Ordinance passes to establish merit board for Vincennes City Firefighters

The establishment of a merit board to oversee Vincennes City Firefighters is now on the cusp of becoming a reality.

Posted: Oct. 13, 2017 4:02 PM
Updated: Oct. 13, 2017 4:02 PM

VINCENNES, Ind. (WVUT) - The establishment of a merit board to oversee Vincennes City Firefighters is now on the cusp of becoming a reality.

The issue has been a big topic of discussion for two months, but an ordinance was finally passed by the city council at their meeting last night to establish the board.

That decision didn't come easy, however.

There was some concern about suspending council rules for a second and third reading. Councilman Duane Chattin was concerned that doing so would rush the process.

That's where Union President Justin Lowe stepped in.

Lowe assured council members that there had been plenty of discussion amongst members of the union, and he was confident that establishing and ordinance would be the right next step.

Lowe noted that he is confident local firefighters will approve the establishment of the board during a ballot vote as well.

The council proceeded in suspending their own rules, approving the ordinance on second and third readings.

The board would see a panel of five commissioners, two appointed by the mayor, one appointed by the city council and two active firefighters, take over the decision making process when it comes to hiring, firing and promotions within the department.

The issue now bounces to the Vincennes Board of Works who will set the date for a firefighter’s referendum.

This is where local firefighters will gather to discuss details of the merit board and cast their votes to either approve or reject the creation of the board.

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