The Nicholasville City Commission’s decision to hire Raven Warren as an administrative assistant was met with opposition from commissioner Betty Black during Monday’s meeting.
Warren is the daughter of Nicholasville City Clerk Roberta Warren. Black said she feels the city did not do its due diligence in advertising the position, and it eliminated candidates who exceeded qualifications.
Black was the lone dissenter in the 4-1 vote.
“I have nothing against Raven; I think she’s a wonderful lady and does a great job, (but) I have had seven or eight people come to me who have applied for this job, and I know several of those people and I’m not putting in a word for any of them, but I’m a voice for the citizens here — taxpayers and voters,” Black said. “I know we are not all going to agree on it, but when the job was given to her nine months ago, it was not posted. There’s a lot of other young people whose parents work for the city who would have like to have that job, also.”
The city orginally hired Raven Warren in May 2012 as a temporary office assistant with the pay rate of $10 per hour.
Black said she was surprised when she discovered that the job did not have to be posted.
“I found out from (city attorney Bill) Arvin earlier today that you don’t have to post that job,” Black said. “But I would like to ask from now on, when we have any kind of openings, to post that job. It’s not fair to the other people that need jobs, and also I would like to say we’ve got people who are college graduates who are looking for jobs, and to my understanding from (human resouces manager) Rita (Warner) when I asked her about it, she took the three or four lowest entry-level people because the job was posted at $10.32 an hour.”
Black said those who applied for the job knew the rate of pay, and no one should have been excluded because of their education or experience level.
But Warner said the administrative assistants are commonly a high turnover position, and that is the primary reason people with higher education and experience levels were not considered.
“As I told you, Ms. Black, the reason people with master’s degrees and such were not interviewed (is) we’ve learned from history that when we’ve brought people in that have retired from other positions or they have a big degree, they’re not satisfied sitting there answering phones,” Warner said. “Within a year’s time, they’re ready to move up; that is one of the most frequently filled positions in the city. We needed somebody that’s going to stay in that position for a while. That’s why I interviewed the people with the credentials that would meet what we needed but not overly exceed it.”
Though the city prohibits employees from being supervised by family members, it has no policy prohibiting employee’s relatives from being hired.