Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

September 11, 2013

Mitchell selected as next fire chief

Knoxville — Jim Mitchell has been selected as Knoxville's new fire chief. He will take over these duties on Sept. 23. 

Outgoing Fire Chief Nick Bonstell said this morning that, ever since the announcement of his resignation, he has pushed for the City to hire Mitchell. Bonstell's last day is tomorrow after eight months on the job and he does not want to leave the City with a question mark in the chief position. 

A Fire Department meeting was held Tuesday night with strong attendance. City Manager Harold Stewart made the announcement about Mitchell's hire then. 

According to a release from the City, Mitchell has previously worked with the department. He left to serve on the Des Moines and Urbandale Fire Departments. 

He has been serving as the Assistant Chief of Operations for Urbandale and as a fire fighter and paramedic on the Des Moines department. He was a qualified candidate at the time Bonstell was hired. 

Appointment of Mitchell to the position is expected at the Sept. 16 Knoxville City Council meeting. Mitchell will work on a part-time basis, three days a week, beginning Sept. 23. He will take over the position full-time on Dec. 1. 

In the interim, Greg Higginbotham and Ben Truetken will lead the department and handle the chief's administrative duties. 

Bonstell is leaving Knoxville for family reasons, and continues to express sadness in leaving. He will move back to his home state of Michigan on Thursday. 

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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