City hires fire chief

The city of Enumclaw has landed a fire chief.

Following a long, drawn-out process that saw two potential chiefs withdraw their names – a move that caused the search process to begin anew – Joseph Clow was tapped to run the department. He will begin work Monday.

Clow comes to Enumclaw from Fond du Lac, Wis., bringing with him nearly 29 years worth of experience in the profession. He started as a firefighter and worked his way through the administrative ranks.

According to a letter he submitted to the city, “The bulk of my responsibilities over the past 11 years have been in the administration and management of public safety agencies and I have sought opportunities to expand the outreach of this role beyond just its localpolitical and administrative aspects.”

Earlier, Clow was charged with teaching firefighters and emergency services personnel.

In Enumclaw, he will head a department that responds to both city and country constituents.

The department is supported by the city of Enumclaw and King County Fire Protection District 28. Both city and rural residents support the operation with their tax dollars, but the city handles the administrative details.

The city has had Doug Dawson filling the top job in an interim role. He took over from Police Chief Jim Zoll, who oversaw both departments for a time, following the retirement of Fire Chief Joe Kolisch.

The city began the search process once and eventually whittled the field to two candidates. One of those dropped out after learning that the city wouldn’t push the salary beyond the advertised range; the second candidate withdrew after being told the chief works at the discretion of the mayor and does not enjoy Civil Service protection.

With that experience in the books, the city and its paid consulting firm launched a nationwide search process a second time.