Jerome council tables fire chief approval

Fire commissioner asks to have acting chief present

During discussion of a motion to appoint a fire chief, and after three of five Jerome council members stated they wanted to approve Terry Molloy without further delay, action on the matter was tabled.

Molloy, who has been serving as acting fire chief since Michael Butcher resigned from the position, will be asked to present his credentials and vision to the council in October.

Vice Mayor Lisa Rappaport made a motion to approve Molloy's appointment as chief. The members of the fire department elected him, and it is traditional for the council to approve the department's choice for chief.

Council member John Scarcella said he wanted Molloy in the position. "Terry has shown that he can do it."

Mayor Jane Moore also said she wanted to approve Molloy's appointment without any further delay. "Terry has done an amazing amount of work," she said. "I want to commend him."

Molloy was on vacation and unable to attend the council meeting Thursday night.

Council member and fire commissioner John "Bob" Bouwman said he would like Molloy to be present to answer questions and present his vision for the fire department to the council.

"We're hiring someone without a résumé," Bouwman said.

Scarcella said he wanted to approve Molloy without delay.

Council member Jeanie "Jet" Tennant agreed with Bouwman. She said she would like to have Molloy come before the council.

Because a motion was already made, the council voted. Moore changed her position and voted no with Tennant and Bouwman, effectively tabling the issue.

Molloy has been a member of the fire department for years, working his way up to captain and then assistant fire chief before being elected by the department as its chief and appointed by the council as interim chief.

During the council's July meeting, an action item to approve Molloy at that time was tabled due to some issues about the department's personnel policies. But Molloy was approved as interim chief at that time. The council voted to pay him at the same rate that the fire chief earns. Also, the council voted to make Molloy's pay retroactive to the date that he took over after Butcher's resignation.

The fire chief is a part-time position that pays $12,900 per year.

Molloy's appointment should be taken up again during the council's regularly scheduled meeting in October.

The appointment of an assistant fire chief also was tabled.

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