FIre Chief decision expected next month
Expect an announcement in the second week of November on who will be the first fire chief of the Northwest Consolidated Fire District.
Linda Zindler, who heads the committee overseeing the consolidation of the De Soto Fire Department and Johnson County Rural Fire District No. 3 to become effective Jan. 1, 2010, said the seven-member committee interviewed the fire chiefs of the two current departments last Thursday. They are the only candidates for the position.
It was explained to De Soto Fire Chief Kevin Ritter and Rural 3 Chief Terry Zahner that the position would only be a part-time and temporary position, Zindler said.
“It will be a part-time position that will allow the new fire district to come together as a new entity,” she said. “It will be effective until the district is in the position to hire a full-time chief.”
Once in that position, the consolidated district will advertise for the job and accept applications from all qualified candidates, Zindler said.
“It’s not that we are hiring one and the other will be out of a job,” she said. “The other candidate is slotted to be deputy chief. I say that referencing the organizational chart both chiefs wrote up together.
“Once we get the fire chief, that’s who the board with be dealing with.”
On the top of the remaining agenda for the merger is a compilation of personnel policies and procedures, Zindler said.
Still to be completed before the merger is paperwork involving insurance on the new district’s buildings and vehicles and working out volunteer stipends, which differ in the two departments, Zindler said.
The committee has a new member in Cynthia Johannsen, who replaced longtime De Soto Rural Fire District No. 3 Board member Larry Kramer.
“She has an accounting background, which is really nice,” said Johnson County Commissioner Calvin Hayden.