Nearly two months after the village board defeated an effort to remove the funding for his position, Scotia Fire Chief Richard Kasko has submitted his resignation.
Capt. Ken Almy, president of the Scotia Permanent Firemen’s Association, confirmed Kasko informed the staff he is leaving to take a job in the private sector. He did not elaborate on the new position.
Kasko is out of the area attending a wedding and could not be reached today.
“His leadership skills and knowledge will be sorely missed by our department,” Almy said. “I’m sure the mayor and the village Board of Trustees will do the right thing and hire a full-time paid fire chief to lead our department in the future.”
Mayor Kris Kastberg proposed not funding the position in the 2008-09 budget to give the board more flexibility in exploring possible reorganization of the department. The proposal did not go forward. The board last month also tabled a proposal to change the village code to allow contracting out for fire management services.
Kastberg said the board learned Tuesday about Kasko’s resignation, which takes effect June 21. He said the board would meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Village Hall to discuss its options for the short and long term. In the meantime, he said village officials are checking with civil service officials about the proper procedures for filling the job. The village has both paid and volunteer firefighters, so the volunteer chief would become acting chief in the absence of a paid chief, Kastberg said.
The board would also have to decide whether to fill the position with within or hire an outside chief.
“I do not support contracting that position out,” he said.
Kastberg praised Kasko for putting in place a central command for emergencies and for improving relations with neighboring departments.
“He’s done a lot to improve the overall planning of our department,” he said.
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