Tuesday, October 03, 2000

Mason hires temporary fire chief

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — City leaders have appointed a temporary replacement for Fire Chief Billy Goldfeder, who officially resigned Sunday.

        City Manager Scot Lahrmer announced Monday that he has hired former Washington Township Fire Chief Randall L. Staley as interim chief.

        “We are very pleased to have found someone with his level of experience so quickly,” Mr. Lahrmer said. “Until a permanent chief is appointed, Chief Staley will help us maintain the high levels of service that (our) department has become known for.”

        After five years in Mason, Mr. Goldfeder announced last month that he would be giving up the job as fire chief to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Goldfeder's resignation came amid an internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment lodged against him by several female employees.

        A few weeks later, Deputy Fire Chief Steve Pegram told city officials he was quitting to take a position with the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department. Mr. Pegram, who was acting fire chief, said his resignation was not linked to Mr. Goldfeder's decision to leave.

        City officials are hoping Mr. Staley's leadership will help to stabilize the department until a permanent chief can be found, Mr. Lahrmer said.

        Mr. Staley assumes command of a staff of 120 full- and part-time personnel and two fire stations in a city of nearly 20,000 residents. As head of Washington Township's fire department, he oversaw 150 full- and part-time firefighters and five fire stations in Centerville, a city of nearly 50,000 people near Dayton.

        “Mason is definitely a growing community and I'm looking forward to the challenges even though it's only for a short period,” said Mr. Staley, 60. “It may take some time for me to digest all of the procedures and what not, but “There appears to be a lot of talented people here and that's a plus.”

        Mr. Staley, who has nearly 40 years of firefighting experience, began his career in 1961 in Miamisburg, where he served as a safety inspector and an emergency training instructor for Monsanto Research Corp. He was later promoted to fire chief of the corporation's on-site department.

        In 1970, Mr. Staley joined the Washington Township Fire Department in Centerville. He retired as chief in 1997.

        City officials were unavailable for comment Monday about Mr. Staley's salary.


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