Amendment to city nepotism policy heads to council
Tuesday afternoon, the city’s Personnel and Finance Committee unanimously approved a resolution to ratify the hiring of employee relatives and spouses.
During discussion, 8th District Alderman Tim Meehean raised concern with the absence of employee spouses being listed in the resolution who are, or have been employed with the city simultaneously.
“I’m confused why all employees aren’t listed in the resolution,” he stated.
“I understand there is an issue as it relates to spouses, but I don’t think the ordinance makes a distinction in that regard. I would ask that all employees, including Dave’s (Johnson-City Administrator) spouse, to be included. The resolution makes no distinction between spouses and employees.
Tom (Hayden-City Attorney) can amend the resolution accordingly and forward to city council.
Key terms in the resolution as presented on Tuesday read;
“Whereas, under the Federal Equal Opportunities Act (1982) it is illegal to utilize non-job related questions involving marital status, employment status of spouse, or name of spouse in employment interviews, applications and, Whereas Ordinance No. 2-191(b) “Hiring Relatives” requires approval by the Common Council of such as hires and, Whereas current employee relatives (except spouses) as listed below were hired and have acted in a City Employee capacity:
Amy Severt 05/13/2008 start date-City Hall Maintenance
Kate Drewek, 09/26/2011 start date-Utility
Geoffrey Hoock, 01/21/2013 start date-Streets
“I know there is some confusion regarding spouses on employment applications,” Meehean continued. “But I don’t think it is appropriate to exclude spouses from the nepotism policy. It makes no sense to me that you can have nepotism against your brother but not against your wife. If it looks like we will run afoul of EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) by asking marital questions on our employment application, then I would ask those questions be left off the form. But after an employee accepts an offer of employment, we can then ask if there would be an issue with nepotism as it relates to spouses. If that is the case, employment would be contingent upon approval by the common council.”
Meehean ultimately motioned to amend the resolution to eliminate the “except spouses” verbiage and add the list of spouses to the employee list, including:
Kathleen Caylor 10/10/1997 start date-crossing guard. Spouse Michael Caylor Sr. was police lieutenant until mid-April 1998.
Judith Stockowitz 08/19/2004 start date–Smith Center cleaner. Spouse William Kaenhe was also Smith Center cleaner.
Samantha Kohnhorst 12/12/2006 start date– Recreation assistant. Mother Dawn Smith is the Parks and Recreation Administrative Assistant.
Sheryl Dallman with 09/19/2006 start date–Recreation assistant. Spouse James Dallman was Smith Center Arena Specialist.
Deborah Hartwig 10/22/2002 start date–Crossing guard. Spouse Chris Hartwig is recently retired police Lieutenant.
Andrea Bennett 07/28/2008 start date–library. Spouse is now Police Captain and Union Police Officer in 2008 Corey Bennett.
Kate Drewek 09/26/2011 start date–Utility. Father Mike Saal was a street department employee
Todd Annis 02/12/2012 start date–Parks & Rec. Spouse Joy Annis is part-time Recreation Assistant at Parks & Recreation
Jana Johnson 01/18/2016 start date-Fire Department Administrative Assistant. Spouse is Dave Johnson, City Administrator.
Following unanimous passage, the resolution will now proceed for Common Council approval on Wednesday, November 9th.