THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Town Is Not Considering Replacing Fire Chief Stradl
Issue Date: December 26, 2018
Mike Kudick, who chairs the Town of Stephenson Town Board, said last week's news report of their Dec. 12 meeting was incorrect in stating that he had agreed to discuss a request that Fire Chief Jim Stradl would be asked to resign the position. "That never even crossed my mind," Kudick declared.
He said at some point he and the board might agree to discuss the fire department concerns raised by two speakers during time for public comment at the Dec. 12 meeting, including changing some of the procedures for the fire department. No date has been set for this discussion. He explained the Fire Chief for the town's fire department is hired by the board, as is the head of public works department.
At the Dec. 12 meeting two members of the town's Volunteer Fire Department, Steve Marvin and Jon Kleuskens, outlined a list of concerns with the way Stradal is handling the department, mainly involving personnel issues training, equipment, testing and other safety issues. Kleuskens mainly echoed the issues raised by Marvin.
The news report stated that Marvin asked for Stradl's retirement or replacement as fire chief. Their spoken comments in fact did not include this request, but there were also two sets of written comments which did. The reporter was given copies of those complaints, one dating from four years ago, when Marvin resigned after 14 years with the Fire Department, and one said to date from August of this year, which included the request for retirement or resignation. The reporter assumed, correctly or incorrectly, that the board had also received copies of these lists.
Kudick said that after the news report was published he received calls from four firefighters who objected to the comments, and told him they had known nothing about the complaints being brought to the board.