The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly’s approval of one position’s starting salary means that the Bayside Fire Department is closer to getting a new fire chief. At its regular meeting last night, the assembly reviewed granting the borough manager permission to hire one step above his authority.
Borough assessor Bill Roberts was standing in for borough manager and said the Service District Fire Board is in favor of granting the candidate a higher level of salary.
“The man that they’re looking to hire is very qualified. He has a lot of work to do and they are hoping to get him here to do the work, to put forth all the plans that he has to make this a good working volunteer fire department.”
Assemblyman Aaron Griffin brought up consolidation.
“One of the things that I consistently hear from constituency is not just the borough consolidating, but even individual portions of the borough consolidating, and why in the world do we have four fire departments between thirty miles of road system? And quite honestly, I look at this – [it] was a great opportunity. The old fire chief is retiring and here we go, we can start looking at consolidation efforts, and it’s barely been breathed.”
Assemblyman Larry LeDoux said he would vote in favor of the authorization, but echoed Griffin’s thoughts on consolidation.
“I would be more prone to say no if it wasn’t so dangerous not to have a chief. I just think we need to get on. I do believe though, and I’ve been approached by several saying that we need to consolidate our fire departments and I agree. It’s just ridiculous, we spend a lot of money, and I’m also one of those people that believes in consolidated government, but that’s not the topic here tonight. So, I will support it.”
He commented that the resolution on the table was the hiring salary rather than consolidation. On that matter, the amendment carried 5 to 1 with Griffin going against.
The assembly’s next work session is scheduled for September 24 and its next regular meeting for October 1.