Friday, August 7, 2009

Is WPD's application fee illegal?

At the June 1, 2009, meeting of the Woodstock Board of Fire and Police Commissioners (BOFPC), the City proposed charging police officer applicants $30.00 for a testing fee. Although it expected to have only one position to fill, there was a feeling that as many as 300 candidates might apply.

Some quick math (300 x $30 = $9,000)... At the time $9,000 sounded like a lot of money to scarf up to fill just one position. There hasn't been any further mention of testing. Could it be that the economy now precludes hiring to fill any vacancies?

And then today I came across a State law that might have some bearing on the $30.00 fee to applicants.

"65 ILCS 5/10‑2.1‑6) (from Ch. 24, par. 10‑2.1‑6) Sec. 10‑2.1‑6. Examination of applicants; disqualifications. (a) All applicants for a position in either the fire or police department of the municipality shall be under 35 years of age, shall be subject to an examination that shall be public, competitive, and open to all applicants (unless the council or board of trustees by ordinance limit applicants to electors of the municipality, county, state or nation) and shall be subject to reasonable limitations as to residence, health, habits, and moral character. The municipality may not charge or collect any fee from an applicant who has met all prequalification standards established by the municipality for any such position."

A-ha! Read the last sentence again. "The municipality may not charge or collect any fee from an applicant who has met all prequalification standards established by the municipality for any such position." (Emphasis added)

Could a silly little provision in State law keep Woodstock from charging a fee to an applicant?

4 comments:

La tee da said...

I thought the fees go to the company testing and therefore do not go to the City.

Frank said...

Gus...I understand the municipality may not collect a fee. Meaning they can't be "paid" to allow someone to test.

However, many cities charge this fee. Is it possible this fee goes to the testing service for their expenses? You probably didn't even look into that did you.

tinfm said...

Woodstock can do whatever they want,, just ask the cheif!

Gus said...

Nothing at the BOFPC meeting caused me to think that every applicant would not pay $30 with his application to the City of Woodstock.

The rep from the testing firm stated he would not be raising his prices,and either he or the City's HR Director said that not every applicant was tested (written or physical). That's what perked up my ears, when it appeared that the application process could become a profit center for the PD or City.