By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Mark McCormick, Santa Rosa’s interim fire chief for the past eight months, has been appointed chief.
The 20-year veteran of the department has filled in since Bruce Varner retired in January.
“This appointment is truly an honor and I am committed to making sure our department provides an excellent quality of service to the citizens of Santa Rosa,” McCormick said in a release.
His appointment as chief took effect Thursday.
He was hired in 1991 as a fire inspector and has moved through the department’s ranks, from firefighter to captain, deputy chief/fire marshal and interim chief. He had prior fire fighting and hazardous materials management experience in California and Washington.
City Manager Kathy Millison praised McCormick for the leadership has he has shown during the transition and said he brings fresh ideas to the 135-person department.
His salary will be $189,000 annually, Millison said, an increase of $9,200, or 5 percent. He also will receive an annual car allowance of $4,200. Beginning in January, he will begin paying an additional 2 percent of his salary toward his retirement, for a total of 11 percent. He will also take 48 hours of unpaid furlough, equal to $4,328, Human Resources Director Fran Elm said.
McCormick, 51, lives in Larkfield. An official badge ceremony will be held before the City Council for McCormick and his family at a later date.
It is the first time since 1972 the city has promoted someone from within to the rank of fire chief, McCormick said. Michael Turnick was named chief in 1972, where he stayed until his retirement in 1985.