STANFORD — Stanford City Council voted 5-1 Thursday evening to approve the hiring of Scott Maples as the city's new fire chief.
Mayor Bill Miracle originally announced the appointment of Maples in December, but the appointment of a paid fire chief requires the approval of city council.
"It was my mistake. It was … an oversight on my part," Miracle said. "This (city council approval) was just overlooked and I'm at fault."
Besides paid fire chiefs, city council must also approve the hiring of new police chiefs and city clerks, Miracle said.
With the regular meeting room occupied, a storage room in the Community Arts Center served as a makeshift council chambers for a special called meeting Thursday night, where City Councilman Eddie Carter made a motion to retroactively approve hiring Maples.
Carter and fellow council members Mike Southerland, Bobby Wilkinson, Scottie Ernst and Tom Moser voted yes; Councilwoman Amy Hazlett voted no.
"The vote came out just like I expected," Miracle said after the motion passed. "But it passes; it's done."
Hazlett said her no vote stemmed from her wish that the city had publicized the open position at city hall or around the fire department.
"I just felt like that position should have been posted for anyone to apply," she said. "It's nothing against Scott (Maples). He may be very qualified and the right man for the job and I like him as a person; I just felt like the process for hiring the fire chief should be more open to other people who wanted to apply."
Hazlett spoke with Maples immediately after Thursday's meeting to explain her vote was nothing personal.
Miracle said he received multiple letters of recommendation for Maples from area fire chiefs and advertising for applicants is "not a requirement at all."
"Scott is very well qualified as fire chief," he said. "He's got 20-plus years as a volunteer, he was assistant chief for several years."
Maples gained much of his experience with the Stanford Fire Department and has also worked for the Lincoln County Fire Protection District.
Prior to his appointment as fire chief, he was already serving as interim fire chief for the city department.
Maples was also a city councilman until he lost a re-election bid in the November election. Maples and fellow former councilman Greg Findling were replaced by Hazlett and Moser.
The fire department had been without a permanent chief at the helm since June, when former chief Kenny McDaniels went on medical leave. McDaniels officially retired from the fire department in January.