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Published: Wednesday, 3/3/2004

Perrysburg s chief selection process draws fire at council

Former Perrysburg Councilman Kim Klewer continued to criticize city officials for not interviewing applicants for police chief, making his points again at last night s council meeting.

Council should have tabled Mayor Jody Holbrook s recommendation in mid-February to promote Lt. Richard Gilts to chief rather than simply accept the mayor s appointment with a 7-0 vote, he said.

“If we are not going to interview applicants, we should not ask for applications,” Mr. Klewer said. “It tarnishes the city s hiring credibility, and is detrimental to attracting good future candidates.”

Accompanied by former Councilman Mark Hummer, who along with Mr. Klewer was defeated for re-election last fall, Mr. Klewer contended the city has a long practice of interviewing candidates for top city posts.

“If [city employees who are finalists] make all the qualifications, they deserve a shot at [an interview],” Mr. Hummer said.

Mayor Holbrook defended his choice of Lieutenant Gilts, saying there has been no uniform process that requires interviews. Sometimes finalists for other posts have been interviewed, sometimes not, he said. Either approach at times has drawn criticism, he said.

In this case, the mayor said he told then-Lieutenant Gilts several months ago when he named him acting police chief to show him he could perform well in the position.

“Is that system good?” the mayor said. “I hope so, because I think we have a good chief of police. I think we got a 7-0 vote because council recognizes he is going to be a good police chief.”

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