The Mt. Juliet board of commissioner heard the first reading of a budget ordinance regarding the city’s fire department at its regular meeting on Monday at City Hall.
The ordinance is to amend the budget to align the deputy fire chief position with existing city policy and procedures. A previously approved item limited the position to be filled by Mt. Juliet fire department employees. This ordinance would amend the item to include the possibility of hiring outside of the city’s department.
Mayor Ed Hagerty advocated for hiring from within the department, even though the current employees do not have specific certifications for the job. He said they could fulfill their certifications once they are in the position, similar to how current Fire Chief Jamie Luffman did when he was hired.
Fire Chief Jamie Luffman said the department had an internal posting for the deputy fire chief position, which is currently unoccupied, but did not receive any applications in the six days it was posted.
Vice Mayor James Maness was in support of the ordinance, which he co-sponsored with Commissioner Jennifer Milele, saying the city should not create a situation that could possibly exclude the most qualified candidates to protect the people of Mt. Juliet.
Hagerty said he would support hiring outside the city after Mt. Juliet employees had a longer window of time to apply for the position. The ordinance was approved 3-1. The final vote will be held at a future meeting.