Progress proves difficult to make in Brodhead fire chief discussion

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Holly Ann Garey
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
— After discussing the matter for nearly an hour in closed session Tuesday night, the Brodhead City Council emerged without naming a replacement or interim fire chief. The board was expected to act after last week’s vote not to renew Brodhead Fire Chief Jay Bohan’s contract, which expires later this month.

Last week, the council voted 3-2 in favor of not renewing Bohan’s contract.

“We didn’t want to put anyone on the spot,” Brodhead City Mayor Doug Pinnow said.

The council has asked someone to step in as an interim chief, but the candidate hasn’t made a decision on yet, Pinnow said.

There are other options, too, he said. Someone within the fire department could take the interim chief’s post if the council’s first choice is not met.

“We want to have a plan if they decline (the position),” Pinnow said.

City officials are set to discuss the issue again July 27.

When the council discussed the renewal of Bohan’s contract last year, firefighters raised concerns about his performance as the city’s first full-time chief. Two committees last year unanimously recommended against hiring Bohan, but the city council voted 5-0 in July 2010 to renew his contract for one year.

Bohan was not present at Tuesday’s meeting and could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Brodhead Rural Fire Association pays 40 percent of the fire chief’s salary, but the association does not have a vote on who holds the position, a point of contention.

The association’s five-year intergovernmental agreement with the city expires at the end of the year, and members have given the city the required six-month’s notice prior to non-renewal. The Brodhead Rural Fire Association represents the Brodhead Fire Department’s emergency coverage outside city limits.

Town officials from Avon, Spring Valley and Magnolia in Rock County and Decatur and Spring Grove in Green County are association members.

Last updated: 5:51 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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