Berry resigns as interim Jay fire chief

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JAY — Interim Fire Chief Randy Berry has submitted his resignation citing a commitment to his college studies.

His resignation is effective March 15.

Berry of Livermore, a former fire chief in that town and former state legislator, started his duties as interim fire chief of the Jay Fire and Rescue Department on Feb. 1.

He also started college courses around the same time. He is a former Wausau Paper mill worker who lost his job last year.

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Selectmen will be asked to accept Berry’s resignation at their meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 15, at the town office.

“It has become obvious to me that the personal cost of trying to serve as Jay’s fire chief and attend college full-time has become too great,” Berry wrote in his letter to Town Manager Ruth Cushman. “I am not able to deliver the attention and time that the Town of Jay and the Jay Fire-Rescue Department deserve. Nor have I left myself time to adequately attend my studies. Each is a distraction from the other. If I continue as I am I can only envision failure in both arenas.”

Selectmen appointed Berry to help the Jay department move forward and come together again as a team after a difficult and controversial year among firefighters in 2009.

“I am not running from the challenge serving as interim fire chief but I have to face the reality of what is best for the welfare of my family,” Berry wrote. “I am disappointed that I do not have a definite plan forward for the department. I am stunned by the amount of homework that awaits my attention.”

He told Cushman that he was sorry that he was unable to fulfill his intended mission.

Cushman doesn’t know what she is going to do about the vacancy but is exploring some options, she said Thursday.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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