The Personnel Appeals Board is likely to be abolished, but it’s doubtful anyone will notice.
The panel hasn’t met in at least 12 years, said city Councilor Frank Nicastro, a former mayor who chairs the city’s Salary Committee.
Officials are looking into the technicalities of dumping the board and letting the Salary Committee pick up the slack, such as it is.
Personnel Director Diane Ferguson said that axing the board would allow non-bargaining unit employees who want to appeal a firing or suspension to make a case to the Salary Committee.
She said it makes more sense for the appeals to go to a committee that at least meets regularly and knows how the personnel system operates rather than pleading to a panel that hasn’t met within memory.
It tried one time some years ago, Ferguson and Richard Lacey, a city lawyer, recalled. But the board couldn’t get a quorum so it gave up trying.
Nicastro said the proposal to dump the board “has a lot of merit” and deserves serious consideration.
One point that arose when the Salary Committee discussed the issue recently is that department heads are covered by a union contract that lays out who has the power to order them to do anything.
They would appeal grievances and punishments through their union, Ferguson said.
Several officials pointed out there is no role for the proposed chief operating officer in the union contracts, leaving it unclear how someone in the new job would have any clout over the municipal supervisors he’s supposed to oversee day to day.
“How’s the COO going to be able to do his job?” asked city Councilor Cliff Block, who opposes the position’s creation.
Nobody offered an answer.
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