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Sat, Oct. 19

Town of PV might use outside firm to select new police chief

PRESCOTT VALLEY - The Town Council might hire an outside firm to help select a police chief to replace Bill Fessler, who retired March 15.

Hiring an outside firm could cost $15,000 to $25,000, and include the costs of travel for job candidates, Human Resources Director Karen Smith told the council during a work/study meeting Thursday.

On the job two years, Smith said she is unaware whether the town has hired an executive search firm to recruit the police chief.

Doing the job in house could cost $8,000 to $10,000, plus the costs of staff time and interview panels, according to a fact sheet Smith prepared. She wrote that she expects the new chief to come on board in August or September.

The town is seeking a new chief because Fessler retired March 15, citing the "controversy" over his involvement in a law enforcement motorcycle club, the Iron Brotherhood, that engaged in a brawl Dec. 22 on Whiskey Row. Fessler joined the police department in 1990, and was promoted to interim chief in April 2011 after then-chief Jim Maxson retired. Town Manager Larry Tarkowski named him chief in August 2011.

Tarkowski an-nounced the promotion of Cmdr. James Edelstein as interim chief March 15.

Edelstein, who attended Thursday's meeting, said he has not decided whether he will apply to become police chief.

Also during the meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Brian Witty discussed plans to install software to enable people to register online for classes and programs of his department.

Witty said the concept goes back to a master plan that came out in 2002. He added people would be able to register at any time, whereas they now do it in person during weekday office hours at his office on the first floor of the Civic Center.

"I think this is going to improve our customer service," Witty told the council.

The council took no action during the meeting but gave direction to staff.

The council also:

• Endorsed recommendations from the Arts and Culture and Parks and Recreation commissions for one of three proposed designs for a covered stage for the amphitheater on the Civic Center grounds. The stage is part of the Civic Center remodeling project.

• Learned about plans for the spring cleanup May 4 from Ken Stanton, manager of operations in the Public Works Department. Public Works conducts the event in conjunction with the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce.

• Listened to plans of the Prescott police and fire department to sign an agreement to share use of communications towers atop Glassford Hill to improve regional dispatch.

The police department installed the communication system atop the hill, 1,000 feet above Prescott Valley, in November 2011.

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