The City Council this week approved the newly created position of public safety director to oversee the Police and Fire departments. The consolidation of jobs is expected to save the financially strapped city at least $50,000 a year.
City Manager Gregory Meyer said he hopes to fill the position by July. Police Chief Frank Beeson will retire June 30 from the 34-officer department, and the 17-man Fire Department has been operating with an interim chief since Ronald Simmons resigned last July.
Earlier this year, Beeson had proposed a $182-a-year tax on each dwelling unit in the city for police, fire and paramedic services, but the City Council refused to place the proposed tax on the ballot.