Chapter 1.40


1.40.010    Application of chapter provisions.

1.40.020    Definitions.

1.40.030    Civil service commission – Appointment – Terms – Removal – Quorum.

1.40.040    Civil service commission – Organization, secretary, powers and duties.

1.40.050    Persons included under civil service – Competitive examinations, transfers, discharges and reinstatements.

1.40.060    Qualifications of applicants.

1.40.081    Procedure for removal, suspension, demotion or discharge – Investigation – Hearing – Appeal.

1.40.090    Filling of vacancies.

1.40.140    Civil service commission – Enforcement by civil action – Legal counsel.

1.40.150    Deceptive practices, false marks and similar acts prohibited.

1.40.160    Political contributions and services – Limitations.

1.40.170    Civil service commission – Office and supplies to be furnished.

1.40.180    Cooperation of city officers and employees.

1.40.190    Violation – Penalty – Jurisdiction.

1.40.010 Application of chapter provisions.

This chapter shall apply to all civil service positions in the police and fire departments. (Ord. 2897 § 1, 1979).

1.40.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following mentioned terms shall have the following described meanings:

(1) “Commission” means the civil service commission created in this chapter.

(2) “Commissioner” means any one of the three commissioners of that commission.

(3) “Appointing powers” includes every person or group of persons who, acting singly or in conjunction, as mayor, city manager, council, common council, commission, or otherwise, is or are invested by law with power and authority to select, appoint or employ any person to hold any office, place, position or employment subject to civil service.

(4) “Appointment” includes all means of selection, appointing or employing any person to hold any office, place, position or employment subject to civil service. (Ord. 2897 § 19, 1979).

1.40.030 Civil service commission – Appointment – Terms – Removal – Quorum.

There is created a civil service commission which shall be composed of three persons. The members of such commission shall be appointed by the mayor, subject to approval by the city council. The members of such commission shall serve without compensation. No person shall be appointed a member of such commission who is not a citizen of the United States and a resident of the city of Hoquiam for at least three years immediately preceding such appointment and an elector of the county wherein he resides. The term of office of such commissioners shall be for six years, each one term of office expiring each two-year period. Any member of such commission may be removed from office for incompetency, incompatibility or dereliction of duty, or malfeasance in office, or other good cause; provided, however, that no member of the commission shall be removed until charges have been preferred, in writing, due notice, and a full hearing had. The members of such commission shall devote due time and attention to the performance of the duties hereinafter specified and imposed upon them by this chapter. Two members of such commission shall constitute a quorum, and the votes of any two members of such commission concurring shall be sufficient for the decision of all matters, and the transaction of all business to be decided or transacted by the commissioners hereunder shall be by those serving as the board of civil service commissioners of the city of Hoquiam under prior ordinances, rules and regulations, and their terms shall continue for the same period of time that each of said commissioners was appointed prior to the enactment of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 2897 § 2, 1979).

1.40.040 Civil service commission – Organization, secretary, powers and duties.

The commission shall organize by electing one of its members chair, and hold regular meetings as required to properly discharge their duties. They shall appoint a secretary and chief examiner who shall be selected as a result of a competitive exam or as otherwise provided in the civil service rules and who shall keep the records for the commission, preserve all reports made to it, superintend and keep a record of all examinations held under its direction, and perform other duties as the commission may prescribe. The civil service commission shall:

(1) Adopt rules not inconsistent with this chapter that provide in detail the manner in which examinations may be held, how appointments, promotions, transfers, reinstatements, demotions, suspensions, and discharges shall be made, and may provide for other matters connected with personnel administration that may be desirable to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The rules shall be printed for free public distribution;

(2) Use tests that are practical and consist only of subjects which will fairly determine the capacity of persons examined to perform duties of the position and may include physical fitness and manual skill tests;

(3) Provide United States war veterans preference for entrance examination only;

(4) Investigate and report upon:

(a) All matters touching the enforcement and effect of this chapter and civil service rules;

(b) The departments, offices, and positions affected by this chapter to ascertain whether civil service laws and rules are being obeyed;

(c) A duly verified petition of a citizen, alleging that irregularities or abuses exist or that sets forth in concise written language, the need for an investigation;

(d) The commission or a commissioner designated by the commission may conduct an investigation. In the investigation or subsequent hearing or appeal, the commission or designated commissioner may administer oaths, subpoena and require the attendance of witnesses and the production by them of books, paper, documents, and accounts pertaining to the investigation, and to cause the deposition of witnesses residing within or outside the state to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for depositions in civil actions in the superior court. The oaths administered and the subpoenas issued have the same force and effect as the oaths administered by a superior court judge. The failure of a person to comply with this section is a violation of this chapter;

(5) Hear and determine all appeals or complaints concerning civil service, the allocation of positions, the rejection of an examination, and other matters referred to the commission under this chapter. All hearings and investigations before the commission or designated commissioner shall be governed by this chapter and by rules of practice and procedure adopted by the commission. The commission is not bound by the technical rules of evidence. No informality in a proceeding or hearing or in the manner of taking testimony shall invalidate any order, decision, or rule, made, approved or confirmed by the commission. No order, decision, or rule made by a designated commissioner conducting a hearing or investigation alone has force or effect until concurred in by at least one other member;

(6) Provide for, select, and hold competitive tests open to all eligible individuals regardless of residence, color, race, sex, religion, age, political affiliation, mental, physical, or sensory disability, or national origin, to determine the relative qualifications of persons who seek employment in any position;

(7) Establish eligible lists of the various positions based on test results, and provide that persons laid off because of curtailment of expenditures, reduction in force, and for like causes, head the list in the order of their seniority so they will be reemployed first;

(8) When a vacant position is to be filled, certify to the appointing authority, on written request, the names of the three persons highest on the eligible list for the position. The appointing authority may make temporary entrance appointments if the work load or conditions within the community require temporary or emergency help. The commission shall keep the records necessary for the proper administration of this chapter;

(9) Charge each eligible individual an examination fee to be paid prior to taking an entry level competitive test. (Ord. 91-25 § 1, 1991; Ord. 2941, 1981; Ord. 2897 § 3, 1979).

1.40.050 Persons included under civil service – Competitive examinations, transfers, discharges and reinstatements.

The provisions under civil service and the provisions of this chapter shall include all full-paid employees occupying civil service positions in the police and fire departments, but not including the police chief, deputy police chief or the fire chief. All appointments to and promotions in these departments shall be made solely on merit, efficiency and fitness, which shall be ascertained by open, competitive examination and impartial investigation. No person shall be reinstated in or transferred, suspended or discharged from any such place, position or employment contrary to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 11-11 § 1, 2011; Ord. 96-22 § 3, 1996; Ord. 91-9 § 1, 1991; Ord. 2897 § 4, 1979).

1.40.060 Qualifications of applicants.

An applicant for a position of any kind under civil service must be a citizen of the United States of America who can read and write the English language. An applicant for a position of any kind under civil service must be suitable for the position applied for, in ordinary health, of good moral character, and of temperate and industrious habits, these facts to be ascertained in such manner as the commission may deem advisable. (Ord. 2897 § 5, 1979).

1.40.081 Procedure for removal, suspension, demotion or discharge – Investigation – Hearing – Appeal.

(1) No person in the classified civil service who holds a regular appointment may be suspended, demoted, or discharged except for cause, and only upon written accusation of the appointing authority, a citizen, or taxpayer that is served upon the person accused. A duplicate shall be filed with the commission.

(2) A person who has been suspended, demoted, or discharged may appeal the action to the civil service commission according to the procedures set forth in the civil service rules, demanding an investigation. The investigation is limited to determining whether the action was made in good faith and for cause or not or for religious or political reasons.

(3) If the commission finds that the suspension, demotion, or discharge was not made in good faith and for cause, the commission shall order the immediate reinstatement or reemployment of the person. The commission may make the reinstatement retroactive and require compensation from the time of the suspension, demotion, or discharge.

(4) The commission may affirm a suspension, demotion, or removal if it finds that the appointing authority acted in good faith and for cause, or it may modify the action by directing that the person be suspended without pay for a specified period and subsequently restored to duty or demoted in class, grade, or pay.

(5) The commission shall certify its findings in writing to the appointing authority who shall immediately comply with the findings.

(6) All civil service investigation hearings shall be open to the public.

(7) The accused shall be given reasonable notice of the time and place of the hearing, have the opportunity to appear in person or by counsel, and present a defense.

(8) If the commission concurs in the judgment or order, the accused may appeal the commission’s decision to the superior court in the county in which he or she resides by serving a written notice of appeal upon the commission within thirty days after the entry of the commission’s order. The notice shall state the grounds for the appeal and demand that a certified transcription of the hearing and all papers on file with the commission relating to the commission’s order be filed with the superior court by the commission. The commission shall file the transcript and other papers with the court within ten days after the notice is received by the commission. The superior court shall determine only whether the order of removal, discharge, demotion, or suspension made by the commission was or was not made in good faith for cause. (Ord. 91-25 § 2, 1991).

1.40.090 Filling of vacancies.

Whenever a position in the classified service becomes vacant, the appointing power, if it desires to fill the vacancy, shall make requisition upon the commission for the name and address of persons eligible for appointment thereto. The commission shall certify the names of the top three persons highest on the eligible list for the vacant position. If more than one vacancy is to be filled an additional name shall be certified for each additional vacancy. (Ord. 2897 § 8, 1979).

1.40.140 Civil service commission – Enforcement by civil action – Legal counsel.

It shall be the duty of the commission to begin and conduct all civil suits which may be necessary for the proper enforcement of this chapter and of the rules of the commission. The commission may be represented in such suits by the chief legal officer of the city, or by other counsel selected by the commission with the approval by city council, the cost of which shall be borne by the city. (Ord. 2897 § 13, 1979).

1.40.150 Deceptive practices, false marks and similar acts prohibited.

No commissioner or any other person, shall, by himself or in cooperation with one or more persons, defeat, deceive or obstruct any person in respect of his right of examination or registration according to the rules and regulations of this chapter; or falsely mark, grade, estimate or report upon the examination or proper standing of any person examined, registered or certified pursuant to the provisions of this chapter; or aid in so doing; or make any false representation concerning the same or concerning the person examined; or furnish any person any special or secret information for the purpose of improving or injuring the prospects or chances of any person so examined, registered or certified, or to be examined, registered or certified; or persuade any other person, or permit or aid in any manner any other person to personate him in connection with any examination or registration or application or request to be examined or registered. (Ord. 2897 § 14, 1979).

1.40.160 Political contributions and services – Limitations.

No person holding any office, place, position or employment subject to civil service is under any obligation to contribute to any political fund or to render any political service to any person or party whatsoever, and no person shall be removed, reduced in grade or salary, or otherwise prejudiced for refusing so to do. No public officer, whether elected or appointed, shall discharge, promote, demote or in any manner change the official rank, employment or compensation of any person under civil service, or promise or threaten so to do, for giving or withholding, or neglecting to make any contribution of money, or services, or any other valuable thing, for any political purpose. (Ord. 2897 § 15, 1979).

1.40.170 Civil service commission – Office and supplies to be furnished.

The city shall provide the commission with suitable and convenient rooms and accommodations, and cause the same to be furnished, heated and lighted and supplied with all office supplies and equipment necessary to carry on the business of the commission, and with such clerical assistance as may be necessary. (Ord. 2897 § 16, 1979).

1.40.180 Cooperation of city officers and employees.

It shall be the duty of all officers and employees of the city, in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, to afford the commission all reasonable facilities and assistance to inspect all books, papers, documents and accounts applying or in any way appertaining to any and all positions and employments subject to civil service, and also to produce said books, papers, documents and accounts, and attend and testify, whenever required so to do by the commission. (Ord. 2897 § 17, 1979).

1.40.190 Violation – Penalty – Jurisdiction.

Any person who wilfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail for not longer than thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The court of original and unlimited jurisdiction in civil suits shall have jurisdiction of all such offenses defined by this chapter. (Ord. 2897 § 18, 1979).