Category: 2012 Budget
On September 20th, the employees of the Collin County Sheriff's Department voted to establish a Civil Service Commission. The vote was 296 for, and 35 against.
The Civil Service Commission will be made up three commissioners. The County Commissioners' Court will appoint three commissioners. County Administrator, Bill Bilyeu has send the county commissioners the details of the process: "The Commissioners Court will appoint the three members of the Commission with the District Attorney, Sheriff, and Commissioners Court each nominating one of the members. The Sheriff will select the Chair and the members will draw lots to determine and serve two year terms on a staggered basis (Two members appointment will expire one year and the other member the following year)."
2007, the Collin County Deputies Association was had a series of conflicts with County Judge, Keith Self. The budget hearing last year ignited a conflagration over Judge Self's proposal to cut the county employees' retirement benefits.
Three days before the deputies Civil Service election, Judge Self voted against the 2012 budget - he was opposed to the 2 tier salary approved; 3% for sworn officers, and 2% for the remainder of the county employees. In a large part of the Deputies Association pushed for the Civil Service system to try to protect themselves from Keith Self.
Sheriff Terry Box did not actively oppose the Civil Service system.
The Texas Local Government Code gives the Civil Service Commission:
"Sec. 158.035. POWERS OF COMMISSION. (a) The commission shall adopt, publish, and enforce rules regarding:
(1) selection and classification of employees;
(2) competitive examinations;
(3) promotions, seniority, and tenure;
(4) layoffs and dismissals;
(5) disciplinary actions;
(6) grievance procedures;
(7) the rights of employees during an internal investigation; and
(8) other matters relating to the selection of employees and the procedural and substantive rights, advancement, benefits, and working conditions of employees.
(b) The commission may adopt or use as a guide any civil service law or rule of the United States, this state, or a political subdivision in this state to the extent that the law or rule promotes the purposes of this subchapter and is consistent with the needs and circumstances of the department.
(c) In a county with a population of 2.8 million or more, a panel of three commissioners shall preside at the hearing and vote on the commission's final decision in any case involving termination, demotion, or recovery of back pay. A panel's decision is the final decision of the commission for purposes of Sections 158.0351 and 158.037. The commission shall adopt rules prescribing the commission's procedures for assigning members to a panel. A panel may not include more than one member who was appointed to the commission by the same individual appointing authority.
(d) In rendering a final decision regarding a disciplinary action by the department, the commission may only sustain, overturn, or reduce the disciplinary action. The commission may not enhance a disciplinary action by the department."
Bilyeu also explained that, "As a reminder, the Commission’s duties are only related to the direct employees of the Sheriff. Court officers, DA investigators, deputy constables, etc. are not covered by the Commission."
The Commissioners Court is expected to start the process of appointing Civil Service commissioners tomorrow, Monday, October 3.