Committee to find new fire chief

Commissioner Naomi Twine leads group in search of Ricci replacement
Andy Ouriel
Mar 2, 2014


Sandusky officials offered up their blueprint for how they’ll find a new fire chief.

City commissioner Naomi Twine volunteered to lead a committee charged with locating a replacement for Sandusky fire Chief Paul Ricci. Former ex officio mayor Dan Kaman and former city commissioner Dave Waddington will also serve on the committee.

In late January, Ricci announced plans to retire in October.

City officials wanted to find Ricci’s successor at least a couple months before the 32-year firefighter calls it quits. Ricci aims to help the new fire chief transition into the job before he leaves.

Committee members will sift through applications, interview qualified candidates and hand off their top choices to the city manager. The city manager then will choose the next fire chief based upon recommendations from committee members.

The next chief must help fire operations prosper in the near future while simultaneously deal with reduced staff and services.

Recent budget challenges forced commissioners to eliminate four fulltime firefighter positions, a reduction from 53 today to 49 by May. Plus commissioners also decreased the department’s overtime, training and funding for physicals.

Twine answered several questions about the process and position, taking home almost $95,000 in pay during 2013:

Q: Why did you want to lead the process to select Sandusky’s next fire chief?

NT: I wanted to be a part of the process to select someone who is a good leader, is innovative and can adjust and manage through challenging and changing times.

Q: You served on the city’s human relations commission, which handled disputes city residents voiced about Sandusky employees and services. You’re also a longtime administrator at the Ohio Veterans Home. How can these backgrounds help you succeed in this committee?

NT: As former chairwoman of the human relations commission, I had the opportunity to work with the fire chief and the chief of police on issues and matters brought before the (commission).

My experience with leading a group, being able to clearly acknowledge and listen to different viewpoints, work through disputes, mediate differences of opinions and build a consensus, as well as my experiences in human resources and government administration, makes me a good fit to head the fire chief selection process.

Q: How important is the fire chief’s position?

NT: Given the grueling budget process this commission just came out of, we all know that the firefighters are not pleased with how they fared in the final outcome. Having a fire chief to manage those types of issues and being able to offer innovative and collaborative ideas and efforts will go a long way in determining how Sandusky approaches fire safety services in the future.

Q: You agreed to let two former city commissioners, Dan Kaman and Dave Waddington, to serve on this committee. Why did you agree to this?

NT: I like to have as much information as possible in the decisionmaking process. I also like to have differing and opposite points of view. In addition to having a civil service representative, a city resident with a union background, Chris Sims, and former commissioners with knowledge of past issues, challenges and successes gives the selection committee a level of diversity and balance, which will help us choose the best candidates for what we need as we move safety services forward in Sandusky.


Erie County Resident

To the Fire Chief committee here is a novel idea. Find your new chief from within the department instead of bringing on an outsider.
Who knows the department better than the members of the department themselves? There are some very qualified people on this department that would do an outstanding job.
This would also keep the transition bumps down to a very minimun as well as learning the city, plus could keep one of the laid off firefighters on the job.
This would also be cheaper because you'd not have to "train" the new chief like if you brought in a "newbie" chief in from the outside.

P.S. As far as turning the selection over to Ard I'd asy turn it over to the commissioners or Civil Service commission to make the selection. It's obvious that Ard couldn't run a yard sale let alone the city.
And no I'm not a city employee or related to one saying this.

T. A. Schwanger


The City Charter requires the City Manager to make the appointment.


The Civil Service Commission of the City of Sandusky, Ohio, shall be comprised, and the members thereof shall be appointed in compliance with the laws of the State of Ohio, and said Civil Service Commission shall adopt rules and regulations consistent with, and shall enforce and be governed by the Civil Service law of the State of Ohio as the same is presently in effect, or as it may be enacted or amended hereafter, with the express exception that in the process of filling any vacancy in the offices or positions of Chief of the Department or Division of Police, or Chief of the Department or Division of Fire of the City the procedures set forth herein shall be utilized, and the same shall supersede, override, govern, apply and prevail over any law, statute or regulation of the State of Ohio in conflict or inconsistent therewith, and be binding and applicable in such circumstances in and upon the City of Sandusky, and all of its officers, commissions and employees.

When a vacancy occurs in the office or position of Chief of Police, or the office or position of Chief of Fire, a Selection Board shall be appointed. In each such situation the Selection Board shall be composed of the President of the City Commission or a member of the City Commission designated by said President, who shall serve as the Chairman of the Selection Board, the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission of the City of Sandusky, Ohio, or a member of said Civil Service Commission designated by said Chairman, and three (3) other resident electors of the City of Sandusky who are not officers or employees of said City who shall be appointed by the President of the City Commission with the advice and consent of the City Commission. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Selection Board in each said instance to examine, and certify to the City Manager of the City of Sandusky, Ohio, the name or names of individuals who are eligible for appointment to the office or position involved.

Any active full-time firefighter with not less than ten (10) years of prior active full-time service as a firefighter, and holding the permanent rank of Captain or higher, as of the date of the application of said officer hereunder, shall be qualified and eligible to so apply and to be considered for appointment in relation to a vacancy in the position or office of Chief of the Department or Division of Fire.

The Selection Board, on the basis of merit and fitness, shall determine the qualifications of each applicant hereunder by administering such written examinations, psychological examinations and evaluations, oral assessments and examinations, and such other examinations, evaluations, and/or screening processes and procedures as said Board deems appropriate and practicable in determining the relative capacity and abilities of the applicants to discharge the duties and responsibilities of the position or office to which they aspire. Thereafter, on the basis of its evaluation and determination, the Selection Board shall certify to the City Manager the names of not more than three (3) applicants who are eligible to serve in the office or position which is vacant and to which they aspire whom the Board deems best qualified and able to perform the duties and responsibilities of said position herein.

The City Manager shall appoint to the vacancy at issue one (1) of the three (3) persons certified by the Selection Board as eligible and qualified for said appointment. Said appointment shall be for a probationary period of six (6) months. If the appointee satisfactorily completes said probationary period, the City Manager then shall make said appointment permanent.

(Amended 11-3-92)

Erie County Resident

Looking at what you provided: "The City Manager shall appoint to the vacancy at issue one (1) of the three (3) persons certified by the Selection Board as eligible and qualified for said appointment. Said appointment shall be for a probationary period of six (6) months. If the appointee satisfactorily completes said probationary period, the City Manager then shall make said appointment permanent."

Since Ard the poor excuse for a city manager has NOT done a satisfactory performance of her job she should be removed before screwing this up also.


Does anyone realize that
1. Dan serves ice cream
2 Dan serves ice cream
3. Dan serves ice cream

Also were these two not part of the problems we arenow facing including a former police chief fiasco.