Potential Fire Chief Declines
4:27 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

New Search Likely in Burlington

Burlington is trying to decide how to proceed after its top choice to lead the fire department passed on the job.

Burlington City Hall

Human Resources Director Bev Hunter says it could be a few weeks before a decision is made.  She says one factor is her own retirement, later this month, so her potential replacement would need to be involved.

This search yielded just six candidates, with interim Fire Chief Matt Trexel being the only one who met the city's requirements for education and experience.

The city council was ready to hire Trexel as the new fire chief, during its meeting on Dec. 3, but the panel never got the opportunity as Trexel had already turned down the job.

Trexel says he initially accepted the position on Wednesday, Nov. 28, but turned it down two days later over the proposed salary of $77,000.

He said in an email to Tri States Public Radio that it was an extremely difficult decision, adding that he had to factor the salary against the time way from his family and the time and money he has already invested in education and training.

By contrast, Hunter says recently hired Police Chief Doug Beaird's annual salary is about $77,000.  Former Fire Chief Tom Clements, who was demoted earlier this year, still makes around $86,000/year.

Trexel will remain as the Burlington Fire Department's interim chief.