Retired city firefighter Andy Fardy writes that harm is being done to the Civil Service system that was enacted following the election of Jasper McLevy in 1933, a major campaign promise of the Socialist mayor limiting the spoils system of government. Fardy argues in particular the city is behind in the hiring of public safety personnel. From Fardy:
Civil Service was put in place many years ago to stop the politicians from threatening employees and firing them for no good reason.
Under the Finch administration and with the help of Civil Service boss David Dunn they have emasculated the Civil Service System. Employees are fired for no apparent reason and testing is way behind.
The area where they are hurting us the most is in the hiring of Police and Firefighters. There are two things they can do that would help the emergency services and save the city a lot of money in early pension buyouts.
First, the city has no maximum age limit for police and fire personal and they should. Presently a person 55 years old can take the test, pass the physical and get on the job. That person would be 80 years old before they retire. Can you picture a 65-year-old cop chasing a 20-year-old kid or fighting with that same kid? These older applicants may survive a few years at their prospective jobs but father time will get them in quick order. It’s time we stop hiring these older people and have a maximum age limit like 35 years old.
Now before anyone starts yelling about rights, Federal Law does allow for a maximum age for public safety officers. In fact Federal firefighters must retire at age 57.
David Dunn is aware of these regulations and refuses to take action to protect the city from these liabilities. Civil Service is also responsible for this costly problem.
The next way to save money and put Bridgeport residents to work is to restrict hiring for both Fire and Police jobs to Bridgeport residents.
While both the Police and Fire departments have no residency restrictions, you can have such a restriction for entry-level employees and once on the job they then could move out of the city. There is no Federal Law that prohibits this type of hiring practice.
Civil Service does not think of these things and their leadership has been around for too long, In fact the head of the Civil Service commission does not live in Bridgeport and the employee representative is and was an empty suit.
It’s time for David Dunn and Civil Service to get off their asses and start doing their jobs.