Residents in the Orland Fire Protection District eager to find out who will assume the fire chief role that has been up for grabs since summer 2011 will have to wait until May.
While board trustees and attorneys spent about four-and-a-half hours in closed session interviewing candidates during the monthly board meeting Tuesday night, no final decisions were made.
“They are planning to make an announcement of a final candidate at the next board meeting,” said OFPD spokesman Ray Hanania, though he declined to comment on any specifics of the interview process. Board members Chris Evoy, Blair Rhode and Martin McGill also declined to comment on the interviews.
Acting Fire Chief Raymond Kay was among those interviewed for the position.
Comments and Questions
Board president James Hickey took a minute of the meeting before closed session to address a few points of recent contention.
“We are not closing any fire stations, and we are not cutting any services,” Hickey said.
He also said the question submission process will be changing slightly. People looking for information can still submit questions online, and will receive a response within five business days for “appropriate business questions.”
Hickey commended the board for maintaining transparency and budget goals within their first year.
“This is the first time that our budget has been under $30 million in 5 years, and we did this without cutting services,” Hickey said.
Former board trustee Bob Cacciato disagreed with the assessment, saying the budget was only over $30 million in the last two years, not five.
According to district budget summaries on their website, the last time total expenditures were under $30 million was 2007. However, the expenditure listing for 2012 is only a projection and could change as the year continues.
Praise for Fast Service
Orland Park resident Heleane Battaglia recently found herself in need of emergency medical help, and praised the efforts Tuesday night for the response she received.
“I never knew that men could be so compassionate. I just can’t believe the attention you get and how fast they take care of you,” Battaglia said. “When they decide to move, they move, and they move mighty quick.”