MEBANE, N.C. (WGHP) — One city in our region needs input from the community on who should be hired as their next fire chief.
Transparency will be crucial between Mebane City Officials and the people they serve, as they start the search for a new fire chief.
Outgoing Chief Bob Louis has been leading the fire department for more than 20 years and plans to call it a career by year’s end.
Mayor Ed Hooks hopes with the help of the public, they’ll find someone who can fill his shoes.
“Everything we do in our developments and our planning is all planned around enhancing our quality of life,” Hook said.
The city of Mebane is building two new fire stations. One off Buckhorn Road and the other off Trolling Wood Road.
And while the city held a public input meeting about who should lead the department Thursday night, nobody showed up.
Across the street at a soccer game, I asked a couple what they thought the next fire chief should be like.
Javion Williams says he wants whoever’s next to be more visible in the community.
“You don’t know who is involved in the fire department or who they are. You just see them coming and going,” Williams said.
Meanwhile, his wife Sydeia Smith-Williams says they hope the chief prioritizes pay for his employees.
“We definitely need to pay them an adequate salary,” Smith-Williams said. “Also, it could be the reason we don’t know what’s happening in the fire department, because they may not feel as visible as they need to because of their compensation and benefits or their view of the community.”
Mayor Hooks says the department’s pay is on par with neighboring cities.
“We’re very competitive. We take care of our employees. When we see an uptick in other areas, we try to respond,” Hooks said.
Even though no one came to the community input meeting in person, some did participate in a Zoom meeting that happened earlier this afternoon.
Mayor Ed Hooks says they hope to announce the next Fire Chief by December.