Bedford Twp. panel mulls job criteria for new fire chief

Committee aims to refine, clarify description for post


TEMPERANCE — Besides the obvious duty of extinguishing fires, what should be in a fire chief’s job description?

The Bedford Township Board has been mulling the question as the township searches for a new chief to replace the recently retired John Bofia.

It named assistant chief Jim Neorr the interim chief and has a steering panel overseeing the search for a new chief. It is also trying to come up with a succinct job description for the position that would clarify any confusion about the terms “assistant chief,” “interim chief,” and “chief.”

Last week, the board heard from Lehr Welch, who heads the search panel and is a member of the township’s fire commission, a body that acts as an advisory board to the chief and makes recommendations to the board. Tasked with producing a job description for the fire chief’s post, he submitted an amended version of the township’s rules and regulations for the fire department that dated to 1999.

But Trustee Nancy Tienvieri said the amended rules and regulations “didn’t come close to a job description” and complained that she had not had a chance to compare the changes to the original wording. She asked if the township used this format for other positions, and was told no by Supervisor Greg Stewart.

Treasurer Paul Francis and Trustee Rick Steiner said they agreed with a change that removed a stipulation that the chief was hired for two-year intervals. Mr. Steiner said he’d like to see the job description include a background in human resources or administration and budgeting.

Mr. Stewart said he wanted to see a job description that described the position as full time or part time. Mr. Welch said the position should remain full time.

The matter had been scheduled for a vote, but the board decided to table it until its July 2 meeting.