LIBERTY — As of Tuesday, Nov. 12, Liberty has a new fire chief and director of information technology services.
John Mills, who has been with the city since January 2001 and served for three months as interim chief after former Chief Mike Snider left to take a job as chief in Lee’s Summit, was selected by city leaders as the new fire chief.
“It’s an honor to be chosen to lead the department,” he said. “It’s an outstanding staff and community.”
Mills has been overseeing construction of the training tower, which firefighters and other departments will be able to use for training.
He also managed EMS training; and handled the replacement of the public safety radio system and knows how to program the radios, which saves funds, according to the city. Throughout the years, Mills also helped with rating reviews, which indicates how well-protected the community is by the fire department.
Mills is also a current member of several professional groups including the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Missouri Association of Fire Chiefs,and Northland Association of Fire Chiefs.
Snider, the former chief, came to the city in 1998 and moved through the ranks. Mills served alongside Snider.
“We built a lot of the successes here at the department,” Mills said. “He mentored me for years, too.”
Mills, who lives five minutes from the city boundaries, will move to the city after his daughter graduates high school.Now, Mills said, he plans to build on the forward momentum that Snider left.
“I want this to be a department that others want to imitate and look to for the right things, those right procedures,” he said. “Overall, the team is excited and they know we can get even better. I also am known within the metropolitan area and the Clay County emergency management. The relationships have already been built.”
Wade Thomas was named director of IT Services by city leaders on Tuesday. He too has served as an interim director after Tony Sage moved to Overland Park, Kansas. Sage served the city of Liberty for 23 years, 14 years as IT director.
Thomas is a current member of the regional chapter of the Computer Technology Industry Association among several other IT and Information Systems Audit groups.
At the council meeting, Mayor Lyndell Brenton said while Thomas is not in the public eye, he and his team are responsible for keeping a lot of citizen information safe and out of the hands of any outside data breaches.
“Wade has already been recognized for his customer service,” said City Administrator Curt Wenson.
Thomas said he is looking forward to the challenges and the opportunities of this new role.
“I enjoy coming into work every day,” he said. “I appreciate the praise of the staff and look forward to serving this community in my new role.”