Applications will open the first week of August to find a successor for retiring fire chief Joe Giver.

Giver, who is leaving the role Sept. 27, became Verona’s first full-time chief in 2011.

The City of Verona Police and Fire Commission authorized the recruitment of a full-time fire chief in an Aug. 1 meeting, with an application deadline set for Sept. 8.

The job description for fire chief will remain unchanged. It was last updated May 2013, while the PFC was helping to plan to transition from the Verona Fire Commission to being a city department.

At the time, Giver was already the fire chief, and the PFC agreed not to hold an open hiring for the position. That decision helped sparked a lawsuit from the local firefighters union after it held open hiring for his staff.

For this opening, the PFC decided to forgo using consultants for advertising and hiring the position, instead opting to use the services of city human resources coordinator Mitch Weckerly.

During the discussion, PFC president Delora Newton brought up the possibility of gathering public input on the hiring process, and the commission initially considered collecting feedback on the position description. The group decided input would be best for screening selected candidates and discussed options that included a public meeting and word of mouth.

The PFC settled on an email method, as it was considered the most flexible for people with busy schedules and would allow feedback to be sent to city staff and relayed to the commission. The PFC is still working on what will be asked of the public.

Giver’s official last day is Jan. 2, 2020, but according to the retirement agreement he signed last month, he will use acquired leave after September.

Giver told the Press last month he had planned to retire in January 2019 before the firefighters union complained about his leadership and called for his resignation in November 2018. Instead, he said, he stuck around to fix problems that had been raised in a consultant’s report last summer.

Email Verona Press editor Jim Ferolie at veronapress@wcinet.com.