Excerpts from MyWebTimes.com:

The Seneca Fire Department board is expected to let go its longtime fire chief and appoint a new one Monday night.

Chief Jerry Sears said Monday afternoon he was first informed of the fire board’s plan to dismiss him a couple weeks ago. He said the board wanted to install Deputy Chief Kett Johnson as the new chief.

Sears said he was down about the board’s plan when he first heard about it, but he isn’t anymore. He said he planned to speak during the board meeting about the decision. Sears has been a firefighter with the volunteer department since 1973. He took the helm in 1984.

Karen Osmond, the department’s administrative assistant, said the agenda for Monday’s special meeting came out of nowhere Friday afternoon.

The fire board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the fire station at 121 W. Armour St. in Seneca.

thanks Dennis

Excerpts from the HeraldNews.com:

A former fire chief of 33 years was let go Monday during the Seneca Fire Board meeting.

Jerry Sears, 76, joined the department in 1973. Now, he says he is not allowed inside the station.

He claims that two board members had a meeting without the third and tried to force him into retirement before the board meeting occurred.

“The President of Trustees Jerry Johnson came to my house two weeks ago on June 20 to enlighten me that I was going to retire the following day,” Sears said.

Sears wrote a letter of resignation for the department business meeting, but he claims he reconsidered and never turned it in. Then, he was let go at the board meeting with a 2-1 vote on July 10. Kett Johnson was chosen as the new chief, and claims he was first approached about it June 30.

“He served the department very well. Everything would not be what it is without him,” Johnson said.

Sears said that he would not have retired if he didn’t have to.

Sears thinks that his age and heart-related issues may be one of the factors that lead to him being let go. He was off for almost six months while Assistant Chief Jason Bersano filled in for him.

Administrative Assistant for the Fire and Ambulance District Karen Osmond said Sears’ departure hasn’t sunk in to all of the firefighters yet.

Sears wishes his firefighters good luck.

Johnson said he plans to keep the transition as smooth as possible.

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