Redmond Mayor John Marchione has selected Kevin Donnelly as the city's next fire chief, officials announced Monday evening.
Donnelly is currently the fire chief of Lodi, Calif., a city of about 65,000 people. Marchione said Donnelly's leadership experience and communication skills set him apart from the other applicants.
“The breadth of Kevin Donnelly’s experience fits the nature of what Redmond is going through right now," Marchione said Monday evening. "Redmond is a growing city, and it’s similar to Lodi in the size of the population and the size of the fire department."
Marchione said Donnelly began as a firefighter and worked his way up to the role of chief. He also served a stint as union president, Marchione said.
“So he’s been on both sides of the table in terms of labor management relationships,” Marchione said.
The appointment is pending a background check and approval by the city council. If everything goes as expected, Marchione said Donnelly will assume his role on May 1.
Donnelly would replace former Fire Chief Tim Fuller, who retired from in January. Since then, Police Chief Ron Gibson and Deputy City Manager Jane Christenson have been splitting the role of interim fire chief.
The city of Redmond conducted a national recruiting effort to fill the position and received more than 80 applications. Four finalists met in-person with three panels of city and regional officials that included Battalion Chief Doug Kammerzell, Bellevue Fire Chief Mike Eisner, a commissioner from King County Fire District 34 and Redmond city council members.
Council President Richard Cole said he is pleased with the mayor's selection.
“I was certainly very impressed with (Donnelly)," Cole said. "His demeanor and what he really wants to do (as chief) were a good fit from my perspective.”
According to a city news release, Donnelly began his career in 1986 as a fire engineer for Felton Fire Protection District in Felton, Calif. He transferred to the City of Lodi as a firefighter/engineer in 1991.
Over the years, Donnelly was promoted through the ranks to captain, battalion chief, division chief of operations and to fire chief in 2009. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public safety management from California State University.