Shawn Stark resigned earlier this month from the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District Board of Directors less than a year into his first term, district officials confirmed this week while announcing plans for how to fill the vacant position.
Stark's term of office was set to expire in November 2020, but he stepped down Aug. 6 after deciding to take the position of deputy political director of the California Professional Firefighters. He is moving with his family to Sacramento for the new job.
The SRVFPD board gave notice Wednesday that the district is recruiting candidates to fill the vacancy. The five-member board is elected by San Ramon Valley voters, though the board can fill an unexpired term by appointment.
Stark's resignation earlier this month was unexpected, both to himself and to the district.
"He's a big loss for us. He was a great director and had a lot of insight," SRVFPD fire chief Paige Meyer said on Thursday. "We wish him all the best in the future."
A Danville resident and a firefighter who served for nearly 19 years in the Oakland Fire Department before retiring a few weeks ago, Stark joined SRVFPD's board last October, while still working as an Oakland firefighter.
"I wanted to get involved in the other side of the house," he said.
He said he planned to stay another four years, then move to Sacramento and get involved in politics.
But when the deputy political director position was posted, he said, he applied for the job and received an offer. A big part of the draw was the more affordable housing costs in Sacramento, Stark added.
"It was a great experience," Stark said of his nearly year-long tenure on the SRVFPD board. "A very well-run department."
Stark's departure leaves the board with four members -- and a seat to fill.
In order to be appointed to the board, applicants must be district residents and able to attend the board's regular and special meetings, along with board committee meetings.
Applicants can submit summaries of their qualifications to executive assistant Sue Brooks, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, 1500 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA 94583.
The deadline to apply is Sept. 7, with applicants to be considered and selected by the district board on Sept. 19.