A proposal to the city of Arkadelphia’s positing of vacant positions and hiring practices was presented to the City Board of Directors Tuesday evening.

A proposal to the city of Arkadelphia’s positing of vacant positions and hiring practices was presented to the City Board of Directors Tuesday evening.
During the Aug. 2 meeting, Assistant Mayor Dick Rudolph expressed his desire for the board to address the matter during this week’s meeting. Rudolph then provided a memo to the board for consideration. City Staff also included summarized information for the city’s employee personnel policy handbook and the city’s drug testing policy.
In his memo, Rudolph suggested all applicants undergo a background check to be conducted by the chief of police and the county sheriff. The background check would include court records, driving records and arrest citations.
According to Assistant Police Chief Jason “Shorty” Jackson, the city’s police department does not have the manpower to conduct background checks on every person that every department is planning to hire.
“There are some legal issues with us releasing criminal information to non-criminal justice entities. I can’t tell the city manager so-and-so’s criminal history,” Jackson said.
Jackson noted there are other entities whose records are public.
In addition, Gills noted there is a cost to conduct background checks by some entities. She suggested doing background checks on those who are considered final candidates for positions.
Directors agreed to get more information on the proposal for background checks.
Rudolph’s memo stated if a retiring employee wishes to rejoin the city’s working staff then they should submit to a complete background check. 
In addition, the employee should receiving a starting base pay equal to what they were making the last time they were employed with the city. No one will be offered an increased salary as a starting wage.
Ward 4 Director Joann Nelson disagreed and felt an employee who was rehired by the city should receive less than what they were making when they left.
According to staff, the rule is not issued by the city, but a rule by the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System.
The memo also stated that all positions should be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation for a period of 30 days . In addition to newspapers, the memo suggested  department head position should be advertised in the Arkansas Municipal League’s City and Town magazine for a minimum of two months.
“I think a minimum of two months is ridiculous. We can’t wait two months to hire, not just a city manager,” said Director-at-Large Julie Winfrey.
“If you can wait two months, do you really need it filled?” Winfrey asked.
Rudolph reiterated the two-month minimum was merely a suggestion.
Winfrey didn’t think a time frame was necessary for the length of time a position was advertised.
Ward 1 Director Taylor Chaney suggested changing where the job vacancies would be advertised.
Staff will get with City Attorney Ed McCorkle to review the city’s personnel policy on advertisement.
The board will continue their review at their next meeting.
Other items addressed:
• The board approved a job description and advertising outlets for the city manager’s position.
• Directors had the first reading of a five-mil ordinance. This is a yearly ordinance that is adopted and given to the Quorum Court to insure the city receives its portion of the real and personal property taxes due. 
According to Acting City Manager Brenda Gills, this is not a new tax.