Sandusky fire Chief Paul Ricci submitted his resignation letter, effective Oct. 8 — amid a time in which a city budget shortfall severely threatens his department's staffing levels.
Ricci sent a copy of the memo to the Register and city commissioner Dick Brady confirmed his sudden departure.
It's unclear exactly why Ricci's retiring, especially since he became chief less than three years ago after beating many other candidates in a competitive search process.
The retirement also comes when a $1.1 million shortfall in the city's $16.3 million everyday operating budget is hitting his department the hardest.
A tentative proposal shows the fire department reducing about $530,000, which includes laying off four full-time firefighters by May.
Ricci didn't mention staffing issues or budget constraints in his one-paragraph retirement memo.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the city of Sandusky and the Sandusky Fire Department. My 32 years in the fire serve have been very rewarding, and I have been fortunate to meet and work with so many fine employees throughout city government. I want to thank all of you for providing me opportunities to succeed and being a source of support and guidance. Being the fire chief has been an incredible experience and one that I will always cherish. It is time for me, however, to turn the organization over to the next generation of officers.
Effective Oct. 8, 2014 at 5 p.m., I will retire from the city of Sandusky Fire Department. I provide this notice at this time to provide ample time for an orderly and professional transition.
Pick up Tuesday's Register to read more about why Ricci retired.