Pelham Personnel Board reviews Civil Service Law

The Pelham Personnel Board continued to review and update the city's Civil Service Law during an April 23 meeting. (File)

The Pelham Personnel Board continued to review and update the city’s Civil Service Law during an April 23 meeting. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham Personnel Board continued their project of editing and updating the city’s Civil Service Law during an April 23 meeting.

Pelham Mayor Gary Waters referred to the Pelham City Service Law as “outdated” during a March 20 Planning Commission work session. The current version of the law was adopted in 1988 and refers to several federal programs no longer in existence.

The Personnel Board is in the process of conducting a thorough examination of the law, starting at the beginning and editing and updating each rule, section by section.

The Personnel Board focused on rules three and four of the 11-rule law during the April 23 meeting.

Most of the edits involved adding department heads to the decision making process, as the current law often left decisions solely to the Human Resources director.

“The Human Resources director is put in the position to make a decision that they have no experience in making,” Personnel Board member Bobby Hayes said of the current version of the law.

In addition to providing the Human Resources director with additional support, the added language allows the law to better correspond with the reality of how the Human Resources department runs.

“The collaboration already exists today,” Waters said.

Pelham Human Resources director Janis Parks agreed, adding the communication is already happening, but without the formalized documentation.

The Personnel Board also amended language to “encourage department heads to give open competitive exams,” Waters said, a decision aimed at giving the Pelham Police Department the flexibility to hire and send new local officers to the Police Academy.

According to Waters and Hayes, the Police Department currently hires officers from outside of Pelham who have already been certified by the Alabama Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission. But Waters hopes to see future budgeting to train local talent for the police force.

Also during the meeting, the Pelham Personnel Board approved a motion to recommend the City Council move to hire an additional dispatcher for the Pelham Police Department. This will be addressed during the May 12 City Council meeting.