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Interim Fire Chief
updated: Dec 04, 2012, 9:53 AM

Source: City of Santa Barbara


SANTA BARBARA, CA - 12/4/2012

Santa Barbara City Fire Chief Andy DiMizio will retire from his position on December 14 after 38 years of public service. City Administrator Jim Armstrong has appointed Fire Operations Division Chief Pat McElroy to serve as the Interim Fire Chief.

Chief McElroy has worked with the City's Fire Department for 32 years, where he has served in various leadership positions since 1990. As the Fire Operations Division Chief, he manages 95 firefighting personnel, eight fire stations, and the airport rescue and firefighting operation. He has extensive experience cooperating with regional and state fire agencies and commanding citywide emergencies, including the most recent Tea and Jesusita Fires. He received a Bachelor's degree from UCSB.

An executive recruitment process is currently underway with a permanent appointment anticipated in early 2013.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 350082 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 11:27 AM

These chiefs never seem to stay very long. The pessimistic side of me wonders if they only stay long enough to qualify for the increased pension due to the chief's salary? Plus they can also sell back their vacation and sick time to the County and increase their pension that way.

The next step for them is to get hired back in some capacity as a temporary employee so they can receive both their pension and the salary like that guy in Guadalupe.

I'm not saying it's not a hard job, but it does seem to be well compensated as compares to many people working in the public sector.


 COMMENT 350112P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 12:21 PM

082 DING DING DING!! Hit that nail right in the head. Firefighters are able to work the system WAY too easily to pocket more taxpayer money. And no, that's not a dig at firefighters, but instead at the backwards policies in place that allow them to. Firefighters themselves tend to be cool people. But these policies need some serious revamping.


 COMMENT 350139 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 01:04 PM

Logic tells me that the reason they don’t stay very long is because it takes most of their career to get to the Chief position. McElroy is coming in at 32 years of service. I just love the fact that people think our PUBLIC SERVANTS are all out to screw the public.... Ignorance at it’s best! Way to go SB!


 COMMENT 350294P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 06:45 PM

I'm with 139. Do we criticize and castigate CEO's for being promoted to that position and then retiring at the end of their career, sometimes after only a few months or years as a CEO? Do we criticize and castigate private businesses for giving bonuses to executives of failing/failed companies? We do. I want to point out it's not much different. I hope the shareholders have their say! And taxpayers, of course.

Sorry I entered the fray but it was a hole big enough to drive a truck through.


 COMMENT 350364P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 06:10 AM

Get promoted, get your high three in, retire, and move to Sandpoint, ID to live the white retirement dream. Schweet!


 COMMENT 350378 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 07:07 AM

Wonderful choice. Pat McElroy has done it all. Congratulations to all involved.



 COMMENT 350381 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 07:16 AM

I don't think having a couple of years of leadership from a CEO or chief is good for any organization. Then the new person comes in with new policies and ideas and a lot of energy is wasted implementing them. A lot of companies and organizations have been ruined with this approach. How is HP doing these days?

Public safety employees make up less than 25% of the workforce but require up to 50% of the pension money that the County has to pay. Does this seem fair, and affordable?


 COMMENT 350438P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-05 09:30 AM

Pat McElroy is a good person for the job. Congratulations to him!

I'm pretty sure that the City Fire Department uses PERS retirement. Those rules are set by the State.

I'm not an expert on retirement, but here is what I believe to be true:

With 32 years of service X 3%, McElroy can already retire at 96% pay. If he gets to stay for a year in the Chief's position, he will get 99% of Chief's pay for the rest of his life.


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