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Sparks fire chief finalist received ‘no confidence’ vote in 2010


City of Sparks officials this week said they have selected three new finalists for the fire chief position that’s been largely vacant since early 2022. 

That’s after longtime Chief Jim Reid resigned in the wake of ethics concerns and a vote of no confidence from the firefighters union. The new candidates also follow the one-week tenure and resignation of Mark Lawson, Reid’s replacement, who is now facing four felony drug charges

The candidates are Carson City Fire Department Deputy Chief Aaron Lowe; Pasco, Washington Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Reid; and retired Apple Valley Fire Protection District Chief Lorenzo Gigliotti, who also served for a little over six-and-a-half years as South Lake Tahoe’s fire chief.

Gigliotti, like former Sparks Chief Reid, has also had a vote of no confidence issued against him by firefighters he led. 

Lake Tahoe News in 2010 reported that members of International Firefighters Association Local 4427 and the South Lake Tahoe Firefighters Association cast the vote citing a lack of credibility, communication and leadership. 

The firefighters said they were working in a “culture of fear” and they were frustrated over three years of contract negotiations and old equipment not being replaced. 

Gigliotti was fire chief in South Lake Tahoe from 2005 to 2011, leaving the post within a year after the union’s vote. After leaving, he worked for several years in fire positions in California. He then served as Apple Valley’s chief for nearly three years before retiring. 

Gigliotti was passed over for the role of fire chief in Forest Grove, Oregon in September 2021. He’s been working for the past two years as a part-time instructor at Park University in Parkville, Missouri as well as as a consultant in both Reno and Kansas City, Missouri. 

Other candidates

Aaron Lowe has been on the job in Carson City for less than three years after having helped guide the Aptos La Selva firefighters in the consolidation of the Central Fire Protection District in Santa Cruz County, California. He took over that position following a vote of no confidence for that region’s former fire chief. 

Patrick Reid has served as deputy fire chief for the city of Pasco, Washington for just over two years and for the city of Yakima, Washington for a little more than three years. Before that he worked in fire in Fort Irwin California and Salt Lake City, Utah, along with serving 22 years as fire chief in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. 

The three final candidates for the Sparks job were selected with the help of recruiting firm Ralph Andersen and Associates, which also helped to select Lawson for the job. 

The finalists will be reviewed during a one-day assessment and interview on Jan. 25. Sparks City Manager Neil Krutz said he anticipates selecting the next chief following the interviews. 

Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.