Letter to the Editor: Fire chief explains plans to leave

Dear Editor:
This is an open letter to those who are members of the Rio Blanco Fire Protection District and the residents of Meeker.

I’m sure by now most of you have encountered any number of rumors and stories about me and my employment here at the Rio Blanco Fire Protection District. I am writing this letter to give you the story directly from me.
I personally met with each board member recently and told each of them that Carrie and I are planning on leaving Meeker as soon as I can find work elsewhere.
I have a handful of applications submitted for jobs from Grand Junction all the way to central Oklahoma. Our house is on the market and we’ve already had several showings.
I have told the board that we are trying to expedite this process as quickly as possible so as not to prolong the situation. I would expect that time to not exceed more than a couple of months.
I have also told the board members that they wanted a professional,
they hired a professional and I will behave as a professional to the very end. From my perspective, it is business as usual until I depart, and they will continue to get the same level of commitment and effort out of me that they have received over the last year.
I did not send this letter to spark a debate and I certainly do not want one to occur.
I sent this out of respect for and as a professional courtesy to each of you. You deserve to know what your chief’s plans are without hearing them through rumors on the street.
As I stated earlier, I am actively looking for employment, and I have a couple of very strong prospects. As is usually the case, one does have to play the waiting game and sometimes the clock seems to move quite slowly.
Please know that once the next course of our lives has been set you all will be the second group to know right after the board members. Thank you for your patience, understanding and continued professionalism.
Marshall D. Cook, BS, CFO
Fire Chief
Rio Blanco Fire Protection District