One applicant passes civil service test for parks job

EAST LIVERPOOL – Just one of seven people passed a Civil Service Commission test for the position of Thompson Park superintendent given last month, and the park board has sought a legal opinion on whether or not it must hire that person.

The status of the superintendent post wasn’t discussed during the board’s regular meeting Tuesday, but asked about it afterward, President Burl Warrick divulged that no interviews had been conducted since just one person passed and the law director was contacted.

Warrick said the board wants to know whether it has to accept this person or conduct another test. The person who passed is James Blackhurst of Lisbon, and while board member Betsy Wells said it may be he is the best candidate, member Wink Smith said the board wants a pool of people from which to choose.

Asked whether they believe the test was too difficult and needs revamped, Warrick said they will talk with the Civil Service Commission about that possibility.

Smith, however, favored keeping the test as-is, saying, “I’m sorry if our people can’t pass a test that everyone else in the state can. I don’t know that we should change it that much.”

Smith said he also wouldn’t mind giving those who failed a second chance to take the test in order to gain a pool of candidates.

Wells said, however, Blackhurst would then think he has to compete against those in the pool “because we dummied down the test.”

Warrick said he didn’t like the term “dummied down,” but said perhaps the test needs geared more toward a smaller park operation.

Park board members were not permitted to see the 50-question test which was last given seven years ago when former Superintendent Robb Kenny took it and was hired.

He left recently for another position.