Cambridge Council moves forward with hiring process of deputy fire chief-emergency director

The city of Cambridge is moving forward with the hiring process for a deputy fire chief-emergency management director position.

During the Cambridge City Council meeting Feb. 3, Cambridge Fire Chief Sean Okerlund and Cambridge City Administrator Lynda Woulfe presented the job description.

Woulfe explained the job description was prepared after reviewing numerous job descriptions from other communities, and it incorporates the main duties of the position as discussed at past council retreats.

Okerlund said he feels it is a good job description for the position and noted the Cambridge Fire Department has had an opportunity to review the position and unanimously recommended its adoption by the council.

Following discussion, the council approved the job description, the pay scale and authorized the hiring process.

“A lot of thought process and consideration went into this job description,” Okerlund said. “This job description is pretty descriptive, but that’s a good thing. I think this is a good job description.”

The position summary is as follows: “Manages citywide response to emergency incidents and assumes a leadership role. Provides administrative and technical work related to fire code administration, enforcement and inspections.”

The position would be under the direction of Okerlund and Woulfe.

The city is planning on advertising the position with an application deadline of March 3. Candidate interviews will be held the week of March 17, and the interview panel will present a finalist to the council for hiring approval at the April 7 meeting.

The interview panel includes Woulfe, Okerlund, Cambridge Fire Department Equipment Captain Todd Schwab, Cambridge Fire Department Public Information Officer Corey Bustrom and Lisa Iverson, as the Cambridge Fire Department council member representative.

Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer noted the council has had a community member sit on interview panels in the past for prominent public positions, with most recently the Cambridge police chief position.

Okerlund said he felt himself and the other members of the interview panel would be able to select the best candidate but agreed to consider the idea of having a community member sit on the interview panel.

Stop signs needed in Bridgewater Development

During council concerns, Bustrom brought up concerns with not having any stop signs at Cleveland Way South and Cleveland Lane South as they enter onto Fillmore Street South.

Bustrom said he understands the issue is in a private development, but he said not having stop signs at the end of those roads – as drivers head onto Fillmore Street South – is a public safety issue. He also mentioned pedestrians use those roads as an access to the bike-walk trail.

Public Works Director Steve Wegwerth explained Fillmore Street South is in the city’s right of way.

Following discussion, the council directed Wegwerth to contact the homeowner’s association about putting stop signs at the end of Cleveland Way South and Cleveland Lane South.

Wegwerth said he will work with the association on purchasing the signs, since the city gets a deal by purchasing them in bulk quantities. He said he can also look at working out an arrangement that has the association paying for the stop signs but having public works staff help install them.