Supervisors discuss increase to exam fees

— The price to take a state civil service exam may soon go up.

Members of the Essex County Personnel Committee talked about increasing the amount a person would pay to take the state exam required for those who apply to be employed by the county.

Personnel Director Monica Feeley said the county charges $15 for the three exams it offers: continuous recruitment, non-uniformed and uniformed. From those, the state takes a $5 cut for the first 20 continuous recruitment exams ($3 per exam after that), $7.50 for non-uniformed exams and $12.50 for uniformed exams.

Feeley said she would recommend no increase to the continuous recruitment exams, while increasing non-uniformed exams to $20 and uniformed exams to $25. The county could see an additional $1,400 in revenue.

With the increase, Feeley said she had a concern that fewer people would take the exams, a sentiment echoed by Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava.

“Personally, for the little bit of revenue that you are going to see, I would not want to increase those rates,” Scozzafava said. “I do not think that for the difference that you are going to pick up in revenue, you may turn some away.”

Lewis Supervisor David Blades disagreed.

“Even though it is a small amount, it is still $1,000 in revenue and I see no reason why we should say nah, this is not a good idea,” Blades said.

“An increase of $5 is not going to make or break most people and it will give them an opportunity to say to themselves if they are really committed to taking this test,” Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey added.

Recently, Feeley said she has seen a drop in the number of people taking the continuous recruitment exam.

“With the hiring freeze, there is very little need for the continuous recruitment exams because we have very little need for those positions right now,” Feeley said.

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