The longtime fire chief in Logan-Rogersville could lose his job. Richard Stirts has served as chief part-time for the last 20 years. The fire board decided last Sunday that the job will become full-time and salaried. The board also voted to open that job up to other candidates. "I took it gracefully and am trying to work through the political nightmare that it is," Stirts said on Wednesday.
For more than two decades, Stirts has been at the helm of the Logan-Rogersville fire department, expanding the operation as the community continues to grow. He is passionate about the work. He saw voters pass a big tax issue last August, in part to raise pay for the firefighters.
"Where we're at today, I'm going to carry on. I'm still working on collective bargaining. I'm still working on putting a new station in Rogersville. We're still doing everyday operations here, so that's a confusing message," Stirts said.
It is confusing, because Stirts was told this week, after a closed board meeting, that he would have to reapply for his job. The board voted three-to-two to hire a chief full time.
Board member David Adair , who voted in favor of the change, said in a telephone interview that the decision is part of the board's "due diligence" to open up the application process. He also said Stirts has been encouraged to apply.