Quincy Council Discusses Mayoral Appointment of Chiefs
There was continued discussion by the Quincy City Council Monday night on an ordinance that would change the way the city chooses its fire and police chiefs.
The council heard a second reading of an ordinance that would give the mayor the power to hire and fire Quincy’s fire and police chiefs, with the advice and consent of the council.
The chiefs are currently chosen by the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, which also oversees hiring for the two departments.
Those in favor of the change say the city’s elected officials should have more of a role in the hiring process.
Director of Administrative Services Jeff Mays told the council many cities in Illinois have the mayor appoint police and fire chiefs, based on, "merit and fitness."
"Our proposal exchanges the exclusive appointment-removal authority of the chiefs of fire and police department from the commission and gives it to the mayor with the advise and consent of this council," Mays said.
Those opposed say the hiring of the fire and police chiefs should be as far removed from politics as possible.
According to Fire Capt. Jerry Mast, President of Quincy Firefighters Local 63, "A chief cannot work truthfully or transparently for the public if he constantly fears termination, because what he tells the public may not fit the political agenda of the mayor or City Council."
The ordinance is expected to be voted on next week.