Algonquin-LITH fire department to shift leadership structure

Changes ahead for Algonquin-LITH department’s leadership structure

Changes in the leadership of the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District are continuing.

After the April hiring of Patrick Mullen as fire chief to replace Kevin Rynders, the district now is looking to replace two assistant chiefs.

John Gaughan, assistant chief of administration, did not have his contract renewed at the end of April and is being replaced by a director of management services. That job will be a civilian position, board President Rick Naatz said.

The director of management services would handle human resources responsibilities, manage employee benefit programs and risk management, administer worker’s compensation, oversee informational services and data management, supervise occupational health, process payroll, and participate in labor-management and contract administration.

“I believe the district would benefit in terms of expertise and economics having a civilian with experience in these specific administrative functions serve in the management services position,” Mullen said in an email to the Northwest Herald.

According to the district’s job advertisement, the salary for the management services director is expected to range from $82,750 to $100,375. Gaughan’s salary was $115,200 when his employment with the district ended.

Naatz said having a management services director is part the district’s efforts to go in a different direction.

The assistant chief position has been vacant since the middle of last year, Mullen wrote. The position was held by Tim Littlefield, who now is the administrative captain.

District officials have advertised the pay for the next assistant fire chief to be between $109,500 and $114,000.

The assistant fire chief will help with strategic planning, budget administration, data analysis, policy development and emergency preparedness coordination, among other things, according to the job advertisement.

Mullen hopes to have the management services position filled by the end of August and the assistant chief position by mid-September.

Mullen was hired in April and was the permanent replacement for Rynders, who agreed to resign in January. When the district and Rynders parted ways, board members said at the time that they wanted to run the district with a more business-like approach.

In other leadership changes, Virgil “Corky” Corless, who was defeated in April in his re-election bid to the board of trustees, was appointed to the fire protection board of commissioners last month. The board of commissioners oversees the testing of firefighter candidates, firefighter discipline and the promotion process.

Corless was one of two people to apply for the position. Naatz said Corless had more experience than the other applicant, Charles Parker of Algonquin.

“The other individual had no prior ... fire-related experience,” Naatz said.

Corless replaces Jay Atherton, who resigned from the commission.