City appoints new fire chief

Mary A. Castillo

After years without, the city soon will have a permanent fire chief.

Ken MacLeod, currently the city’s deputy city manager, will take over

as head of the Fire Department on July 1.


MacLeod will replace Jim Reed, who has served as interim Fire

Department chief since August 1999 when Bill Edmundson stepped down for

health reasons following a difficult relationship with the Laguna Beach

Firefighters Assn.


The active process to hire a permanent fire chief began in February.

Several highly qualified candidates were considered until MacLeod

expressed interest in the position.

“Ken emerged as the best possible candidate,” said City Manager Ken

Frank. “He knows fire department issues in Orange County and he is on par

with the chiefs of larger fire departments.”

As part of his present duties with the city, MacLeod is director of

administrative services, a position he has held since April 2001.


During his tenure with the city, he has overseen the installation of a

wireless communication system for both police and fire departments, the

completion of the annual city audit and a systemwide update to the city’s

telephone and computer services.

“The Laguna Beach Fire Department is made up of capable, well-seasoned

people,” MacLeod said. “I want to ensure that our department is not only

prepared to meet all of the emergency needs of the community, but that we

continue to make this department a good place for people to work in where


they will want to be part of for many years.”

Prior to working with the cities of Dana Point and Laguna Beach,

MacLeod worked with the Orange County Fire Authority starting in 1981.

During his time there, MacLeod worked as deputy fire chief of

operations and later retired as deputy fire chief of administration in


* MARY A. CASTILLO is a news assistant for the Coastline Pilot. She

can be reached at 494-4321 or o7 editor@coastlinenews.comf7 .