Forest Park Fire Chief Steven Glinke feels the time has come to step down from his position as head of the village’s fire department.
However, he doesn’t want to leave Forest Park completely.
Glinke currently serves the village as both its fire chief and as head of its Department of Public Health and Safety. If all goes according to plan, he would retain that title after stepping down as chief.
“I feel the time has come,” Glinke said Thursday.
The village council was expected to discuss the issue during closed session at their Monday meeting, but they apparently did not vote on the matter that night.
For the last six years, Glinke said he’s been working at both positions. While juggling both jobs, he said many of the day-to-day operations of running the fire department have fallen to Deputy Fire Chief Bob McDermott.
“He’s done a fantastic job keeping things running smoothly,” said Glinke, who didn’t know whether the board would approve his request.
“Nothing is done,” he said. “I suppose if the council felt it wasn’t a good idea, then it wouldn’t happen and that would be all right.”
Glinke moved into both roles after the village’s previous health and safety director left in 2010. Following that departure, the village had an interim director for a short time.
Overall, he said, working both jobs for Forest Park has worked well and he has enjoyed them equally. The village cut back on staff — to a low of only two full-timers and a handful of part-timers in the department — in order to cut costs.
“I really do think it has worked very well,” Glinke said. “We did it without having services suffer.”
If the board approves Glinke’s request, the fire chief opening should be easy to fill, he said.
“Obviously, it’s a council issue and they will have to decide,” he said, adding that he would recommend McDermott as his permanent replacement.
“They already have someone who has basically been doing this job and is doing it very well,” he said. “I think it would be good for him to get it officially. I don’t see a reason why the village would have to look outside the department.”
The change, Glinke said, would allow him to focus more on the Health and Safety Department, which is a job he has come to enjoy.
“You know, I love Forest Park. I love working in this town,” he said. “Day in and day out I really enjoy working with developers and homeowners. I like having contact with the residents and seeing a project start to finish.”