While board members contend that they were simply using whatever public information was available to them, Golonski objected to some comments by board Vice Chairman Nathan Schlossman and his colleague, former Mayor Mary Lou Howard. He noted that board members are expected to be professional, impartial judges on matters that come before them.
“They frequently deal with sensitive personnel matters that require discretion and careful consideration,” Golonski said in a statement Thursday. “In light of the comments made by some members of the Civil Service Board, I no longer have confidence that they can perform the role required of members of this board.”
Golonski was referring to Schlossman’s comparison of the Dermenjian request to appointing a bank teller accused of mishandling money to a higher interim position.
“And I have to conclude, no, that would not be a good business decision,” Schlossman said.
And Howard questioned whether “it’s a good idea to appoint someone into that position who may be gone next week or two weeks from now.”
The full board also discussed alternatives that ranged from appointing a different officer to rotating the position.
Police Chief Tim Stehr initially appointed Dermenjian to acting captain July 28. The matter was brought before the Civil Service Board in a process designed to ensure employees are not taken advantage of by being kept in temporary positions for long periods of time.
The extension was to last from Oct. 28 to Jan. 28, pending the return of Capt. Bill Taylor, who is on extended medical leave. Management Services Director Judie Wilke ultimately carried on a recommendation to appoint Dermenjian for the six months, citing a break in service.
Howard said she was shocked by Golonski’s proposal, and intended to continue in her role.
“I am an independent thinker. I was on the council for 12 years,” she said. “And no one is going to tell me how to vote and what to do.”
With the matter tentatively scheduled to come before the City Council on Dec. 15, Mayor Gary Bric said he remained undecided.
“I want people to be able to speak their minds on boards and commissions and not fear being removed if I disagree with them,” Bric said. “They have to be able to speak their minds as long as they don’t cross the line, in my opinion.”