Cloquet Area Fire District to Begin Search for Deputy Chief After Organizational Shuffle – Cloquet Pine Journal
SCANLON – The Cloquet Area Fire District will cease its search for a district administrative director position and instead begin the search for an assistant fire chief, after the request was made by the fire chief Jesse Buhs at the District Board meeting, Wednesday, May 18.
Buhs said the deputy chief position would take on the duties of the district’s administrative manager, but would have more control over how the district operates.
“It was a missing piece in the organization,” he said.
The proposal had the recommendation of the district human resources committee and was unanimously approved by the board.
Buhs said the district would look internally for a candidate for the position.
Another benefit of having the position is that the district now has a better chain of command as well as a succession plan, according to Buhs.
The Deputy Chief position will also take the place of the Budget Administrative Director position.
The district council also approved the labor agreement and contract for Buhs at the meeting.
Buhs’ contract was approved at level four and is worth $114,500 per year.
The human resources committee had recommended an automatic raise to the next step in January 2023, but board members decided it would be best to discuss this during the performance review at the end of the year.
Board chair Linda Way, who is a member of the human resources committee, took the time to congratulate Buhs on her work as leader thus far.
“We feel the chef has earned that salary and is entitled to it,” she said.
Way said the stage four payout level was originally requested by Buhs, but some board members believe the chief should be moved up a level for his job.
Buhs thanked the board for their support of him thus far.
“I appreciate it and it’s more official now,” he said.
Buhs added that while he always felt he had the support of the board, the official byline affirms that his efforts are moving the district in the right direction.
The board also discussed its expired mutual aid agreements with vendors in the Carlton County area.
Buhs proposed two minor changes, including perpetuating the chords.
Board member Jason Paulson asked why the district has its own agreement when there is a Carlton County mutual aid agreement.
Buhs said this gives the district better liability protection and allows the district to oversee its own teams regardless of site.
The council ultimately voted to file the agreement, while maintaining the current mutual aid agreement, so that district legal counsel could provide input.