Vienna names new fire chief

VIENNA – Vienna City Council Thursday appointed a new fire chief.

“You have no idea what this means to me,” Steve Scholl said. “The honor of being the city’s first second-generation fire chief, I greatly appreciate this, thank you.”

Scholl’s father, George Scholl, also was a fire chief.

Scholl became acting chief after Danny Goodwin died in January. Goodwin served a lengthy tenure as chief of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

Scholl will be paid a $50,000 year with benefits, Mayor Randy Rapp said.

Goodwin’s son, Lee, presented the new chief with a bugle and gave him his blessing.

“In the fire service we designate rank with the use of a bugle,” Goodwin said. “Also in the fire service when there’s a transfer of command, it’s done in a face-to-face formal setting.”

Goodwin said designating ranks through bugles has been a long standing tradition since the early days of firefighting. He said the first firefighters, since they did not have access to radios, used bugles to communicate.

Rapp administered the oath of office to Scholl and gave a few words of advice.

“I’m going to do something for you that was not done for me,” Rapp said to Scholl. “I’d like to tell you three things.”

First, not everything is what it seems to be, Rapp said. Second, don’t take something at face value, he said. Third, the people who work in this city, Vienna, are amazing and know this city inside-and-out, Rapp said.

“If you ever get a call from these two men in the middle of the night, it’s bad,” Rapp said of Police Chief George Young and Craig Metz, the public works director.

Rapp called on Young and Metz to stand. He said if Young should call in the middle of the night he will first say “are you awake,” but what he will say next will not be good. Then, he said if Metz should call, it will probably mean there is a broken water line or a maintenance issue, Rapp said.

“Well I’ve got a call from Chief Young,” Scholl said.

“And it wasn’t good, was it?” Young responded as the crowd laughed.

Rapp also thanked the Goodwin family, particularly Lee, with their participation in the confirmation of the new fire chief.

“Thank you for doing that for us and sharing your command,” Rapp said. “I know Danny would be proud of you and the rest of the troop, he led us a long way and we’ve been very successful.”

In other city business, the city code creating the Vienna Tree Commission was amended to state other organizations to be responsible for appointing members. Nominees for the tree commission will be presented at the next council meeting, Rapp said.

Councilman Paul Thornton said the city is working on a budget. Thornton was confident about half a million dollars will be put into street repairs and some will go to the city’s park system to upgrade ball fields and playgrounds.

The Vienna Police Department will be given the money for new police cruisers and tasers, he said. A large amount of money will go toward employee medical and the city’s liability insurance, Thornton said.

The budget will be presented on March 14, said City Finance Director Steve Black.