The Commission provides for classification of over 500 civil service
employees and for open and competitive examinations at both entry and
promotional levels. The Commission may also review the suspension, removal,
or discharge of civil service employees and will investigate such
actions, hold public hearings, and reinstate employees, if justified. The Commission is staffed by the Human
Resources Department of the City of Bellingham in its role as the
administrator of the City's Civil Service System.
The Commission oversees and approves the Civil Service examination
and eligibility processes for City employment. It also reviews hiring
practices and conducts formal and informal hearings related to employee
discipline. The Commission's decisions are guided by a fairly complex
system of written regulations under State law mandate. Some of the work
of the Commission is highly confidential.
Meetings are typically held on the second Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m.
in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Time required for meetings each
month may be anywhere from a one and one-half hour regular meeting to a
two day disciplinary hearing. Meetings average approximately one
hour. About one hour is needed outside of meetings to study the
Meetings and Events for currently scheduled meetings.
The Commission consists of five members. Terms of office are five
years and no compensation is paid to members of this Commission. Members
are appointed by the Mayor with majority approval of the Council. Two
must be appointed from the uniformed and non-uniformed union's
recommendations. No Commissioner shall be an officer or employee of the
City. Individuals with expertise in personnel management and employee
relations are particularly well suited for Commission work. Experience
working in a Civil Service, governmental system is also beneficial.
Every member of the Civil Service Commission shall be a citizen of the
United States, a resident of the State of Washington for at least 3
years and Whatcom County for at least 2 years previous to their