In what may be the first of many changes to take place in the city fire department, Latrobe City Council has decided to change not only the qualifications for the post of fire chief, but also the method of appointing the fire chief.
The council voted unanimously in a regular meeting Monday to amend the city code, which sets out the qualifications and procedure for appointing a fire chief.
Although the recently completed sustainability report compiled by FastAttack Fire Services Training and Consulting has proposed a number of changes to the fire service, this action is more about making the post of fire chief more in line with the way other heads are appointed. advice.
Currently, when a vacancy appears, the fire service conducts an election, and a candidate is recommended to the mayor for a vote on the council. Under the revised code, if there is a vacancy – through resignation or retirement – the city manager will recommend an interim head until the full selection process is completed.
This is a procedure that is now used for all other department heads in the city.
“We’re talking about the head of the department,” said board member James Kelly. “We appoint department heads.”
Kelly went on to say that this eliminates the possibility of a “popularity contest”.
Board member Ralph Jenko reminded the board that the report should be reviewed by the board and fire chiefs to determine what works for Latrobe and its fire companies.
“It shouldn’t be seen as a list of blows,” Jenko said.
Mayor Rosie Woolford agreed, but said the report should not prevent the council from acting on the resolution.
City manager Michael Gray said he intends to propose the creation of a new committee consisting of several board members, several firefighters and Gray to review the report and recommendations.
Woolford proposed postponing the formation of the committee until January, when new mayors and council members will be appointed.
As for other cases, the council also unanimously approved a decree repealing to allow small entertainment fires on a property owned by Paul Chotti at 512 Ligonier Street in the city.
Currently, bonfires are allowed in residential areas, but not in commercial facilities, so Ciotti requested a deviation. Ciotti owns 512 Coffee and Ice Cream.
According to Kelly, the business will be allowed with a number of restrictions, including that the fire be visited all the time and only by the owners or employees of the enterprise, that the fire be constantly covered by a screen, and that the city be included in the insurance rider business.
In other cases the advice:
- Approved calculations on the tax card № 15-03-09-0-104 and 15-03-11-0-196;
- Approved the withdrawal of the appeal to determine the status of exempt from taxation for the Cabaret Theater;
- A draft resolution on telecommunications devices was passed on Monday, allowing members of councils and department heads to vote remotely. This will be discussed by the council and most likely voted on in December;
- Gray said the council will discuss the district’s draft spending plan for 2022 during a meeting on Nov. 22 pending approval of the final budget in December.