Tallmadge City Council OKs new deputy fire chief position, other personnel changes

by Holly Schoenstein | reporter Published:

Tallmadge -- The administration's proposed restructuring of the fire department and other personnel changes at the city will take place now that City Council approved the corresponding ordinances May 22.

City Council approved multiple ordinances that will restructure the Fire Department and allow the city to make other personnel changes.

The full-time, salaried deputy fire chief position will be directly under the Fire Chief Pat Gaffney and above the three full-time battalion chiefs in the fire department hierarchy. The only fire inspector position in the department, which also is full-time and salaried, will be melded into the deputy fire chief's job so the person hired would be responsible for the tasks of both positions, including fire inspections, vehicle maintenance, managing of manpower, and serving as acting fire chief in Gaffney's absence, according to Mayor Dave Kline.

The salary for the nonunion deputy fire chief position will be at Band 4, a minimum of $20.18 per hour to a maximum of $52.46 with a $31.04 per hour target wage. Kline explained an employee's starting wage depends on his or her qualifications, and the maximum wage is the most the employee would ever be paid for the job.

The deputy fire chief position will be another administrative job in the fire department. According to Kline, Gaffney also backed the proposal to create the position.

"We're not really gaining a net person. We're just switching the flow chart of the department," Kline said. "It gives Pat the opportunity to do more administrative things on a day-to-day basis."

All full-time employees in the fire department with the required qualifications will be eligible to apply for the deputy fire chief job.

Council also changed the classification of an intermittent, part-time clerk in the fire department to a permanent, part-time clerk. Kline said Debbie Charles has been working in the position for five years and is considered a permanent employee so the change is just updating the classification to reflect the nature of her position. Charles makes $9.65 per hour.

Changes in Planning, Zoning Department

Council adopted legislation May 8 that allows the city to create a new part-time, hourly administrative clerk position for the Planning and Zoning Department. The person hired into this job will assist the department's full-time administrate assistant, Adam Paul, with servicing the front counter, where residents apply for permits, and any additional assigned tasks so that Paul can focus on other duties.

The pay Band 2 for the job allows a minimum wage of $11.05 per hour and a maximum of $28.71 per hour, with a target hourly rate of $16.99.

"There used to be two full-time people down there, and now we have one full-time person. We're really busy down there," Kline said.

Another change to come in the department is the retirement of Roger Lyons June 26, one of two hourly code enforcement officials. He makes $31.04 per hour. Kline said he will be replaced.

The city's master personnel grid, the document that lists all of the jobs in the city with their pay bands, allows the Planning and Zoning Department to have two part-time code enforcement officials. Lyons, a permanent, part-time employee is paid in Band 4, and Gene Riggins, an intermittent, part-time employee is at Band 1, which has a pay range of $7.95 per hour at the minimum and $20.18 at the maximum.

Council also approved an ordinance to update the grid, which included making Riggins into a permanent, part-time employee and bumping his pay range to a Band 3 with a $13.94 minimum and $36.23 maximum per-hour wage. Kline said even though the ordinance changed the pay band for his job, Riggins' salary would stay at $11.55 per hour at this time.

In addition, the revised matrix would compensate Lyons' replacement at a Band 3.

Contact this reporter at 330-541-9428 or hschoenstein@recordpub.com

Facebook: Holly Schoenstein, Record Publishing Co.

Twitter: @SchoensteinH

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