Fire Board Tables Fire Chief Issue

The Fire Department Board discussed the hiring of a new Chief for about half an hour at the monthly meeting on Monday.  The issue was tabled on a motion by Bob Harris.  It will be brought up at a future meeting.

Recently the board advertised for a part-time chief and several applications were received.  The list was not made public during the meeting.  One application was rejected because it was submitted almost a month past the application deadline.

Throughout the discussions of hiring a new chief money has been a chief consideration.  The board has been wrestling with the terms and salary for the position.  Several months ago, the board agreed to hire a part-time chief to save salary.

At the meeting Monday, board President Shawn Beard questioned if a full time chief should be hired instead.  Beard said, “We would not hire a part time nothing to run a business.  There is a lot of work that goes into running a station like this.  I don’t see that as a good idea (part-time chief).”

“With the extra we are paying Neal (Acting Chief Jeremy Neal) we are close to hiring a full time chief,” said Beard.  And that point set off a further discussion of pay for the position and the overall budget picture the board has been dealing with.

Board member Bill Jones said, “The money situation got us into this position, but we went with part-time because the money was right.”  Jones questioned, “ Will we get a full time chief at the expense of other firefighters?”

Beard commented, “Can we proceed with considering the applicants received?”  Jones said, “We already voted for part time.  Would we have to reverse that?”

At that point board member Bob Harris made a motion to table the issue while board members thought about the matter further.

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