COUN'TY OF SANTA BARBARA
PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT PHILLIP M.
123 East Anapamu Street Direct
Santa Barbara, Califomia 93101 805/568-3000 FAX 805/568-3019
Rochelle Camozzi, Business Manager
April 28, 1995
Mr. Rodney S. Melville
Presiding Judge of the superior court
Superior Court, Santa Maria Division
312 East Cook street
Santa Maria California 93454
Subject: Grand Jury Report Titled "Issues in Public Works"
Dear Judge Melville:
Herein you will find the Public Works and Personnel Department's response to the subject Grand Jury Report Recommendation #2A, #2B, and #2C as requested.
The Grand Jury's findings and recommendations identified in their report were based upon employee allegations regarding a promotional recruitment within the Roads Division of the Public Works Department.
The Public Works Department had violated Civil Service Rules regarding time limits for temporary assignments. The employees were paid in accordance with their temporary assignment and there were reasons for the violations regarding the time limits. The employee complaints and grievances were the result of not selecting the temporarily assigned employees for permanent positions.
A clear description of job requirements, promotional standards and examination contents were not available to employees in the Public Works Department during recent promotional testing.
PublicworksResponse: Instructionalclasseswereconductedonceaweekforfiveweeks prior to the subject promotional recruitment. These classes were available to all Roads division employees to prepare them for promotional opportunities. Job descriptions and promotional standards had been prepared with the assistance of the Personnel Department and were made available to the employees in advance of the testing. The promotional examination was prepared with the assistance of the Personnel department.
The Personnel Department and the Public Works Department should work together to create clearly written job requirements, define experience essential for those jobs and set standards for provisional, temporary and permanent appointments.
Mark A. Schleich, Deputy Director
Roads & Transportation
Ronald S. Cortez, Deputy Director
Solid Waste & Utilities
Thomas D. Fayram, Deputv Director
Page Two April 28,1995
Subject: Grand Jurv Report
"Issues in Public Works
Recommendation #2A - Continued
Public Works Response: The Public Works Department will continue to work with Personnel to determine whether the current classification specifications accurately reflect the job duties performed as well as the knowledge, skills, abilities and previous experience required to perform them.
Personnel Response: Currentlv, there are written classification specifications which include job requirements and minimum employment standards for all classes in the Public Works Department, whether the positions are filled as regular, extra help, provisional, or temporary employees.
The rules governing regular, provisional and temporary appointments are contained in the CountV's Civil Service Rules. Individual departments are required to follow these rules. in the past, the Public Works Department did not alwavs follow the Civil Service Commission Rules which created the problems identified bv the Grand JurV. The Personnel Department has and will continue to work with the current Public Works Department administration to ensure thev understand the rules and follow them. The Personnel Department is available to answer questions or provide assistance to the Public Works Department in their employment Practices.
The Public Works Department should solicit the assistance of the Personnel Department in developing promotional examinations.
Public works Response: Although the Personnel Department no longer develops tests for promotional recruitments, the Public Works Department requested and received assistance in the development of testing material for the subject recruitment. The Public Works Department will continue to request the Personnel Department's assistance if such assistance is required.
Personnel Response: The Grand JurV is correct that, as a result of budget reductions, the Personnel Department no longer develops tests for promotional recruitments. However, we are more than just "Peripherallv involved" in promotional recruitments. The Personnel Department conducts the promotional recruitments for CountV departments. This includes publishing a promotional bulletin announcing the opening, setting the filing period, and notifying Countv employees through the use of a jobline and posted bulletins of the openings. The Personnel Department also receives all the applications, determines which applicants meet the minimum employment standards, and then certifies an eligible list of those applicants Who meet the minimum qualifications to the hiring department.
once the eligible list is certified to the hiring department, the department maV conduct a selection interview and/or use another examination process which tests or further ranks the candidates. The use of a test is often affected bv the number of candidates on the list, since it is not economical to design or purchase a test for just a few applicants when these people also will be given a selection interview.
Page 1-hree April 28, 1995
Subject: Grand Jury Report
"Issues in Public Works
Personnel Response #26 - continued
The Personnel Department has provided training to departments on developing their own examinations. We have also provided departments access to a test item bank service where they can obtain test questions and access to outside companies (such as Cooperative Personnel Services) that design tests for public sector jobs. The Personnel Department Is happy to provide assistance to the Public works Department.
The Public Works Department should provide sample questions for both written and oral promotional examinations to employees prior to testing.
Public works Response: our purpose in developing examinations is to analyze the emplovee's decision-making and problem solving abilities as well as to test the ability of the employee to communicate well organized thoughts in an interview setting. Providing sample questions in advance would defeat the purpose of examinations.
However, the Public Works Department intends on providing additional instruction classes which will assist employees in promotional opportunities.
Public Works Director Personnel Di tor
County of Santa Barbara County of Sa Barbara
-Kent Taylor, County Administrator -Board of Supervisors
-Rochelle Camozzi, Public Works Business Manager