Firefighters in Aurora, Colo., are speaking out after learning on Twitter the city manager has narrowed the field in an effort to fill Aurora’s fire chief position.
“As you might have guessed, we are swamped trying to play catch-up on fact-finding regarding the two fire-chief finalists,” firefighter Dave Hamam told Denverite Friday.
“We are also working diligently to find why Deputy City Manager Michelle Wolfe would not be interested in our opinion of the finalists and why she won’t return our messages. It was disheartening to learn of her decision on Twitter, to say the least.”
Aurora Fire Fighters Protective Association feels the 270 firefighters and other members it represents were blindsided with the news the city had narrowed down its search to two candidates. They also feel they’re being left out of the selection process.
On Thursday, city officials put out a news release saying they were deciding between the assistant chiefs of Dallas and Seattle to fill the vacant fire chief position, according to a story published on the Aurora Sentinel.
However, the Aurora Fire Fighters Protective Association either missed the news or wasn’t told directly.
— Aurora Firefighters (@IAFFLocal1290) March 17, 2017
Aurora officials claim that’s not the case and plan to allow firefighters to weigh in this week. Deputy City Manager Michelle Wolfe told Denverite via e-mail the city’s intent is to offer an inclusive process.
“It has been our desire and intent from the very beginning to create a robust process that is inclusive because we do value our employees,” she said in the email. “We led this effort by meeting at fire stations and with many firefighters when the recruitment effort began, to gain input and feedback on qualities that were important in the new chief.”
She also said the city scheduled meet-and-greet session so local firefighters could get to know the two candidates and provide their feedback to city officials.
Both chief candidates came into the hiring process after Aurora officials hired firm CPS-HR to conduct a national search for retired Chief Mike Garcia’s replacement and opened the application process late last year, according to the Aurora Sentinel.
The application period ended in early January and the company, which the city paid $24,000 for the search, started screening applicants.
“Upon conclusion of the activities on Monday and Tuesday, we will evaluate and review the results of the interviews and meet-and-greet session feedback forms,” Wolfe told Denverite. “A background investigation will need to be completed before a final offer can be made to a candidate.”
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