The Harbor Fire District is moving forward with plans to hire a new fire chief and has appointed a new board commissioner.
The action follows the Harbor Rural Fire Protection District Board meeting held on Wednesday, Sept. 11, which, according to public information officer Neville Hill, was interactive and well attended by the public.
The fire board took action to replace Board Commissioner Ken Hall, who is moving to another area and has resigned. Anthony Burkett was nominated in open session for the post, Board Position 3. After a short executive session with Burkett, the nomination was confirmed and announced to the public in open session. Hill said the board was pleased to identify a commissioner who had experience. Burkett also serves on the Harbor Sanitary District Board, Position 5.
Burkett has yet to be officially sworn into office. Hill said Burkett’s appointment allows the board to achieve a quorum and begin work on finding a replacement for former Chief Bob Larson, who resigned effective August 31.
Larson’s resignation came shortly after a “no confidence” petition was submitted to the board by firefighters on Aug 14. On Aug. 23, Larson filed a tort claim notice of his intention to bring legal action against the Harbor Fire District and one or more of the District Board members. In the claim, Larson said his ability and effectiveness had been undermined.
Hill said the board will advertise for the fire chief position, and has already received two applications for the position.
“Assistant Chiefs Thomas Sorrentino and Joshua Frame are acting in the capacity of Fire Chief and covering all the calls,” Hill said.
There has been no impact on the department’s ability to respond to calls and provide protection to the community, according to Hill.
“The public in attendance was genuinely interested in the progression of finding a new chief who has the right experience and maturity to lead the department,” Hill said.
The Harbor Fire Department is located at 98069 West Denham Lane in Harbor.
Read more about the transition at the Harbor Fire Department and follow this developing story in future editions of The Pilot and online at www.curry.pilot.com.