Andre Esposito, chairman of Utica’s Civil Service Commission, believes the board has a tough decision to make within the next few months.
The commission is considering a request from Mayor Robert Palmieri to authorize an open competitive exam to vet candidates for Utica’s next fire chief. This would open up the test to internal and external candidates for a fire department historically led by internal promotion.
Esposito and Civil Service Commissioners Teresa Wojnas and Dietra Harvey will have to weigh that against the opinions of top fire officials in Utica and nearby cities as well as several local elected officials who believe the Utica Fire Department has enough worthy candidates within its ranks. Several of those dissenting opinions were voiced Thursday’s Civil Service Commission meeting.