(Horicon) As Horicon welcomed a new mayor, it also saw the return of a governing body who oversees the city’s police and fire departments. Horicon’s Police and Fire Commission was dissolved in 2021.
The action stemmed during a search to find the city’s next police chief, and a disagreement developed between the council and the PFC on the hiring process. The PFC decided to post the position externally with any internal candidates who apply automatically advancing straight to final interviews. Horicon’s employee handbook cites that openings for city positions must be posted internally first.
At the time, city leaders grew concerned that following the PFC could put Horicon in jeopardy of litigation. Then PFC chair called the move “small town politics” and “pathetic.”
Current Mayor Josh Maas says the PFC was reinstated the same meeting he was sworn-in at, following the 2022 spring elections.
“One of our alder-people had it put on the agenda to reinstate the Police and Fire Commission,” says Maas. “I did install commissioners.”
During a recent Community Comment, Maas outlined who now sits on the Police and Fire Commission.
“The one that most people will be most familiar with, former mayor Steve Neitzel is on the commission,” says Maas. “With two members of the sheriff’s department that live in the city. A former firefighter that lives in the city. And I think, is one of our more brilliant citizens, she’s on there too. So, we have quite a mix and they’re all more than qualified to be the right people on that commission.”
Maas says he promised the council and city staff to put the events that lead to the PFC disbandment behind him when he took office, but notes that he does not forget it. He says he could not be happier about the current states of their police and fire departments.
“Out fire department is awesome…I can’t imagine a better fire department for a community of our size,” says Maas. “And our police department is unique in a really awesome way, that we’re one of the few police departments that have a female chief…that provides a different level of empathy and a different way of leading than other police departments might.”
Maas also highlighted the amount of charitable work their fire department undertakes as well as the number of trainings they complete and that their police department is now fully staffed.