Archive for Thursday, January 26, 2006

Fire chief search smolders

January 26, 2006

Eudora's search for a fire chief hit a snag when the latest job posting garnered one application before the application deadline.

City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said the city received a second application nearly a week after the call for applications closed.

The scarcity of applicants led the council to make a choice during Monday's meeting.

"I need to know what you want me to do in regards to the position," Beatty said.

During the course of discussion, Beatty said the applicant who met the deadline had previously failed during the last round of the search.

Although the mayor's previously failed nominee, Kevin Ganoe, didn't submit an official application this time around, he could still be interested in the position, Beatty said.

"All I know is that I feel very strongly that he has the experience necessary," said Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle. "I think he's the best candidate we had. He's willing to move to Eudora. We made a mistake as a council."

Ganoe failed to gain a majority of support in the council, and his failure led to the current search.

"I fail to see why he can work other places and is not good enough for Eudora," Pyle said.

With the news, Councilman Bill Whitten was in favor of opening the position up to a new round of applicants. In response, Councilwoman Lori Fritzel questioned how much the job search had already cost the city.

Beatty's roughly estimated the city had spent between $3,000 and $5,000 on the search since it started in August

2005. It would cost the city another $1,000 to properly advertise the job again, she said.

The council agreed the prolonged search was having both monetary and psychological costs.

Since the former chief, Spencer McCabe, was let go last year, Deputy Chief Mike Underwood has taken on both the responsibility as interim fire chief and a full-time police officer.

"I think that's asking an awful lot of a person," Pyle said.

After discussion, the council decided to make a decision at a future council meeting and to review current applications in the meantime.

Unless the council decides otherwise, the applications will be reviewed by a fire chief of a corresponding sized town, Beatty said.

"I'd like to look at the applications we have in right now," Whitten said.

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