News Flash

General City News

Posted on: June 16, 2023

City Charter Amendment to be Proposed to Local Voters

Sidney City Hall Sign

As the labor market continues to change, the City must act with increasing speed and agility if we are to recruit and retain the best talent.  To ensure that our current and future workforce needs can be met, City Council has proposed the modernization of City Charter Section 6-4 Civil Service.  The proposed amendment will be on the November ballot for consideration by Sidney voters. 

The proposed amendments to Section 6-4 include:

  1. Removal of Section 6-4(a).  Elimination of a mandatory retirement age. The mandatory retirement age was abolished in 1986 by the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the outdated language should be removed.
  2. Amendments to Section 6-4(b). Existing section 6-4(b) would be re-numbered to Section 6-4(a). The proposed amendments allow the City Manager, along with the Fire Chief and Police Chief, to establish rules for appointments and promotions above the initial entry level positions. Previously, the section only applied to the chief level position. In addition, the specific language pertaining to qualifications and the appointment process for the two chief positions is also proposed to be removed. The present language is outdated and both the professional and educational requirements should be periodically adjusted with current trends.
  3. New Section 6-4(b). The new language in this section permits lateral transfers from other departments and exempts those transfers and internal candidates from the civil service process.

The proposed changes will streamline the current process to appoint and promote local firefighters and police officers. In addition, issues with the testing process were identified as problematic by the bargaining units and these changes will allow for a more modern and relevant testing process.

The issue will be presented to voters at November 7, 2023, general election.

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