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Tuesday, March 13, 2001

Call To Order

The meeting was called to order at 5:05 p.m. at the City of Mercer Island Caucus Room, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, WA.

Roll Call

Commissioners Blakney, Taylor and Winterbauer. Secretary/Chief Examiner Segle, Police Commander Elsoe, Fire Commander Mauldin, Personnel/Training Sergeant Holmes, Officer Tom Quinn. Absent: Chief Deveny

Regular Business

Moved by Taylor and seconded by Blakney to approve the minutes of February 13, 2001 as submitted. Motion carried.

The Commission reviewed the personnel orders for February with staff.

Police Commander Elsoe explained that there were no changes to the February Police Roster. He further explained that the Commission would see changes in March. Fire Commander Mauldin reviewed the changes to the Fire Roster with the Commission, pointing out the retirement of Fire Commander Provost and the appointment of three new Firefighters.

Commander Elsoe updated the Commission on the testing process of the entry-level Police Officer recruitment. He reported that the Department is satisfied with the progress of the process and the number of candidates successfully making their way through.

Commander Elsoe introduced Officer Tom Quinn, who attended the Commission's meeting on behalf of Police Recruitment Candidate John Haraway. John could not attend the meeting because he lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. Officer Quinn worked with Candidate John Haraway in Honolulu, therefore, presenting his challenge at the Commission's meeting.

Commander Elsoe explained that Candidate Haraway did well on the written test but failed a significant portion of the physical test. Officer Quinn explained that the Candidate Haraway was scheduled to take his physical test the day he arrived in Seattle from Honolulu. His flight was delayed for 20 hours due to the earthquake, he was fighting a cold, and he did not get any sleep out of concern of missing the test due to the flight delay. Furthermore, Candidate Haraway is an Officer with the Honolulu Police Department, which conducts a physical abilities test each year for the officers and Haraway has always passed that test. Officer Quinn respectfully asked the Commission to consider the circumstances surrounding the reasons why Candidate Haraway did poorly on the physical test and grant permission for him to re-take the test.

The Commission discussed the request. Chief Examiner Segle advised the Commission that if they decide to allow Candidate Haraway to re-take the physical test, then that same option should be offered to all Recruitment Candidates who failed the physical test. Commissioner Taylor suggested that language be added to the Civil Service Rules describing candidate appeal rights. Chief Examiner Segle agreed to work with the City Attorney to draft the language for the Commission review at a future meeting.

MOTION: Moved by Winterbauer and seconded by Taylor to allow Police Recruit Candidate John Haraway and any other candidate who failed the physical test during the current entry-level police recruitment testing process to re-take the entire physical test on a pre-determined date established by the Personnel/Training Sergeant.

Police Commander Elsoe introduced John Walters, President of Mr. Walters' company contracts with jurisdictions to provide raw written and physical testing scores for entry-level Police Officers and Firefighters. Information regarding was passed out to each Commissioner. Mr. Walters spent approximately 45 minutes in his presentation. He explained the benefits of contracting with his company versus recruiting in-house. He explained that he was using validated written tests and the same physical test used by the Police Academy. He explained that the cost to the City of Mercer Island would be $30 per commissioned officer, which translates into approximately $1,000. Commander Elsoe explained that the City had spent over $5,000 during the current recruitment process in advertising alone.

The Commission discussed the presentation and demonstrated overall support for contracting with when current eligibility list is exhausted. The Commission expressed concerns about using the same test that the Police Academy is using, since there is concerns at the Chief's Association level regarding the validity of the test. The Commission expressed that they would be interested in exploring the possibility of contracting with once Chief Deveny and the City Attorney could review and approve of the process. Commissioner Taylor suggested that language be drafted surrounding subscription testing service and continuous testing for the Civil Service Rules. Chief Examiner Segle committed to working with the City Attorney to get the language drafted.

Off Agenda Items

There were none.

Next Meeting Date

The next Regular Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 5:00 p.m., in the Caucus Room at City Hall.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.


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