The Bellevue city administrator has declined to reappoint the chairman of the city's Civil Service Commission, who had clashed with the city over how to hire full-time firefighters.
The chairman, Jim Kresnik, said he believed that the disagreement was why City Administrator Dan Berlowitz didn't appoint him to a second five-year term.
“I did not want to play ball in this game that (Berlowitz) had set up for the entry-level firefighters” Kresnik said. “He knew that, and I knew that. He has his agenda, and he wants you to stick to his agenda and not think on behalf of the residents of Bellevue.”
But Berlowitz insisted that the disagreement was not why he appointed someone else after Kresnik's term expired. He said it was time to give someone else a chance, and that's why he chose former City Councilman Jack Charvat.
A five-year term is long, and 10 years on a commission would be very long, Berlowitz said.
“I wanted to give (others) an opportunity,” he said.
The City Council approved the appointment of Charvat with no discussion Monday.
Kresnik and Berlowitz have disagreed over how the city hires its full-time firefighters.
The city's contract with the part-time firefighters union states that those firefighters should get first preference for any full-time jobs. The commission, which oversees testing for full-time firefighters, said that's illegal.
Lawyers for the city and the commission have been negotiating a possible compromise. Berlowitz said they have made progress. In the meantime, testing has stalled.
Ron Petak of the World-Herald News Service contributed to this report.
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