Mayor promises to establish an independent personnel board

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson this morning committed to establishing an independent personnel board after listening to a presentation at the mayoral transition team meeting


Two years after he took office, Mayor Ashton Hayward went to the state legislature and asked for the repeal of the city’s Civil Service Board.

Hayward won the support of city employees, city council and lawmakers because he committed to creating an Independent Personnel Board. 

Lawmakers were given this analysis of the bill:

“Upon repeal of the Civil Service Act, the City of Pensacola’s human resources office intends to create an Independent Personnel Board. Like the current Civil Service Board, this board would handle minimum qualification changes, hear disciplinary appeals from city employees not otherwise protected by collective bargaining contracts, and be provided an attorney.”

Florida House Staff

Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill in June 2013.  The board has added to the city’s HR manual in December 2013 – see board.

Though it was in the HR manual on the city’s website for two years, Hayward never created the Independent Personnel Board.

Hours after the fire chiefs were placed on leave on Feb. 2, 2016, a new HR manual was uploaded to the city’s website. The independent board was eliminated, and Chief Matt Schmitt and Deputy Fire Chief Joe Glover could only appeal their leaves to Chief Human Resources Officer Edward Sisson and City Administrator Eric Olson.

We now know that Sisson made the allegations against the chiefs, and Olson participated in the closed-door meeting where the decision was made to put them on leave.

Can you predict how Sisson and Olson would handle the chiefs’ appeals? An independent board might have saved the city $575,000.

Mayor Robinson said the county has an independent appeals board, and he will establish one for the city.