BREWER, Maine — City leaders took initial votes Tuesday night to change policies regarding the police and fire chiefs and create the position of public safety director to hold both posts.
The two amendments were endorsed unanimously by the City Council and will be voted on again at a future meeting.
Once the changes take effect, the public safety director will have all of the duties of the fire chief and police chief set forth in the ordinance.
In addition, the city manager will appoint a deputy fire chief and a deputy police chief.
“Those are new positions,” City Manager Steve Bost said Wednesday. “Those positions will be posted internally beginning tomorrow. We expect considerable interest from within the two departments. There has already been interest expressed in the two positions.”
Between now and the meeting at which the changes will be made permanent, “we’ll be ironing out the details,” Bost said.
Police Chief Perry Antone has been tapped to fill the new position. He will retain his police chief title and will be appointed fire chief once the position of public safety director is officially created.
The idea of creating the position is something that has been kicked around for a while, but when city leaders learned a few months ago that Fire Chief Gary Parent would be retiring in October, they decided to proceed with the idea, Bost said.
Parent joined the department in 1984 and became chief in February 2010.
During the meeting, the council also:
• Recognized the city’s Parks and Recreation Department for its service to residents.
• Conveyed ownership of Capri Street School to South Brewer Redevelopment LLC.
• Approved new one-year contracts with the Water Pollution Control Facility and the Public Works Department that gives employees a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment, Bost said.