Kalin Montevideo Named SBFD Interim Chief

Sturgeon Bay’s Police and Fire Commission agreed Monday to appoint assistant fire chief Kalin Montevideo as the city’s interim chief, effective immediately.

Commission chair Wayne Spritka said the appointment was made because fire chief Tim Dietman is retiring as of April 5, but using up accumulated leave time. His last day on the job was Feb. 2.

Dietman, who became Sturgeon Bay’s fire chief in 2016 following the retirement of Tim Herlache, previously was the assistant chief and has been with the department since 2000. Montevideo became the assistant chief after Dietman was elevated to chief.

Tim Dietman.

Dietman sent a letter dated Jan. 31 to Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward and Spritka, notifying them of his retirement effective April 5. He said it was time for he and his family to move on to the next chapter of their lives, but did not indicate that would happen as soon as Feb. 2.

He wrote that he had devoted 23.5 years to “protecting life and property in the communities we protect” and was proud of the growth and accomplishments of the department and the command and support staff.

“I have the utmost respect for all of them and know the department will continue in great hands,” he said.

Spritka said the commission’s appointment of Montevideo as an interim fire chief is allowed by state statute and under city code the appointment may remain in effect for up to six months, and be extended after that for another three months. 

The commission is solely responsible for hiring a fire chief, though the Common Council is authorized to set the position’s salary.

Now that Montevideo has accepted the commission’s appointment as interim fire chief, Ward said it will be up to the council to decide whether she should receive additional compensation while holding that position. 

Spritka said the commission will be scheduling additional meetings to go through the process of hiring a permanent fire chief, with the next meeting set for Feb. 28.

He said no decision has been made at this point about whether to hire a permanent chief internally, advertise the position statewide or use a human resources firm to help in the hiring process.

The commission’s meeting on Monday was its second one of the year and the first to have the fire chief’s position specifically on the agenda, according to agendas posted on the city’s website. Only four commission meeting agendas were posted for 2023, with the most recent one on July 13, and none listing the fire chief’s position.

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