Two City of Pasco Directors have announced their retirements from decades of public service.
Fire Chief Bob Gear will retire as of May 31. Gear started in the fire service in September of 1974, attending the fire program at Bates Vocational Technical in Tacoma. Then in 1976, Gear was hired by King County Fire District 43 in Maple Valley. In 1984, Gear was hired as Chief of Benton County Fire District 1 and was there until becoming the Pasco Fire Chief in January 2009. Besides serving the Tri-Cities community, Gear has worked extensively with state and federal wildland agencies responding to many large fires throughout Washington and the western United States. Gear also assisted the New York Fire Department after 9/11 and NASA on the Columbia space shuttle recovery. Gear was recognized as the “Washington Fire Chief of the Year” in 2018.
Community & Economic Development Director Rick White will retire as of April 30. White has an extended community planning history with over 35 years of experience. A graduate of Eastern Washington University, White has worked at Spokane County Planning, the City of Kennewick, and has been Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Pasco for the last 14 years. White has a special interest in community economic development, land use, and the provision of public infrastructure that enables commercial and industrial growth.
Interim City Manager Adam Lincoln said, “I could not be happier for these two excellent employees of the City of Pasco. They’ve both been great for the City of Pasco and helped us grow into the City we are today. Mr. White has been instrumental in shaping the rapid development that has yet to slow in his time with Pasco. Chief Gear has been an incredible leader who has taken Pasco through the fight against COVID and has been an example as a leader in the Fire Service. Mr. White and Chief Gear will be greatly missed, but their service will be remembered for years!”
The City will be starting the process of recruiting for these positions and hopes to have successors named in the next several weeks.
The City of Pasco strives to continue improving the quality of life in the community.