Does Culver City Still Need Its Civil Service Commission?
November 28, 2019
Culver City has a plan to get rid of its Civil Service Commission. Albert Vera, the appointed authority, is not taking this lying down. Vera, through email correspondence with the Culver City Observer, shared his thoughts about the importance of the city having its Civil Service Commission and why the commission is needed.
Culver City Observer: What are your thoughts about City Council trying to disband the Civil Service Commission?
Albert Vera: “The Civil Service System is intended to protect the rights of civil service employees and to maintain the integrity of the Civil Service System. What the Council did was create a new body, the Equity and Human Relations Committee and intended at the same to eliminate the Civil Service Commission. This isn’t about renaming the Civil Service Commission. The proposal is the eliminate it. I think that is a terrible idea. I imagine if they are consulted the city’s bargaining units would feel the same way.”
Albert Vera: “The Civil Service Commission’s primary responsibility is to advise the City Council on all matters concerning the civil service system and recommend adoption of amendments to the Civil Service Rules. The Civil Service Commission serves as an independent and impartial ruling body charged with conducting disciplinary appeal hearings and advises the City Council on all matters concerning the civil service system, including recommend adoption of amendments to the Civil Service Rules.”
Culver City Observer: By having the Civil Service Commission disbanded, would that take away from one area of the city to focus on another part of the city?
Albert Vera: “The Civil Service System isn’t going anyplace. Pursuant to our City Charter, the City Council lacks the authority to withdraw any departments or employees from the operation of the Civil Service System either by outright repeal of the Civil Service ordinance or otherwise, unless and until its withdrawal shall have been submitted to the voters of the City. An Equity and Human Relations Commission and the Civil Service Commission are not mutually exclusive. Their jurisdictions would not overlap. You don’t need to eliminate one in order to create the other.”
Culver City Observer: Is the Civil Service Commission outdated and no longer needed?
Albert Vera: “I submit that both the employees who are covered by the Civil Service System and the citizens of Culver City who receive the benefits from the services performed by those employees deserve the independent eyes and ears of the Civil Service Commission to oversee the administration of our civil service system. As long as we are going to have civil service, the Commission is an important buffer to prevent abuse.”