by ANDY SEVILLA
Buda Fire Chief Clay Huckaby now, too, is at the helm of Kyle’s Fire Department after a vote by the Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 5 Board Saturday.
In a special called ESD 5 meeting, the board “unanimously” tabbed Huckaby to serve as Kyle’s interim Fire Chief, while members lay the groundwork for a new head to step in, said ESD 5 board member Beth Smith in an email.
Outgoing Kyle Fire Chief Glenn Whitaker resigned his post, effective Feb. 25.
“ESD #8 (Buda) Commissioners have allowed me the opportunity to work with Kyle Fire/ESD #5 during this transition with the understanding that my responsibilities and duties for Buda Fire/ESD #8 (are) not neglected,” Huckaby said in a statement. “To accomplish this, I will be working during the evening hours at Kyle Fire and on the weekends.”
ESD 5 board members discussed naming Whitakers’ temporary successor during executive session Saturday before calling on Huckaby to fill the post in open meeting. Smith, nor board member Mike Fulton, would divulge the names of those in the running for Kyle Fire’s top job, because it was a matter of executive session.
Fulton said Huckaby will serve as Kyle Fire’s head at $900 per week. “(Huckaby) agreed to come on board and help us during our search for a new chief, while continuing to serve as the chief in Buda,” he said.
It is expected that the ESD 5 will solicit applications to fill the fire department’s top job in the coming weeks, “and hopefully have a new chief on board in the next few months,” Huckaby said.
“Kyle Fire Department has a dedicated group of individuals that are working hard to continue to provide the best service to the citizens of Kyle and surrounding areas,” Huckaby said. “We will ensure that tradition continues during this transitional period.”
After more than 33 years with the Kyle Fire Department, Whitaker submitted his resignation Feb. 11, because of “attacks” and “constant accusations.”
Whitaker’s wife, Doris, who served as the department’s bookkeeper, also submitted her resignation effective the same day as her husband.
“It’s mostly the attacks,” Whitaker said Feb. 12 of his resignation. “They think we make too much money and the firefighters don’t. Several board members feel Doris is overpaid.”
ESD 5 members constitute the “they” Whitaker spoke of, though he also said several others in the department have insinuated the same thing.
“It’s the constant accusations and we’re just tired of it,” he said.