Multiple source, including elected officials and firefighters, have told 2 On The Beat that Mayor Annise Parker and members of her senior staff will begin interviewing candidates for the position of Houston Fire Chief on Wednesday.
I asked the Mayor’s office and spokesperson Jessica Michan told me that Mayor Parker isn’t meeting with any of the candidates, but she didn’t tell me who would meet with those who are interested in leading the four thousand member department.
I don’t know if the Mayor’s office is playing games or blatantly spinning the truth. I do know that several reliable sources and trustworthy individuals told me that the candidates will meet sometime Wednesday to discuss the Mayor’s vision for the department and their own qualifications and interest in the position.
Earlier this year Mayor Parker told the media that she hoped to name a new chief by the end of August.
After hearing the news, I called Jeff Caynon, the President of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association #341.
He said that the men and women he represents are looking for someone who, “is level-headed, reasonable and who would be accessible to the rank and file.”
“At the end of the day it’s the Mayor’s decision,” Caynon said, “but we were promised that we could have some input.”
Best of luck to all of the candidates who are about to face the heat with critical meetings with Mayor Parker and/or members of her senior staff.