During the regular July council meeting, councilmen approved the recommendations of Chief Tim Wilder to promote Richard Taylor to Captain and Michael Prater to Lieutenant. Hickman’s new proposal was to void Prater’s promotion and grant David Lewis the lieutenant position.
Councilmember Gary Mills voted “no” against the rescission. He explained, “Ordinarily, the chief of the fire department or police make a recommendation to the mayor. The mayor then recommends to the council for the council’s approval. At this time, you have ignored the Chief’s recommendations and put your own in. To be honest, I hate to override any of our department heads.”
Hickman responded, “David Lewis started first and worked one day longer which made him seniority. And I go by seniority.”
“Therefore the person that either doesn’t get fired or doesn’t quit the longest will eventually be the chief? Is that what you’re saying?” asked Mills.
Four councilmen voted ‘no’ to the Mayor’s rescission and the other members abstained. Prater maintains his promotion as lieutenant of Middlesboro Fire Dept. and Richard Taylor’s promotion to captain stands.
The regularly scheduled meeting began early. At 6:55 p.m., the following items had already been approved:
With no other business before the council, Coucilman Ronnie Carter made a motion to adjourn the meeting — there was no audience participation. All councilmembers were present, with the exception of Hank Barnes.
Sarah Miracle is a staff writer for the Daily News. She can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.