A Wednesday evening special call meeting has yielded a temporary solution to the city's dilemma of not having a police chief.
Four members of the Indianola Board of Aldermen came together on Wednesday evening and decided to offer a one-month contract to former Assistant Police Chief Earnest Gilson to serve as the interim chief after the termination of Chief Markricus "Bo" Hibbler earlier in the week.
Gilson had also served as the interim chief in the interval following the resignation of former chief Edrick Hall and the inception of Hibbler. Hibbler was let go unexpectedly on Monday night with an effective date of September 15.
According to the disclosed terms of Gilson's contract, it is a one-month open-ended agreement with the possibility of renewal for $7,000 per month with a one month minimum.
Mayor Steve Rosenthal made the recommendation to the board to hire Gilson for the interim position. "I'm recommending that we hire him on an open contract, with a minimum of 30 days and we would have the option to cancel with a two-week notice from either party with a minimum of 30 days," Rosenthal said.
He added, "Chief Gilson said that he would serve the city again in that position."
Rosenthal stated that the reason for the open-ended contract was so they would have the option to go longer than 30 days if necessary. "But we hope not to go long-term," Rosenthal said.
According to Gilson, his contract goes into effect on Monday, September 20.
That apparently leaves the police department without an active head for the next four days.
The city leaders went into closed session and then an executive session to discuss Gilson's appointment and the possible employment of two new firefighters before emerging and making individual motions to hire each.
Ward 1 Alderman Gary Fratesi made the motions and Ward 5 Alderman Sam Brock seconded them and they each passed 4-0. Alderman Marvin Elder was absent.
Gilson's contract does not provide him with insurance or contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System.
The two fire department hirees will be issued a starting pay of $9 per hour.