Letter: Protect state’s civil service system, now - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Letter: Protect state’s civil service system, now

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Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 5:26 pm

This is a rebuttal to Glenn Hamer’s Guest Commentary in your newspaper (“Senate Appropriations Committee personnel reform vital to state’s business growth,” March 23).

Unfortunately, Hamer of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Gov. Jan Brewer and the Arizona Legislature want to bring back the historically failed “at-will” public employment system of the past.

The Arizona governor and Legislature want to turn-the-clock-back to the late-1800s and early-1900s when public employees served the winning political party (not the public) in the affected local-state-national administrations. The ensuing nepotism, cronyism and corruption so outraged the public that civil service reforms were instituted during the Progressive Reform era so public employees could only be fired based on cause — not the whim of the party in power.

The current civil service “merit system” in Arizona helps prevent corruption by its employees. In comparison, the corruption in the public sector has occurred by its governors and legislators. For example, Arizona has had two governors forced out of office because of criminal offenses, 10 of 90 legislators resigned or were convicted of criminal offenses (i.e., bribery) from the 1991 (FBI) Az Scam operation, and a recent senator resigned because of a domestic violence criminal offense.

That’s why I created a petition to the Arizona House of Representatives, the Arizona State Senate, and to the governor, which says: “Support protecting Arizona Civil Servants by opposing any proposal to convert most public employees to ‘at-will’ employment status. Support the existing personnel system that requires management to show that an employee is being fired because that employee is professionally incompetent, has committed a criminal offense, or is mentally-physically incapacitated.”

If you support the “merit system” rather than the proposed “at-will” public employment system, please sign the petition at http://signon.org/sign/protect-civil-service.

Bradley Vandermark, B.S., M.P.A.

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