By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
A retired Lodi Fire Department chief already living in Calaveras County will become Angels Camp's new fire chief.
City Council members last night unanimously selected Scott Kenley, 55, of Valley Springs, to run the city fire department. Kenley was among four candidates interviewed in closed session before the council's regular meeting. The council announced its choice after returning to public session.
Kenley, who retired in 2001 from his position of Lodi fire chief, began his firefighting career in 1971 with the Montclair Fire Department in Southern California. He served as fire chief in Brisbane, a city in the Bay Area, before moving to Lodi in 1997.
With a bachelor's degree in management and a master's in management and organizational behavior, Kenley has taught University of Phoenix classes in conflict resolution, change management, employment law and human resource management.
Mayor Debbie Ponte said she was most impressed with Kenley's rich background in all levels of firefighting working with both volunteers and paid staff.
"The fact that he is currently retired and available and knows our area, makes him my recommendation," she said.
Once a background check on Kenley is completed, he and City Administrator Tim Shearer will work together on a contract. Although hours have not been set for his part-time position, Kenley will receive $40,000 a year, but no benefits.
Following the meeting, Kenley said he applied for the Angels Camp job because he wanted to get back to the basics of teaching and training volunteers.
"When you're chief of a larger organization, you get mired in administration," he said.
"I want to deal with volunteers and people who are enthusiastic about the job. The administration part comes natural to me, after 11 years of it. Also, they wanted a part-time chief and I don't want to work full time. And the job's in close proximity to where I live."
Kenley and his wife, Barbara, have four adult children and 11 grandchildren.
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