Town won’t release chief finalists until Saturday

3 in running for top law enforcement position, but Welaka mayor won’t reveal names

Welaka Town Council members will discuss chief of police candidates Saturday during a special meeting.

The council scheduled the special meeting to accommodate its first budget hearing for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, but plan to  also have an “open discussion on chief of police interviewees.”

Longtime Chief Charlie Piwowarski died suddenly July 25, and town officials advertised the vacancy Aug. 3. 

“Part of the criteria (for the chief search) was to (fill the position) quickly,” Welaka Mayor Gordon Sands said. 

Sands said he created a committee of five people to lead the search. The committee included Putnam County Commissioner Karl Flagg, town Councilman Willie Washington, acting chief Bill Davis, town clerk Jennifer McDaniel and Welaka resident Harriet Vanslyke. 

Before the Aug. 30 application deadline, Sands said, the town received 48 resumes for the chief’s job. 

“I can’t believe how many (applications) we’ve had,” Sands said. 

Flagg, who served as chairman, said the committee spent the last two weeks conducting interviews and narrowed the list of candidates to three. 

Sands said the committee’s recommendation would be presented Saturday. He wouldn’t release the names of the finalists. 

Sands said the council plans to hire the new chief during the next council meeting, which is slated for Sept. 13, according to town documents. 

The special meeting is 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Welaka Town Hall, 400 Fourth Ave.

Palatka Daily News

1825 St. Johns Ave.
Palatka, FL 32177
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