Mayor would give up power to appoint police, fire chiefs under proposed city ordinance change

The power to appoint future police and fire chiefs in Bettendorf would switch from the mayor to the city administrator under an ordinance change expected to be approved by the city council this week.

The current city ordinance gives the mayor the power to appoint (with city council concurrence) those positions. The new ordinance, up for the first reading at Tuesday's (11/21) council meeting, would give the city administrator authority to appoint, with council approval, future fire and police chiefs.

The current police chief, Phil Redington, has announced he will retire in May of next year.

"The proposed ordinance contemplates appointment by the city administrator with council approval, in the same manner as other department head," City Attorney Chris Curran stated in the ordinance change recommendation to aldermen. "If the proposed ordinance is adopted, the police chief and fire chief will report to the city administrator, in the same manner as other department heads and removal issues will be addressed in the same manner as all city employees, subject to civil service protections. . ."

In his memo, Curran stated the "vast majority" of cities in Iowa provide for appointment of such positions by the city administrator with subsequent approval by the city council.

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