Panel gives fire chief favorable review

The Maui County Fire and Public Safety Commission has given Fire Chief Jeffrey Murray a favorable review in its annual evaluation, which is mandated by the Maui County Charter.

“His continued effort to move the department forward . . . is a challenge that he has not wavered toward completion,” said commission Chairman William Soares, who noted that the Maui Fire Department was the first department statewide to have its recruits train with state fire recruits to make the most use of resources as well as share skill sets.

The evaluation was completed before Murray on Tuesday asked the Maui County Council if he could delay until July 2015 the long-anticipated transfer of beach lifeguards to the Maui Fire Department. He noted there were union and other issues that necessitated the delay.

The evaluation took into account supervision of the merger of the Ocean Safety Department from the county Department of Parks and Recreation, a charter amendment approved by voters in 2012.

The evaluation also took into consideration leadership, budget presentation, annual review and update of the MFD strategic plan, department participation in community activities, communication, maintaining leadership and promoting a professional presence in the community, a news release said.

The commission said Maui County is “fortunate” to have a chief who performs “to such a high standard.”

“Maui County is in good hands with the entire team that is present at the Maui County Fire Department,” Soares said.

The commission has the authority to appoint and remove the fire chief.