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Hiring lists will be used for last time

Published: Tue, January 5, 2010 @ 12:05 a.m.

By David Skolnick

The city has used the two lists for several years.

YOUNGSTOWN — The city will use two lists — one for white men, and one for minorities and females — to hire new employees for the last time.

The city has used the two lists to hire firefighters and police officers for several years. But a federal court ruling declaring the use of two lists by Shreveport, La., to be unconstitutional means Youngstown must do away with its lists.

Typically, Youngstown hired one minority and/or female for every two white men it hired for jobs with its police and fire departments as long as the applicants met all the requirements, said Mayor Jay Williams and Fire Chief John J. O’Neill Jr.

“We have a hiring pool that reflects the diversity of the community,” Williams said. Using the two lists “allowed us to achieve a diverse work force.”

On Wednesday, Williams is sponsoring an ordinance for city council’s consideration that would allow the fire department to hire nine to 11 firefighters from the two lists for the last time.

As for how many minorities and/or women would be hired, Williams said it could be one hire from that list for every two or three white male hires.

“All are qualified, and we’ll do this in a constitutional method,” he said. “We want to maintain our high standard of employees and give consideration to all applicants.”

The new policy wouldn’t rank those who passed the firefighter written test — applicants also must pass a physical-agility test — by the top scores, Williams said.

“As long as there’s not a separation [of lists], there’s no issue,” he said.

The old policy ranked potential employees by the top written score, as long as they also passed the agility test. Those in the top 10 could be selected for the jobs.

But Youngstown also had the second list, permissible under Ohio law.

That section refers to “the waiver of laws to avoid federally prohibited discrimination.” It reads: “The waiver, passed as an ordinance by city council, permits the legislative authority of a municipality to suspend or alter the appointment rules for minority hiring.”

Williams is working with the city’s civil-service commission to make other changes to the written test for firefighters and police officers.

Those wanting to be firefighters or police officers currently need a score of at least 70 on the written test.

That could be raised by five to seven points for future tests, Williams said.

(Firefighters also need to pass the physical agility test, which includes climbing a firefighter’s ladder, dragging a hose and simulating what to do during a fire. Police officers don’t need to pass a physical test.)

The new policy can’t go into place for the firefighter hirings because that test was given in June. Of the 185 applicants, 78 passed.

Of those who passed, the top minority finished 51st, O’Neill said.

The city’s current policy doesn’t sit well with Nate Janoviak of Newberry in Geauga County, who finished 43rd.

“I may have a decent chance for this time or perhaps the next round, but I’m getting knocked out by someone who did worse than me,” Janoviak said. “My test wasn’t different than anyone else. It’s reverse discrimination. The city is saying that they have enough white people” on the fire department.

When asked about charges of “reverse discrimination,” O’Neill said, “I don’t want to get caught in the middle of that.”

Williams said he doesn’t agree with the allegation, saying it’s important for the city to have a diverse work force.



1timOthy(802 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

What about the lists of REALITIVES, CIVIC CLUBS, AND SUPPORT GROUPS ??? Guess we will sweep that under the rug Vindy !

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2theword(342 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

"It’s reverse discrimination. The city is saying that they have enough white people on the fire department"

It sure is reverse discrimination he's not getting hired because of his race..

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3rex(65 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

New employes should be hired purely on their job qualifications. No preferential treatment of minorities and women. And, employees should get fired based on their transgressions. Govenment employees have to learn to live in the real world where job qualifications and job perfomance decide if they get and KEEP their jobs. It has not been that long ago that the head of construction in the water department got drunk and wrecked a city vehicle. That man is still employed by the city today.

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4Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

I think this is a great idea. I think the City Schools should do this also. Think about it , if you are Black and you go to take the State exam you could get an extra 50 points an the test for being black. Then when the State report cards come out Youngstown will no longer be the worst School system in the state.Clearly the state test is racist to begin with , this is just correcting for an historical injustice. Maybe David Betras can convince Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to come to town and we can all march around town screaming "no justice no peace , no justice no peace". What do ya think JAY.Should we go with the institutional racism or a level playing field, I say screw the white guys and go with the racism

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5Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

When asked about charges of “reverse discrimination,” O’Neill said, “I don’t want to get caught in the middle of that.”

Thats the problem nowadays, no one wants to get involved, and that is sad because this is clearly a case of reverse discrimination. And sad to, because I understand it is a losing cause when the word "discrimination" comes up.

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

"When asked about charges of “reverse discrimination,” O’Neill said, “I don’t want to get caught in the middle of that.”

Ah yes , political correctness . It should be carried further in their eyes . The word estatic would represent their feelings if a black man did the crime and a white man did the time . What they don't realize is that when a dunce fills a position over a qualified person all of society loses . Performance and productivity should be rewarded no matter what the skin color .

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7candystriper(575 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

One public employee for every ten working adults.

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8hellsbells(116 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

So, employers are not allowed any discretion? This guy from, where?, Newberry in Geauga County, should get a job from Youngstown taxpayers. And then undoubtedly, refuse to live in the city!
Part of the test should ask who knows the fastest way to get to a given city street. What's this guy going to use? GPS?
Give me a break.
If you are going totally on test scores, let's remove those extra points for veterans while we're at it.

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9Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

"So, employers are not allowed any discretion?"

Huh? So because someone is a minority they have a advantage over someone else? Something is wrong with that. Should be a level playing field, written and physical, and not based on race. It doesn't matter how hard you work to prepare for the job, if you don't perform in the test room, you're out of luck. And the Firefighter's Entrance Exam is very difficult.

"And then undoubtedly, refuse to live in the city!"

And do you know that for a fact?

"Part of the test should ask who knows the fastest way to get to a given city street. What's this guy going to use? GPS?"

What is someone else going to use? A map?

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10jeffhoef1(45 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

In 2000 I was 1st on the list for consideration as a firefighter. As a white male, I didn't even deserve an interview. Youngstown is a crooked place and the further away you are the less it stinks. They have no problem hiring drug dealers and perverts that cost my city dearly. Half the money from the fire and police levy goes to the general fund. Water and Wastewater budgets are slush funds. I'm taxed at 2 3/4 % on my tax deferred and pension money. Most of Mayor Williams promises have been broken, are all Department Managers living in Youngstown? We still have not paid a penny on the $12 million sinkhole center that steals money from all department budgets while sewer and water rates go through the roof. The Mayor can appoint as many unqualified, untested laborers as his conscience will let him. And we don't know why Youngstown is screwed up? Ridiculous.

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11jeffhoef1(45 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

Way to go AlwaysHope (3 up). Children who spend 6 hours a day in school, should be smart enough to walk on the sidewalk, not in the middle of the street. Youngstown teachers who live in Youngstown, and send their children there to be educated are somewhat rare. They were never required to live in the city like the rest of us employees.

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12Firefighter5(2 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

How should someone who takes the same exact test as every one else be favored because of there race, so should there job describtion be diffrent, we have to do the same job so why the special treatment, study harder next time!!!

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13hellsbells(116 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

Here's a wild concept for you, Lifes2Short:
I don't need a map or a GPS because I already know my way around the city I live in.

This ambulance drivers etc. who can't find their way to a street waste precious time.

A firefighter doesn't have to be good at paper and pencil knowledge. He needs to get to a location, first of all, fast, secondly, be strong and sensible, third.
A guy from Amish country who is good at taking a test doesn't impress me. Do I know he wouldn't move to the city? Well, he could have moved here first, and paid the taxes for the current firefighters.

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14medic(1 comment)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

Why does someone who finished 43rd think he's going to be hired in a group of 9-11 people? These civil service tests for firefighting are very simple. Other factors, including race and gender, should be considered. As a fellow white male, I can tell Mr. Janoviak that it isn't "reverse discrimination" that will keep you from getting a job. It's your low test score, and your attitude.

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15Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

hellsbells you stated "A firefighter doesn't have to be good at paper and pencil knowledge", you can't be any further from the truth.
A Firefighter has to have a great deal of knowledge about buildings and firefighting techniques.What the hell do you think is on those test's,questions about the pythagorean theorum , what color is a stop sign or maybe how many branches of Government.
When you are fighting a fire you have to have that knowledge in your head at all time's .You don't have time to stop and consult a manual as you go about saving lives and arresting a raging inferno. It is clear that you are CLUELESS Yes you might be able to get to a fire quickly, but beyond that you would be useless.

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16Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago


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