Special meeting scheduled to appoint new Washington Fire Board Director

By WEEK Producer

Special meeting scheduled to appoint new Washington Fire Board Director

July 10, 2014 Updated Jul 11, 2014 at 1:55 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill -- Washington city officials say they are holding a special meeting Monday evening to appoint a new Fire Board Director.

Washington Mayor Gary Manier says he is taking the next couple of days considering candidates the city believes could be the next city of Washington Director on the Washington Fire Board.

"They found us," said Washington City Manager Tim Gleason. "I think that the mayor and the council and the community are going to be very fortunate that we have some qualified candidates."

The opening comes after Bob Linsley, the city's former representative and president on the board, resigned after a heated board meeting Tuesday. Now, city officials say there are five or so candidates being considered for his replacement.

"People that have past fire experience. Not only on the operational side but also in their professional life. We have some decent candidates," Gleason said.

The mayor expects to choose a candidate by Monday. The nine-member city council will then vote on approving the mayor's appointment. It will need to pass by a majority. If not, the mayor will have to keep looking.

Later this month, the city is expected to approve the 2014-2015 contract with the Washington Fire Department. The city has allocated $620,000 to the Washington Fire Department. That's 60 percent of the entire budget -- the same amount given this fiscal year.

Despite that allocation of resources, city officials say they will be prepared whether or not they have a functioning fire department come August 1.

City officials have contacted several elected officials and communities that have agreed to cover Washington in case of fire emergencies.

City officials will not comment on who those leaders are at this time.