CATHEDRAL CITY — City Manager Charles McClendon in the “next few weeks” anticipates making an offer to one of the finalists  in the running for fire chief, Communications Manager Chris Parman told Uken Report.

Any offer depends on how long it takes to conduct the background checks.

A search committee interviewed the top candidates and forwarded its choices for the top finalists to the city manager who recently interviewed the top finalists, Parman said.

The top finalists are being properly vetted with regards to their backgrounds.

Interim Fire Chief Blake Goetz does not have an expiration date on his interim contract and he is willing to stay until the city no longer needs his service, Parman said.

A replacement is being sought for Fire Chief Paul S. Wilson who announced his retirement from the city effective May 28, 2020. He and his wife, Pam, moved to Mesa, Ariz., to be near — and help take care of — his elderly mother.

Under Wilson’s leadership, construction on a new, single-story, mid-century modern fire station has started on Buddy Rogers Avenue near Date Palm Drive.

The new, 9,800-square-foot fire station will be twice the size of the existing 4,800-square-foot structure at 36913 Date Palm Drive. The new building will be located directly northwest of its current location. The new fire chief will inherit the fruits of Wilson’s labor.

The new fire station is expected to serve the city – and its growth — for the next 50 years. Estimates for the 2020 Census indicate that Cathedral City will be home to about 58,000 people, roughly 3,000 more than currently live in the community, Wilson said at the time. In season, October to April, an additional 17,000 call Cathedral City home, according to Wilson.


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  • Fire chief: Shutterstock