[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Pennsburg 5-2-2017 by Ord. No. 3-2017. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby created a Civil Service Commission (hereinafter referred to as "Commission"), in and for the Borough of Pennsburg. The Commission shall consist of three members who shall be qualified electors of the Borough and shall be appointed, initially, to serve for a term of two, four and six years, respectively; and as terms thereafter expire, said Commissioners shall be appointed for a term of six years. Any vacancy occurring in the Commission for any reason whatsoever, shall be filled for the unexpired term within the period of 30 days after such vacancy occurs.
[Amended 12-5-2017 by Ord. No. 10-2017]
In addition to the three regular members of the Commission, Council may appoint not more than two alternate members of the Commission whose terms shall be six years. The alternate members shall be qualified electors of the Borough. The alternate members shall be entitled to participate in all proceedings and discussions of the Commission to the same and full extent as provided by law for Commission members. While alternate members may participate in any proceeding or discussion of the Commission, the alternates may not vote as members of the Commission unless designated as a voting alternate, as permitted by the State Borough Code.
Each and every appointment to and promotion in the police force or as fire apparatus operators paid directly by the Borough shall be made only according to qualifications and fitness, to be ascertained by examinations which shall be competitive as hereinafter provided. Said examination shall be under the control of the Civil Service Commission.
No person shall be suspended, removed or reduced in rank as a paid employee on the police force of the Borough of Pennsburg or as a paid operator of fire apparatus of the Borough of Pennsburg except in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and of state law applicable thereto.
The Borough shall supply to the Commission such necessary stationery, postage, printing and supplies as shall be reasonable and proper and shall provide such clerical assistance as shall be necessary for the work of the Commission. The Civil Service Commission shall incur expenses only when authorized by Borough Council.
The Commission shall have power to prescribe, amend and enforce rules and regulations for carrying into effect the provisions of this chapter and shall be governed thereby. Before any such rules and regulations are in force, the same shall first be approved by the Council of the Borough. When such rules and regulations have been so approved, they shall not be annulled, amended, or added to, without the approval of the said Council.
The Commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings and records of examinations and other official actions. The Commission shall have power to make investigations concerning all matters touching the administration and enforcement of the civil service provisions of this chapter and rules and regulations adopted thereunder and of the civil service provisions of the Borough Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Commission shall make rules and regulations, to be approved by Borough Council as above provided, providing for the examination of applications for positions in the police force and as paid operators of fire apparatus and for promotions, which rules and regulations shall prescribe the minimum qualifications of all applicants to be examined and the passing grades. All examinations for positions or promotions shall be practical in character and shall relate to such matters and include such inquiries as will fairly test the merit and fitness of the persons examined to discharge the duties of the employment sought by them. All examinations shall be open to all applicants who have the minimum qualifications required by the rules and regulations. Every applicant shall be subject to the regulations adopted by the Commission and shall be required to submit to a physical fitness or agility examination that is job related and consistent with business necessity. Every applicant, if made a conditional offer of employment, shall be given a physical and psychological medical examination in accordance with the regulations of the Commission.
Public notice of the time and place of every examination, together with information as to the kind of position or place to be filled, shall be given by publication once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Borough, or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Borough, at least two weeks prior to each examination, and a copy of the notice shall be posted in the office of the Commission or other public place.
At the completion of the testing process, including any background, physical agility or other examination, with the exception of any physical and psychological medical examination, the Commission shall rank the candidates who have satisfied the minimum requirements for appointment on an eligibility list. The eligibility list shall contain the names of individuals eligible for appointment listed from highest to lowest based on their scores on the examinations administered by the Commission and any points for which the applicant was entitled by virtue of 51 Pa.C.S.A. Chapter 71 (relating to veterans' preference). The eligibility list will be valid for one year from the date the Commission ranks all passing applicants, assigns veterans' preference points and formally adopts the eligibility list. The Commission may, at its sole discretion before the original expiration date, by a vote of the majority of the Commission at a duly authorized Commission meeting, extend the eligibility list up to an additional 12 months. In the absence of a lawful extension by the Commission, the list shall expire. The Commission may, at its sole discretion, void any eligibility list at any time for any reason.
Each person desiring to apply for examination shall file with the Commission a formal application in which the applicant shall set forth such information as may be required by the rules and regulations of the Commission and as may otherwise be required by law.
The Commission may refuse to examine, or, if examined, may refuse to certify as eligible after examination, any applicant who is found to lack any of the minimum qualifications for examination prescribed in the Commission's rules and regulations. Additionally, the Commission may refuse to examine, or, if examined, may refuse to certify as eligible, any applicant who is physically or mentally unfit to perform the full duties of the position to which he or she seeks employment or who is illegally using a controlled substance, as defined in Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (Public Law 91-513, 21 U.S.C. § 802), who is guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude, or of infamous or notoriously disgraceful conduct, or who has been dismissed from public service for a delinquency or misconduct in office, or who is affiliated with any group whose policies or activities are subversive to the form of government set forth in the constitutions and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
If any applicant or person is aggrieved by refusal of the Commission to examine or certify the applicant as eligible after examination, the Commission shall, at the request of the applicant, within 10 days, appoint a time and place for a public hearing, with or without counsel, at which time the Commission shall take testimony and review its refusal to provide examination or certification. The decision of the Commission shall be final.
Certification of eligibility list; conditional appointment.
When a vacancy is to be filled, the Borough Council shall submit a written request to the Commission for certification of an eligibility list. In making the request, the title of the position to be filled and the compensation to be paid shall be specified.
Upon receipt of a request from the Borough Council, the Commission shall first certify from the eligibility list the names of those individuals who were furloughed because of a reduction in force. In filling a vacancy from the furlough list, the Commission shall certify the top name only. If more than one vacancy is to be filled, the Commission shall certify from the top of the list a number of names equal to the number of vacancies to be filled.
The Commission shall certify for each existing vacancy from the eligibility list the names of the three persons, or a fewer number where three are not available, who have received the highest average. The Council shall make a conditional appointment from the three names certified, based solely on the merits and fitness of the candidates, unless Borough Council makes objections to the Commission regarding one or more of the certified persons for any of the reasons stated in § 6-9 herein, or the conditional appointee is determined to be unqualified in accordance with the Commission's rules, the Commission shall strike the name of the person from the eligibility list and certify the next highest name for each name stricken from the eligibility list. As each subsequent vacancy occurs in the same or another position, the same procedure shall be followed.
In the case of a vacancy in the office of Chief of Police or Chief of the Fire Department, or equivalent official, the appointive power may nominate a person to the Commission. It shall thereupon become the duty of the Commission to subject such person to a noncompetitive examination; and if such person shall be certified by the Commission as qualified, he may then be appointed to such position, and thereafter shall be subject to all the provisions of this chapter.
Whenever there are urgent reasons for the filling of a vacancy in any position in the police force and there are no names on the eligibility list for such appointment, the Council may nominate a person to the Commission for noncompetitive examination; and if such nominee shall be certified by the Commission as qualified after such noncompetitive examination, he may be appointed provisionally to fill such vacancy. It shall thereupon become the duty of the Commission, within three weeks, to hold a competitive examination and certify an eligibility list, and a regular appointment shall then be made from the name or names submitted by the Commission; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the appointment, without examination, of persons temporarily as police officers in cases of riot or other emergency or of operators or fire apparatus in emergency cases.
Promotions shall be based on merits to be ascertained by examinations to be prescribed by the Commission. All questions relative to promotions shall be practical in character and such as will fairly and reasonably test the merit and fitness of persons seeking promotion. The Council shall have power to determine in each instance whether an increase in salary shall constitute a promotion.
No person employed in the police or fire force of this Borough shall be suspended, removed or reduced in rank except in conformance with the applicable provisions of the Borough Code and in accordance with the process and procedures set forth in the Commission's rules and regulations. Any person suspended, removed or reduced in rank may demand a hearing, and a hearing shall be granted by the Commission as provided by law. In the event the Commission shall sustain the charges and order the suspension or removal or reduction in rank, the person suspended, removed or reduced in rank shall have immediate right of appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County as provided by law.
All appointments in the police or fire forces in the Borough of Pennsburg, including the Chief of Police, prior to the creation of the Civil Service Commission shall continue to hold their positions and shall not be required to take any examination under the provisions of this chapter, except as they may be required for promotion; provided, however, that this § 6-14 shall not be construed to apply to persons employed temporarily in emergency cases.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter, the Pennsburg Borough Council hereby declares that it would have passed this chapter, any section, subsection or clause or phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses and phrases be declared unconstitutional.
This chapter shall become effective immediately upon enactment with the creation of a Civil Service Commission as of 12:01 a.m. on June 1, 2017.