MEDWAY, Maine — Fire Chief John Lee will retire for the second time on March 1, officials said Monday.
Lee informed the Board of Selectmen and other town officials and residents in an email on Saturday that he would be leaving the position, thanking everyone for their assistance.
Selectmen were scheduled to discuss replacing Lee during a meeting on Monday night, said town Administrative Assistant Katherine Lee, who is not related to Chief Lee.
“John has been devoted. He will be missed. His knowledge of the budget and budget process, his leadership skills, all are going to be difficult to replace,” Katherine Lee said Monday.
Selectmen voted 5-0 in April 2012 to immediately rehire Lee, then 55, as the town’s top firefighter after more than 30 years on the job and his retirement from the position in November 2011.
Selectmen had considered several options, including consolidating departments with East Millinocket, and had hired a consultant to find a permanent replacement for Lee and interim replacement Adam Brackett.
But the consultant, former Brewer Fire Chief Rick Bronson, told selectmen that he found none of the candidates qualified for the job, so selectmen opted to seek Lee’s return to the job, which pays a $4,000 stipend, during a meeting with him in executive session on April 9, he said.
Lee said she believed Chief Lee was leaving to concentrate more on his fulltime job at the Great Northern Paper Co. LLC mill. Selectmen are for now limiting their discussion of Chief Lee’s replacement to in-house candidates, she said.
Chief Lee did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.