Two of the top three finalists for Brainerd fire chief, whose names were forwarded to a city council panel Wednesday, are current members of the Brainerd Fire Department.
The finalists whose names and scores certified as part of the eligibility list were forwarded Wednesday by the Brainerd Police and Fire Civil Service Commission were, in order, Acting Chief Fred Underhill, 87.05; Brainerd Fire Department member Kevin Stunek, 85.38; and Chaska Fire Department member Scott Gerber, 79.98.
"I was impressed with all the candidates," said Robert E. Miller, a member of the civil service commission. Also serving on the panel are Susan Hilgart, the chair, and William Matthies.
City Administrator Dan Vogt explained at the meeting that 40 percent of each applicant's score was based on the written exam and 60 percent was based on the oral exam. Underhill received extra points for his service as a full-time engineer with the department. Stunek is a volunteer and also a battalion chief.
"Our two local candidates were extremely close," Vogt said, referring to the test scores.
Vogt said the test results were handled by a Twin Cities firm.
The Brainerd City Council Personnel and Finance Committee will consider the finalists and make a recommendation to the council at the committee's meeting on Tuesday. The full council will consider the recommendation at its first meeting in December.
Fire chief candidates who were not among the top three included James Mueller, an Eagan firefighter; Mark Frieden, a New Brighton firefighter; and Dale Mashuga, a Motley firefighter.
MIKE O'ROURKE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5860.
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