The vote came during Tuesday’s city council meeting that saw all five council members, as well as Mayor Sonny Posey, vote for Clark, who has been with the Jasper Fire Department for the past 23 years — five years as a volunteer and the last 18 as a full-time firefighter. Clark, 44, has served as acting chief for the past four months.
“It’s been a privilege to serve as acting chief for the past four months for the city of Jasper,” Clark said following Tuesday’s meeting. “In that time, we’ve had a lot of intense situations on top of worrying about the testing and the interview process and continuing to run the department. I really am honored to now officially know that I am the fire chief, and I look forward to doing the best I can for the department and for the citizens of Jasper.”
Clark will oversee a department that includes 28 full-time firefighters and encompasses a coverage area of 26.9 square miles. It’s a challenge Clark said he looks forward to.
“It’s going to be a privilege going forward to see the stuff that’s coming up and the growth in the department,” Clark said.
Clark had the full support of Jasper firefighters, many of who were in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting and visibly pleased with the council’s decision.
“It humbles me to know of the support I have from the department,” Clark said. “You saw today that the benches were full of firefighters waiting on the outcome. They supported me 100 percent and I support them 100 percent. I’ve got respect for every one of them. They do a great job, and they’ll make it easy to be their chief. We’ve got a great group of people who do an outstanding job.”
The other two candidates for the position were current Adamsville Fire Chief Scott Harbison and Lt. Dante Fields of the Jasper Fire Department.
Council members praised Harbison and Fields for their interest in the position prior to casting their votes.
Despite being a finalist for the job, Fields openly showed his support for Clark being named chief during Monday’s interview with the city council. “If I had a vote, I’d vote for David Clark to be named chief,” Fields told council members.
“That makes me feel good,” Clark said.
In other business Tuesday, council members:
•approved minutes of the Sept. 3 council meeting.
•heard from state Sen. Greg Reed, who updated the council on a variety of legislative-related topics.
Reed also announced that Gov. Robert Bentley will be in Jasper next Friday — his third trip to the city this summer — for the grand opening of HTNA’s $12 million expansion project at the city’s Tom Bevill Industrial Park.
•approved a request from city purchasing agent Tommy Knight to reject all bids for cellular service for city employees and remain under a state contract with AT&T.
•approved granting a retail beer and wine license for Full Moon BBQ, which is currently under construction on U.S. 78 at the former site of Carl Cannon Chevrolet.
•approved a request to renew a contract with Otto Environmental to supply the city’s residential garbage cans at a cost of $50.08 apiece.
•approved a request for funding to purchase a full-page ad in the upcoming issue of Walker Magazine.
•approved budget amendments addressed by City Clerk Kathy Chambless.
•adopted a resolution to allow Posey to enter into an agreement with Internet Payment Exchange (iPayX) to allow city residents to pay their garbage bills online.
Chambless said once the system is up and functioning properly, the city may be able to allow residents to pay other city fees, including parks and recreation registration fees.
•adopted a resolution to allow Posey to sign a standard project resolution for the Alabama Department of Transportation regarding placing lighting along Exit 65 on Interstate 22 and on Industrial Parkway.
•appproved a request for travel for two senior residents who will participate in the State Master Games in Valley Oct. 7-10.
•heard from public works director Joe Matthews, who informed council members that a tentative date has been set for the 2014 Foothills Festival. Matthews said plans call for next year’s event to be held on Sept. 13, 2014.
The council praised Matthews for his work on this year’s festival, along with the work of Jasper police, Jasper firefighters, Jenny Sayles, and volunteers and workers from the city’s street department and parks and recreation department.
•Posey informed the council of two donations made to the city.
The Samuel Lee Smith Advised Fund donated $550 to assist with the city’s Dream Team soccer program, and Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad donated $10,000 for a sign to be placed at the city’s Dream Field.