Brookfield will have the help of the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association in finding a new fire chief.
How much help the association will provide has yet to be determined.
Trustees Ron Haun and Gary Lees voted in favor of using the association Friday, while Trustee Dan Suttles voted no.
“The only reason no is because I don’t know the cost,” Suttles said.
Trustees said the cost would be between $4,000 and $11,000 depending on the level of service they choose.
Suttles suggested holding off on voting until the trustees can meet with an association representative to talk about the service packages.
“I, personally, am sold on the service,” Haun said in arguing not to wait. “Package, I want to talk about it.”
“I’m tired of messing around with this,” Lees said. “I want to move on.”
Fire Chief Keith Barrett retired in December, and Capt. Dave Coffy has been interim chief.
The association could be responsible for setting the qualifications based on input from the trustees and members of the fire department, advertising for candidates, testing them, ranking the applicants and then presenting the trustees a handful of hopefuls to choose from.
Suttles, a retired Warren assistant fire chief, argued the trustees could handle the search on their own, saying the trustees have the expertise and it would be cheaper.
Lees said he does not have the expertise. He added that the township trustees he talked to who had used the association praised the service.
“Going with this, this eliminates the political decision-making,” Lees said.
“You’re going to get the best candidates to choose from,” Haun said, adding that it will cut down on the work the trustees would have to do.
Fiscal Officer Dena McMullin said she thinks bringing the association in to handle the qualifications and initial vetting would be a “good start.”
“I think you guys as a group are very capable of doing it yourselves,” she said. “However, I think that it takes emotions out of it to start with somebody neutral.”
“I have to agree with what you just said about emotions,” Suttles said. “I can put my emotions aside, but I’m a human being, we all have them.”
The trustees said the association told them the process would take three to six months.