Civil Service rejects city drug test idea

The idea of offering drug testing as a service remains under review by the city Health Board, but Mayor John Berlin said the Salem Civil Service Commission will stick with its current drug test provider.

The mayor received an email from Gary Dean, chairman of the Salem Civil Service Commission, explaining that the group voted to maintain the current drug testing rules and procedures for any new hire in classified service for the city of Salem.

“It is our opinion that the proposed drug testing procedure would not be in compliance with Ohio Administrative Code,” he wrote.

He outlined the rules in the OAC that would not be met by the proposed testing by city health department, such as there would be no plans to retain a positive specimen (that’s required by federal law to permit any authorize retest), there would be no followup to confirm a positive result and no outside laboratory would be used. The email also said the limited hours of the health department could restrict access and compromise the required 32-hour window for an applicant receiving a test after the order for one is given.

He did say the decision of the Salem Civil Service Commission did not affect the hiring of part-time non-classified applicants since they don’t fall under the commission’s jurisdiction.

Berlin said it was good to go through the process of finding out. He said they’ll re-evaluate the idea of drug testing and still look at it possibly for private individuals or companies.

In other business during a recent meeting, the health board heard again from representatives of Valley Office regarding a proposal to replace the copy machine with a new, more reliable machine. The board had also received written quotes from ABC for a buy or lease program and from Axis Business. All proposals will be reviewed at the next meeting at 10 a.m. July 23.

City health Commissioner Richard Setty said the department nurse had begun making phone calls in an attempt to set up flu clinics at businesses and for organizations in the early fall, including city employees.

The board agreed to send out letters to St. Paul School students Nick Scarpitti and Jacob McLachlan to congratulate them on their participation in the State Science Day in May in Columbus.