music in the park san jose

If the San Jose Fire Department hires Gilroy Fire Chief Jeff
Clet away from Garlic Town, it will be their gain and our loss.
Clet, who is one of three finalists for the job of SJFD chief,
is rumored to be the top candidate for the position.
If the San Jose Fire Department hires Gilroy Fire Chief Jeff Clet away from Garlic Town, it will be their gain and our loss.

Clet, who is one of three finalists for the job of SJFD chief, is rumored to be the top candidate for the position. We’re not surprised – Clet has done a fabulous job in Gilroy. His hiring has arguably been one of City Administrator Jay Baksa’s best personnel decisions.

Clet joined the GFD after a period of labor strife and has forged a positive relationship with the city’s firefighters. He’s overseen the difficult issues surrounding the opening of the city’s third fire station. The longtime Gilroy resident has managed the city’s transition to firefighter/paramedic service. He has advocated a compromise approach to fireworks laws in Gilroy following a harrowing July 4 celebration last year that stretched the city’s ability to respond beyond reasonable limits.

Gee, he isn’t gone yet, and we’re already missing Clet.

If Clet does take the San Jose Fire Chief post – and given the fact that his father held that position, that he worked for years in the SJFD and that he would receive a considerable pay boost, we imagine it would be hard for him to decline – he will leave a important legacy of openness and common sense that not all city departments have adopted. Clet understands that if a department is open, honest and fair, the personnel within the department and the public will respond in like manner.

Given that Clet’s departure would come at a critical time for the GFD – the Sunrise Fire Station is not yet complete and difficult issues surrounding GFD autonomy loom at LAFCO, the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission – hiring a new chief will be a critical decision.

Baksa and City Council would be well-advised to hold any chief candidates they consider to the Clet standard.

Speaking selfishly, we hope we’re borrowing trouble by anticipating Clet’s departure from GFD to helm the SJFD. But when we’re realistic, we know that the City of San Jose would be lucky to hire Jeff Clet.

We wish him well, whether his future has him working in Gilroy or not.

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