Questionable hiring at Northville CSD

The Northville Central School District will approve a very questionable hiring at [tonight’s] April 9th board meeting at 5 p.m. The district had a Computer Service Specialist retire on Feb. 1 and the district is filling the vacancy with almost no advertisement of the position. The district knew of the anticipated vacancy since the Nov. 6 board meeting and notified the Fulton County Personnel Department, but waited until Jan. 8 and 10 to publicly advertise the vacancy in the Leader-Herald. There were no qualified candidates from this advertisement and no further advertising was done. The vacancy was not posted anywhere including the school website and district staff was not even aware.

With no candidates, the district contracted NERIC for support for the remainder of the year. Shortly after being assigned a technician, Northville hired the technician directly and the service was canceled with NERIC. It is unethical to poach an employee from NERIC when the district made little effort to fill the position on their own.

Only after the candidate had been offered the position did the district have the Civil Service exam announced. According to Fulton County Personnel, the average Civil Service exam announcement is for 4 to 6 weeks. This exam was posted for 15 days, which is very short if you are searching for qualified candidates. Because a candidate is already selected, applicants of the exam are wasting both time and money. The announcement specifically states “preference may be given to residents of the locality.” This is irrelevant when the public is unaware of a vacancy.

When I questioned the Board of Education on this, I was told, with an attitude, that the district went above and beyond hiring requirements and that I needed a “lesson in protocol.” Two weekday postings for a vacancy is going above and beyond for the students and taxpayers?

Hiring the best candidates is essential for a small school district with limited resources. Taxpayers should be given a fair opportunity to be hired for the position as stated in the Civil Service announcement. I have yet to receive a response after requesting the Board of Education postpone their decision until all candidates could be properly considered. It is very hard to believe that the board is acting in the best interest of all parties involved and I will be at the meeting to express this.

Michael Luckert