Trumbull County changes system of posting county jobs again

By Ed Runyan


Trumbull County commissioners have taken some wayward swings in recent months regarding notification to the public of job openings, but their new human-resources director says the current notifications are on target with what most government entities are doing.

Commissioner Frank Fuda raised questions in May about the openness of county jobs to the public, which resulted in a new procedure in which all of the job openings under the authority of the county commissioners were posted on the county human-resources website.

But in the last six weeks, that procedure was scaled back to list only jobs for which union members did not bid.

Commissioner Frank Fuda said the reason for removing the other jobs was to prevent the public from wasting time applying for jobs that current county employees have the first crack at through their union contract.

It also wasn’t helpful to department heads to process applications for jobs that existing employees wanted.

Commissioner Dan Polivka said recently he doesn’t think the public understands that the union contracts for county employees guarantee those employees get first chance at any job that opens up in the county.

That may lead the public to think that the system is rigged against them, but it’s “a union thing,” Polivka said.

Richard Jackson, the county’s new human resources director, said Tuesday the county’s job postings on the HR website ( operate just the same way that most local governments do. “It’s pretty standard,” he said.

His office also sends job openings to the Ohio Means Jobs agency that has offices in the Trumbull County Department of Job and Family Services office on North Park Avenue, he said.

Jackson went to that website but was unable to find the current county job posting there for an Office of Elderly Affair substitute home-delivered-meals driver. He said the county has no control over when Ohio Means Jobs posts such openings.

Pastor Todd Johnson, a write-in candidate for county commissioner opposing Polivka, however, says that’s not true.

“Have they actually brought Ohio Means Jobs in to show them how to do it?” asked Johnson, who worked for the agency for 10 years until earlier this fall.

“It’s not out of their control. They can control that,” Johnson said. The county can post the job openings to the Ohio Means Jobs website and have the applications come back directly to the county HR department, Johnson said.

Furthermore, the county could use other services provided by Ohio Means Jobs to screen the applicants and serve as a clearinghouse to provide the county with applicants that meet the minimum qualifications, he said.

Johnson said he understands not posting all of the jobs until after the union has bid on them, but he thinks there should be a system that publicly lists all the jobs that have changed hands. Such a system might restore some public confidence that the system is fair.