At the Tuesday night Clinton City Council Meeting, Commissioner of Public Health and Safety, Dan Ballenger (Picture right) appointed two fire fighters to the position of Assistant Fire Chief. One passed unanimously, the other was called into question.
Earlier this year, Asst. Fire Chief Raymond James was arrested in DeWitt County on a charge of driving under the influence. Monday night, Commissioner Nan Crang questioned whether that offense should be taken into account for his appointment. Commissioner Ballenger defended James and feels he has learned from that mistake.
Additionally, Crang questioned why the offense did not disqualify James from being on the department at a leadership level. According to City Attorney Steve Myers, there is a difference between an alcohol related offense with a fire fighter that is on company time as opposed to personal time offenses.
Ballenger, along with Interim Fire Chief David Dallas, says they are fully confident in James to not only handle the position but be dependable going forward.
The appointment of Raymond James passed by a vote of 3-2. Mayor Roger Cyrulik along with Crang were the "no" votes.
The appointment of Assistant Chief Jason Karr was approved 5-0.
Additionally, Commissioner Ballenger indicates he is close to a decision for the position of Fire Chief. Ballenger explains he has been in the evaluation process to make sure he gets leaders in the proper positions.
Ballenger explains part of his evaluation process has been attending fires and watching his men work and evaluating on who would best fit in which positions. He indicates it has ruffled some feathers within the department but he has wanted to see his crews in action.
He also continues to report numbers continue to go up and more volunteers continue to join the department as time goes on.
In other business from the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting...
>>The Council approved the purchase of a backhoe from Altorfer just over $74-thousand. The Council heard from representatives from John Deere as well.
>>The Council approved the sale of a firearm from the Clinton Police Department Monday night.
>>The Council approved the contract of the Clinton Police Department. The Council still has contracts fro the Fire Department still to approve.