By Jennifer Eisenbart


The City of Burlington will hold a two-day assessment center next week to screen the six candidates for the open fire chief position.

City officials declined to release the names of the applicants. Under state open records law, the city is not required to release the names at this point. According to the law, the city may narrow the field further before releasing any names.  Ultimately, state law requires that the names of at least five “final candidates” be disclosed before a decision is made.

The process listed online for the position lists several stages, starting with next week’s two-day assessment center on May 17 and 19. From there, candidates will have interviews with the Police and Fire Commission, and open house-type forum.

From there, the city has stated “two or more final candidates may be brought back for a final interview with the Police and Fire Commission.”

City Administrator Carina Walters said Tuesday that recruitment firm Gov HR will run a portion of next week’s assessment center, with city staff involved in the rest.

“We plan on involving city staff (and) the Police and Fire Commission,” Walters said. “We plan on involving the fire department, the full-time employees as well.

“We’re hoping for a comprehensive process,” she added.

Walters said the hope is to narrow the field further from there, but that would be up to the commission.

“I feel we have very strong candidates,” Walters said, adding that the majority of them are local to the southeast Wisconsin area.

Two potential local candidates would be Burlington Area Rescue Squad Chief Brian Zwiebel as well as Town of Burlington Fire Chief Ed Umnus.

Neither immediately responded to a request Tuesday for information as to whether they applied for the position.