San Luis Obispo City Fire Department Chief Charlie Hines plans to retire on September 10, according to an email from the city manager’s office.
According to the email, sent at approximately 10 a.m. on July 23, Hines and City Manager Katie Lichtig had been discussing his desire to “spend more time with his family.”
“We will miss Charlie’s commitment to the community, caring and compassionate demeanor and his dedication to serving with distinction,” Lichtig wrote to members of the city council in a July 23 email. “Charlie has a servant’s heart and that characteristic has been an inspiration to many, including me. We will miss Charlie but wish him all the best as he and [wife] Lorie chart out the next chapter of their lives.”
Lichtig wrote that the city will immediately begin the selection process, and in the event that she has not named Hines' successor by his last day, Deputy Chief Garret Olson will serve as Acting Chief until a successor is named.
Hines has served with the city since October 2010, following the sudden passing of former Chief John Callahan. Hines formerly served as the fire chief in the City of Yakima, in Washington State.
His departure comes at a time of increased public scrutiny following the reinstatement of controversial firefighter John Ryan Mason, who received his job back—with a pay cut and demotion—in June.
Lichtig could not be immediately reached for comment, but her email had been received by members of the city council as of press time.