It might be asking too much for Mayor Noam Bramson to replace Dominic “Combat Vet” Procopio at this time. After all, the Mayor said on his WVOX radio show about a year ago that Procopio was doing a “fine job” as Chairman of the Municipal Civil Service Commission in the days after Talk of the Sound first reported that Procopio had pocketed thousands of dollars in property tax exemptions to which he was not entitled, including over $2,000 in exemptions specifically reserved for military veterans who saw combat action. It might even be too much to ask for City Manager Chuck Strome to replace Civil Service Administrator Jeanett Medina given his desire to “protect” his staff. It is not even worth going into the whole Koehler 211 fiasco.
So, how about starting simple by bringing some much needed reform to New Rochelle’s Municipal Civil Service Commission:
1. Require that the Municipal Civil Service Commission notify other departments including the City Manager, the Media Relations Department and the City Clerk when they are having their meetings. Readers will recall that “no one” knew about the meeting last month.
2. Require that the Municipal Civil Service Commission properly notice their public meetings per the New York State Open Meeting Law and post their meeting announcements on the City of New Rochelle web site including the calendar.
3. Require that the Municipal Civil Service Commission hold all of its meetings in a room already equipped with video cameras such as the room in 90 Beaufort and broadcast then archive the meetings as is done for meetings of the City Council, IDA, Zoning Appeals and Planning Board; require that signs be posted in and outside the building directing the public to the meeting room on the day of the meeting.
4. Require that a PDF version of the meeting agenda for a Municipal Civil Service Commission be posted on the City web site along with the calendar event; require that copies of the meeting agenda be made available to the public in or near the meeting room on the day of the meeting.
5. The Municipal Civil Service Commission already posts notices of job openings on the City web site; add to that by uploading PDF versions of all job application forms and linking the appropriate forms to the various job opening notices. Just as there is no reason a Job seeker should have to go to City Hall to learn about available positions; the job seeker should be able to obtain a job application form through the mail, via fax, via email or on the City web site.
Many of these suggestions are actually required under the New York State Opening Meeting Law, some are common sense, all will better serve New Rochelle by allowing residents to monitor the activity of the Civil Service while creating greater awareness of job opportunities and, hopefully, a larger applicant pool from which to select when making hiring decisions to give New Rochelle the best chance to get highly qualified individuals working for both the City of New Rochelle and the City School District of New Rochelle.
Any other suggestions on how processes and procedures of the CSC might be improved?