Mt. Vernon Register-News

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June 21, 2014

Chiefs' hiring under scrutiny

MT. VERNON — Changes to how the city hires its police and fire chiefs will be the main topic of discussion during a special meeting Monday.

The city council will be reviewing the job description of the police chief position, reviewing the Fire and Police Commission duties and consider a modification of hiring and discharge policies of the police and fire chiefs and assistant chiefs.

A first reading on an ordinance changing the responsibility of hiring assistant chiefs and chiefs from the Fire and Police Commission to the city manager was held in May. The council suspended the second reading after members of the council expressed division on the issue and area residents voiced their concerns over changing the process.

“The City of Mt. Vernon will not have a second reading of an ordinance addressing amendments to the hiring procedures of the city’s Board of Police and Fire Commissioners at the May 19 council meeting,” a release issued on May 13 stated. “This item was tentatively scheduled for a second reading at that May meeting. Instead, the Council will be scheduling a council workshop session in the near future with the city’s Fire and Police Commissioners, Mayor, Council and a representative from

the Illinois Municipal League.”

Monday’s meeting is that aforementioned joint meeting of the council and Fire and Police Commission, and will be held 7 p.m. at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building at Veterans Park.

In addition, the council will hold second reading on an ordinance granting conditional use for a church and subordinate uses for Kingdom Seed Ministries at 118 S. Ninth St., discuss a request for re-allocation of funds for the 2013-14 budget and hold a discussion related to the ordinance governing second readings of ordinances.

The discussion on the city holding first and second readings on ordinances was requested by City Councilman David Wood, who has verbalized a long-standing aversion to suspending rules to vote on ordinances in first read status unless there is a “compelling” reason to do so.

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