Portland fire chief resigns
Portland Fire Chief Mike Myers resigned Thursday, the day after Mayor Ted Wheeler assigned the bureau to new City Council member Jo Ann Hardesty.
According to a statement from Portland Fire & Rescue, Myers said his resignation was a personal decision because he wanted to move to the Oregon coast, where he has a new job.
"I love the coast and my wife has already moved there and it is my strong desire to join her," Myers said in the statement.
Myers' resignation came a day after Hardesty replaced former Commissioner Dan Saltzman as Fire Commissioner. Saltzman told the Portland Tribune he was especially proud to appoint Myers as chief because the two of them agreed Portland fire stations should be transformed into neighborhood health centers.
Myers joined the Portland fire bureau in July 2016. He said he will be taking a position as the emergency manager for the City of Cannon Beach.
"I have every faith that the leadership of Portland Fire & Rescue will continue to serve the city of Portland at the highest level," said Myers. "My only regret is that I was very excited to work with Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and her team."
Hardesty said Myers told her in person about his plans to resign.
"I am personally so sad to lose his leadership and friendship," Hardesty said. "His vision for a vibrant city was exactly what we need, and I am disappointed to not work on his plan together."
Myers had previously presented Hardesty with a helmet to wear to PF&R responses.
Mayor Ted Wheeler was also disappointed about Myers' departure.
"Chief Myers was an outstanding and visionary leader for Portland Fire and Rescue. This departure is a loss for our community. When I learned of the news, I asked him what we could do to get him to stay but ultimately he made this decision for his family, and I completely respect that. I wish him nothing but the best in the years ahead. The City is better because of Chief Myers, and I am confident that his positive legacy will continue at the Oregon Coast," Wheeler said in a statement,
An interim chief has not yet been named.