Civil Service approves changes

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Civil Service Commission approved several draft changes at Friday's special meeting that the state has proposed.

Bill Leiberton, commission chairman, said that the commission had to incorporate the new Civil Service rules and regulations that have suggested by Punxsutawney Borough Police Chief Tom Fedigan, to be approved by Punxsutawney Borough Council at tonight's meeting.

Jeff Lundy, commission solicitor, said he met with Fedigan to discuss certain statutory changes made by the legislature that need to be incorporated into the Punxsy commission's rules.

• Lundy said the statute calls for the borough solicitor to also be the solicitor for the commission.

Lundy said If the borough or the commission believes there's a conflict or there is a hearing involving both council and the commission, then the commission may obtain separate council.

• There was a change in some of the language regarding the examinations, that each applicant will undergo physical fitness test, Lundy said, adding that it was changed to include physical fitness or an agility examination.

• Lundy said another change regarding the medical examiner and psychological examiner who used to be appointed by the commission, has been changed that borough council is to appoint them.

Fedigan said he would like to see that the applicants would have to meet the same standards for agility that would be required if that person entered the police academy at IUP.

Lundy said agreed that could be the standard that the commission is held to.

• Lundy said another change states that commission members may not participate in the testing process.

Chief Fedigan would administer the exam himself, Lundy said, adding that the commission can work with Fedigan, but would not be permitted to ask the questions, but could be in the room as observers or to assist.

• Lundy said another change is that when an officer is not being retained, his or her employment shall cease immediately.

• Pre-hearing conferences don't have to adhere to all of the state rules and regulations, as the local commission is not governed by the state, Lundy said. The local commission is its own entity.

• Lundy said currently the eligibility list is valid for one year after the list is adopted by the commission.

The commission may use its own discretion in extending that list for another year, Lundy said, adding that he didn't think a change was needed regarding the length of time the eligibility list may remain active.

Fedigan thanked Lundy for meeting with him to assist in the updating of the rules and regulations.

The commission voted to submit the changes to council for its approval so they may go into effect at tonight's meeting.