In less than a month, he saw the entire volunteer fire department of Fowler Township fired and a new police chief appointed.
Fowler lawmakers on Monday night approved the appointment of Michael Reid, the Fresno Police Department’s longtime deputy police chief, to replace outgoing Chief Rudy Alcaraz.
Alcaraz will receive the same location as the city of Selma and start next month.
Reid’s hasty appointment to replace Alcaraz comes less than a month after City Manager Wilma Tucker announced measures to disband Fowler’s all-volunteer fire department, cut a contract with the Fresno County Fire Protection District and raise the sales tax by 0.275 percent. Fire protection services.
The tax measure, which could appear on the November ballot, would raise Fowler’s sales tax rate to 9.25 percent, the current legal limit for local jurisdictions in California.
For some, Tucker’s quick moves are proving to be a head turner.
The only council member to oppose Reid’s hiring was Fowler City Councilman Karnig Kazarian.
“I believe that for such a critical, high-level process — one that involves significant interaction and participation with the community — some kind of process needs to be done,” Kazarian said.
Kazarian Reid has tried to make the jump to leading the police department, now making two attempts to serve as Fresno’s police chief after the retirement of Mayor Jerry Dyer.
Fresno Police Chief Tucker, the current Fresno City Manager who conducted the twin searches, also noted that he had many opinions about the prospects.
“We have a recent example of a highly publicized police chief search in Fresno where our current city manager, who was responsible for that search, was selected to go through the process first. And note that Michael Reid was the most highly regarded candidate and ultimately a finalist in that process. “We didn’t get the individual we were looking for, or more importantly, we didn’t get what our community deserved,” Kazarian said at the conclusion.
During that search, Tucker selected Andy Hall to replace Dyer with the support of Fresno Mayor Lee Brandt.
Hall, who faces mandatory retirement a year after his appointment, will be replaced by Paco Balderrama in another nationwide search.
“This is probably the most important decision I will make as city manager,” our city manager said during the Fresno inspection. It’s more important than a decision to jump in or say that’s enough. Negotiating for speed and closure is disrespectful to everyone,’ Kazarian said.
He added: “Now we see another example of what is unacceptable in Fresno – which means speeding up the process – is fine in Fowler.”
Reid, a native of Carruthers, received encouraging words of encouragement from former Fowler Mayor Pro Tem Leonard Hammer during public comment.
Patrick Jones, a former Fowler City Council candidate, said during the public comment that while there was nothing objectionable about Reed’s resume, the process was problematic.
“This is a position of such power and authority that the community needs to be more involved in this,” Jones said.
Meanwhile, later in the meeting, attorney Najda Kazarian — Fowler’s lawmaker wife — asked the panel why it would abandon a public hiring process for the police chief when he asked for a public process to fill the vacancy left by Cardenas.
Shortly after Cardenas’ passing, three names were floated to fill Cardenas’ vacancy on an interim basis. Each was voted down by the council.
Returning to the comparison, Parra – who at the time argued for a public process to replace Cárdenas – said he was happy to discuss his differences with Carnig Kazarian.
Kazarian orders Para to talk to his wife, who raised the issue, aside.
Reid’s appointment by the City Council as police chief requires two major milestones before he can officially take the job: a completed background check and the eventual approval of his contract by Fowler lawmakers.
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