One of the two items on the agenda for the Greensboro City Council work session on Thursday, April 27 is “Civil Service Review Board Bill – Council discussion.”

The bill to establish civil service review boards for Greensboro and Winston-Salem, House Bill 470, was on the House Calendar for a vote on Wednesday, April 26, but was pulled from the calendar and sent back to the House Rules Committee.

The portion of the bill that deals with Greensboro would amend the Charter of the City of Greensboro to establish a civil service review board that would have the power to make decisions regarding city employees.

The civil service review board would have five members – two appointed by the City Council, two elected by city employees and one appointed by a majority vote of those four members.  City employees and anyone who benefits directly or indirectly from a business relationship with the city are not eligible to be appointed to the board.  Former city employees would become eligible to serve on the board seven years after they leave city employment.

The civil service review board would have the authority to discharge city employees or reduce their rank or compensation.

It also gives city employees the right to appeal decisions made by the city regarding their employment status. The bill states “Whenever any member of the classified service of the city is discharged, suspended, reduced in rank, transferred against his or her will, or denied any promotion or raise in pay which he or she would be entitled to, that member shall be entitled to a hearing before the Board to determine whether the actions complained of is justified.”

The bill also establishes that the burden of proof for the justification of any of those actions is on the city.

Decisions made by the civil service review board may be appealed to Guilford County Superior Court but not to the city manager or City Council.

The sponsors of House Bill 470 are Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford), Rep, Jeff Zenger (R-Forsyth) and Rep. Kyle Hall (R-Forsyth, Stokes).

The bill was introduced in the House on March 23 and had received a favorable report from the House Local Government and the Rules committees.

According to the bill’s sponsors they were unaware of any serious opposition to the bill until the Rules Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 25.

Because it is a local bill, it does not have to be signed by Gov. Roy Cooper.