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Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 11:14 pm | Fair 44º


Santa Maria Extends Search for Candidates to be Next Fire Chief

The search for Santa Maria’s fire chief continues more than four months after it began.

Chief Dan Orr announced in October that he had accepted a job as an assistant chief for Clallam County Fire District No. 3 on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with the main community of Sequim.

His last day on the job in Santa Maria was in late November.

But the search for his replacement is ongoing after the initial round of recruiting failed to attract candidates who met Santa Maria’s qualifications.

The city is seeking another round of applicants.

“It can take some time,” city spokesman Mark van de Kamp told Noozhawk.

Every recruiting stint to fill a vacancy is different, van de Kamp said, adding that for some jobs the application period may be closed earlier than initially planned if a significant number of candidates apply.

Other times, the city extends the application period, as it did for the fire chief, with the closing date listed as “continuous.”

Until a new chief is on the job, the city has hired Interim Chief Scott Kenley to fill in while also bringing back former Fire Chief Jeff Jones for the agency’s No. 2 slot.

The salary for the fire chief is advertised as ranging from $146,535 to $178,115 annually. The city also is offering a $2,000 appointment incentive, relocation costs for moving expenses and other benefits.

The notice about the vacancy says the city is  seeking “an innovative manager with proven leadership skills with the ability to positively influence others.”

“The ideal candidate will have excellent management, communication and problem-solving skills, the ability to lead by example, and extensive knowledge of current trends and developments in fire issues and public education services,” the job posting says in part.

“The candidate will be able to readily fit into a rapidly changing organization and implement appropriate policy and methods to meet the needs of the department and the community.”

Oral interviews of the finalists are planned but have not been scheduled, the city notice said.

Orr had led the department since 2011. Before taking the top job,  he worked initially as fire operation division chief for three years and then battalion chief for more than six years.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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