City seeks minority employees

First Posted: 1/3/2015

LIMA — Lima Mayor David Berger is calling on the city to make changes to its evaluation process for the civil service exam.

In a letter penned by Berger to the City Council and the Lima Civil Service Board, one that will be shared at Monday’s City Council meeting, Berger writes that the city has been largely unsuccessful in attracting minority candidates to civil service positions here in Lima, including such occupations as police officer or firefighter.

“For decades, the City was locked into a ‘rule of 3’ which limited consideration of any list of candidates to 3 persons for each open position,” Berger wrote. “That was changed in 2012 to a ‘rule of 10.’ The demographic results presented by Mr. Ozier at the last council meeting demonstrate we continue to be unsuccessful in attracting and hiring minority candidates.”

The Lima Police Department has no black patrol officers and two black corrections officers. During a recent round of hiring by the department, six out of the 84 applicants were from a minority.

Berger is hoping that changing the qualification standards may change that trend.

“I am writing to urgently ask that the Civil Service Board and Lima City Council immediately adopt a simple ‘pass/fail rule’ to establish qualified candidates,” he wrote.

Berger countered arguments that the current standards are in place to determine the “best qualified” candidates by asserting that it takes more than one written test to find the best candidate.

“The purpose of the test is merely to establish qualified candidates,” he wrote. “It simply is impossible to determine who the ‘best’ candidate is or will be based on the results of a single written test.”

In addition, the council will also consider amendments to the 2015 temporary budget and levying assessments for weed and other property cleanup.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Lima Municipal Building.

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