[Amended 6-5-1990 by Ord. No. 90-11; 3-1-2011 by Ord. No. 11-02]
There is hereby created a Civil Service Commission for the Home Rule Municipality of the Municipality of Norristown. Municipal Council shall, by resolution adopted by an affirmative vote of at least four Council members, appoint a Civil Service Commission consisting of three members. The resolution shall specify the beginning and end of each member’s term of office. The word “Commission,” when used in this article, shall mean the Norristown Civil Service Commission.
[Amended 6-5-1990 by Ord. No. 90-11; 3-1-2011 by Ord. No. 11-02
The membership of the Commission shall consist of three residents of the Municipality. Their terms of office shall be six years, and shall be so fixed that the term of office of one member shall expire every other year at the end of the calendar year. The Commission shall promptly notify Municipal Council of any vacancies which occur. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term.
[Amended 6-5-1990 by Ord. No. 90-11]
Each member of this Commission, before entering upon the discharge of his/her duties, shall take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to provide his/her duties with fidelity. The Civil Service Commissioners shall receive no compensation.
The Civil Service Commission shall operate pursuant to rules and regulations that are promulgated by the Commission and adopted by resolution of Municipal Council. A copy of said rules and regulations shall be kept on file with the Secretary of the Commission and the office of the Municipal Administrator, and may be inspected during regular business hours. The rules and regulations may be amended from time to time only by resolution of Municipal Council.
[Added 8-4-1992 by Ord. No. 92-17; amended 3-1-2011 by Ord. No. 11-02
Promotions shall be based on merit to be ascertained by examinations to be prescribed by the Civil Service Commission. All questions relative to promotions shall be practical in character so as to fairly test the merit and fitness of the person seeking the promotion. The civil service rules and regulations shall provide for such testing.
No person shall be eligible to apply for examination for any position in the Police Department or Fire Department unless that person is at least 18 years of age.
All original appointments to any position on the police force or paid personnel for the Fire Department shall be for a probationary period of one year. During the period of probation, the appointee shall attend school and training sessions and take examinations as required by law for certification for the position appointed. If, at the close of the probationary period, the appointee has not satisfactorily completed the training and schooling and successfully passed the required tests which are required by law for certification, the borough administration shall so advise the appointee, and the appointment shall cease. However, in certain cases where the Director of Public Safety deems it appropriate and a new appointee during the probationary period fails to complete his/her training or obtain appropriate certification, the Director of Public Safety may extend the probationary period for an additional year. Such extension of the probationary period shall be in writing, and no person shall be in a probationary status in excess of two years. If the person successfully completes all schools, training and/or certifications as required by law, then that person shall be retained as a permanent appointment for the position hired.
Any person suspended, reduced in rank or removed from the Police Department or Fire Department shall have the right to appeal that action by demanding a hearing before the Commission. Such demand for a hearing shall be made to the Commission within 20 days after the date of the suspension, reduction in rank or removal of that person. The Civil Service Commission shall establish rules and regulations for appeals and shall conduct the appeals pursuant to said rules and regulations. At the hearings on the appeals, the borough shall produce evidence on the reason for the executive action taken against the person filing the appeal. The person sought to be suspended, demoted or removed shall have the right to appear at the hearing with counsel and give evidence on his/her behalf. The procedure before the Commission shall be informal, and the rules of evidence, practice and procedure shall be liberally construed. Technical irregularities shall not invalidate the proceedings before the Commission. The borough shall have the burden of proof to sustain the charges by the preponderance of the evidence.
Upon completion of the hearings, the Commission shall promptly render a decision, based upon the evidence, either sustaining or reversing the action of the Chief of Police or Fire Chief. In the event that the Commission does not sustain the charges against the appealing person, any penalty imposed shall be reversed, back pay paid and/or the person reinstated to his/her former position. A stenographic record of all testimony taken at the hearing shall be filed and preserved by the Commission, which record shall be sealed and not made available for public inspection without court order.
All parties concerned shall have the right to appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County from any decision of the Civil Service Commission. Such appeal shall be taken within 30 days of the entry of final order of the Commission. The appeal to the Court of Common Pleas shall be by petition according to the Rules of Court, and the Court of Common Pleas shall proceed to hear the appeal on the original record and such additional proof or testimony as the Court deems appropriate. The decision of the Court of Common Pleas affirming, reversing or modifying the decision of the Civil Service Commission shall be final, and the person shall be suspended, demoted, discharged or reinstated in accordance with the order of the Court.