Boise Mayor Lauren McLean made a point of using buzzwords like “transparency, listening, community outreach,” and similar terms when she took office in January.
Now, 11 months later, when it came to naming a new fire chief to head a department with a $57,000,000 budget, she not only failed to allow citizens to be involved with the selection process, she denied the city’s governing body–the City Council–a chance to weigh in on the selection of Mark Niemeyer to head the Boise Fire Department. Niemeyer has experience as the Meridian fire chief and as an Ada County emergency medical staffer.
To be perfectly honest, the Boise FD is in need of an outsider who is capable of taking the helm of a $57 million organization. The firefighting abilities of a chief are actually incidental to running the department. An operations deputy can easily be appointed or promoted from within.
We have plenty of competent firefighters serving the community. However, the budget-busting history of outside contracts, failure to maintain existing stations, building new stations, and construction of a training facility have left the department in disarray.
Boise needs an outsider chief who is well grounded in fleet management, union negotiations, personnel management, facilities construction, financial contracts (and law), and even politics.
BoiseDev has a good story on the CHIEF APPOINTMENT.
The GUARDIAN has it from the inside just like BoiseDev and there is a chance the Councilors will seek to reopen the selection process at the next meeting.
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