242.01  METHOD OF SELECTION OF FIRE CHIEF.
   (a)   The method of selecting the Fire Chief shall be as set forth below.  Such method is intended to be different from the method set forth in Ohio R.C. 124.45 or any other statute governing the appointment of chiefs of fire departments or divisions.
   (b)   When a vacancy occurs in the rank of Fire Chief, the Civil Service Commission, within 60 days of such vacancy, or as soon thereafter as is practicable, shall first conduct a closed competitive examination as described in this division (b) for purposes of establishing an eligible list of candidates for the position of Fire Chief; provided that, if three or less candidates eligible under the provisions of this division (b) submit their names for consideration for the position of Fire Chief, the Commission may waive the requirement of an examination and proceed with an alternative assessment of the three or less candidates who submit their names for consideration. The Commission shall prescribe the subjects of the examination and the relative weights to be attached thereto; provided that, any such determination must have been adopted prior to the date of publication of the examination announcement.
      (1)   Eligible applicants for the closed examination process shall have the following qualifications: (i) shall be a full-time employee of the City of Norton Fire Department; (ii) shall have a minimum of five years full-time service with the City of Norton Fire Department with a minimum of three years in rank (Lieutenant or above).
      (2)   After such examination has been held and an eligible list established, the Commission shall forthwith certify to the Mayor the names of the three persons having the highest scores on said examination.
      (3)   The Mayor may appoint to the position of Fire Chief, from the candidates having the top three scores, the person, if any, that in the opinion of the Mayor will best perform in the public interest as the Fire Chief.  If, upon investigation, the Mayor deems that none of the persons certified are qualified for the position of Fire Chief, the Commission shall then proceed to conduct an open competitive examination as described in division (c) hereof.
   (c)   When a vacancy occurs in the rank of Fire Chief and after the completion of the closed competitive examination process as described in division (b) above a Fire Chief is not selected in accordance with those provisions, the Civil Service Commission, as soon as possible thereafter, shall conduct an open competitive examination, as described in this division (c) for purposes of establishing an eligible list of candidates for the position of Fire Chief. The Commission shall prescribe the subjects of the examination and the relative weights to be attached thereto, provided that any such determination must have been adopted prior to the date of publication of the examination announcement. The Civil Service Commission shall establish minimum qualifications for applicants, which qualifications shall be designed to attract qualified applicants from which an eligible list of candidates for the position of Fire Chief will be derived, and which qualifications shall conform to the job description of Fire Chief as established by Council, except that each applicant shall possess at least one of the following qualifications;
      (1)   Such applicant shall be a full-time employee of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Division;
      (2)   Such applicant shall be a part-time Lieutenant or Captain in the Division;
      (3)   Such applicant shall have a minimum of ten years of part-time service in the Fire/EMS Service in a fire department, with a minimum of five years in rank (Lieutenant or above) in a part-time department;
      (4)   Such applicant shall have a minimum of five years of full-time service in the Fire/EMS Service in a fire department, with a minimum of three years in rank (Lieutenant or above) in a full-time department.
   (d)   The Civil Service Commission may establish reasonable credits for residency within the City, service within the Division and military service, giving due regard to the objective of obtaining an eligible list having highly qualified candidates for the position of Fire Chief.  No extra credit for the foregoing categories shall be added to an applicant's examination grade unless the applicant achieves at least a passing score without such extra credit.
   (e)   After such examination has been held and an eligible list established, the Commission shall forthwith certify to the Mayor the names of the three persons having the highest scores on said examination, giving due regard for credits given that affect the overall score.
   (f)   The Mayor shall appoint to the position of Fire Chief, from the candidates having the top three scores, the person that in the opinion of the Mayor will best perform in the public interest as the Fire Chief. If, upon investigation, the Mayor deems that one or more of the persons certified is not qualified for the position of Fire Chief, or if a person on the eligible list withdraws his or her name from the list, the Mayor shall request from the Civil Service Commission an additional name or names to be certified for the vacancy so that the Mayor will again have a list of three eligible candidates from which to appoint the Fire Chief.
   (g)   The probationary period for original appointments to the full-time position of Fire Chief, whether selected pursuant to division (b) or (c) above shall be six months unless otherwise extended by the Mayor at his or her sole discretion for a one-time six month extension.
   (h)   No later than 90 days after his or her probationary period, the person appointed to the full-time position of Fire Chief shall become a resident of any location within a circular area determined by taking a twelve-mile straight-line radius from the base of the flagpole in front of the Administration Building and shall remain a resident during his or her tenure as Fire Chief For purposes of this subsection, a person is a resident of a particular location when he or she is an actual resident in fact of that location, i.e. he or she must occupy, personally and physically, a fixed habitation in such location, which is his or her actual primary dwelling. If the residency requirement set forth in this paragraph is not met within the timeframe required herein, the employment of the Fire Chief appointee shall be terminated.
   (i)   The salary for the Fire Chief shall be at least five percent (5%) higher than the annual maximum base salary for the highest paid full time City Fire Department employee, effective January 1, 1998.
(Ord. 94-2008.  Passed 12-8-08.)