards and commissions play within the community, and the vital contribution the volunteers who serve their community as members of the boards make by providing input and direction impacting all of our futures. In this article, I want to talk about the Personnel Board of Appeals.
The Personnel Board of Appeals is the third of just four commissions whose job responsibilities are specifically detailed in the city charter. The others are the Compensation Commission, the Civil Service Commission, and the Planning Commission.
Article VI, Section 6-5 of the city charter details the creation and duties of the Board of Appeals. Section 6-5 reads as follows: “Council shall appoint three electors to serve as a Board of Appeals. The Board shall hear appeals on the part of employees of the unclassified service who have been dismissed from employment. The Board shall be authorized to make findings and issue recommendations to the removing officers.”
The Personnel Board of Appeals meets very infrequently, with meetings scheduled only when a discharged unclassified (employees that serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority and not covered by Civil Service Commission rules) employee believes his/her firing was unjustified, and files an appeal. Fortunately, the Board of Appeals has not had to meet for some years, primarily due to the fact that the city follows fair and equitable employment practices.
The members of the Personnel Board of Appeals serve three-year terms, and may be reappointed for successive terms. Every current member of the Board of Appeals has served multiple terms.
The current members include Karl Bemus, who has served since 1980, Jim Lockwood, who has served since 1991, and Deborah Windsor, who has served since 1999. The group, all residents of Sidney as required by the city charter, includes a retired company president, a retired human resources administrator, and a current human resources manager.
Most, but not all of our boards and commissions require that the appointed individuals live inside the corporation. As I have in the past, I would encourage residents who have expertise in specific areas to volunteer to serve, so that when vacancies occur, we will have a ready list of interested candidates from which to choose.
A listing of the boards and commissions is on the city’s website. If you have interest in one or more of them, please contact City Clerk Kari Egbert at 937-498-8148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In my next article, I’ll write about the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission consists of five citizens appointed by City Council to six year terms. The function of the Planning Commission is to prepare and revise a plan providing for the expansion and development of the city. The commission also advises the City Council on zoning and planning matters.
The writer is the mayor of Sidney.