The Merit System
Established in 1967 for the Humboldt County Office of Education, the merit system is a method of classified personnel administration which is designed to promote the efficiency and economy of the workforce and the good of the public by providing for the selection and retention of employees, promotional opportunities, and other related matters on the basis of merit, fitness, fairness, and equal opportunity.
HCOE Personnel Commission
The Personnel Commission is the mainstay of the merit system. It is a non-partisan independent public body composed of three persons appointed for three year terms. One member is selected by the Board of Education, another member is selected by the classified employee bargaining unit, and the third member is selected by the other two Commissioners.
Personnel Commissioners are community lay persons who must be known adherents of the merit principle. The Personnel Commission is responsible for maintaining a merit system for classified employees of the school district and for fostering the advancement of a career service for such employees. To execute these responsibilities, the California State Education Code provides that the Personnel Commissioners shall classify positions, hear appeals of disciplinary and dismissal action, selection and appointment procedures, and to prescribe rules related to a variety of personnel practices. Authority for Personnel Commission functions is provided for in section 45220 through 45320 of the State Education Code.
The Personnel Commission maintains active memberships in the California School Personnel Commissioner’s Association (CSPCA), the Northern California Personnel Commissioner’s Association (NCPCA), and the Cooperative Organization for the Development of Employee Selection Procedures (CODESP).
Personnel Commission meetings are regularly held on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. in the Louie Bucher Resource Center Conference room. Classified employees are encouraged to attend. The agenda for all meetings is printed in advance and posted at the main entrance to the Humboldt County Office of Education and in the Louis D. Bucher Resource Center.
Sheila Porterfield, Chairperson
Sheila has been on the Commission since December of 2010. She is the appointment of Chapter 566 of the California Schools Employees Association (CSEA). Ms. Porterfield has been a longtime classified employee of the Humboldt County Office of Education beginning her career as an Intermediate Clerk Typist in 1991. She retired from the School Support program as a Special Projects Technician in June of 2008.
Art Cardoza, Vice Chairperson
Mr. Cardoza has been on the Commission since February of 2011 when he assumed the seat of Shelly Morrison who resigned that same month. In December of 2011 he began his full three year term as the at-large Commissioner jointly appointed by the other two. Art has also been a long time Humboldt County Office of Education employee. In 1987 he was a teacher with the Humboldt Regional Occupation program (HROP). In July of 2009 he retired after serving as Principal of the HROP program.
Danette Demello, Member
Ms. Danette Demello is the newest member of the Commission, having been appointed to complete the term of Mike Losey who resigned two years before his term was set to expire in 2016. Danette was appointed to fill the seat as HCOE Management’s representative. Ms. Demello is currently the Personnel Director for the City of Arcata, a position she has held since 2006.
For more information, refer to the Personnel Commission Rules.