Councilman Ben Kallos [photo provided by Josh J. Jamieson]
Have you ever wanted to work in city government? If so, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) has some good news; he has introduced a bill to make it far easier for you to find opportunities.
Today, Kallos introduced legislation that would require the city government to notify the public about any new job position or vacancy. The job posting would have to stay up for at least 14 days before the agency started interviewing candidates.
Section 2604(b) (3) of the New York City Charter bans City employees from leveraging their position for personal gain or influencing the hiring of close relatives or peers. However, some City agencies – particularly the New York Board of Elections (BOE)- have circumvented this law by keeping new opportunities hidden from the public, ensuring that their friends and relatives will be the first to apply.
A New York Times article from last October highlighted just how rampant cronyism and nepotism are within the BOE. It pointed out, among other things, that the administrative manager is the wife of a councilmember, and the official overseeing voter registration in the City is the mother of a former representative.
The purpose of the bill, Kallos said, is to discourage nepotism and ensure that the City government is an equal opportunity employer. The text of the bill also states that it seeks to provide equal employment opportunities to minority and women candidates.
“We can’t be a city that makes it easy for a Mayor to hire their wife, for a Commissioner to score their nephew a plum position, or a developer to ask a favor to get a job for a daughter or friend” said Kallos. “Publicly posting every job in government will add the necessary transparency to make it easier to identify patronage and nepotism.”
The law, once passed, would take effect immediately.