An issue over ‘secondary employment’ is forcing Watseka Fire Chief Dave Mayotte to give up a job he loves. Mayotte has informed the City Council he is resigning as fire chief.
The issue is, Mayotte is a professional, career firefighter working with the Tri-State Fire Protection District in suburban Darien (IL). Union rules, according to a letter from the Tri-State District, prohibit members from having secondary employment in firefighting duties.
Mayotte’s argument before the Tri-State trustees was based on the premise that he’s not an active, ‘boots-on-the ground’ active firefighter for Watseka, but instead a chief in command situations. But the argument was declined, forcing Mayotte’s resignation in his Watseka position......
"I was planning on four more years; I'm not looking to leave...but sometimes your fulltime jobs dictates what you have to do," Mayotte said. "I don't agree what they're (Tri-State) doing. It's wrong and it's going to hurt a lot of volunteer fire districts in the state of Illinois. It's an issue of trying to fight 'city hall' and it's not worth it."
Mayotte has been with the Watseka fire department for 30 years, 16 as chief. The many, good experiences are often difficult to talk about. But Mayotte thanks the City Council, present and past administrations, and the neighboring, dedicated firemen who’ve made this all a family affair........
"This has been a fun job. I love helping the people of Watseka and the area..I've loved the relationships with area departments. I love being a firefighter," Mayotte added.
Mayotte plans to remain in an administrative position to assist in the transition to a new Watseka fire chief.