By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
El Cerrito's fire chief is coming to Angels Camp.
The Angels Camp City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to offer the city's top firefighting job to Mark L. Scott, chief of the El Cerrito Fire Department and the Kensington Fire Protection District, pending a background check and other details.
Scott was among 25 candidates who applied for the job when it was advertised in October and November.
Angels Camp Mayor Debbie Ponte said members of the city's almost all-volunteer fire department reviewed the applications and selected seven applicants for further consideration. City council members added an eighth applicant.
A panel made up of Ponte, vice-mayor Curley Middleton, an Angels Camp volunteer firefighter, Battalion Chief Dan Miller of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and Mike Barrows, Sonora fire chief, then reviewed the eight applications and chose five candidates for interviews.
Two were invited back for a second interview Tuesday before the City Council meeting, but one of the two declined. Scott appeared for the interview to discover he was the only candidate present.
Retiring volunteer fire chief Roy Soracco and members of the council had high praise for Scott.
Councilman Paul Raggio said, "if Joe Carley was here tonight he'd say we're moving in the right direction with this man." The Angels fire station, where the city council meets, is named the Joe Carley Fire House. Carley was a longtime fire chief.
Councilman Lee Seaton added his endorsement, saying, "when we set out some months ago with our ideal candidate in mind, we had this kind of individual in mind."
Scott, 53, has 34 years in professional fire service, the last 28 with the El Cerrito Fire Department. He has been El Cerrito's fire chief for the past four years.
Before El Cerrito, he was public safety officer with the City of Sunnyvale.
Following the council meeting, Scott said he and his wife, Cindi, planned for several years to move to a smaller town and fire department as they prepare for retirement.