Council names new fire chief, planning commissioner

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

NEW MARKET — The New Market Town Council appointed a new fire and rescue chief and planning commission member during its meeting on Monday.

Council voted unanimously to name Tim Williams, operations chief for the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue, as interim chief of New Market Fire and Rescue effective Sept. 1.

He will replace Gary Yew, the county’s fire and rescue chief, who has led the New Market station since December. Yew is retiring on Sept. 1 after leading the county department for 14 years.

Council appointed Yew to replace former chief Robbie Smith, whom council removed on Dec. 21 as a result of hostile relations between New Market Fire and Rescue volunteers and county first responders stationed in the town.

The breakdown in rapport led to the county relocating its New Market first responders to Mount Jackson on the same day as Smith’s removal. They returned to the New Market station in January.

Williams will also take over as the county’s interim fire and rescue chief after Yew’s retirement.

Council also named Danny Rice as the town’s newest Planning Commissioner, effective immediately, by unanimous vote. He replaces Ron Gore, who resigned his post on July 14 after serving since 2008.

“He was having trouble attending meetings,” Chad Neese, town planner and zoning administrator, said Monday. “He didn’t elaborate on that, but we hate to lose him.”

Rice is chairman of New Market’s Historic Overlay District Review Board. He will complete Gore’s four-year term, which expires on Dec. 31, 2018.

Council members Peggy Harkness, Tim Palmer, Gary Comer, Peter Hughes and Scott Wymer voted for Gore and Williams’ appointments. Vice Mayor John Blosser was absent.

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