Civil Service in Midland?

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

It was put on the ballot in the 60's and turned down in Midland. In this new election you can expect to see the question back up for a vote: Are you for Municipal Civil Service in Midland? But as NewsWest 9 found, the answer isn't so simple.

"Like I say, it's a tride and true employment system, court tested," said Bill Anderson, the Vice-President of the Midland Municipal Police Officers Association. According to him, voting for civil service in Midland is a no brainier.

"Municipal civil service is designed to give the local entities more say over what they do," explained Anderson.

He said the system is meant to take the politics out of the daily work of fire fighters and police officers.

"This whole thing with the city manager has kind of stemmed this along into doing this, is because of all the political pressures that were put on the officers from the city manager, you know we finally decided enough is enough," said Anderson.

But for others, like David Hunter with the city of Midland, there are many concerns with civil service.

"I haven't talked to anybody in another city that wouldn't rather be in our shoes, with our set of policies and procedures to go through on a locally controlled basis," said Hunter.

He also worries that recruitment efforts will be hurt as well.

"Currently we are able to test people at any location we are able to take advantage of technology which is important in this economy because it is very difficult to recruit particularly into our public safety positions, so we've got a lot of flexibility, and how we go out and recruit," explained Hunter.

Anderson, however, said that Midland is already losing both police and fire fighters without civil service.

"We've lost officers and so has the fire department, and they've lost more probably to the civil service agencies than we have," said Anderson.

Really? Fire Fighters leaving because of no Civil Service? Not according to the Fire Marshal.

"Of course, we are having fire fighters that have been here for many years that are going on to retirement, and some of the other fire fighters of course are looking at some of the oil field money at this time, but right now we are fully staffed and we have a list approximately around 20 individuals waiting to get on our department," explained Midland Fire Marshal Jeff Meiner.

But no matter which individual we talked to Monday, all of them had the same sentiment. It's all up to the voters.

One of the biggest concerns about civil service of course is whether the taxes will go up if it is implemented. And from what we have learned...certain legal fees may go up to pay for a civil service commission, but there should not be any new taxes for civil service.