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MILWAUKEE, March 15, 1898. Hon. William G. Rauschenberger,
Mayor of Milwaukee. SIR:-In accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Act entitled "An Act to regulate the Civil Service of Cities," the Board of City Service Commissioners of Milwaukee has the honor to submit to you herewith, for transmission to the City Council, a report of its work during the past year.
A full statement of the number and results of examinations held, of appointments, promotions and other changes in the civil service of the city, and of other matters showing the practical effects of the civil service system as administered during the year, will be found in the tables attached to the report of the Chief Examiner and Secretary of this Board, which is herewith submitted. A copy of the rules now in force governing the action of the Board in the examination and selection of persons to fill offices and positions in the service of the city, is also herewith submitted.
It has been the constant endeavor of the Board during the year to make its examinations of applicants for office or employment practical in their character, and to direct them to those matters which will fairly test the relative capacity and fitness of the persons examined to discharge the duties of the particular service to which they seek to be appointed, and in all respects to comply with the spirit as well as the letter of the law in respect thereto. Such examinations have with obvious propriety included a reasonable inquiry as to the general education and intelligence of candidates in all cases where the duties of the position sought are such as to require a fair degree of education and intelligence. Questions intended for this purpose may not have a direct reference to the particular duties of the position, although suited to test the general qualifications of the candidate.
This feature of civil service examinations has been made here, as well as elsewhere, the ground of unintelligent criticism by thoughtless persons, or those unfriendly to the merit system.
For many positions in the service of the city, technical knowledge and ability, and in some cases experience, are of essential importance.
The Board has found it necessary in such cases to secure the assistance of experts in directing the scope of examinations, in framing questions and in rating the applicants according to results.
Very large numbers have presented themselves at recent examinations for clerical and other positions, and the labor involved has been thereby greatly increased. Hitherto the Board has managed to conduct all examinations with very slight outlay for assistance, but it has become evident that it will be necessary in the future, in order to avoid unreasonable delay in ascertaining the results of examinations and perfecting eligible lists, to employ assistance from time to time in preparing for and conducting examinations and determining their results.
The civil service act provides for the employment of such assistance by the Board, providing only that “the examiners at any examination shall not all be members of the same political party, and no person shall serve in an examination of candidates for office under the provisions of the act in case of a relative or connection by marriage within the degree of first cousin."
Wherever the civil service system has been introduced, it has been found necessary to provide for non-competitive examinations in some exceptional cases, especially where peculiar technical or professional ability, adaptation and experience appear to be essential. The Board has aimed to restrict such cases as much as possible, and in the few cases where such non-competitive examinations were had, the Board became satisfied, after full inquiry, that it was justified in its action thereồn, and the best interests of the service would be materially promoted thereby.
The Board has found the heads of departments disposed during the past year, as at all times since the Board was created, to give the merit system hearty support, and the effects of the system have, in the opinion of the Board, continued to be of advantage to the city in all departments of public administration.
The Board also desires to gratefully acknowledge the kindly appreciation and ready coöperation which it has at all times received from yourself as Mayor of the city.
CITY OF MILWAUKEE.
ADOPTED BY THE BOARD ON JANUARY 9, 1897.
Approved by Mayor William G. Rauschenberger
on January 12, 1897.
GENERAL DIRECTIONS AND INFORMATION
FOR BOTH THE
OFFICIAL SERVICE AND LABOR SERVICE,
TITLES, NAMES, PAY-ROLLS, NOTICES OF CHANGES IN SERVICE.
SECTION 1. Every department, sub-department, office, position, etc., in the City Service, shall be known by only one title. Each title shall be applied only to one department, sub-department, class of positions or other category.
SEC. 2. In regard to entries in the City Service made since the Civil Service act went into effect, the sworn applications in the archives of the City Service office shall form the basis of the Civil Lists whenever possible.
SEC. 3. The spelling of the first names and the surnames in all lists and pay-rolls must correspond with those in the applications.
SEC. 4. All officials, including ward superintendents and other heads of sub-departments whose duty it is to write pay-rolls, shall keep a correct transcript of the names of persons employed under them, as stated in the corrected Civil Lists in the City Service office and in the offices of the respective city departments, and write the first names and surnames correctly thereafter on every pay-roll.
SEC. 5. The names of employes of several classes may appear on the same pay-roll; but those of each class must be kept separate from those of every other class, to facilitate control.
Sec. 6. In order that the Civil Lists may be kept correct and complete, every appointing officer or board shall give the City Service office prompt official notice of all changes in their service, including appointments, promotions, transfers, discharges for absence without leave, discharges for other causes, absence on leave without pay, resignations,