The City is considering an ordinance for first reading on Monday, November 16th to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Kirkwood for the provision of Fire Chief services. What does the ordinance include?
The City of Glendale (Glendale) is considering approval of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the City of Kirkwood (Kirkwood) that would have Kirkwood provide Glendale with a Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, and an Administrative Associate. Glendale has been without a permanent Fire Chief since Chief Curtis VanGaasbeek took a position with a fire district in October 2019. Assuming the ordinance is 1st read on November 16th, the second and final reading will be scheduled for December 7th. If given final approval, the IGA establishes service beginning January 1, 2021.
The agreement was negotiated between Glendale and Kirkwood with the assistance of the local Glendale IAFF chapter.
Who is responsible for supervising the new Fire Chief?
The Fire Chief will report to and work with the City Administrator of Glendale on any matter related to the Glendale Fire Department in the same manner as all other department heads in the city.
Does this mean Glendale is outsourcing its Fire Department to Kirkwood?
No. The IGA specifically recognizes Glendale as having its own department and retaining its own rolling stock, buildings, fixtures, equipment, and station facilities. Glendale remains responsible for all fire prevention and suppression within its jurisdiction.
The Board of Aldermen has not considered and is not considering the outsourcing of the Glendale Fire Department. This IGA is intended only to bring our two fire departments closer operationally and take advantage of the cost savings and efficiencies that this opportunity affords.
If the IGA is approved, will anyone in the Glendale Fire Department (GFD) lose their jobs or positions?
No. Glendale has been without a permanent Fire Chief since Chief VanGaasbeek left in October 2019. Since then the Captains have helped manage GFD operations as needed. They and all other GFD personnel will remain in their current positions.
Why is the City of Glendale considering contracting with another agency to provide Fire Chief services?
The City of Glendale runs on a tight budget. That tight budget requires that the City find cost savings and efficiencies wherever it can. Since the retirement of the last full-time Chief in 2016, the City has tried a PT Chief model, as well as a hybrid Chief/Captain model. The Board of Aldermen has determined that both of those models are imperfect for Glendale’s needs and is seeking a new model. The Board of Aldermen and staff are excited to see where the shared service model can take the community and organization. GFD and KFD already enjoy a close relationship, one that will be even closer with the pending dispatch and ambulance service transition. Sharing a Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, and Administrative Associate further strengthens our bonds and ties in well with the dispatch and ambulance services.
Does Glendale contract with any other entities for any other municipal services?
Yes. Glendale recently contracted with Kirkwood for dispatching and ambulance services. The City also contracts with Saint Louis County for all of its building inspections. In 2019 the City began contracting for Vector Control services from St. Louis County and ended its own in-house mosquito fogging program. In the case of Court Administration, Glendale provides court management for Oakland and Warson Woods. Additionally, Glendale provides Warson Woods with Fire/EMS services. The City is always searching for partnerships which make financial and operational sense.
I want to offer my thoughts to the Mayor and Board on this topic. How can I do so?
Public participation in this process can take one of three forms: