The chief's departure remains a topic that the local paper won't let go of. Yesterday, columnist Dan Bernstein wrote THIS PIECE, focusing on the circumstances surrounding the appointment of the assistant chief to the interim fire chief's post. It makes the whole series of events seem totally absurd.
In a nutshell, after the retiring chief's deal fell apart, a long retired assistant chief was contacted to act as interim chief until a permanent chief could be found. He agreed to do it at a significantly lower rate than the retiring chief was going to do it for and thought that it was a done deal.
A few days later, the long retired assistant received a phone call saying that his services were not required. If there was an explanation given, he didn't share it with me.
A few days after that, it was announced that the current assistant chief would be interim chief until a nationwide search for a replacement fire chief was conducted and a permanent chief named. It was also announced that the assistant chief had agreed not to apply for the fire chiefs job before being named as interim chief.
The logic given for the above arrangement, was that the city manager felt an interim chief would have an advantage in the competition for the permanent job and he didn't want give anyone a helping hand.
I smell bullshit. For a number of reasons that I won't go into here.
That the assistant chief agreed to it is a little surprising to me. I'm pretty sure that he would like to be the fire chief. I can only figure out two reasons why he would agree to the restriction.
One is that he feels the retiring chief had so thoroughly poisoned his chances for being appointed chief that he didn't stand a chance anyway - so why not serve as interim and enjoy it for a few months.
The second possible reason is that this story is going to continue to evolve and any agreement not to apply for the permanent position might be rescinded in the future. Bernstein's article seems to support this theory.
The big losers in this whole deal have to be the city manager and the assistant city manager who directly oversees the fire department. Each new article reduces their credibility. The department itself is definitely a loser, every few days another negative column or article appears with a negative spin on the agency.
All because someone with a "hooray for me, **ck you" life philosophy got a little too greedy and brought scrutiny on himself and others.
Karma can be a bitch.
Greed - the gift that keeps on giving.
Thanks for reading,