Babylon Town is the first in Suffolk County to create its own civil service department, snubbing what the town supervisor called a slow county system.
Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer said the pace of the county civil service department in approving promotions prompted him to take steps to create a town system, including hiring former longtime county civil service chief Alan Schneider to advise the town.
“What we’ve noticed, myself and the staff who deal with this issue … is just how inefficient it has become and how cumbersome it has become,” Schaffer said Wednesday before the town board held two public hearings and voted unanimously to create the department. “It’s almost as if they’re making up new ways to make it more difficult.”
The town board approved promotions for landfill personnel in late January and early February, Schaffer said, and “to this day, some of them still don’t have those promotions.”
The county has required “nonsensical information that I have no idea what they’re doing with,” before it approves promotions, the town supervisor said.
County spokesman Jason Elan said, “County civil service needs to be reformed, which is why we recently installed new leadership that is conducting a top-to-bottom review of the office. It is with this goal in mind that any and all personnel matters will be treated with the due diligence and professionalism that they deserve.”
While Babylon is the first to create its own civil service department, in Nassau County, the Town of Hempstead has its own.
Schaffer said Babylon will maintain the relationships with the bargaining units, keep the contract, all the civil service lists and the test.
“The only thing is, you’re going to be able to walk upstairs … and we’re going to be able to do all of that here,” he said to a crowd of union employees.
The state Department of Civil Service will oversee a yearlong transition before the town fully takes operations from the county.
Schaffer expects the new town department to be running by the beginning of 2021 at the latest.