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'Meet and greet' scheduled for Fire Chief candidates posted on 11/01/2020

Nine applicants submitted materials to the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) by the deadline of Friday, Oct. 16, forming the pool from which a new Fire Chief will be hired for the Hoodland Fire District. The district’s board of directors met on Friday, Oct. 23 to review the applications and develop a consensus on the top candidates to move into the interview process.

A Meet and Greet event featuring the top three candidates will take place on. Sunday, Nov. 15. Time and place will be posted on the district’s website, www.hoodlandfire.us. The public is welcome to the event, which will also include the district’s career and volunteer staff.

“We were really elated to get that many,” said the district’s board of directors president, Shirley Dueber.

Interviews are expected to take place on Monday, Nov. 16, with a decision on the new chief sometime after. The new chief could take over for the new year, although Dueber noted it would depend on the finalist’s prior obligations.

The new chief will take over a district grappling with issues brought to light by an organizational assessment performed by the SDAO, in which it offered 64 recommendations dealing with everything from governance and personnel management to finances and the training and safety program.

Interim Fire Chief Steve Abel noted that the district continues to make progress, but much of what will be implemented will take place when the new Fire Chief is aboard. Abel added that two of the financial audits from previous years that were not done previously have been completed (for fiscal years 2016-17 and 2017-18), with the only reported discrepancies relating to administrative procedures. An audit for the 2018-19 fiscal year is also in the final stage of completion and should be done by the end of November, according to Abel.

“Getting (three) audits completed in this timeframe shows the commitment of our Fire Board and staff,” Abel said in an email to the Mountain Times.

Abel also added that the testing process for the district’s Division Chief position was completed on Friday, Oct. 16, featuring three staff members who applied for the position. The position transitioned from a deputy chief position and will fulfil the intent of a levy passed by voters in May 2019. Abel plans on making the promotion once the testing results have been certified by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Abel appointed Scott Kline earlier this year to the Deputy Chief position on an interim basis, but that appointment concluded at the end of October due to a six-month limit by the CSC.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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